Pastor to spend 2 years in prison for preaching corporal punishment
Caminiti taught congregation to use wooden rods on children
A Dane County pastor will spend the next two years in prison after a jury found him guilty of instructing his church members to use corporal punishment on their children.
Through his trial, pastor Phil Caminiti maintained he was sharing God’s word.
However, the jury found that his teachings on using wooden dowel rods on children broke the law.
Although Caminiti’s defense team asked for probation, Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi said it wasn't enough of a punishment.
She said Caminiti’s demeanor in court, his attitude that he has done nothing wrong, and the seriousness of the crime all were reason for her to order jail time.
Prosecutors asked for five years in prison and 15 years on probation.
“He teaches people to hurt infants and children and steadfastly holds to these beliefs in spite of all of this,” said Assistant Dane County District Attorney Shelly Rusch.
Caminiti will probably serve just two years in prison and then six years on extended supervision.
Caminiti’s attorney argued her client deserved a lesser penalty, especially because Caminiti’s charge of child abuse was the least severe.
“There's no reason to lock this man up. He's been an asset to the community, his family is an asset, his children see helping other people as the goal,” said Yolanda Lehner, Caminiti’s defense attorney.
Caminiti did speak before he was sentenced. He didn't apologize but instead asked the judge to allow him to be with his family when he’s released on probation.
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