A 26-year-old Rockport man was sentenced April 13 to two years in jail for assaulting a child when the child would not fight an older sibling.

Pedro Delgado was sentenced in Waldo County Superior Court by Justice Jeffrey Hjelm. The sentencing was held there because that was where the judge was assigned that day. The case originated in Knox County.

Delgado was sentenced to four years in jail with all but two years suspended, placed on probation for two years after his release, and fined $300 for assault, endangering the welfare of a child and violating a condition of release.

According to a police report filed with Knox County Superior Court by Knox County Sheriff’s Office Detective Justin Twitchell, Delgado assaulted a child with a sandal after the child refused Delgado’s direction to fight the child’s older sibling. Deputy District Attorney Eric Walker said Delgado was having the children “fight each other in mixed martial-arts style with no protective gear.” The younger child suffered bruises to the face, hip and thigh.

“When the children were interviewed they basically told police that they didn’t want to fight each other, that [Delgado] forced them to and they begged him to stop and he would not,” Walker said. “When [the younger child] tried to stop, [Delgado] eventually beat him with a sandal.”

The children’s mother and a pediatrician reported the case to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, which reported the case to the sheriff’s office.

Delgado initially denied the allegations, according to the police report. He claimed the younger child fell on icy steps. Delgado also told police he had no sandals.

Delgado pleaded guilty and was sentenced.

Delgado was on probation at the time of this incident for assault against a woman. He had been ordered to take a batterer’s intervention course.

Republican Journal reporter Irene Yadao contributed to this story.