MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – An Eden Prairie man accused of beating his daughter with a belt and a tree branch earlier this month allegedly told police he had “every right to whoop her.”

Thirty-four-year-old Craig Douglas Underwood II is charged with one felony count of malicious punishment of a child, court documents filed in Hennepin County court show.

According to a criminal complaint, Underwood’s daughter contacted Hennepin County Child Protection on Nov. 15 using her school-issued iPad, telling authorities that her father had struck her several times with a switch and a belt on her back, legs and buttocks.

The girl said the abuse happened in their home on the 8700 block of Leeward Circle and that she was in pain. She told officials the reason for the beating was due to an issue at school.

When police responded to the home for welfare check, they spoke with Underwood, who admitted that he did “whoop” his daughter, the complaint states. Officials added that the father said he believed he had “every right” to hit his daughter, who had visible injuries on her leg.

Police found a belt and tree branch match matching the daughter’s description in the home. The girl was brought to a hospital, where she was treated for soft issue injuries. Underwood was arrested.

According to The Star Tribune, Underwood has lost his parental custody of the girl, who is now in foster care. Still, Underwood and his wife are in custody of their four other children, who told investigators Underwood hit them with a belt or his bare hand.

Underwood was released from Hennepin County Jail last week in lieu of $18,000 bail, the newspaper reports.

If convicted of the malicious punishment charge, Underwood faces a maximum penalty of a year in prison and/or a $3,000 fine.

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