The husband of a day care operator pleaded not guilty Wednesday to spanking a child to the point of bruising.
David L. Lang, 57, of Casper, spoke in Natrona County District Court only to answer procedural questions and enter his plea to a single count of child abuse.
When Judge Daniel Forgey read the charge, Lang shook his head slightly before saying, “Not guilty, sir.”
Police allege Lang, whose wife operated ABC and 123 Childcare in Casper, spanked a boy staying at the facility in September, bruising the child.
The child’s mother first reported the bruising to Wyoming Medical Center staff on Sept. 20. After hospital staff called police, a doctor told officers the child had said “they spanked me really hard,” according to court documents.
The boy had deep bruising on his buttocks, the back of his legs and inner thighs, court documents say the doctor told police.
The boy’s mother told police the day care operator had texted her the night of Sept. 19, saying the boy had rug burn on his buttocks from sliding down stairs. The mother left work and picked the boy up from the daycare, according to court documents.
While being driven home the same night, the boy told his mother Lang had spanked him. After arriving at home, the boy told his mother his buttocks “really hurt,” the documents state.
Although the day care operator initially told police the boy’s bruising came from sliding down the stairs, she later recanted her story. About a week after the initial interview, the woman called a police investigator and told him Lang had spanked the child twice, the documents allege.
The court documents indicate that the day care’s license was suspended following the incident. The facility’s license was revoked in December, a Department of Family Services official said Wednesday afternoon.
According to police, Lang told investigators on Sept. 28 that he had spanked the child for hitting another child with a toy. After putting the child in a corner, he spanked the boy again. He then did so a third time, according to the documents.
Lang said the child urinated on himself as a result of the spanking, according to the documents.
Lang was convicted of child abuse in 2003 in Nebraska, the documents allege.
He remained free on bond Wednesday morning.