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Domestic CP - February 2011

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logo (KREX-TV), Grand Junction, Colorado, 12 February 2011

Man Faces Child Abuse Charges For Spanking Son

By Maura Kennedy
KREX News Room

Mugshot of accused father What started out as a simple spanking, may cost one man custody of his kids.

Bradley Kirby is a father of two living in Grand Junction, but now he is facing child abuse charges after Orchard Avenue Elementary staff members saw marks on his 9-year-old son's bottom.

"They pulled him out of class and asked him what your life is like. 'Do you get abused or anything?' He said, 'I got spanked last night.'" Kirby said.

He said the school administration asked his son where he got hit. Minutes later, Kirby and his wife Tammi were called to the school.

"I spanked his butt for discipline, and I got a child abuse charge for it," Kirby said.

He claims he is wrongly accused and the charges are a mistake.

"They kept saying you put bruises on your kid, but I didn't it. [I spanked him] for love. I don't want him to do bad in school or talk to parents like that. You can't do that, son," Kirby said.

According to Colorado's Criminal Code, child abuse is defined as "when a person acts knowingly or recklessly and the child abuse results in any injury." Defense attorneys say a law so broad can override the ways parents discipline their kids.

"[The law] can encompass almost anything that happens to a child by a caregiver, which can, and I've seen cases where it includes spanking," defense attorney Steve Laiche said.

Laiche told NewsChannel 5 even with good intentions, the Kirby's potentially face up to two years in jail and may even lose their son.

"We need to protect the parents too, and we need to get away from these unwarranted accusations," Laiche said.

"I'm still shocked. Child abuse and my name on the same ticket hurts my feelings," Kirby said.

Kirby said he will fight the ticket in court at the end of March.

NewsChannel 5 tried to speak with Grand Junction police, hoping they would address what they define as child abuse and when parents cross the line. They refuse to speak to us on camera and only said child abuse charges vary case-by-case.


Three-minute news segment from local TV station KREX News Channel 5, Grand Junction (12 Feb 2011) of which the above report is an abbreviated version. The accused father and his lawyer are interviewed.


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