A couple allegedly made a one-year-old boy do military style sit-ups and push-ups as punishment. They also purportedly spanked the child repeatedly for crying, drooling, as well as other fussy behaviors normally associated with a one-year-old.
The Altoona couple was questioned by police after a doctor noticed the infant carrying bruises on his thighs, buttocks, arms, hips, back, and head. The doctor reported the matter to the authorities after discovering that the injuries had no medical interpretation.
According to the Altoona Mirror, Morgan Porter, 21 has been arraigned on a felony count for aggravated assault of a child under the age of six as well as endangering the welfare of a child. Her fiancé, Devin Heinztelman has also been charged.
Police allege that Devin, a 21-year-old Marine Corps reservist was the main disciplinarian who spanked the boy constantly and made him do punishments found in the Marine Corps Drill and Ceremonies Manual. Heinztelman even allegedly took photos disciplining the infant. One photo allegedly obtained by police showed the 21-year-old kneeling over the one-year-old who was in tears.
Heinztelman consistently made videos and pamphlets stating that a child of his age needed to abide by house rules and should be punished if he did not. A police report written by Detective Cpl. Nichole Douglas brought this to the fore after reading Devin’s written statement.
“Provided constant training in the form of videos, pamphlets and verbal instruction that a child of his age cannot intentionally break rules and should not be physically disciplined.”
One witness said she witnessed the infant being spanked by Devin because he was drooling on himself at eight months old.
Police say a Pennsylvania couple forced their 1-year-old to do push-ups and sit-ups, and spanked him for crying. Bruises were found all over the babies body. Full story: https://t.co/AGzdYjsimK pic.twitter.com/3t1W3jOs7h— CBS4Local (@CBS4Local) January 17, 2018
In his written statement, Heinztelman confessed that he hit the boy over temper tantrums, explaining that the infant was manipulative and was always doing something wrong on purpose to get under his skin.
Heinztelman’s statement also revealed that he forced the one-year-old to stand on only one leg and would often prevent him from standing on his other leg by holding it back.
Morgan Porter also admitted to spanking the child, but Douglas found inconsistencies in her story to suggest that she was trying to protect her fiancé by sharing the blame.
Porter is scheduled to appear in court January 24. Heinztelman is presently on a two-week drill as part of his Marine Reserves responsibilities and is expected to be arraigned once he returns, Central PA is reporting.