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Washington County woman convicted in bizarre chair- and spoon-punishment is sentenced

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Washington County woman convicted in bizarre chair- and spoon-punishment is sentenced
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

The Woodbury woman convicted of doling out an unusual punishment ritual to her boyfriend's daughter must spend 60 days in jail, a Washington County judge decided this month.

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Ahavel Scherz, 27, was sentenced Nov. 7 to 365 days in jail - 305 five days of which were stayed by 10th Judicial Court Judge Mary Hannon, provided Scherz follows her probation for two years. A Washington County jury convicted her in August of one count of malicious punishment of a child, a gross misdemeanor, and one misdemeanor count of domestic assault.

Prosecutors alleged Scherz made the 13-year-old girl kneel on a kitchen floor for a sustained period of time April 1 while holding a chair above her head. When the girl couldn't keep the chair aloft, the Scherz struck her with a wooden spoon, the charges alleged.

The 13-year-old girl was left with bruises on her arms and legs.

The next day, Scherz wrote the girl's name on a T-shirt that also included the phrase "I am a thief." The girl was forced to wear the shirt to school. School officials reported the incident to police.

Terms of Scherz's probation call for her and the girl's father - who was also charged in the case - to pay a combined $891 in restitution. Sherz must also have no contact with the victim and complete a blended family parenting course, the judge ordered. An additional $2,900 in fines were also stayed.

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