The father of Jessi Slaughter, the twelve-year-old girl who became a target of 4chan trolls last summer, has been arrested for allegedly punching her in the face. But he claims she faked the attack.

According to The Smoking Gun, Slaughter's dad, Gene Leonhardt, was arrested in February at their Florida home, after Slaughter ran up to a neighbor with a bleeding mouth, saying "they're hurting me." She told police that her father had punched her in the mouth, but Leonhardt said that he only slapped her, and that she later put "theatrical blood" on her face.

This seems implausible to say the least, and even if Leonhardt only slapped her, that's yet more abuse for the girl who's already been the victim of vicious pranks and (possibly) death threats from Internet trolls. When 4chan users began harassing Slaughter last year, Leonhardt became famous for his YouTube rant in defense of his daughter. But when Gawker reported that Child Protective Services had gotten involved, Leonhardt described that as "something we never wanted." It's unclear why he didn't want them involved, but the statement is somewhat chilling given the current allegations against him. He's pled not guilty and is currently free on bail — he goes to court again July 14.

Father Of "Jessi Slaughter" Busted For Child Abuse [The Smoking Gun]

Earlier: How The Internet Beat Up An 11-Year-Old Girl [Gawker]
11-Year-Old Viral Video Star Placed Under Police Protection After Death Threats (Updated) [Gawker]