A Fort Calhoun man who faced charges of negligent child abuse and stalking accepted a plea agreement Tuesday in Washington County District Court.

John L. Richard, 51, pleaded no contest to amended charges of negligent child abuse without serious bodily injury, a Class 1 misdemeanor; and stalking, a Class 1 misdemeanor.

A sentencing hearing is set for July 28. Judge John E. Samson ordered Richard to avoid contact with the victim.

According to an arrest affidavit, a 15-year-old girl told deputies on Aug. 1 that Richard had physically assaulted her at his home in the 500 block of North 14th Street. She said she and Richard had argued, and during the argument, Richard hit her across the face continuously and pinned her against a door with his hands on her neck.

After he released her, the girl ran to a nearby nursing home. An employee at the nursing home documented the girl's injuries and called deputies. The girl had a bruise on her upper right arm and a laceration in the inside of her mouth.

When deputies confronted Richard, he claimed the argument was over some inappropriate photos the girl was sending on her phone. He admitted to pinning the girl against a wall, but denied striking her in the face.

According to court documents, the stalking charge claims that from Aug. 1 to Sept. 21, Richard willfully harassed another person, family or household member with the intent to injure, terrify, threaten or intimidate.

On Tuesday, Chief Deputy County Attorney Erik Petersen said the charge asserts Richard made harassing phone calls to the juvenile girl, followed her in his vehicle, and appeared at places where his access was restricted.

According to court documents, Richard violated a "stay away" letter Aug. 31 that was given to him by the superintendent of Fort Calhoun Community Schools.

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