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JACKSONVILLE, NC (AP) — The Onslow County sheriff says a man slapped a child to avoid a second charge of assaulting a female.

The Jacksonville Daily News reported that 21-year-old Michael Marvin Hansley of Jacksonville is charged with misdemeanor counts of child abuse, assault on a child and contributing to the abuse of a juvenile.

Sheriff Ed Brown says Hansley was upset with 22-year-old Kristyn Michelle Smith when she got a cell phone call from another man Nov. 6. Brown says Hansley told investigators he slapped the 21-month-old child because he would have faced a second charge of assault on a female if he had hit Smith.

Smith has been charged with giving false information when she took the child to a hospital.

It was not clear if Hansley and Smith have attorneys.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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