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Utah man charged with physical, emotional abuse of young boy

A man who police say physically and emotionally abused a young boy during the month he lived with them had a no-bail warrant issued for his arrest Tuesday.

A man who police say physically and emotionally abused a young boy during the month he lived with them had a no-bail warrant issued for his arrest Tuesday. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

WEST VALLEY CITY — A no-bail arrest warrant was issued Tuesday for a man accused of physically and emotionally abusing his girlfriend's son.

Danny Adam Hancock, 46, of West Valley, was charged with three counts of aggravated child abuse, a second-degree felony, for allegedly abusing a boy under the age of 10.

According to charging documents, during the one month that Hancock lived with the boy's mother, "(The boy) sustained numerous injuries and emotional abuse. (Hancock) repeatedly would suffocate, hit, and threaten the victim."

The investigation began on June 26 when the boy ran out of his house wearing only a pink nightgown, and went to a neighbor's house "to get help for him and his sister because Hancock was hurting them," the charges state. When child victim advocates later questioned the boy about the nightgown, he said that "Hancock told him, 'If you are going to cry like a little baby then you are going to dress like one,'" according to the charges.

The boy went on to describe other forms of abuse such as Hancock covering the boy's nose and mouth when he cries, causing the boy to be unable to breathe, the charges state.

"Hancock would make (the boy) stand against the wall or fridge with his hands up for several minutes. If (the boy) moved Hancock would make him stand there longer. While in this position Hancock would walk by (the boy) and knee him in the side, slap him and punch him," according to the charges. "Hancock would physically assault (the boy) anytime they were together. Hancock would hold a flame from a lighter to (the boy's) nose, lips, chin, stomach and toes, while yelling at (him)."

A few nights before running away, the boy said Hancock took him to a place where there was a 20-feet hole and threatened to throw the boy in it, according to the charges.

Police observed bruises on the boy's face, head, arms stomach and legs. When questioned by detectives, Hancock said he "has lost his temper" with the boy and told him "he's the stupidest kid he knows," the charges state.

Charging documents list the boy's mother as a co-defendant.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021 after many years of reporting for the Deseret News

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