MADISON – A couple who spanked their young children with wooden dowels in line with their church teachings has been convicted of child abuse.
Twenty-nine-year-old Matthew Caminiti and 27-year-old Alina Caminiti of Black Earth were convicted Friday.
The Wisconsin State Journal reports Matthew Caminiti is the son of Philip Caminiti, who led Aleitheia Bible Church. The church taught parents to hit children, including infants, on their bare bottoms with wooden dowels to teach proper behavior.
Several members of the church were arrested in 2010. Philip Caminiti was convicted in 2012 of conspiracy to commit child abuse.
Lawyers for the couple say there was no evidence the spankings occurred. The couple’s trial was delayed by constitutional challenges claiming they had the right to discipline children and practice religion as they chose.