The father of a four-year-old, who is charged with child abuse, told police he whipped the child with a belt because she was missing words.
Jeremy Adam Smith, 38, of Corbin is facing one count of third-degree criminal abuse of a child 12 or under.
Smith was arrested Friday afternoon following an investigation by Kentucky State Police and a social worker who were called to Oak Grove Elementary.
According to the arrest citation, authorities were contacted after school officials discovered bruising on the child’s left leg and both buttocks, resulting in the child having difficulty sitting.
When asked about the bruises, Senior Trooper Craig Sutton stated the the child stated that her father had whipped her with the belt.
Sutton stated in the arrest citation, that Smith cooperated with the investigation, telling him that he had whipped the child approximately two days prior, but did not believe he he had whipped the child hard enough to leave bruises.
“She was missing words and he whipped her when she missed a word,” Sutton stated in the arrest citation as to the reason Smith gave for the whipping.
According to one parent of a preschool child, the words to which Smith referred are 34 words the students attempt to learn to recognize when each is held up on a flashcard.
The students do not have to spell the word, but to recognize it when they see it.
Smith was released from the Whitley County Detention Center Saturday on a $5,000 surety bond, meaning he signed paperwork stating that he would appear in court as scheduled.
No court date has yet been scheduled.
Under Kentucky law, the charge is a class A misdemeanor, carrying a potential sentence of up to one year in jail.