The parents had left the soap in the girl’s mouth for 10 minutes and when she began to vomit, they decided to take her to the hospital. One report says that the girl had an allergic reaction and that the parents made her chew the soap.
It certainly seems like these parents took the punishment a bit too far. However, this is a standard punishment for children and raises an interesting question as to its basis for a criminal charge. Yet, even spanking can go too far and become abuse — though spanking with a paddle was found by the Minnesota Supreme Court not to be abuse, here. The question is whether forcing a child to chew the soap and hold the soap in her mouth for ten minutes are excessive. (Rivera also initially reportedly refused care for the girl).
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