A Californian lawmaker accused of cruelty to children expresses himself and says he intends to discipline his 7-year-old daughter with a flogging. The children of the deputy Joaquin Arambula, who is now home with his three children, were temporarily deposed by the child protection services.
In all 50 states, the flogging is legal for your child, reports CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan. However, when it crosses the borderline on "cruelty" or "abuse", it becomes a crime with possibly harsh penalties for the affected parents.
When Arambula was sworn in as a California State Assembly member two years ago, his wife and three young people were daughters at his side. Arambula was arrested earlier this week. He said he beat his eldest child, whom she told her teacher the next morning.
"We have nights when we can be overwhelmed, this night was one night in which she behaved ," said Arambula.
School administrators called Child Protective Services after they found an injury to the girl's body.
"She was really angry that he beat her up, she got angry, she went to school angrily, she wanted to be heard," said Mother Elizabeth Arambula.
Arambula was arrested on suspicion of "deliberate cruelty to a child", an offense. He said he hit his daughter on the buttocks. However, the police chief said other evidence had led to the arrest of Arambula.
"In this case, the injury is not on the buttocks," said Fresno police chief Jerry Dyer.
Police are planning to send the case to the prosecutor next week. The Arambula lawyers did not respond to our request for comment, but in a statement to Fresno Bee, they said, "It is disappointing that Chief Dyer has called the media to investigate this case in the court of public opinion. "We've arranged a meeting with prosecutors to present relevant information."
Arambula, a physician-certified physician, is holding on to his innocence.
"I'm a healer by nature, I'm a doctor, and it's not in my nature to be really assertive and aggressive," said Arambula.
While punches are legal, the courts consider it exaggerated to leave a physical injury.
"In my practice, I tend to tell my clients not to use physical punishment, because you never know who decides whether this is the case, sensible or unreasonable," said family law specialist Donald Schweitzer.
Arambula's lawyers said that the children returned to their parents two days after the father's arrest, after Child Welfare Services determined that there were no misuse concerns. If convicted, Arambula faces one year in jail.