MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A judge refused Thursday to drop charges against a Dane County pastor found guilty of conspiring to commit child abuse.
55-year-old Philip Caminiti was convicted in March on 8 conspiracy charges, for telling parishioners at the Aleitheia Bible Church in Black Earth to punish kids by hitting them with wooden dowels on their bare buttocks.
He said it teaches children how to behave properly, and it’s in-line with the church’s interpretation of the Bible.
Caminiti asked Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi to drop the convictions, saying it deprived him of his rights to religious freedom. But the judge said Caminiti failed to slow that the state’s child abuse laws put a burden on his sincere religious beliefs.
Caminiti is scheduled to be sentenced on May 25th.