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Reply #31: Declared legal in Sarasota in 2004. This stuff stuns me. [View All]

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-14-09 11:13 AM
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31. Declared legal in Sarasota in 2004. This stuff stuns me.
"Prosecutors Say Making 13-Year-Old Drink Hot Sauce Is Not Crime
Lawyer Compares Punishment To Washing Out Mouth With Soap

POSTED: 6:53 am EDT October 13, 2004
UPDATED: 3:08 pm EDT October 13, 2004

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Prosecutors in Sarasota have dropped felony child-neglect charges against a man who forced his 13-year-old stepson to drink hot sauce as punishment for leaving a gate open. An attorney for Michael Massanelli said prosecutors have acknowledged that making the teenager drink hot sauce was no different than washing a child's mouth out with soap. In the words of lawyer Derek Byrd, "if giving hot sauce were criminal, then a lot of our grandmothers would have gone to jail."

Sheriff's detectives charged Massanelli in June and booked him into jail on child abuse charges.

An arrest report said he told detectives he was upset because his two-year-old daughter could have wandered out of the gate left open by his stepson. After forcing him to drink the hot sauce, the boy told detectives his stepfather wouldn't allow him to rinse his mouth, which "felt as if it were on fire."

Detectives say they charged Massanelli with child abuse because he intentionally inflicted physical or mental injury upon the boy.

Later, the prosecutors amended the charge to felony child neglect. But Byrd says once they examined the record, they realized there was NO malice or criminal intent.

No different than washing a mouth out with soap? Drinking hot sauce is no different that washing a mouth with soap?

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