A New Auburn man originally charged with felony child abuse in connection with a June 2019 incident in rural Rice Lake was sentenced to two years’ probation on Friday, Nov. 1, in Barron County Circuit Court.

In a deal with county prosecutors, 38-year-old Matthew E. Petersen, of New Auburn, agreed to plead guilty to three counts of misdemeanor battery, in exchange for dismissal of a felony bail jumping charge and one count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct, court records said.

The deal requires Petersen to maintain absolute sobriety while on probation, to complete a course in domestic violence, pay court costs and show up at the county jail on Wednesday, Nov. 6, to provide a DNA sample at his expense.

Petersen still faces prosecution on a charge of drunk driving, third offense, and two counts of felony bail jumping in connection with an unrelated arrest on July 29, court records said. He is scheduled for a plea hearing Jan. 24, 2020, in connection with that case.

Petersen was arrested about two hours after a domestic fight shortly after 1 a.m. on Sunday, June 17, at a home in the 2100 block of 20-1/8 Avenue in the town of Rice Lake.

A woman at the home told Barron County sheriff’s deputies that Petersen struck her during an argument, struck one young teenaged child who tried to intervene, then shoved a second teen to the floor before fleeing on foot.

According to dispatch logs, Petersen was arrested at gunpoint shortly after 3 a.m. the same day, when a witness said the defendant had returned to the property and was in a tent behind the residence.

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