A GERMAN national will spend 10 days in jail for physically assaulting an 11-year-old boy in Minglanilla town in 2008.

Frederick Davis was found guilty of maltreating Churchill Cabanog of Barangay Ward 2 when he slapped the child’s nape thrice for scratching Davis’s gate with a can.

Regional Trial Court Judge Ester Veloso convicted Davis pursuant to the Revised Penal Code, which penalizes any person who “ill-treats another by deed without causing injury.”

Veloso wrote in her decision that Davis can be convicted only for maltreatment and not child abuse since the child did not suffer significant trauma as a result of the incident, as shown in the findings of a psychologist.

She also said that not every instance of the laying of hands on a child constitutes child abuse.

Davis hit the boy apparently after losing his temper, the judge said, and the child did not suffer long-lasting trauma or physical injuries.

Hermesa Tarega testified that she saw Davis hit the child. She also said Davis held the child’s head and shook it thrice.

Fearing that Davis might further harm the child, Tarega said she ran towards them, and Davis let go of the child.

Tarega said that Davis, who has been her neighbor for about 10 years, is strict with children in the neighborhood.

Cabanog’s mother, Maria Fe, also testified that she saw her child crying when she came home from the market.

She said her child told her that Davis hit him because he played outside his residence. Maria Fe reported the incident to the barangay, which summoned Davis. But both parties failed to settle the case.

Another witness, Brenan Baguio, told the court he saw the child playing with his kite outside Davis’s residence.

When the can the boy was holding touched Davis’s gate, the latter got mad. Davis then went out of his house and held the boy’s head with his hands.

Davis also rubbed the boy’s head against the gate, which scared the child.

But Davis denied hitting the boy.

He said that on March 5, he was at home and discussed vital matters with his visitor.

Shortly, Davis said he heard a boy banging a can on the wall of his house all the way to the carport.

He stopped the boy and asked him what was he doing, but the boy reportedly just kept silent so he let him go. Davis said he only tapped the boy’s shoulder and did not hit him.