MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) - A Middletown man is accused of assaulting his girlfriend's 16-month-old daughter but his relatives insist he did not do it.
Nicholas Jones, 24, is held on a felonious assault charge at the Middletown City Jail.
The Butler County Sheriff's Office arrested and charged him last week, and he was booked into the jail by 5 p.m. Friday, jail officials said.
Jones' bond was set at $60,000 when he made his initial appearance Monday in Middletown Municipal Court. He is scheduled to return for a pre-trial hearing at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Sheriff's officials did not respond to requests for comment about the case Tuesday.
His family described him as an all-around good man and great father to a total of eight children he has been caring for.
Four of those children are his own, and the other four are his girlfriend's, according to his family.
"He's got four kids of his own that he raises. He gets them for two weeks at a time, and he's never so much as raised his voice," said his aunt, Jessica Morris.
They were shocked to hear Jones is locked up on a felony charge.
"The police are saying that, I guess, he slammed the baby on the ground a couple times and was biting the baby," Morris said in an interview late Tuesday.
Jones' relatives said they were told a different story, one they find more likely to be true.
They claim Jones' girlfriend was at work, while Jones was with his brother watching the children Friday.
They said Jones' girlfriend's 16-month-old daughter fell off of her high chair, and Jones took the toddler to Atrium Medical Center in Middletown l for treatment.
"He heard crying and went in there and saw that she had fell and busted her chin open, so he took her to Atrium," said Morris.
The toddler ended up at Cincinnati Children's Hospital in Liberty Township, where the injuries prompted suspicion among the medical staff.
They alerted investigators who began looking into the circumstances and, ultimately, gathered enough evidence to arrest Jones.
"I would like to see the truth actually come out," Morris said. "False charges be dropped."