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64-year-old Clovis man convicted of child abuse; sentenced to year in jail

According to the DA's office, a Curry County jury found Bruce Bender, 64, of Clovis, guilty of child abuse and disorderly conduct last month. (Photo Courtesy: Ninth Judicial District Attorney's Office)

The Ninth Judicial District Attorney announced that a Clovis man was sentenced to one year in jail for child abuse on Tuesday.

According to the DA's office, a Curry County jury found Bruce Bender, 64, of Clovis, guilty of child abuse and disorderly conduct last month. The charges stemmed from an incident in March 2017 when Clovis police officers were called to a Clovis restaurant for a report of a child being battered.

Bender reportedly hit a 6-year-old child in the head after the child had been sitting on the child's knees at the table after Bender told him not to. Bender, who was dining with the child and a relative, was later located in the parking lot where he became aggressive and refused to comply with officers.

The presiding judge sentenced Bender to one year in jail, followed by three and a half years supervised probation. He faced a maximum of four and a half years in prison with a one-year enhancement for a prior drug conviction. The judge stated that he could not suspend the year enhancement since this most recent conviction involved violence, however, Bender could apply for the CCP Program and if eligible may serve his time on the ankle monitor.

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