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Court upholds Virginia father’s child cruelty conviction

(FILE)
(FILE)(Source: Associated Press)
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 10:53 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A state appeals court has upheld the child cruelty conviction of a Virginia father who argued that prosecutors failed to prove he broke the law because “his only purpose was to discipline his child.”

James Eberhardt was convicted for injuries his 9-year-old daughter received in December 2019 when he hit her with the webbed “belt” portion of a dog leash, causing redness, bruising and linear marks on the backs of her legs and buttocks.

WTOP-FM reports that Eberhardt argued in his appeal that prosecutors hadn’t demonstrated the punishment constituted a “beating,” or proved the intent required for a child cruelty conviction.

The Virginia Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction last month.

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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