STAFFORD, Va., Sept. 19 (UPI) -- A Virginia woman was ordered to not spank her daughter for two years as part of a plea agreement to get rid of felony child abuse charges against her.
The plea agreement was reached Wednesday Stafford Circuit Court by prosecutor Tara Mooney and defense attorney Mark Murphy, who represents the mother, Felisha Kimble-Tanks, the (Fredericksburg, Va.) Free Lance–Star reported.
In exchange for the felony charge being dropped, Kimble-Tanks pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and battery on a family member and agreed to not spank her 6-year-old daughter for two years. Judge Michael Levy said he would drop the charges if Kimble-Tanks stays out of trouble for that time period.
The charges against Kimble-Tanks stemmed from a Jan. 16 incident in which she spanked her daughter with a leather belt. The case was brought to the attention of authorities when the girl's father, who is separated from Kimble-Tanks, saw bruises on the girl's thigh two days later.
Prosecutor Mooney said Kimble-Tanks "crossed the line" between discipline and abuse.
"Leaving bruises on a child that young is abuse," Mooney said.
Murphy disagreed with Mooney, but said that his client agreed to the deal because no jail time was involved and the charges will go away in two years.
"This is a woman who has never been in trouble before and I'm certain will not be in trouble over the next two years," Murphy said.