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Couple Inflicted Military Punishment Upon Baby

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Police accuse a Pennsylvania couple of abusing their crying 14-month-old by inflicting military-style punishment upon the child.

After a doctor noticed bruising on the infant's head, arms, back, hips, buttocks and thighs, authorities were called in, reports WJAC.

After questioning the mother, Morgan Porter, 21, and her fiance, Devin Heintzelman -- a soldier in the Marine Corps -- both admitted to hitting the baby.

The two confessed to spanking the child for crying, while Porter admitted she often left the baby alone without supervision for long periods of time.

The complaint alleges the two also forced the baby to do push-ups and sit-ups.

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"He acted more or less like a drill instructor of sorts, trying to get the child to do push ups and calisthenics," Altoona Police Lt. Jeffrey Pratt said, WTAJ reports. "Having him lead off with his right foot all the time, rather than his left foot."

When the infant was 8 months old, one witness says she saw Heintzelman paddle the child for drooling on himself.

Police have since charged Porter with aggravated assault of a victim less than 6 years old, simple assault of a victim under 12, and endangering the welfare of a child.

Heintzelman, who is currently away at reserve training, faces the same charges and has a warrant out for his arrest. He will turn himself in upon his return.

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News of the abuse charges have outraged many who demand change.

"What the.. @#! is wrong with people?!" wrote one woman on KRCR News Channel 7's Facebook post about the incident. "I now firmly believe that classes teaching family skills should be REQUIRED beginning in middle school. Life skills in parenting.. including patience, anger management, safety, hygiene and food preparation are critical to the success of our future generations."

"Maybe it's time to require parenting classes for all prior to childbirth!!!" added another in agreement. "Seriously, these people don't have a clue about what it takes to be a good parent and the ages and stages of children! So sad!"

It's not the first gruesome child abuse case from Pennsylvania that's captured national attention in the past year.

A Pennsylvania couple was sentenced to 10 to 21 years each for what the judge described as "one of the most horrific examples of child abuse" he had even seen, reports WPMT .

Melissa Shales, 26, broke the infant twins' bones before they were 2 months old, forcing them into physical therapy so they could walk.

Meanwhile, Michael Shales, 31, tore the throat of one of the girls with a pair of pliers while trying to remove gauze, reports the Bucks County Courier Times. He was high on heroin.

Sources: WJAC via KDBC, WTAJ, KRCR News Channel 7/Facebook, WPMTBucks County Courier Times / Featured Image: jeny cu/Flickr / Embedded Images: Beth/Flickr, Rainerzufall1234/Wikimedia Commons

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