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Man held in boy's disciplining with metal rod at parents' request

December 10, 2011 |  2:24 pm

A man who allegedly struck a 15-year-old Irvine boy with a metal pole after the boys’ parents asked him to discipline the youth on their behalf has been booked on suspicion of felony willful cruelty to a child, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators said the boy's parents found a lighter in his possession and suspected that he was smoking. The boy, who was not identified because he is a minor, was taken to the home of Paul Kim, 39, of Chino Hills, who attends the same La Habra church as the boy's family. Authorities said Kim had been used by other families to discipline their children.

Kim reportedly questioned the boy about the lighter and suspected that the teen was lying to him.

"After receiving permission from the victim’s father to use corporal punishment, Kim struck the child approximately 12 times with a metal pole, which was about 1” in diameter, on the back of the legs, causing injuries,” the department said in a statement Saturday.

Authorities were tipped off to the incident Dec. 6 when a school official in Irvine noticed that the boy had severe bruising on the back of his legs.

The school official filed a reported of suspected child abuse with Child Protective Services and officers with the Irvine Police Department went to interview the boy and his parents at their home.

Kim was later arrested by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department's crimes against children detail. He was released on $100,000 bail Dec. 8.

The Sheriff’s Department has asked that anyone with information about similar alleged acts by Kim, or who believes he or she was a victim, to call investigators at (909) 387-3615.


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-- Monte Morin