A Rochester man was arrested Tuesday afternoon for allegedly whipping a 14-year-old girl with a belt.

Steve Darnell Johnson, 38, was arrested on suspicion of gross misdemeanor malicious punishment of a child and misdemeanor domestic assault.

A Rochester police school liaison officer received a report around 10 a.m. Tuesday that a Mayo High School student may be a victim of malicious punishment that occurred the night before, Rochester Police Lt. Mike Sadauskis said.

Police learned that the 14-year-old girl was at her grandma’s house after school on Monday and was wakend from a nap by Johnson striking her with a belt, Sadauskis said.

Johnson was reportedly angry that the girl brought her cellphone to school despite being told not to do so. Following the incident, Johnson made multiple statements that he would find a switch or a better belt and even drove to Savers and had another person purchase a belt, according to Sadauskis.

The girl was reportedly struck more than a dozen times on her thighs and buttocks. At one point, she also tried to block the hit with her hands. A school resource officer saw an injury to her hand Tuesday, according to Sadauskis.

Johnson was arrested Tuesday afternoon at his place of employment in Dodge Center by the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office. He reportedly told police that his arrest had to do with him “whipping” the girl.

Public Safety Reporter

Emily is the Post Bulletin's public safety reporter. A Minnesota native, Emily worked at two newspapers in New England before returning to the Land of 10,000 Lakes in July 2018.