Washington man arrested for kicking child in groin

Donelle Pardee Whiting
Timothy Johnston

Although they arrested a local man in connection with a case of child abuse, Washington police are still investigating.

Sgt. Jeff Stevens said the Department of Family and Family Services are also investigating the incident in cooperation with the police.

Police arrested Timothy G. Johnston, 22, of 109 Wood St., April 1 after they were contacted by DCFS.

According to police reports, Johnston kicked a 3-year-old boy in the genitals hard enough to cause injury and then slapped the boy when he said he would tell his mother.

Johnston, who is not the boy’s father, was watching the boy March 28 while his mother was out.

Stevens said he believes the boy went to a doctor, but he has not yet seen the medical reports.

Police Chief Jim Kuchenbecker said when the boy arrived for preschool at the

Tenderheart Child Care Center in Washington April 2, staff members noticed the boy had bruising on his face and notified DCFS.

“There was a handprint on the side of the boy’s face,” Kuchenbecker said.

According to reports, Johnston first denied striking the child, saying he fell down the stairs on his stomach, causing the injuries to his face and groin.

After medical professionals reported that the injuries were inconsistent with a fall, Johnston admitted to kicking the boy in the genitals.

However, he later said he accidentally kicked the boy while they were playing soccer.

Stevens said the child “recited clearly and believably” what happened.

“Children at that age have no guile. When you ask what happened, they tell you,” Stevens added.

“In my 23 years in law enforcement, this case ranks among one of the worst I have seen in terms of the injuries sustained by a victim of this age.”

Johnston remains in custody at the Tazewell County Justice Center on $100,000 bond.

He is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. April 24.