A mother, who beat her seven-year-old son with a coat hanger, is claiming religious objections law gives her the right to discipline her children how she wants.
Kihn Par Thaing, 30, of Indianapolis was arrested in February on felony abuse and neglect charges after a teacher discovered her 7-year-old son’s injuries. Thaing is accused of beating her son with a coat hanger, leaving him with 36 bruises and red welts, reports The Daily Mail.
Her attorney, Greg Bowes, argued in court documents filed July 29 that the state shouldn’t interfere with Thaing’s right to raise her children as she deems appropriate.
He cited Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act as part of her defence, saying it gives her the right to discipline her children according to her beliefs.
Court documents cite biblical Scripture and state that a parent who ‘spares the rod, spoils the child’.
Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Matt Savage said in an August 5 response that the boy’s beating went ‘beyond these religious instructions’ and said Indiana’s compelling interest in preventing child abuse outweighs religious protections in state law.
She beat both of her children with a coat hanger, the 7-year-old more severely, and then told them to pray for forgiveness.
Child welfare officials took the children into their care in February, but it’s unclear where they are now. Bowes’ attorney and a spokeswoman for Marion County’s prosecutor said they could not comment on the children’s whereabouts.
Thaing, who faces an October 19 trial, is a refugee from Myanmar, a Southeast Asian nation also known as Burma, and was granted political asylum in the U.S.
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