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Case Conclusion Date: 04.05.2010
Practice Area: Child abuse
Outcome: Case turned down by Maricopa County Attorney
Description: Client, a high-level firearms collector, was charged with child abuse for exercising his right as a parent to use an appropriate level of discipline with a belt on the buttocks of his 12-year-old child. The parent did not fly into a rage. The child did not suffer lasting marks, bruises, or welts of any kind. The child spent the next days playing with other children and sitting on a wooden chair for more than an hour with their family at a local eatery. Child did not complain of soreness, injury, or express verbal or non-verbal cues of fear in the presence of the Dad, the client. Retained after charges filed and client arrested. Police confiscated all of the client's guns - his entire collection. We argued that discipline of a child, in certain parameters, is within the exclusive providence of the parent. Case was scratched and pre-file letters pointing out exculpatory evidence, requests for Grand Jury participation, demands that the Grand Jury be presented with defense evidence, and other key points, were sent to the County Attorney's Office Charging Section and the Case Agent. The case was turned down within days. Less than a week later, client's entire firearms collection was returned in perfect condition. No charges filed.