An Oswego County man has been charged with child endangerment and forcible touching after police say he spanked a child for lying.
According to the County Sheriff TMs Office, around 6:50 p.m. on Saturday deputies arrested 61-year-old John H. Phelps Sr. of Elpis Road in the Oswego County Village of Cleveland. Police say Phelps is accused of pulling his vehicle over to the side of the road and punishing a child under the age of 17 by pulling the child TMs pants and underwear down and spanking the child repeatedly.
The incident is said to have occurred in the Town of Amboy in November of 2010. Police say the child was accused of lying to Phelps, which prompted four spankings. The Sheriff's Office also says that the child is a female, and not a relative of Phelps.
Phelps is charged with one count each of misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child and forcible touching. He was issued appearance tickets and is scheduled to return to the Town of Amboy Court on March 8.
When reached for comment on the case, Oswego County Sheriff Reuel Todd said Phelps was charged because If you don TMt have permission to do something like that on a minor, that is a criminal matter. He says the child was not a blood relative of Phelps, but Todd believes the families were friends.
Police investigated after complaints from the victim and the victim TMs parent. Todd says he does not believe the child had any marks or bruising on her. He also says if a similar thing happens between a child and a parent, criminal charges would depend on whether the spanking was disciplinary in nature and whether there was injury to the child, including markings or bruising.
CNY Central reporter Jessica Cain attempted to contact Phelps at his listed address Tuesday afternoon, but the person who answered the door would neither comment on the story nor confirm he lived there.
Several people who live nearby say they believe Phelps crossed the line.
"Some kids need spanking," says George Horning, who has two daughters. "But I don't know about spanking someone else's kid."
"If she wasn't his daughter, he had no business putting a hand on her," says Phylis Eggleston, who has four children and 11 grandchildren.
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