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A 14-Year-Old Girl's Parents Were Convicted Of Assault After Spanking Her For Sexting

They used a mini hockey stick and a jump rope to hit their 14-year-old daughter.

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A judge in British Columbia has convicted a mother and father of assault for hitting their daughter after she sent nude photos to her boyfriend. The parents "spanked" their child with a mini hockey stick and a jump rope.

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The case hinged on whether the punishment was "reasonable under the circumstances" and whether it was done for "educative or corrective" purposes. Provincial court judge Edmond de Walle ruled that the spanking didn't meet that standard.

The daughter was 14 at the time of the incident. Her parents confiscated her phone and tablet after she started seeing an ex-boyfriend again. They found messages on her iPad that referenced nude photos she'd sent him over Snapchat.

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The father, identified as a 45-year-old electrician, gave his daughter an option of being grounded for a long time or receiving a spanking. She chose the latter, and he told the court he hit her behind two or three times with a mini hockey stick in the garage.

Later, the girl's mother came home and did the same with a jump rope.

"The child understood that her parent’s beliefs about discipline came from their adherence to the Bible which they believe advocates the use of the 'rod' to spank, rather than hands, as hands are to be used as instruments of love," the judge wrote.

Police got involved when the teenager showed her bruises to friends at school, who alerted the principal. Both parents pleaded not guilty to the charge of assault with a weapon.

Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada allows parents to use force on children between 2 and 12 years old. Liberal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould vowed to repeal the controversial "spanking law" late last year.

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In the B.C. case, de Walle said "the spankings were not applied for corrective purposes and were not reasonable in all the circumstances," adding that the punishment was "degrading" to the girl.

The judge also found the use of weapons — the mini hockey stick and the jump rope — to be excessive, and found the parents guilty of assault with a weapon. The couple will be sentenced at a later date.

Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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