Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 13, 2000

Use of "spanking stick" lands father in court

West Bend - A father was charged Monday with felony child abuse for striking his 8-year-old son with a so-called spanking stick, according to a criminal complaint.

The father, who is not being named to protect the child's identity, told authorities that he was disciplining the boy March 9 after a problem at school. Officials at the boy's school reported they suspected abuse, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

The boy told investigators that his father entered his room with the "spanking stick," and struck him about 15 to 25 times on his buttocks and legs, the complaint says. It describes the stick as a wooden handle with two pieces of longer plastic fastened to it.

The boy suffered "significant bruising," according to the complaint.
"The defendant states . . . that he did not realize, at the time, how hard he was striking (the boy)," complaint says.

The father appeared Monday in Washington County Circuit Court and was released on a $5,000 signature bond, with conditions that include no violent contact with children and cooperation with the county's Department of Social Services.

His next court appearance is scheduled for March 27.

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