An El Campo father’s definition of discipline is actually abuse, a Wharton County criminal jury voted.

“This case represents the fine line between what a parent can do to discipline a child and what becomes abuse. The jury verdict sends the message that it’s not ‘okay’ what happened to this young woman,” Wharton County prosecutor Lloyd Kleiman said.

Jury’s verdict, issued June 11 in Wharton County’s 329th District Court, found 43-year-old Pedro Flores guilty of domestic violence.

He was placed on one year of probation and ordered to attend anger management classes during a Wednesday, June 19 hearing.

Flores’ teenage daughter was the victim in this case, suffering severe bruising to her legs after being struck by a belt.

“The victim made an outcry to a teacher at school who then called in a school counselor. Child Protective Services and the Wharton County Sheriff’s Department were then contacted,” Wharton County District Attorney Dawn Allison said.

School officials commented on the severity of the bruising, the DA added.

Flores did not have a history of domestic violence.

His defense, led by attorney Ken Lipscombe, was that he had the right to discipline his daughter. He admitted to the act, according to the DA’s office.

“Even though this office was originally requesting jail time, our office feels probation is a reasonable punishment,” Allison said. “This young woman no longer lives in the same residence as Flores.”

Kleiman and ADA Bryan Honeycutt prosecuted the case.

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