A San Francisco dad who spanked his 11-year-old son with a belt for misbehaving in church was acquitted of child abuse charges Tuesday, the Public Defender’s Office said.
A jury deliberated for less than three hours before finding 32-year-old Allan Rivera not guilty of misdemeanor child abuse and battery, said Tamara Barak Aparton, spokeswoman for Public Defender Jeff Adachi.
“The law states that a parent may use physical discipline as a form of correction as long as it does not cause lasting injury or seriously endanger the child’s health,” Aparton said.
Rivera was arrested March 15 after his ex-wife called police reporting bruises on the boy’s body, Aparton said. The child said he was struck with a belt on three separate occasions.