It used to be that the crime of beating up a pregnant woman was just about unheard of.
But 3 recent cases filed by the county prosecutor casts a very different light.
"It's unusual," said Jennings County Prosecutor Brian Belding about the cases. "I don't know whether it had to do with the stress of the holidays or other issues."
The 3 men are all charged with felonies. Normally, domestic violence is a misdemeanor but when a pregnant woman is involved, the crime becomes more serious or "elevated" in the eyes of the law..
The charge, agrees Belding, "should be elevated due to the fact of possible injury to a fetus or baby."
"We take all batteries seriously, but when you have that additional factor, we take that more seriously. That's the reality of the society we live in. It's sad."
The 3 men involved are all facing Level 5 felonies, which involves inflicting serious injury or extreme pain. Those charged are:
Thomas Alexander Bowling, 23, charged with strangulation of a pregnant victim, an L5F; and domestic battery, an A misdemeanor. On Dec. 18, Deputy Garrett Hoppock responded to a domestic battery that had already occurred at 200 N Priv Rd 5 E. Bowling allegedly asked his estranged wife, Brittany Bowling, to his home where they argued. The fight escalated and allegedly he started to choke her. Bail was set at $2055.
In a second case, a warrant has been issued for David Eugene Turner, 37, 5460 E PR 650 N, Butlerville for domestic battery with bodily injury to a pregnant woman, an L5F; criminal confinement, an L6F; and criminal mischief, a B misdemeanor.
The couple was allegedly "play fighting," but then he got rougher and rougher. When she asked him to quit, he would not and, according to the police report, grabbed her by the hair and shook her.
In the third case, Michael Anthony Bates, III, 21, is charged with domestic battery with bodily injury to a pregnant woman and battery resulting in bodily injury to a pregnant woman, both L5Fs.
Officer Isaac Barkes of the NVPD noted that he had been called previously to 620 E O&M Ave for a domestic. Bates called the police, indicating that Seianna Creech, who was 8 months pregnant, hit him in the face.
Upon investigation, she admitted to hitting him but according to the police report said it was because "she had been pushed by Bates." The officer collaborated her injury and indicated in his report that the woman may be charged in the future with an A misdemeanor for hitting Bates.
Rebekah Jean Martinez, 36, and William Tobias, 19, are charged with dealing meth between 1 and 5 grams, an L4F; possession of meth and maintaining a common nuisance, both L6Fs; and possession of paraphernalia, a C misdemeanor.
On Dec. 14, officers went to 3222 Stoningham Way for a home check for Johnny Graham, on house arrest. Martizez, Tobias, and Gage Cossell lived at the house. Drugs were seen in plain view.