A 41-year-old Pennsylvania woman is currently in custody, charged with beating her child for reciting a Bible verse incorrectly. Rhonda Kemp Shoffner is currently being held on child endangerment charges for the assault on her 13-year-old daughter.
Shoffner’s unnamed daughter says when she awoke from a nap in the afternoon, her mother appeared to be on a bender and possibly on a number of substances. The child was ordered to call several members of her family, none of whom picked up the phone, which apparently enraged Shoffner further. It is unclear what the motivation was for asking her daughter to call several of her family members, as this information is not released in any report.
In a blind rage, Shoffner ordered the girl to get on her knees, to which the daughter protested, fearing that her mother was going to physically assault her.
Shoffner screamed at her daughter, “What did God tell the man to do with his son?”
The 13-year-old replied that God told the man to forgive his son.
Referring to the story of Abraham and Isaac, in which God demands Abraham kill his only son to prove his loyalty to the Lord, Shoffner screamed, “He told the man to kill his son.”
Shoffner’s daughter is reported to have pleaded with her mother, crying and asking her to relent the beatings.
The girl’s mother allegedly proceeded to slam her daughter’s head against the drywall multiple times as she kept asking her Bible verses that her daughter did not know how to recite verbatim from memory.
Shoffner reportedly told her daughter to lie back and take the beating, and then threatened to kill her own child.
The girl attempted to fend off her mother, who then proceeded to bite her daughter so hard that it left lasting marks. According to the victim, Shoffner also tried to strangle her daughter.
Finally, Shoffner relented and let her daughter go. She was told to leave the house and never return.The 13-year-old girl fled the property with a few of her belongings and made her way to her father’s house where the police were called and she was driven to the police station to make a report.
Rhonda Shoffner is currently being held on a $100,000 bond and at present has no lawyer to defend her.
She has been charged with aggravated assault against a child, strangulation and terroristic threats.
It is unclear if Shoffner has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, but it appears from her daughter’s description of the events and mother’s behavior that it can be reasonably deduced that Shoffner was not in her right mind at the time of the attack. Some outlets report that Shoffner was incredibly drunk during the incident, though currently there is no concrete information to confirm or deny this.
Shoffner has previously had incidents with the law, including bizarre behavior that included officers being summoned to her house February 10 of this year due to neighbors complaining of a possible domestic disturbance. She resisted allowing the police to come into her home, and instead flailed herself half-naked outside of her window and screamed at the police, using foul language and flipping them off. She was charged with lewdness and disorderly conduct, but it was never deduced whether or not she had been engaging in an altercation inside of her home or with whom. The charges all seem to relate to her behavior toward the police officers.
It does not appear that Shoffner has had any other brushes with the law other than that one incident.
Police statements do not say whether the child she beat is the only child she has and whether or not she has custody of said children.
[Featured Image by Dauphin County Judicial Center]