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Austin, MN father pleads guilty to belt beating

Amanda Lillie, Austin Daily Herald –

An Austin man pleaded guilty Tuesday to beating his 12-year-old daughter in the face and legs with a belt.

Christopher Craig Siverly, 33, pleaded guilty to malicious punishment of a child — a felony — in exchange for dismissal of one other domestic assault charge. Siverly’s plea agreement states he will serve 21 months in prison; although, he has not been formally sentenced yet.

Along with appearing in court to enter his plea, Siverly was sentenced to 18 months in prison Tuesday for a probation violation. His upcoming 21-month sentence will run concurrent with the 18 months, according to court documents.

In court, Siverly testified to hitting his daughter with a belt. He said he struck her with the belt twice and is not sure if the buckle hit her in the face. According to court documents, the girl was bleeding near her mouth when a Mower County Sheriff’s deputy responded.

“I just swung and I don’t know where exactly,” Siverly testified. “I was disoriented at the time. I have no sense of depth perception with missing one eye.”

Siverly has previous domestic assault convictions, according to court documents. In February, he was convicted of violating a domestic abuse no contact order.

Siverly’s formal sentencing for the malicious punishment charge has not been scheduled.

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