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Man pleads guilty to simple assault for hitting son

A Mount Vernon man who was accused of felony child abuse for punching his 5-year-old has pleaded guilty to simple assault, which is a misdemeanor.

Kip Gearey, 32, entered his plea earlier this week.

In December, the Mount Vernon School District reported a student had possibly been abused. Upon investigation, law enforcement learned Geary allegedly punched his 5-year-old son in the head.

However, he took a plea agreement on Monday and pleaded guilty to simple assault. The conviction lays out that Gearey intentionally caused bodily injury to his son, but did not cause serious injury.

He will be on probation for one year and has a 90-day jail sentence hanging over his head if he doesn't follow the rules of his probation.

Gearey was fined $300 and must pay court costs of $84.

He must also successfully complete a parenting program approved by the South Dakota Department of Social Services. He must provide proof of this completion within 90 days of sentencing to the court and the state's attorney, according to court documents.