Father denies child abuse, faces 5 felony charges - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Father denies child abuse, faces 5 felony charges


MADISON (WKOW) -- A Madison man says he did not abuse his twin, teenage daughters, even though he faces five felony charges for what police officials say were beatings of the girls with belts and electrical cords.

On Thursday, 32-year-old Kevin Knight appeared in Dane County court on charges of felony child abuse and felony bail jumping.

The children's mother, 31-year-old Jacqueline Palmer also appeared in court. She is charged with counts of felony child abuse and felony failure to act to prevent harm.

A criminal complaint states on three separate occasions since June, Knight or Palmer hit the girls with belts and cords to punish them.

In one incident described in the complaint, a police detective says one teen had scars on her head and arms as a result. Records state that incident involved Knight punching the girl, with her eye swollen shut as a result.

The complaint states one girl said Knight stopped hitting her "...because it was blood everywhere."

Court records state the girls related the punishments were almost routine, and sometimes were carried out in a locked or barricaded basement.

When asked by 27 News whether he used a belt and electrical cord to discipline his 15-year-old daughters, Knight said he does not abuse his children.

According to the criminal complaint, Palmer told officers she does not abuse her children, just administers punishment or spankings: "They get a whoopin'."

Assistant Dane County District Attorney Adrienne Blais originally asked a court commissioner to require cash to be posted as Knight's bail, citing 17 previous arrests, seven convictions, and a current issue with county drug court.

But, Knight says it's a case of mistaken identity, that he does not have more than a dozen previous arrests, nor a current drug court issue.

District attorney Ismael Ozanne says there was some apparent mix-up between Knight and his brother, Eddie Bridges. But Ozanne offers no specifics.

Dane County jail records show seventeen arrests of Knight between March 21, 1999 and September 20, 2012. Ozanne says he's checking to make sure all those previous arrests involve Knight.

Ozanne says the confusion over records prompted a court commissioner earlier this week to allow Knight to be released on a signature bond, co-signed by his mother. Commissioner Scott McAndrew Thursday allowed signature bonds for Knight and Palmer to continue as their bail.


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