DA: Parents Killed Daughter With 'Religious Whips'
Prosecutors say parents used quarter inch plastic tubing to beat their seven-year-old adopted daughter to death, CBS station KOVR-TV reports. Apparently, they got the idea from a fundamentalist based Christian group, which promotes using this as a way of training children to be obedient.
Three years ago, Kevin Schatz and his wife Elizabeth decided to adopt three children from Liberia. Now, they are accused of killing one of them, allegedly because one child mispronounced a word.
Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey says the seven-year-old was held down for several hours by Elizabeth and beaten dozens of times by Kevin on the back of her body, causing massive tissue damage.
"It was torture," says Ramsey.
Another 11-year-old adopted child was critically beaten for "being a liar and a bad influence on the seven-year-old."
The District Attorney points to a book written by a Tennessee Evangelist named Michael Pearl, who the Schatz's have told police they were following.
Pearl's Web site, www.nogreaterjoy.org, suggests "A swift whack with the plastic tubing would sting but not bruise. Give ten licks at a time, more if the child resists."
"This is not a good ole' fashion spanking, it certainly is way beyond that," says Ramsey.
The alleged beating happened on a piece of property in Paradise, where the three adopted children and the Schatz's six biological children were homeschooled.
The family rarely left their property. Their six biological children were home schooled. They even grew their own food.
Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz now face life in prison.
The Schatz's nine children thought these alleged beatings were normal, and they can't understand why police have arrested their parents.