Anger Classes For Woman Who Whipped Stepson

Victim, 26, missed curfew, endured belt "licks"

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Whipping Case

OCTOBER 21--The Florida Woman arrested for whipping her 26-year-old stepson with a belt after he violated curfew has been ordered to complete an anger management program as part of a deferred prosecution agreement, court records show.

Valerie Branch-Galloway was collared in late-May on a misdemeanor domestic battery charge after she struck the victim 30 times with a leather belt. Branch-Galloway whipped her stepson--who, again, is 26--because he was about 30 minutes late for his midnight curfew.

The punishment was meted out in the Largo home that Branch-Galloway shares with her husband (who is the victim’s father).

As detailed in an arrest affidavit, Branch-Galloway offered the victim his choice of punishment: Either she would tell her husband about the tardiness or he could endure some “licks.” Upon opting for the belt, the man was struck 30 times in the “buttock area.”

The victim told cops that he asked Branch-Galloway to stop hitting him after 11 “licks,” but that she replied, “No, you have 19 more.” When questioned by police, Branch-Galloway admitted striking her stepson “in the buttock area for being late,” but denied that he “ever said to stop.”

A patrolman who interviewed the victim reported that he had “bruising on his lower right back and hip area.” The cop added, “It should be noted the vic is 26yo.”

During a recent court hearing, Branch-Galloway entered into a “domestic violence deferred prosecution program agreement” with prosecutors. As part of the deal, Branch-Galloway acknowledged that “she is in need of counseling.”

A judge ordered Branch-Galloway to complete 12 weeks of anger management counseling and pay $100 in court costs. She was also ordered to have “no further contact with the State witnesses involved in this charge,” and has been barred from possessing “any firearm or ammunition.”

Upon Branch-Galloway’s completion of the deferred prosecution program, it will be the state attorney’s sole responsibility to determine if she has fully complied with the terms of the agreement, and whether the criminal case against her will be sealed. (1 page)