On Wednesday, October 29, the Henry County Police Department arrested Larry Morey on charges of second degree cruelty to children. According to Fox-23, Morey, an administrator at the ABC Montessori’s Ace Academy in McDonough, Georgia, allegedly beat a 9-year-old special needs boy with a belt six times. However, the punishment reportedly wasn’t a typical spanking because the boy suffered visible bruising, scratches and welts as a result of the incident. The little boy who also released a brief statement recounting his horrific encounter with Morey.
“I was screaming for help. I was lifting up my legs to try to block my butt,” he told WSB-TV.
Gentry’s mother, Lori Cameron, also shared revealed what she saw when her son came home from school that day. She also shared what she’d been told about the incident.
“They lifted him, from what I understand, about 18 inches off the ground and beat him with a leather belt. I inspected my son and he’s covered in bruises and welts. I was angry. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it,” she said.
Although Morey was reportedly authorized to use corporal punishment, the police department has stated that they believe the boy’s injuries are an example of excessive force.
“However, in this particular case, detectives believed it was excessive given the marks and bruising on the child,” said Sgt. William Powell, with the Henry County Police Department.
But Morey’s attorney, Gil Maxwell, has a different perspective of the situation. He’s actually questioning the department’s definition of “excessive” since corporal punishment requires physical contact, reports WSB-TV.
“She specifically indicated she expected some kind of fairly significant physical contact to occur,” Maxwell said.
Maxwell also furnished a copy of the notarized form granting permission for the use of corporal punishment. The form was reportedly signed on October 2. Cameron also admitted she’s authorized corporal punishment, but not with the use of a belt. When asked if the permission form included the use of a belt, Maxwell also agreed it did not. He also attributes the boy’s bruises to his pale skin and insists Morey did nothing wrong.
“We expect the evidence to show that this is a very pale child and had shorts on,” Maxwell said. “I frankly find it rather suspect that as soon as she signs a document authorizing corporal punishment, she is taking pictures and hitting the media and the Internet with allegations that are demonstrably false,” Maxwell told CBS-46.
Although Morey’s attorney presents a justifiable argument, there’s just one problem — this reportedly isn’t the first time he’s been accused of child cruelty. When Morey’s arrest was made public, a number of parents came forward to report past incidents similar to this one.
According to Channel 2 Action News, another parent named Marie Lamar filed a report against Morey back in 2012 after he allegedly choked and threatened her son. Three more reports of physical violence have also been discovered. One of the three incidents also occurred at the school back in 2009.
Do you think Larry Morey’s use of corporal punishment was excessive? Share your thoughts.
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