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Cass County declines to prosecute child injury case: punishment was legal

FARGO - The Cass County State's Attorney's Office has decided not to prosecute a man who was arrested last week on suspicion of injuring a young girl.

Naser Gashi, 26, of Fargo was taken into custody after police were called to a home in the 900 block of 44th Street South on a report of child abuse.

Police found a girl there who had obvious injuries to her face, and Gashi, who was caring for the child, was taken into custody.

Assistant Cass County State's Attorney Mark Boening said Tuesday he declined to prosecute the case because the injuries to the 4-year-old girl's face did not exceed what is permitted under North Dakota's corporal punishment law.

Boening said Gashi told authorities he rubbed the girl's lips with his fingers to discipline her for urinating where she wasn't supposed to.

Boening said North Dakota law permits parents and others who are taking care of children to use "reasonable force" to discipline a child as long as the force does not create a substantial risk of death, serious bodily injury, disfigurement or gross degradation.

He said the child's mother left the girl in the care of Gashi, whom he described as the mother's boyfriend.