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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.”

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

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“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.

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.

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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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Pence adviser says that Trump’s phone call to Ukrainian president was ‘unusual and inappropriate’

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Mike Pence sneer

Jennifer Williams, a Special Adviser on Europe and Russia issues for Vice President Mike Pence's foreign policy team, told congressional investigators that she viewed President Donald Trump's July 25th phone call to Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky as "unusual and inappropriate." Williams had listened in on the phone call while it was happening, and a whistleblower revealing the controversial contents of that call prompted the current impeachment inquiry into Trump.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Chuck Todd burns down GOP’s Ron Johnson’s Ukraine excuses: ‘You seem to blame this on everybody but the president’

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A clearly exasperated Chuck Todd was forced to talk over a loud and filibustering Sen Ron Johnson (R-WI) on Sunday morning for once again pushing Ukraine conspiracies and arguing over whether Donald Trump wanted the president of Ukraine to attack former Vice President Joe Biden on his behalf.

Having let Johnson throw out several scenarios and try and spread the blame around, Todd, finally cut in to say, "You seem to blame this on everybody but the president. It was the president’s actions."

"You’re blaming everybody else for the reason we’re in this situation, other than the president," Todd continued. "Isn’t the president’s own behavior, which raised all of these yellow and red flags, isn’t is that why we’re here?”

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I can ‘do anything I want, I’m a police officer’: Indiana cop fired after racially profiling black men in mall parking lot

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A white police officer working for Lawrence Township in Indiana has been fired after he was filmed accosting two black men sitting in their car outside of a Nordstrom Rack and accusing them of being "suspicious."

According to WTHR, Lawrence Township Deputy Constable Daryl Jones approached cousins Aaron Blackwell and Durell Cunningham on the north side of Indianapolis but was filmed on a cellphone that eventually led to him losing his job.

The cousins stated that Jones racially profiled them and tried to run their car plates.

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