BENNINGTON -- A Shaftsbury man who police said was convicted four years ago of firing a BB gun at one of his children is now facing felony domestic assault charges alleging he spanked that child with a belt and another with a belt and spatula.
William Carey Jr., 34, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to two felony charges of domestic assault with a prior conviction, and two misdemeanor counts of cruelty to a person in custody of another. He was released on the conditions he not leave the county or contact witnesses in the case.
According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Cpl. Andy Hunt, on Feb. 28 Carey called the police department to report a problem he was having with his fianceé. Police were unable to make further phone contact with him.
Later, the mother of Carey's children called police to say he had assaulted them at a residence on County Street. This she had learned from her mother who in turn learned it from Carey's fianceé. Police were told Carey had requested the children be removed from the home because he was arguing with his fianceé.
Police interviewed the children, ages 8 and 4. The 8-year-old said her father became angry with her after she was falsely accused by another child of turning on a television. She said her father spanked her bare buttocks with a belt, causing her pain. The other child said she was spanked in a similar fashion with a belt and what she thought was a spatula, as punishment after she refused to clean dirt from her bed.
Photographs were taken of the children's injuries, which police said consisted of swollen red marks consistent with being hit with a belt.
Carey spoke to police on Saturday and said he normally used his hand to spank the children, under the advice of his fianceé used a belt on the older child and a spatula on the younger, over her pants. This was done to get his point across and still be within the limits of the law. He said his fianceé "set him up," and has done things like this to him before.
The fianceé adamantly denied telling Carey anything of the sort. She also said it was not her who reported the incident, and that all she did was ask the children be picked up because she and Carey were fighting.
According to the affidavit, Carey was convicted in 2010 of reckless endangerment after he fired a BB gun in the direction of the oldest child.