DECATUR — A Decatur man took out his rage over the break-up of a relationship by repeatedly whipping his ex-girlfriend’s 6-year-old son with a wet washcloth, prosecutors said.

Stephon D. May, 23, appeared Wednesday in Macon County Circuit Court and pleaded not guilty to aggravated battery to a child and two counts of domestic battery.

Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott said police had been called the afternoon of May 19 to a home in the 1200 block of East Willard Street by the child’s mother. She said she had been taking a shower when her son came in screaming May had hit him.

A sworn affidavit concerning the case quoted the boy as telling police: “... Stephon was winding a wet washcloth and hitting him with it hard enough that he left welts. (He) explained Stephon hit him with the washcloth five or six times after winding it.” Police officers on scene said they saw several areas of “redness and swelling” on the child.

The affidavit described May as an ex-boyfriend who still lived in the house of the child’s mother. “She explained … he was angry at her for breaking up with him, which is why he was upset and took his anger out on the children,” the affidavit said.

Judge Jeffrey Geisler found sufficient cause to arraign May on the charges and set a pretrial hearing for Aug. 7. May is being held in the Maon County Jail without bond.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid