Judge says punishment of child was not extremeCharges have been dropped against a 34-year-old Farmington man accused last year of abusing his 9-year-old son. A Jan. 3 order from judge Martha Simonett granted Max McCullough’s request that the malicious punishment charge be dropped due to a lack of probable cause. McCullough was charged last October with hitting his son with a belt, allegedly because the boy had acted up at school. Though he initially denied hitting his son, McCullough later admitted to police that he had struck the boy because he had refused to do work in school and had been disrespecting his teachers. That story didn’t change when the matter got to court. According to the order, McCullough admitted hitting his son on the buttocks and thigh as punishment for fighting in school. He was reportedly “extremely remorseful and ashamed” of what he had done. Metzen’s order also points out that the Minnesota Supreme Court has not outlawed all corporal punishment by parents and “has refused to draw a bright line about what is acceptable and what is not.” In this case, Metzen ruled, it “does not appear fair and reasonable” that McCullough stand trial on the gross misdemeanor charge. Metzen recommended McCullough attend a parenting program and talk to a therapist.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent