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Man could be charged with felony under new domestic abuse law

A 31-year-old Kapolei man could face increased penalties after his arrest under a new state law, which makes domestic abuse a felony if it involves a child under the age of 14.

Police arrested the man Thursday after he allegedly hit his girlfriend on the head Wednesday during an argument, while she was holding their 4-month-old daughter.

Police said an argument between the couple escalated Wednesday night. Police said the man threatened the 22-year-old woman and hit her. She suffered minor injuries.

The man turned himself in to police on Thursday.

Under a new law that took effect  June 20, domestic abuse is a class c felony, if it occurs in the presence of a child under the age of 14. The maximum penalty is 5 years in jail and  a fine of $10,0000.

Otherwise, domestic abuse is a misdemeanor for the first two offenses. Conviction for first offense can result in 48 hours in jail and 30 days in jail for a second offense. The suspect could be charged with a class c felony for a third or subsequent offense within two years.

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