Steven Sedlock’s (defendant) fourth-grade son, J.T., exhibited disciplinary problems at his elementary school and was sent to the assistant principal’s office. After attending a conference with the assistant principal, Sedlock checked J.T. out of school. As they were leaving, Sedlock kicked J.T. in the buttocks and kneed him in the back. When they arrived at their house, Sedlock spanked J.T. The assistant principal, concerned for J.T.’s safety, telephoned the police. When the police arrived at Sedlock’s home, they observed various injuries to J.T. and arrested Sedlock. The State of Louisiana (plaintiff) charged Sedlock with cruelty to a juvenile. After a bench trial, the court convicted Sedlock, and he appealed.