56 year-old Anthony Cage is in the Missoula County Jail, charged with felony aggravated assault with possible permanent or life-threatening injury and felony assault on a minor.

According to court documents, Cage, who was looking after the child at his home in the Miller Creek area, allegedly whipped an eight year-old boy with his belt and a hangar, threw him into a bathtub and strangled him, because 'the boy had not been listening' and that 'yeah, I whooped his butt.'

Deputy Missoula County Attorney Selene Koepke asked Judge Marie Anderson for $50,000 bail.

"The defended admitted to strangling his eight year-olf victim, leaving friction burns on the child's neck, causing the child's airway to be cut off, requiring immediate medical attention including a CT scan and leaving abnormal swelling in the neck," Koepke said. "The defendant also admitted to punching and hitting the same eight year-old victim with a belt."

Koepke said the child had previously been removed from Cage's care in Gallatin County.

"In an interview at First Step, the victim disclosed what appeared to be a very long history of abuse with this man," she said. "His criminal history does reveal previous misdemeanor domestic violence assaults in Michigan, and misdemeanor escape conviction out of Gallatin County."

Judge Anderson sat bail at $50,000 and ordered Cage to undergo a mental evaluation and to have absolutely no contact with the victim or a second child also involved with the defendant.

Cage was returned to the Missoula County Jail with his next court appearance on February 21.

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