California family asked fellow churchgoer to beat their child

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A California couple who suspected their 15-year-old son of smoking turned to a man believed to be relied on in their church to violently discipline children, authorities said.

The Associated Press reports:

The parents asked Paul Kim, 39, to discipline their son after finding a lighter in his possession, dropping the boy off at Kim’s Chino Hills home with permission for the beating, San Bernardino County sheriff’s spokesperson Cindy Bachmann said Saturday.

Kim hit the child with a metal pole about a dozen times, causing severe bruising on his legs, according to Bachmann. The pole was about an inch in diameter, investigators said.

An adult at the boy’s school saw the bruises and called Irvine police, who in turn informed San Bernardino County officials, she said.

CBS News says

Investigators found that the victim’s family and Kim attended the same church in La Habra. […]

Kim is currently free on $100,000 bond.

Investigators believe Kim may have committed similar crimes with the permission of other families. Anyone with information should call the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Crimes Against Children Division at (909) 387-3615.

The name of the La Habra church has not yet been released.

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This post was last updated: Dec. 10, 2011