UPDATE: Probation for Wisconsin couple in child abuse case

UPDATED Friday, May 2, 2014 --- 2:45 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin couple has been sentenced to 18 months of probation for physically abusing their young children on religious grounds.

Thirty-year-old Matthew Caminiti and his 27-year-old wife, Alina Caminiti, were sentenced Friday in Dane County.

Judge Ellen Berz says the couple should have known that striking their children, including infants, on their bare bottoms with wooden dowels was wrong and misguided.

The Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/1i74b2I ) reports the couple said in court that they stopped punishing their children with rods once they learned it was illegal.

The Caminitis were members of the Aleitheia Bible Church in Black Earth. The church was led by Matthew Caminiti's father, Philip Caminiti, who preached that children were to be disciplined with rods, as instructed by the Bible, to cure them of selfish behavior.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


Posted Monday, March 10, 2014 --- 9:38 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A couple who spanked their young children with wooden dowels in line with their church teachings has been convicted of child abuse.

Twenty-nine-year-old Matthew Caminiti and 27-year-old Alina Caminiti of Black Earth were convicted Friday.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports Matthew Caminiti is the son of Philip Caminiti, who led Aleitheia Bible Church. The church taught parents to hit children, including infants, on their bare bottoms with wooden dowels to teach proper behavior.

Several members of the church were arrested in 2010. Philip Caminiti was convicted in 2012 of conspiracy to commit child abuse.

Lawyers for the couple say there was no evidence the spankings occurred. The couple's trial was delayed by constitutional challenges claiming they had the right to discipline children and practice religion as they chose.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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