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Lakeport couple arrested in assault of girl, 5

A man and his girlfriend were arrested Thursday on suspicion of striking a 5-year-old relative of the man because they did not want her watching a July Fourth fireworks show, according to Lakeport police.

Charles Anthony Dougherty, 31, and Jennifer Lynn Elsa, 32, both of Lakeport, were booked into Lake County Jail Thursday on one count of felony assault in connection with the incident, according to Lakeport Police Chief Brad Rasmussen.

The girl’s mother reported the abuse Thursday and provided evidence the child was struck and injured while she was in the care of Dougherty and Elsa.

“She suffered multiple bruises and other injuries,” Rasmussen said, adding that investigators were trying to determine why the family didn’t report the abuse for 20 days.

Investigators interviewed the child, who said she was told she couldn’t watch fireworks — visible from the suspects’ home — because she was being disciplined. However, when she tried to watch the fireworks from a window, the couple went inside and struck her, Rasmussen said.

Dougherty and Elsa, who are being held on $75,000 bail each, are scheduled to appear in court Monday. The girl was turned over to protective custody, Rasmussen said.

You can reach Staff Writer Elizabeth M. Cosin at 521-5276 or elizabeth.cosin@pressdemocrat.com.


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