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Lower Merion Woman Avoids Jail After Whipping Son, 10, For Stealing $2

LOWER MERION, Pa. (CBS) – A Lower Merion woman who whipped her son twelve times with an electrical cord for stealing two dollars from her, and then failing to get him medical help, will not be going to jail after being convicted of felony aggravated assault.

Defense attorney Greg Nester argued for probation for 33-year-old Sharomine Martin, calling her a “highly educated single mom who worked hard to give her son a better life.”

But in April of last year, Nester says, she made a huge mistake and overreacted when she beat her son, then 10 years old, for stealing the money.

Prosecutor Cara McMenamin argued for a state sentence and was stunned when the judge gave Martin five years’ probation.

“As a prosecutor and as a mother,” McMenamin told KYW Newsradio today, “I’m horrified at what he did in not really taking into full account the effect on the child.  This child will probably be in therapy for the rest of his life; he will certainly be scarred for the rest of his life.”

McMenamin says the child was found wandering around a playground in Ardmore, bleeding from his injuries. The judge believes she did it out of love, albeit misguided.

The child now lives with his father.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060

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  • discipline or let state raise kids

    This is one problem with government. A man had problems with his son and going to the police didn’t help, so he tied the kid to his bed. The misguided police arrested him. The next day when he didn’t tie the kid to the bed, the kid went out and vandalized a bunch of cars.

  • ttst

    first, get the facts; everything written in a newspaper is not factual…
    second, “whipping” is wrong, excessive and counterproductive…
    third, jailing this particular mother would have been wrong, excessive and counter productive…a otherwise well-raised and loved child would have become fodder for an already overwrought and ineffective system…resist the urge to strike out…”correct/redirect”

  • Carolyn

    I don’t agree with leaving the child go without tending to the wounds that she caused him, when she whipped him with the electrical cord to discipline him for stealing from her!!! Some people shouldn’t be allowed to have children…PERIOD

  • TT

    Kid’s today need to be beat. Next time use a belt!

  • Anthony

    Headline should read “Lower Merion legitimizes child abuse”.

  • Daniela

    People who hit are nothing but big bullies. Violence towards a child teaches them that hitting is the way to solve problems and takes away their dignity.

    I am a 40 year old woman with very painful memories of this kind of stuff…it will not happen to my child. The cycle ends here!!!!

    My prayers to that poor child.

  • billy

    i got the belt, the cord, the shoe and everything else. i survived and guess what. i didnt become a thug. whipping to bleeding was harsh but she didnt belong in jail. anger management and probation fit the bill. she was supposed to be a good mom before this. i dont think it was about the dollars. it was right and wrong. BET HE THINKS TWICE BEFORE STEALING AGAIN.

    • mike

      I agree with you. I got all of the above. Didn’t hurt me in the long run. These little brats need discipline! This country IS falling apart!

      • Mama

        Amen Mike! Better a beating now rather than a bullet to the head later when he steals something from someone who has a gun. You are so right, this country is going to hell in a handbasket! Thank goodness for the way I was brought up and for the way I brought up my children…I got beatings and I am thankful for them now. I don’t need therapy or any of the other BS mentioned above!

    • concerned citizen

      I agree! People complain so much about violence and thugs stealing and mudering people but they don’t seem to understand that their behavior or actions come from not being disciplined as a child. I dont think you should make the child bleed or bruise them but a good smack on the butt won’t hurt either.

  • "She did it out of love" - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

    […] […]

  • Dawn

    Spanking is one thing. But leaving a child with permanent scars is considered discipline out of love?! I don’t think so

  • dmac6419

    I got plenty of asswhooping as a child and me be just fine

  • peter

    That is what is wrong with todays kids. Parents, schools can’t displine and teach the child that thier are consiequences for your actions.
    Displine should start when they are young. when they are adults and in the the justice system it basically to late to have them learn that their is consequences for their actions and now they are in prison for stealing its to late.
    you can’t refrom them they just keep coming back to prison. society need to go back to the basic’s respect, honesty and displine

  • Karyn

    Linda, you are so on point. That’s what’s wrong with these thuggish azz kids these days. Parents are so afraid to discipline their children because of the judicial system or the thinking of some folk right here on this board. I’m sure she was raising him to the best of her ability as a single parent. And therapy, haha, please. I bet he’ll think twice before touching another thing that doesn’t belong to him.

