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IL Man Who Sewed His Son's Buttocks Avoids Jail

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By Edward Tan, JD on May 16, 2012 9:46 AM

An Illinois man who sewed his teenage son's butt won't be going to jail. Randy Swopes, the boy's father, has accepted a plea deal instead.

Swopes, 52, will be put on 24-months probation and have to do 250 hours of public service, NBC Chicago reports. The incident took place in 2008. His son was 14 years old at the time.

So why did the elder Swopes take a needle and thread to the teen?

Apparently because it was easier than bringing him to the hospital. Swopes' son suffers from Crohn's Disease. It's an autoimmune disorder that causes one's own immune system to destroy healthy tissue. Those afflicted can suffer from fever and gastrointestinal tract problems. It can also result in a fistula, which is an abnormal connection between an organ and another structure.

Swopes' son was suffering from a fistula and the father decided to sew it up himself, rather than, you know, let a doctor do it.

The decision ended badly for the son. He had to be hospitalized for almost a month due to infection.

Swopes, on the other hand, was charged with aggravated battery. Typically, a charge for regular battery can be deemed "aggravated" when great bodily harm occurs or some sort of weapon is used.

In Swopes' case, it was likely due to the needle he used to sew up his son. Illinois will also aggravate normal battery offenses based on the perpetrator and victim's status. For instance, attacks against physically handicapped people can be charged as aggravated battery.

The state charges the offense as a felony. Had Randy Swopes not taken the plea deal, he could've been sentenced to prison for two to five years.

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