AMEBSURY — A local man arrested in 2019 after being accused of biting a 4-year-old relative multiple times saw two assault and battery on a child charges dropped Tuesday in Newburyport District Court.

Instead, James Rooney, 43, of Congress Street, Amesbury, pleaded guilty to assault and battery and was sentenced to a year of probation.

While on probation, Rooney must abide by all restraining orders, not abuse his victim or witnesses, stay out of Danvers, and not have any weapons. 

Rooney had been charged with assault and battery of a child with injury and indecent assault and battery of a child, but those charges were dismissed, partly so the victim did not have to testify against Rooney. 

"The conditions that were imposed assures some protection," Essex County District Attorney's Office spokesperson Carrie Kimball said in a phone call. 

At his arraignment in October 2019, Rooney was accused of biting the child in several places. The injuries were seen by relatives, including one who took the child to a pediatrician, who noticed bite marks on the child’s stomach, toes and nose.

Kennedy also said the child told relatives that Rooney held the youngster down on a bed. The child was then bitten on the neck.

The child’s mother reported the incidents to the Amesbury Police Department, prompting officers to visit Rooney at his home.

At the time of his arrest, Rooney was on probation for an earlier unspecified offense. Further details on that charge were not available.

At Rooney's arraignment, a judge ordered the Amesbury Police Department’s report impounded, which means the media and public cannot see it.

A phone call to Rooney's attorney, David Newton, for comment was not returned Tuesday. 

Staff writer Dave Rogers can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

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