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Father charged for punishing son

A Farmington father who said he was punishing his son for misbehaving in school faces gross misdemeanor charges after police and county attorneys decided the punishment was excessive.

The Dakota County Attorney's office has charged 34-year-old Max Roy McCullough with malicious punishment of a child after he reportedly struck his son several times with a belt.

Farmington police received a report of the incident Sept. 24. The boy told them McCullough had held him down and hit him with a belt because he didn't do art in school. The boy had bruises on his back, legs and thighs and on his neck, reportedly from when McCullough had grabbed him and shoved his face into a pillow.

According to a complaint filed in the county attorney's office the bruises resembled the point end of a belt.

McCullough initially denied hitting his son with anything other than his hand. He said the boy had gotten the bruises playing football or playing with his friends.

Confronted with the fact the bruises resembled a belt, McCullough claimed he and his son were "playing around" when he hit the boy.

Eventually, McCullough admitted hitting the boy Sept. 17 after learning his son was refusing to do his work and disrespecting his teachers.

"I did tear him up that day," he allegedly told police.

If convicted on the gross misdemeanor charge McCullough could face up to a year in jail and fines of up to $3,000.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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