Man Sent to State Prison for Assaulting Child

CLEARFIELD – A DuBois man was sent to state prison for assaulting a child during plea colloquy court with sentencing in Clearfield County.

John Stephen Phillips Jr., 39, an inmate of the Jefferson County Jail, pleaded guilty to simple assault, endangering the welfare of children and harassment. He was sentenced by Judge Paul Cherry to six months to three years in state prison. He was fined $3 plus costs. Phillips was ordered to complete anger management counseling.

The charges stem from an incident in Sandy Township on Feb. 24 when Phillips struck a 10-year-old boy in the face and threw him across a room.

Prior to sentencing, the victim’s mother addressed the court explaining that since the incident her son has gotten lower grades and he’s both stealing and lying now. She asked Cherry to give Phillips a state sentence.

Phillips told the judge he would attend anger management classes or do anything else the court asked him to do. His attorney argued for a county sentence because he is self-employed and could possibly continue working if he was in the county jail.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, a witness told police that the child was sitting on a couch when he screamed. Phillips walked across the room and punched the boy in the face with a closed fist. The witness said the boy appeared to be in substantial pain and screamed a second time as he threw his glasses to the floor. Phillips then grabbed the boy by the right arm and threw him across the living room floor where his head hit the wall.

Police noted the boy had a moderate bruise on the right side of his face.

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