Coupled convicted of assault for spanking daughter with belt

Two Edmonton parents have been convicted of assault for spanking their 14-year-old daughter with a belt after she admitted she was having sex with her boyfriend.

EDMONTON — Two Edmonton parents have been convicted of assault for spanking their 14-year-old daughter with a belt after she admitted she was having sex with her boyfriend.

Lawrence (Larry) Zachow and his wife, Aida, had been charged with assault with a weapon, but the judge found them guilty of the lesser offence.

He ruled parents are allowed by law to use reasonable force for discipline, but added that doesn’t extend beyond using their hands to spank a child.

The judge said using a stick or a belt is “out of the zone.”

Court heard the mother struck her daughter with the belt at least three times as the father pinned down the girl and held her legs over her head.

The judge pointed out the spanking in January 2008 wasn’t that forceful and there were no injuries.

“Still, in my view, it amounted to an assault on her,” said provincial court Judge Michael Stevens-Guille.

He adjourned sentencing to a later date.

Court heard at the trial the Zachows confronted their daughter Sarah about a boy she was dating and the then-Grade 9 student admitted to being sexually active.

The Zachows were dismayed and upset and told Sarah to break off the relationship. But the teen saw the boy again the following day and told her parents she had been with him.

The teen, now 16, testified that the spanking was not that painful, but said being held down hurt her back.