An Indianapolis woman left her seven year old son with multiple wounds across his body after she beat him with a hanger. She is now claiming that her actions are justified and protected because of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Act.
According to reports, Kin Park Thaing, the 30-year-old mother of three found her son and three-year-old daughter showing each other their private parts in their upstairs bathroom on February 3rd.
To punish the young children for what they had done, Thaing grabbed a coat hanger and brutally hit her son and daughter with it.
The seven-year-old was left with over 36 deep purple bruises across his back, arms and on his thigh. The daughter was not hit nearly as much as the son.
Authorities were notified of the incident after the boy’s teacher went to pat him on the back, and the boy flinched. After further inspection, Child Protective Services were called.
Thaing was arrested and brought in front of an Indianapolis judge. Here Thaing requested that her charges be dropped due to the state’s religious freedom law.
The state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, says the government cannot intrude on a person’s religious liberty unless it can prove a compelling interest in imposing that burden, and can do so in the least restrictive way.
In court, Thaing quoted a Bible verse to justify her actions.
She said that a parent who:
“…spares the rod, spoils the child,” and: “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.”
Thaing then went on to say that she hit her son because:
“I was worried for my son’s salvation with God after he dies. I decided to punish my son to prevent him from hurting my daughter and to help him learn how to behave as God would want him to.”
Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Matt Savage said in an eight-page rebuttal filed that the beating:
“…(goes) beyond these religious instructions she cites from the Bible.”
Savage said that the law allows parents to institute “reasonable corporal punishment.” However, the beating she gave her children was excessive and far from reasonable.
The boy’s father, Dhanng Ling was in tears over her actions during the court hearing.
The children been brought under the care of the Department of Child Services after their mother was charged. It’s unclear where they are staying.
Thaing is still awaiting trial as the investigation continues.
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