corpunWorld Corporal Punishment Research

ruler   :  Archive   :  2008   :  US Domestic Oct 2008



Domestic CP - October 2008

Corpun file 20640

Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, WI, 17 October 2008

Pastor's alleged paddling of son center of debate in court

By Shannon Green
Portage Daily Register

Amber Barnett (Shannon Green - Portage Daily Register)
Amber Barnett, 21, shows her support for her father outside the Columbia County Courthouse in Portage. Barry Barnett, a Poynette pastor, is charged with felony child abuse for paddling his 12-year-old son. Amber Barnett admitted she was spanked three times when she was a child, but is thankful for it.

The question of whether paddling a youngster hard enough to cause bruises is child abuse was up for debate Thursday in a Columbia County courtroom.

Screenshot -- CLICK TO ENLARGE -- Image will open in a new window
Click to enlarge

The issue is at the heart of a case against a Poynette pastor who was charged in June with child abuse after authorities say he used a paddle to strike his 12-year-old son as punishment for lying.

Barry W. Barnett Jr., 43, remains free on a $10,000 signature bond on a charge of felony physical abuse of a child.

Barnett's son, testifying at the hearing, said his father had given him two "swats" on his buttocks with a paddle that hurt "a little." He said both he and his father cried during the paddling.

The boy said he understands why he was disciplined.

"He gave me a chance to tell him the truth, and I just kept lying to him," he said.

He also testified that he had been warned that he might be paddled as a consequence for bad behavior, and that he learned from the experience.

"You should not lie to your parents and you should not go to places (where you are not allowed)," he said.

If Barnett is found guilty of the charge, he faces up to three years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Barry W. Barnett Jr.
Barry W. Barnett Jr., 43, is a minister at Lighthouse Family Ministries in Poynette.

A teacher of one of the boy's siblings brought the case to the attention of social services.

A Divine Savior Healthcare emergency department report from a June 7 examination of the boy, submitted as evidence by Barnett's defense team, stated that the boy had faint bruises on his buttocks at the time but no swelling, and he was not in pain. It said the boy does not think he was abused, that he loves his father and feels safe at home. The report also stated that the doctor does not believe the incident was child abuse and that the incident was a "social services fiasco."

Barnett, the father of nine children, is a minister at Lighthouse Family Ministries in Poynette and founder and administrator of Guardian Christian Academy in Poynette.

Testimony at the hearing focused in part on a consideration of what is "reasonable discipline," which is permitted under Wisconsin statutes by a parent or someone acting as a parent to the child, said Barnett's defense attorney, Gerald W. Mowris of Madison.

Often defined as what a reasonable person feels is necessary, the extent of what is reasonable can vary depending on the age and sex of the child, the extent of discipline and the circumstances under which the discipline was given, Mowris said. A parent who disciplines a child while angry or upset has less of a chance of meeting the "reasonable discipline" standard, for example.

The paddling of a 12-year-old boy hard enough to leave bruises is not reasonable, District Attorney Jane Kohlwey said.

"We feel that he went beyond reasonable discipline and that it's a pattern," Kohlwey said.

The issue was not settled at the Thursday hearing and will be considered again next week; more time was required for attorneys to present evidence to Judge Daniel S. George, who is hearing the case.

As part of his bond, Barnett cannot have any disciplinary physical contact with any child.

Copyright 2008 Wisconsin State Journal

About this website


Country files: Domestic CP in USA

Other external links for US spanking

Video clips

Picture index

Archive 2000: USA

Archive 2001: USA

Archive 2002: USA

Archive 2003: USA

Archive 2004: USA

Archive 2005: USA

Archive 2006: USA

Archive 2007: USA

Archive 2008: USA

Previous month

Earlier months for domestic CP in USA:
January 1955
February 1974
September 1986
July 1996
May 1997
August 1997
January 1998
July 1998
August 1998
September 1998
November 1998
December 1998
January 1999
February 1999
March 1999
April 1999
May 1999
June 1999
July 1999
August 1999
September 1999
November 1999
December 1999

blob THE ARCHIVE index

blob About this website

blob Country files  Main menu page

Copyright C. Farrell 2009
Page created February 2009