MADISON, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News) A Dane County couple who spanked their children with wooden dowels in accordance with their church teachings will be sentenced May 2ndfor child abuse. A jury convicted 29-year-old Matthew Caminiti of Black Earth last Friday on four felony counts of child abuse, and he was acquitted on another count. His 27-year-old wife Alina was convicted on all three of her abuse charges.
Matthew is the son of Philip Caminiti, who led the Aleitheia Bible Church. The church taught parents to strike children on their bare bottoms with wooden dowels in order to teach them proper behavior.
The couple's attorneys said there was no evidence that spankings actually took place.
Their trial was delayed due to constitutional challenges which claimed that the Caminitis had the right to practice religion and discipline their children as they chose. Several church members were arrested in 2010, and Philip Caminiti was convicted two years later for conspiracy to commit child abuse.