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Judge bans Virginia mom from spanking her child

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UPDATE: Prosecutor says note from teacher prompted spanking with belt

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) — A Stafford County mother will see her felony charge dropped, if she agrees not to spank her child for at least two years.

A Stafford County Circuit Court judge handed that deal to Felisha Kimble–Tanks, a dentist who practices in Annandale and lives in Stafford. She received the child cruelty charges after a Jan. 16 incident in which she spanked her 6-year-old daughter with a leather belt.

The Fredericksburg Free Lance Star reports that the spanking left bruises on the child’s thigh and that the child’s father filed a complaint against his estranged wife.

The mother claimed to have been spanking the child over misconduct in school, but did not intend for the disciplinary action to leave bruises.

Prosecutor Tara Mooney  said Kimble–Tanks “crossed the line” between discipline and abuse, the Free Lance Star reported.  “Leaving bruises on a child that young is abuse,” Mooney said.

Mark Murphy, defense attorney for Kimble–Tanks said she took the deal because it carries no punishment and will go away in two years. Online court records show that the felony has been withdrawn and the Free Lance Star reports that the judge decided to dismiss the case entirely in two years, if Kimble-Tanks stays out of trouble and doesn’t use any corporal punishment.

“This is a woman who has never been in trouble before and I’m certain will not be in trouble over the next two years,” Murphy said.

According to the Free Lance Star, Murphy said even her estranged husband acknowledged that Kimble–Tanks is a good mother.

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