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Domestic CP - April 2003

WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 18 April 2003

Court Paddling Case Not Child Abuse

Boy, 13, Was Paddled More Than 12 Times

PITTSBURGH -- Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has ruled that a woman and her male partner do not belong on a state list of alleged and confirmed child abusers for paddling her 13-year-old son.

The court said Friday that the injuries do not justify keeping the two on the list following the paddling at their Blair County home three years ago. The boy suffered bruises and had trouble sitting for several days afterward.

The state Department of Public Welfare's Office of Hearing and Appeals had rejected their request to be removed from the list.

Neither adult was identified by name in the case.

According to court records, the boy was paddled more than 12 times on March 6, 2001. His parents said he'd become aggressive and verbally abusive and took a swing at his mother when questioned about items removed from a bedroom.

Court records stated the boy kicked his mother in the stomach at one point during the paddling. She was five months' pregnant at the time.

The man, who has a doctorate in psychology, called police and the boy was taken to a shelter. Ten days later, Blair County Children and Youth Services filed reports indicating possible child abuse. No criminal charges were filed.

The court said there was no evidence of malicious intent or negligence and that the boy's bruises were the "normal regrettable result" of a paddling.

Copyright 2003 by ThePittsburghChannel. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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