Preacher is charged with paddling woman
By Donnie Johnston, Fredricksburg Free Lance-Star, February 18, 2006

A woman who says she was spanked with a pingpong paddle is the latest person to file charges against a Baptist preacher in Culpeper.

Laura Beth Scott, 26, charged the Rev. Charles V. Shifflett with assault "with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable or kill."

It is the fifth charge brought this year against the former pastor of Calvary Baptist Church. All are related to Shifflett's former position as headmaster of the Calvary Baptist Academy, which was part of the church's outreach program.

Shifflett, who is no longer with the church, turned himself in about 9:30 a.m. yesterday and was released on a $2,500 secured bond later in the day.

According to court documents, Scott was 10 years old when the alleged incident happened sometime between Jan. 2 and March 31, 1990.

She accuses the preacher, acting as headmaster, of calling her into his office to find out if her sister was having sex and taking birth-control pills. Scott said when she told Shifflett she didn't know, he accused her of lying.

In the court documents, Scott accuses Shifflett of forcing her to stand with her hands on the end of a pew while he paddled her. When the first pingpong paddle broke, Scott alleges, the "pastor came back with another paddle."

Scott alleges that after "a few more minutes" of paddling, someone came into the sanctuary. She accuses Shifflett of then taking her into a hall and continuing the punishment, according to the court documents.

Scott's statement maintains the paddling stopped only when she insisted she had to go to the bathroom.

Scott said she "could barely sit" afterward. She said her father inspected her that night and found "red marks that looked like blood."

Scott said her father pulled her out of the small private Christian school the next day and enrolled her in public school. She said she now has nightmares about the incident.

Shifflett, 51, also faces two counts of child-endangerment and two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child. All were filed in mid-January and alleged that the incidents occurred between 1988 and 1993.

Shifflett resigned as pastor about four months ago over what he called a difference of opinion with church elders. He attributed the earlier charges to vindictiveness by some church members.

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Flogging for God: Violence toward children under the guise of religion
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