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A 40-year-old Eagle Mountain man who beat his 9-year-old daughter with a belt for failing to turn in her homework at school was sentenced Wednesday to probation and 240 hours of community service.
As part of Robert Tuttle's sentence, 4th District Judge Claudia Laycock gave him the option of doing the community service in lieu of 30 days in jail.
As part of a 36-month probation, Laycock also ordered Tuttle to pay a $1,173 fine and obtain a mental health evaluation.
Tuttle was initially charged in 4th District Court with second-degree felony child abuse for the Feb. 28 attack. He pleaded guilty to a lesser count of Class A misdemeanor child abuse.
He struck his daughter with a belt at least 10 times, leaving bruises and welts on her body, according to police, who said the girl didn't require medical treatment. When the girl's 10-year-old sister attempted to intervene, the father reportedly took a swing at her, just missing her head. When interviewed by Utah County deputies, Tuttle purportedly defended using a belt as a form of discipline.
Defense attorney Kelly Ann Booth told The Tribune: "If not for the court's order preventing Mr. Tuttle from seeing his children, we would have taken this to trial. The judge saw this was 1950s style and perhaps outdated discipline, and those facts helped her come to this resolution. Happily, Mr. Tuttle can now reunite with his children." firstname.lastname@example.org