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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23575
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I am in Georgia and have been charged with Child Cruelty 1st

Customer Question

I am in Georgia and have been charged with Child Cruelty 1st degree. The facts that are not disputed are that my girlfriends child (5yo) cussed his mother and she asked me to spank him. I did so with a plain leather belt. The incident lasted a few minutes and resulted in five licks with the belt on childs buttocks. After an accident in his pants at school his teacher found the bruising and reported it. My girlfriend has maintained I did nothing wrong, but I have been charged now. The discovery file from the DA has multiple statements from officers and others pretty much on same page as to the events. I have no history of child abuse. It seems the only substantial evidence the DA has is a picture of his buttocks with substantial bruising. The child is also very fair skinned and he and his mother bruise easily. To give an idea my girlfriend and I shot skeet once with a shotgun loaded with target shells my shoulder was fine, hers turned almost black.
My question is can this picture be enough for a conviction? Can it be admitted into evidence? I fear it may prejudice the jury too much seeing his bottom bruised and was wondering if the "prejudicial effect vs probative value" argument could exclude it?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also my girlfriend has been charged with Child Cruelty 2nd degree. This was done sometime after my charge and after she refused multiple times to testify against me at the request of CPS and the DA.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
My name is ***** ***** I am an experienced criminal lawyer.
Yes, this picture is admissible. These are the very injuries you're being accused of creating, and although they may upset a jury and be prejudicial to you, the defendant, in my experience, the judge will allow the jury to see the injuries inflicted.
They are not enough to establish that you were the one who inflicted those injuries, so to that extent the photo can't be enough to convict you. Who inflicted those injures are another element that the prosecutor must prove with different evidence. But they are enough to establish that injuries occurred.
It's pretty typical that if a parent refuses to cooperate in the prosecution of someone who may have abused her child, she will end up arrested and charged with child endangerment and likely lose custody of the child as well. But this is something she will have to take up with her lawyer. The state is going to continue to try to compel her to testify against you.

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