Published: Sep 14, 2011 7:41 PM EDT

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - Prosecutors have filed child abuse charges against a father accused of throwing his 7-year-old son overboard during a pleasure cruise in California.
    
The Orange County District Attorney's office charged 35-year-old Sloan Briles Wednesday with one felony count of child abuse and endangerment and one misdemeanor count of resisting an officer.
    
He could face up to six years in prison if convicted.
    
Authorities say Briles repeatedly slapped his son in the face on an Aug. 28 cruise in Newport Harbor then threw the child overboard.
    
They say Briles jumped into the water when passengers on the boat got angry with him. Someone on a nearby boat helped pull the child out of the water.
    
Briles has said the incident amounted to playful roughhousing.

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