Court Reverses Mother's Conviction for Battery on Son

By Nina Settappa

June 18, 2010 Updated Jun 12, 2008 at 7:29 AM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indiana Supreme Court has overturned a
woman's conviction for whipping her 11-year-old son with a belt or
extension cord.

According to court documents, Sophia Willis of Indianapolis had her son remove his pants and then she swatted him at least five times on the buttocks. In a 4-1 ruling, the Supreme Court said that discipline did not cross the line into criminal conduct.

Willis had been convicted of battery and sentenced to one year in jail, with 357 days suspended.

But Justice Robert Rucker says the punishment was reasonble. The
court also said that parents have a legal privilege to discipline their children as long as punishment is reasonable and not likely to cause serious or permanent harm.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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