A Casper man pleaded guilty to attacking his step-son in February during a hearing in Natrona County District Court on Monday.

Ryan Townsend, who was 28 at the time of his arrest, entered the plea to a single count of child abuse before District Court Judge Thomas Sullins.

Townsend pleaded not guilty in April.

In exchange for the plea, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a charge of misdemeanor possession of marijuana, and recommended a two- to five-year prison term with that time suspended. They recommended a term of three years probation.

The court is not bound by the plea agreement.

If his case had gone to trial and Townsend was convicted, he could have faced up to five years imprisonment.

He is free on bond awaiting sentencing.

The case started in February, when Children’s Advocacy Project staff told police about a victim with head and face injuries.

The victim, a boy, said Townsend brought him home that night.

Townsend later noticed that the dogs found a dirty diaper.

Townsend became angry, spanked the boy, threw him onto the floor, grabbed him by the back of the neck and slammed his head on the floor and started to choke him.

The boy said Townsend later apologized and told him to lie to his mother about what had happened.

When interviewed by police, Townsend first said he and the victim were rough-housing, but when he asked about the alleged assault, he denied it and asked for a lawyer.

Upon searching the residence, officers found marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia in the basement.