A Helena man is charged with assaulting a minor and strangling a partner or family member.
Jake William Soelter, 31, is accused of assaulting and strangling a child under the age of 14.
A Lewis and Clark County sheriff’s deputy spoke with an individual who reported possible abuse of a child, telling the deputy that they had seen the child with markings on their neck and face, according to court documents. The individual also told the deputy that they had spoken with the mother of the child and Soelter who told the individual he had hit the child.
The deputy called Child Protective Services and four deputies plus two CPS investigators went to Soelter’s residence to conduct an investigation. The deputy spoke with the mother and the child and asked how the child had gotten the injuries, bruises on their face and marks that resembled the size and shape of an adult’s fingers according to court documents. The child then showed the deputy by slapping themselves on the face according to court documents.
The deputy told Soelter he needed to interview him about the injuries and Soelter came to the Lewis and Clark Law Enforcement Center voluntarily according to court documents.
When interviewed, Soelter said he had hit the child with three fingers to discipline them and put the child in timeout, according to court documents. The deputy and detective interviewing Soelter told him that the markings were those of being hit very hard in the face and ear and that the bruising on the child’s neck was consistent with strangulation, according to court documents.
Soelter allegedly denied strangling the child and suggested a child who lives above them could be aggressive and could be the strangler.
Later, the deputy was contacted by the detective who had assisted in interviewing Soelter and told them doctors at the hospital had stated the boy had been strangled, court documents state.