By Jacob Mathias
A Nekoosa man faces misdemeanor battery charges after allegedly punching his girlfriend.
At his initial appearance in Wood County Circuit Court on Monday, 35-year-old Richard Kester pleaded not guilty to battery, a class A misdemeanor. If found guilty, the charge could lead to a maximum sentence of nine months imprisonment, or a $10,000 fine or both for an alleged incident on August 1.
According to court documents, at 9:34 PM on August 1, officers from the Nekoosa Police Department responded to home on the 1000 block of West 4th St. to investigate a report of a domestic abuse incident. At the home, Kester’s ex-wife told police that their two 5-year-old children who had been staying with him, told her Kester was pushing and hitting his girlfriend. The children told police that their dad was angry, hitting his girlfriend and breaking things.
Police made contact with Kester about the alleged incident. He denied the incident and said he was sleeping at the time it was supposed to have happened. The criminal complaint said police observed several fresh scratches on Kester’s person.
Police then questioned the victim who they found sleeping in the closet of the master bedroom. Court documents said she had gone in the closet to hide and fallen asleep. Police observed swelling around her eyes and bruising on her face as well as many small bruises on her arms from defense.
She told police that Kester had punched her in the face with a closed fist “a lot of times.” She said she’d lived with Kester for two months.
On August 2, Kester was released on a $500 cash bond under the condition he have no contact with the victim.
He returns to Branch 2 of Wood County Circuit on September 18 at 10:00 AM for a pre-trial conference.