Court docs: Indiana woman beat 7-year-old son, quotes Bible and cites RFRA as defense

Picture on left is mug shot of Khin Par Thaing, picture on right is boy’s bruised back which was used as evidence filed in Marion Superior Court (courtesy of the IndyStar)

Picture on left is mug shot of Khin Par Thaing, picture on right is boy’s bruised back which was used as evidence filed in Marion Superior Court (courtesy of the IndyStar)

INDIANAPOLIS — The attorney for a woman charged with child abuse says Indiana’s religious freedom law gives her the right to discipline her children according to her evangelical Christian beliefs.

Khin Par Thaing of Indianapolis was arrested in February on several charges including battery on a person less than 14 years old and neglect of a dependent.

She is accused of beating her 7-year-old son with a coat hanger, leaving 36 bruises and red welts. The Indianapolis Star reports that her attorney, Greg Bowes, argues in court documents filed July 29 that the state shouldn’t interfere with her right to raise her children as she deems appropriate. He cited the Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Thaing cited biblical scripture in her defense.

Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Matt Savage said in an August 5 response that the boy’s beating went “beyond these religious instructions.”

Thaing is currently scheduled for a jury trial on October 19, 2016.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.