Indianapolis, Ind., Sep 2, 2016 / 15:39 pm
An Indiana woman who allegedly beat her 7-year-old with a coat hanger is citing religious freedom as her defense against felony abuse charges, saying her disciplinary tactics were inspired by her Evangelical Christian faith.
But Kellie Fiedorek, who serves as legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, rejected the idea that religious liberty can be used to defend abuse. The U.S. has provisions built into federal law to protect against such misuses of religious freedom claims, she said.
The alleged abuse occurred in February, when Thaing hit her son with a plastic coat hanger hard enough to leave multiple bruises. Two days later, a teacher discovered and reported the abuse when she tried to pat the little boy on the back and he flinched. Doctors counted 36 bruises on the boy, according to reports from the Indy Star.
The woman, 30-year-old Kin Park Thaing, is a refugee from Burma (now known as Myanmar) who was granted political asylum in the U.S. In court documents, she quoted Scripture and cited cultural differences as part of her defense.