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Coach jailed over bare-bottomed spanking of young players says he was just taking God ‘seriously’

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A former Little League coach sentenced to jail time for spanking the bare bottoms of players was apparently following a Christian child-rearing book, the Citizen-Times reports.

Jonathan Shawn Russell, 33, pleaded guilty in a North Carolina court room this week to four misdemeanor counts of assault on a child under 12. He’ll spend 60 days in jail and 18 months on probation.

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The victims ranged from 8 to 9 years old at the time of the incidents, the Times reports. Arrest warrants obtained by the paper say he was accused of  “pulling down child victim’s pants and his underwear and spanking him on his buttocks multiple times with his hands.”

The assaults happened in 2014 and 2015.

“Coach Russell made me feel hurt,” one child testified. “When he spanked me he made me feel ashamed because my family trusted him. He made my mom feel sad because he didn’t have her permission.”

Russell was influenced by child-rearing advice book, Shepherding a Child’s Heart, written by Pastor Tedd Tripp. He read a passage from the book aloud on the stand that said, “If you fail to spank, you don’t take God seriously and don’t love your child enough.”

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One of the children told his mother he was spanked for saying “dang it.”

“I had no words for (my son) that would erase the fear and embarrassment that this man made him feel from this humiliating and sadistic manner,” she testified. “The acts of this man have left wounds that a Band-aid or doctors can’t heal.”

Russell testified he spanks his own children.

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According to the Times, the book instructs spankers to remove a child’s pants and tell them how many spankings they will get and why. Afterward, the parents should hug the child and pray with them.

The assaults had a lasting effect on the boys.

“It was a parent’s nightmare,” one mother testified. “(My son) told me he had been assaulted by his coach and that’s why he didn’t want to play baseball anymore … He loved baseball.”

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She added, “He doesn’t allow people to hug him,” she said. “In the weeks leading up to this trial, he started sleeping out on the recliner because he was afraid Coach Russell will come and hurt him again.”

Russell was taken into custody after the trial, the Times reports. As part of his probation, he will not be allowed to be alone with a child under 18 or be involved in an activity with children under 18.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘Making things worse’: National Farmer’s Union chief unloads on Trump in blistering statement on trade war

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Roger Johnson, the president of the National Farmers Union, delivered a blistering rebuke to President Donald Trump after he responded to new tariffs from China by issuing a purported "order" telling American companies to look for alternative places to manufacture their goods.

In an official statement, Johnson pointed out that farmers so far have felt the brunt of the president's trade war, as China has slapped heavy tariffs on key agricultural products such as soybeans.

He also crushed the president for failing to make any progress on reopening the Chinese market to American goods.

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Doctors treat Ruth Bader Ginsburg for tumor on her pancreas: SCOTUS spokesperson

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg this week had underwent a procedure to treat a tumor from her pancreas, a court spokesperson tells Washington Post reporter Robert Barnes.

According to the Court, "the tumor was treated definitively" with radiation "and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body."

The 86-year-old Ginsburg late last year underwent surgery to treat lung cancer and she returned to the bench this past February.

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REVEALED: Trump associate Felix Sater gave Osama bin Laden’s phone numbers to the feds

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The Russian businessman Felix Sater has been linked to Trump family enterprises for years. He was central to the effort to bring Trump Tower to Moscow. He also worked on the Trump SoHo condominium hotel in the mid-aughts.

During that time, Sater also worked as an informant for the FBI and CIA and aided prosecutors on various cases. He started working with the FBI in 1998, after he was caught in a stock-fraud scheme, reports the Wall Street Journal.

That's been previously reported. But what the WSJ found is that a letter just unsealed from the government praises Sater for being an especially good collaborator.

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