Friday, February 8, 2013

Dad charged with abuse for lashing 10-year-old son (Rock Hill, South Carolina)

Notice that there is mention of Daddy's mother (the one who turned him in), but there is no mention of a mother in this home at all. Was there one? Or is this a single father? If so, what happened to Mom?

The abuser dad is identified as HAMILTON MORALES.

Father who 'LASHED his misbehaving 10-year-old son with a belt and force-marched him around yard with heavy backpack' is charged


PUBLISHED: 09:50 EST, 8 February 2013 | UPDATED: 10:19 EST, 8 February 2013

A South Carolina man who allegedly disciplined his son by lashing the boy with a belt and forcing him to carry weights to the point of exhaustion has been charged by police.

Hamilton Morales, 33, was turned in by his own mother Wednesday evening after she saw him inflicting the unusual punishments on her grandchild, according to police.

The 10-year-old boy had been forced to walk around the family's Rock Hill back yard carrying a book bag filled with weights that was so heavy it dug scrape marks into the boy's shoulders, the Charlotte Observer reports. Police say Hamilton Morales used unusual forms of punishment on his son, including making him pound on a punching bag for 20 minutes.

His father also made him jab a punching bag for 20 minutes in an attempt to exhaust him so he wouldn't misbehave.

Responding police officers found red marks on the boy's right leg from the blows allegedly inflicted by Morales' belt. The father reportedly admitted that he had struck the boy 'several times.'

The boy had infuriated his father after being mischievous at school.

The father reportedly told police he was trying to 'break (the boy) down mentally and make him too tired to act out.'

Morales has been charged with unlawful conduct toward a child and as of Thursday evening was being held on $5,000 bail at the Rock Hill jail, police say.

In the past, Morales reportedly told cops he had made the boy stand with his hands stretched out while he held a pair of boots. If the boy dropped his arms, he’d receive a whipping from Morales’ belt.

An expert who spoke with the Observer said the father's behavior had crossed the line from corporal punishment to 'extreme' punishment.

Jane Alleva, interim director of Safe Passage, a shelter for battered women and children in Rock Hill, the fourth largest city in South Carolina, commended the boy's grandmother for contacting authorities.

'Family members have a higher sense of responsibility and obligation to ensure the safety of their loved ones,' she was quoted as saying.

 She said boys who are abused are prone to committing domestic violence when they grow up.

'Violence begets violence,' she told the newspaper.

Authorities make a distinction between child abuse and corporal punishment, which is allowed in South Carolina and 'gets utilized on a daily basis,' Sgt. Robert Kegler, a spokesman for the Horry County Police, said in an interview with WBTW News 13.

Abuse occurs when corporal punishment goes too far.

According to Karole Jensen, founder of the nonprofit Wings for Children in Myrtle Beach, S.C., figuring out when a parent has crossed the line can be a matter of 'the amount of violence and aggression used and how much rage is involved.'

Jensen said that, since she established her organization in the late 1970s, she has seen cases ranging from children with bruises inflicted by their parents to instances 'where children have been beaten to death.'