Words matter. "Spanking" is a euphemism, especially when the so-called "spanking" leaves red and blue marks on the buttocks of a 2-year-old girl. This is a beating, and reporters need to be clear about this. This is a felony child abuse situation, not a tap on the behind.
Dad TREVOR R. HAILE has been bound over for trial for the beating he gave his 2-year-old daughter during his visitation. As abusers are wont to do, he's trying all kinds of creative lying--about how the girl "fell" in the bathtub, etc. etc. It's just hard to explain why you can find handprint-shaped bruises from falling in the bathtub. But then Daddy's 'splainin is widely inconsistent anyway.
I have to wonder if this was court-ordered visitation, and what evidence of abusive behavior was evident before Daddy got his visitation rights. Will be interesting to see if he retains his "rights" after this episode. Sounds to me like he has a history of abuse give that he was so "proactive" in photographing the bruises before the mom saw them.
Father ordered to stand trial in toddler spanking
By Jeff Lehr
A Carthage father was ordered bound over for trial Thursday on a felony charge of child abuse related to a spanking that authorities say he gave his 2-year-old daughter last year.
Detective Tim Williams of the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department testified at a preliminary hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court in Joplin that the spanking that Trevor R. Haile, 27, administered to his daughter on Sept. 7, 2009, left red and blue marks on her buttocks.
Williams told the court that the alleged abuse was brought to the attention of investigators by the girl’s mother, who is separated from Haile. A probable-cause affidavit states that the mother saw the bruises after picking the girl up from a visit with Haile and took her to a hospital.
Assistant Prosecutor Jeremy Crowley introduced at the hearing a photograph of the girl’s injuries that had been taken by the mother, and Williams testified that he could see a handprint on one of the girl’s buttocks in the photo.
The detective said he interviewed the father three days later at his place of employment after reading him his Miranda rights.
“He started telling me that she fell in the bathtub,” Williams told the court.
The detective said he showed Haile the photograph and told him that he believed a handprint was detectable in the bruising. He said Haile then acknowledged that he had swatted the child twice on her buttocks through her clothing.
“He did admit that he had spanked her harder than he meant to,” Williams said.
He said Haile told him that he was worried what the girl’s mother might think when she picked her up and that he also had taken a photograph of the marks on the girl.
Under cross-examination by defense attorney Judd McPherson, the detective acknowledged that Haile did not retract his statement that the toddler had fallen in the bathtub. Williams also acknowledged that it was possible that some of the bruising on her buttocks may have been caused by striking the edge of the tub.
“But a bathtub would not leave any fingerprints,” Williams said.
“Well, I’ll be honest with you, I’m having a hard time seeing any fingerprints,” McPherson said, looking at the photograph.
McPherson also asked why the Children’s Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services has never contacted his client about the matter. Williams said state child-abuse investigators were aware of the case, but he did not know what, if any, contact they may have had with the defendant.
Associate Circuit Judge Richard Copeland decided at the conclusion of the hearing that there was probable cause for the defendant to be bound over for trial on the charge. The judge set April 16 for Haile’s initial appearance in a trial division of the court.
Spanking or fall?
When a 2-year-old girl’s mother picked her up at her father’s Carthage home, Trevor Haile and his girlfriend informed her that the girl had fallen in a bathtub, according to a probable-cause affidavit filed with the court.