Spanking Is 'Normal,' Says California Lawmaker Arrested for Child Cruelty
By Ella Torres
A California state lawmaker admitted Wednesday that he "spanked [his daughter's] bottom" following his arrest on suspicion of child cruelty.
Joaquin Arambula told The Fresno Bee that his daughter, 7, had "acted out" before going to bed. He called the spanking a "normal discipline to our child."
"It wasn't the best night for all of us, and as a parent, I think most of us have felt those times when we can feel a bit overwhelmed," he told the outlet.
Following the incident, Arambula said his daughter was "pretty upset and she struggled to be able to share her emotions."
The state assemblyman, a Democrat, was arrested Monday after officials at Dailey Elementary Charter School discovered an injury after his daughter came into an office earlier that day. Officials determined the injury happened the night before, though they did not divulge details.
His three children were taken by Child Protective Services and had been living with his parents, according to the Fresno Bee. His daughters, aged 3, 6, and 7, have since come home after CPS agreed that was the "best place" for them.
Arambula and his wife Elizabeth put on a united front for the interview, holding hands throughout it. Both stressed that he was a loving parent.
"We have a job and a responsibility to continue to be good parents, and that's what I want to work on and will strive to do," he said.
Elizabeth Arambula at one point interjected in the interview, saying, "We love our kids."
When asked if stress from his position could have influenced his decision to spank his daughter, he reportedly admitted it was a possibility.
"Being a parent isn't easy for anybody," he told the outlet. "Adding more stress and difficulty on top of it exacerbates the challenge that we have. There's no manual to being a parent. You do the best you can every single day. And that's what we do. We're trying with our kids."
CPS put no restrictions on Arambula, though he did say they suggested the family seek counseling.
Calls to the Fresno Police Department were not immediately returned, but The Fresno Bee reported the politician had not been officially charged with a crime as of Wednesday afternoon.
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