GARNER | A Mason City man who spanked a 4-year-old child with a belt and caused severe bruising last winter in Britt is going to prison.
Charles Eugene Pennington, 33, was sentenced to five years in prison Oct. 26 in Hancock County District Court after he pleaded guilty to felony child endangerment resulting in bodily injury.
In March, the Iowa Department of Human Services initiated an investigation after it was contacted about severe bruising on the 4-year-old's buttocks, lower back and upper legs, according to the criminal complaint filed by the Britt Police Department.
The child, who was in Pennington's custody and care, told DHS the bruises were the result of being “spanked with a belt,” which was confirmed by other children in the household who said the punishment for “getting in trouble” was “getting whooped with the belt,” court documents state.
Police said the red bruises on the child’s lower back were consistent with being spanked with a belt. The bruises on the child's buttocks and legs were black, blue and purple, according to court documents.
Pennington was fined $750 and was ordered to serve his sentence consecutively with the one imposed for violating his probation from a third-degree theft conviction in 2017. He was sentenced to 365 days in jail with all but 14 days suspended.
Pennington’s also required to complete parenting classes as well as mental health and anger management treatments.