Gainesville man arrested, accused of choking daughter

Published: Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 5:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 5:03 p.m.

A Gainesville man who allegedly forced his 10-year-old daughter to exercise and would belittle her when she didn't perform up to his standards was arrested Saturday morning following an investigation that he had choked her, police reported.

The father, 38, was charged with aggravated child abuse by a person who willfully tortures or punishes; he is not being named to protect the identity of the victim.

The girl's mother, who is not in a relationship with the man but shares joint custody of the girl with him, called police Friday after she noticed redness on the girl's neck Wednesday. The girl told her mother that her father had choked her, according to an arrest report by the Gainesville Police Department.

When the girl stays with her father, he makes her get up at 4:30 a.m. for physical training that includes chin-ups, push-ups and abdominal exercises, the report notes.

“The (victim) stated that if she cheats or fails to complete the assigned task properly, she is given further exercise to complete,” the report states. “The (defendant) often belittles her during the workouts and calls her 'pathetic.' The (defendant) also forces the (victim) to engage in bicycling which lasts upward of five miles on frequent sessions.”

The father allegedly choked the girl Tuesday when she asked him for help with her bike helmet. Later that evening, the report states, he locked her on the back porch and told her to memorize a political pamphlet while refusing her requests for water.

Police reported that the father also spanks the girl for no justified reason.

The girl told police she has been having nightmares when she stays with him.

The mother told police that the man's mental wellness has declined since November, which is when the physical training started.

Under police questioning, the man denied choking the girl but admitted to grabbing her shoulders and shaking her for failing to listen to a compact disc.

The report states that he told police he was recently upset with her inability to put words together, so he put her on the porch and had her recall words from a political advertisement.

The report states he told investigators he denied the girl's request for water because he “didn't care” and she was “born in a desert, she can cope.”

He also admitted that he would express dissatisfaction during her exercise sessions, would make her do extra exercises if she initially failed to complete an exercise, and that he calls her pathetic, the report states.

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