    • teach

      My parents never made me bleed, and I don’t steal. If you are a good teacher, you do not have to draw blood. If you are not a good teacher, and you have a child, then it is in everyone’s best interest if you learn how to teach and guide and rear your child.

  • John

    Most Americans call themselves “Christians,” but most are not true moral Christians who actually know and obey God’s Word. That’s why so few will enter the gate of heaven.

    Proverbs 23:13-14
    Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.


    • concerned citizen

      Well put!!!

    • astuartgirl

      From ->

      And of course, Jesus Himself was beaten. What we need to remember is at that time in history society was still under the Law of Moses, and beatings and prison time were the punishments called for when adults broke one of the laws. Notice that Paul was an adult at the time of his beating for bringing a non-Jew into the Temple. Children were never spanked for breaking the Law; only adults.

      Therefore, when a parent spanks a child, he/she is parenting under the Law and acts as a judge. The child commits an offense, the parent tries the child and decides a spanking is necessary, the parent doles out the punishment, then the child is free to go on since he/she paid the price. Only, as Christians, the Law is no longer binding. If we want children to learn the grace, peace, love, and mercy of the Law of Christ, why do we parent under the Law of Moses?

      In conclusion, I leave you with the words of John:

      “ For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” John 1:17.


      Eph. 6:4

      4 And you, fathers, provoke not your children to anger: but bring them up in the discipline and correction of the Lord. (DRV)

      Col. 3:21

      21 Fathers, provoke not your children to indignation, lest they be discouraged. (DRV)

  • kevin

    i think she went to far to leave welts and bleeding. the least she could have done is bandage him so it wouldnt get infected. I guess her $ was more important then offering her own child some first aid. That is where she went wrong. I ve been hit with a extension cord by a friends mom while sleeping over and dam if it didnt welt up. She was 1 whip of that cord away from hanging with it . I soon left her house and went home at 2 am and my parents were about to hang her as well. Needless to say i never slept over that friends house again. I say she needs a lesson on parenting and abuse bc she crossed the line here Some where the punishment has to fit the crime. It didnt in the case with her son nor would jail have tought her any thing either. Glad justice was served and we re not wasting NE more of my hard earned tax $ to support her in jail.

  • M Prevost

    When you whip a child with a cord (thin and will cut skin easily) to where he BLEEDS – it is NOT discipline. BEATING a child is NOT DISCIPLINE (btw – I grew up with spankings and switchings – NEVER did my mother draw blood or give me more than I deserved/earned)

  • Jamie Dougherty

    The kiid stole from his mother and got what he deserved. The Montgomery County District Attorneys office is off their rocker to charge her for anything. What a waste of tax payer time.

    • secdown

      Seriously??? There is discipline and corporal punishment but this was abusive. If incidents such as these are ignored by the authorities and child ends up severely injured or dead, who do we end up blaming??? I am a believer in corporal punishment, however, this parent went too far. It’s not a waste of taxpayer time or money if it prevents another incident and hopefully promote change in the parent.

  • kingjoe1

    Yes this lady should have custody rights diminished as appears happened and probationa and couseling are appropriate, but jail time could be stretching it. In fact i would say the punishment of jail time is akin to what this woman did to her son.
    However society wants to make parents accountable for raising children to be honest hardworig people, but over react to something like this.
    The prosecutor is off her god loving rocker is she feel one spanking will cause a lifetime of therapy. If that were the case eveyrone i knew growing up should be in counseling. Too soft, we are simply getting too soft.

  • Linda D Bryant

    Since when is it a crime to disipline your child?
    If the mother had beaten the kid to death–that’s MURDER. She only whipped him with an extension cord.

    No doubt, this kid will remember that beating and not steal anything from anyone else!!!!

    • secdown

      There is corporal punishment and then there is abuse, this crossed the line to abuse. Are you saying a child must die for it to be wrong???

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