CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants has been charged with misdemeanor domestic battery for allegedly going too far in disciplining one of his children.
Plants was arraigned Monday morning in Kanawha County Magistrate Court. He was released on bond.
The criminal complaint said Plants used a leather belt to strike his son more than 10 times. The complaint said Plants’ son told investigators he discovered his scooter was missing and found his step-brother riding it so he shoved him off. He said when he returned home his father was waiting on him.
The charges follow an investigation by State Police following a complaint filed by Plants’ ex-wife Allison Plants. She alleged his discipline was excessive. Special Prosecutor Sid Bell said after meeting with State Police he decided last Friday to charge Plants.
Following Monday’s arraignment Plants said he was “not guilty of any criminal conduct” and would let the judicial system run its course.
The criminal complaint further said the investigating officer observed photographs that showed a “U’ shaped bruise on the back of the left thigh of Plants’ son. The prosecutor did admit to using a belt to the investigator. He first said he struck his son two times and then said three or four times. He said the incident “lasted no more than 20 seconds.”
Allison Plants gained a domestic violence protection order against her ex-husband soon after she filed the complaint with State Police. Plants was arrested earlier this month for allegedly violating the terms of the order. He said he saw his sons in a dark parking lot and was standing with them until their mother came out of a Charleston pharmacy. The two sides reached a settlement on the case and Plants has agreed to undergo counseling.
Prosecutor Plants previously said he and his ex-wife had agreed on spanking when necessary when they were husband and wife. He said it wasn’t a problem until he remarried. Plants is now married to his former secretary.
Plants was released on $1,000 personal recognizance bond.