Woman Cites Religious Freedom In Child Abuse Case (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Kin Park ThaingKin Park Thaing

Kin Park Thaing is using Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act to defend herself against criminal charges of battery and neglect of her 7-year-old son (video below).

According to WTHR, prosecutors have cited pictures of the boy's numerous bruises and welts that allegedly came from a beating by Thaing.

The child's teacher reportedly discovered 36 injuries to the boy's arm, back and neck in February.

Police said that Thaing admitted to striking her young son because she believed that he was going to harm his younger sister.

Thaing's defense lawyer asked the judge to dismiss the case on the grounds that Thaing was following her religious beliefs, such as this verse from the Bible: "Do not withhold discipline from a child: if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol."

However, the judge refused to dismiss the case.

"You're entitled to spank your child," Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry told WTHR. "However, there is a line [over which] that becomes unreasonable."

"We believe that this particular defendant went way over that line," Curry added.

Republican vice-presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana signed the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act in March 2015, which many observers believed to be a legal maneuver to protect Christian businesses that wanted to discriminate against LGBT people.

After national outrage and threats of boycotts, the Republican-controlled legislature wrote a new version of the law that Pence signed in April 2015, noted The Washington Post. The new version of the law said that no "provider ... may deny service to anyone on basis of sexual orientation, race, religion or disability."

"We predicted this is exactly what was going to happen, is that individuals would assert a religious belief to justify what is otherwise clearly criminal conduct," Curry told WTHR.

Thaing's lawyer asserted that Thaing has been taking part in therapy, so she now understands that there are better ways to discipline children that don't include physical punishment, which would appear to contradict Thaing's religious beliefs regarding discipline.

Sources: WTHR, The Washington Post / Photo credit: WTHR via YouTube

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