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Man charged with multiple counts of child abuse
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Man charged with multiple counts of child abuse

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A Council Bluffs man faces numerous child abuse charges after police say he physically attacked three children under his care.

Leslie Kennedy Sr., 73, faces two counts of child endangerment causing serious injury, one count of domestic abuse by strangulation and one count of false imprisonment. Court records show the alleged events happened between January 2017 and this month.

He was arrested Dec. 16 and is being held in Pottawattamie County Jail on a $20,000 bond.

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On Dec. 8, an officer with the Council Bluffs Police Department received information that children were being abused at a home in the 1800 block of Tostevin Street, according to the arrest affidavit. Court records show one minor alleged abuse reported to school officials, to his or her father and a church pastor that Kennedy recently choked another family member.

As a result of an investigation, three children were placed in protective custody on Dec. 10. One child interviewed at Children’s Square disclosed that after making a gingerbread house on a recent day, Kennedy allegedly became upset with two children for making a mess and proceeded to grab one by the neck and strangle the child against a table.

Court records show another adult in the house intervened to end the alleged incident.

During the course of the investigation, police reported that all three children claimed Kennedy choked them during the past three years. In addition, court records indicate that one child was allegedly duct-taped to a chair on at least one occasion as a form of punishment, while having his or her mouth taped shut.

Kennedy is scheduled for a Jan. 15 hearing in Pottawattamie County court. The arrest is unrelated to the murder investigation of Kimberly Ratliff, Kennedy’s step-daughter, who was found murdered inside of a vehicle positioned along West Broadway in January 1999. Kennedy’s son, Matt, was arrested in October and charged with first-degree murder. Matt Kennedy’s jury trial is scheduled for Feb. 2.

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