Woodbury woman convicted in case of bizarre child discipline
The Woodbury woman accused of delivering an unusual punishment to her boyfriend's teenage daughter was convicted by a jury today of malicious punishment and domestic assault.
Prosecutors alleged Ahavel Scherz, 27, made the girl kneel on a kitchen floor for a sustained period of time April 1 while holding a chair above her head. When the girl couldn't keep the chair aloft, Scherz struck her with a wooden spoon, the charges alleged.
The 13-year-old girl was left with bruises on her arms and legs.
The next day, Scherz wrote the girl's name on a T-shirt that also included the phrase "I am a thief." The girl was forced to wear the shirt to school. School officials reported the incident to police.
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput, who called the victim a "brave little girl," said Scherz's behavior crossed a line in child discipline.
"I cannot imagine what this poor child went through that night and following day," he said in a news release. "Adding to that pain she was forced to come into court and relive that horrible experience in order to bring Scherz to justice."
The girl's father, Garrett Scott Jensen, also was charged in the case. Jensen is charged with malicious punishment of a child, a gross misdemeanor, and misdemeanor domestic assault.
According to a criminal complaint, he was in "complete agreement" with the discipline, which he oversaw.
Scherz's case is set for a Nov. 7 sentencing.