Judge puts sentencing on hold for father who spanked sonPublished 10:10am Monday, November 19, 2012
ALBERT LEA — A Freeborn County judge has put the sentencing on hold for an Albert Lea man charged with beating his son with boards.
Monte Joe Santee, 47, on Friday pleaded guilty to one count of malicious punishment of a child as part of a plea agreement. However, instead of issuing a sentence, Freeborn County District Court Judge Steve Schwab ordered the case be held for a year. If Santee does not have any more violations, his charge, a gross misdemeanor, may be dismissed.
Freeborn County Attorney Craig Nelson said Santee went through a domestic violence intervention program on his own, and the relationship between the father and son has improved.
According to court files, Santee admitted to a Freeborn County Sheriff’s office investigator he hit the child on the buttocks on an almost weekly basis. Court files referred to 1-by-2-inch pieces of wood anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 feet long.
The case started when the son, an 11-year-old at the time, talked to local law enforcement in January about his father’s discipline. An investigator said in court files he saw bruising on the boy’s buttocks and legs, which the child attributed to his dad.
Court files say the son told the investigator that, in the most recent punishment, the father ordered the son to the basement for neglecting to fold a pair of his mother’s pants while folding a basket of clothes. The basement is where the father spanked the boy, against the wishes of the mother, the court files said.