A Terre Du Lac police officer was charged with two felonies Wednesday after an incident allegedly occurred in early September while the officer was off duty babysitting his girlfriend’s child.
Ignatius Damier, 37, of Terre Du Lac, is charged in St. Francois County with two counts of felony abuse or neglect of a child.
According to a probable cause statement from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Damier was solely responsible for babysitting his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter on Sept. 2.
The report states the child was picked up from Damier’s home by her godmother who watches her on a regular basis. The child’s godmother discovered bruising on the toddler’s face and lower back and contacted authorities.
The woman photographed the bruising and reportedly informed the child’s mother of what she had observed. The young girl’s mother confronted Damier who initially denied any responsibility but then reportedly admitted to hitting the child in the face.
During an interview with law enforcement, Damier stated that the child had talked back to him and he slapped her across the face. He reportedly indicated that he had struck her with his left hand and the bruising on the child’s face was on the right side, in a pattern consistent with an adult hand.
The report states Damier also explained to law enforcement that the child had urinated on the floor, whereupon he spanked her twice and indicated that his hand landed just above her buttocks, which is consistent with the bruises on the child’s back.
According to the statement, Damier acknowledged that he was responsible for the bruising to the child.
Damier was employed by Terre Du Lac in 2016 and had held the rank of corporal. When the investigation began, he was placed on administrative leave. He was terminated from the police department Wednesday when it was learned charges were filed.
Damier was booked into the St. Francois County Jail Wednesday on a $5,000 cash or surety bond. If found guilty on the charges, Damier could face between one and seven years behind bars.
Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org