The wife of a Ringgold pediatric physician is facing a child cruelty charge for allegedly abusing her own adopted 11-year-old son.
Christine Evelyn Baughman was charged with cruelty to children in the first degree after sheriff's officials said she physically and emotionally abused her child.
The report says she used an "adult belt" on the child between Nov. 19 and 20 at the family home at 635 Middleview Dr., Ringgold.
Case workers were called to check on the child on Nov. 22, and the GBI was brought into the case.
Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk said, "It's a serious charge. We take it very seriously. A lot of families may have issues with punishment and the whipping of the children. We know the difference between maybe a red mark that may occur from a spanking as opposed to bruising and things and in different areas than just the bottom."
Ms. Baughman is also employed at her husband's Promise Pediatrics in Ringgold.
Attorneys Adam Cathey and John Robert Wiggins issued this statement in behalf of the Baughmans:.
This release is being written in response to recent media reports regarding our clients, Dr. Henry Baughman and his wife, Ms. Christine Baughman:
On Nov. 25, 2014, Dr. and Ms. Baughman were contacted by Catoosa County child protection and law enforcement authorities. At that time, Dr. and Ms. Baughman were informed of allegations having been made by an unknown third party regarding their son. Notwithstanding their full compliance with the investigation, Ms. Baughman was hastily arrested at 10:00 p.m. that evening. While the charges made against Ms. Baughman appear very serious, she wants to assure the community that she is innocent of these allegations that have been made against her.
The Baughman family remains supportive of their wife and mother during this very stressful time. They trust that as more light is cast upon this situation, her innocence will become apparent. With that in mind, however, the Baughmans understand that there is a process that must be followed in order to ensure the safety of all involved. They remain committed to working with local authorities to resolve this situation.
As these matters will pose challenges for the Baughman family for the indefinite future, they desire the continued trust of the local community which they have enjoyed for nearly 15 years.
Dr. and Ms. Baughman will not respond personally to any media inquiries at this time. All questions may be directed to their respective counsel: Adam C. Cathey on behalf of Christine Baughman and John Robert Wiggins on behalf of Dr. Henry Baughman.