Jury trial upcoming for Springville man accused of abusing his children

BEDFORD – The jury trial for Scott A. Blattert, of Springville, is set to begin on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Scott A. Blattert

Following a 2019 investigation by the Indiana State Police and the Indiana Department of Child Services, Blattert was accused of abusing his children by punching, elbowing and strangling them as a form of punishment.

One child told police that Blattert would often strike them with industrial glue sticks to punish them because the glue sticks would cause them a great deal of pain, without leaving marks or bruises behind, according to the case’s probable cause affidavit.

He faces charges of strangulation, a Level 3 felony; aggravated battery, a Level 3 felony, three counts of domestic battery resulting in moderate bodily injury, a Level 6 felony and five counts domestic battery causing injury to a person under 14, a Level 5 felony.

Blattert previously attempted to use Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act as a defense in this case, arguing that physical punishment of children was outlined in the bible in references to the Rod of Correction.  

“It is described as the Rod of Correction and a rod is an abstract form. It can be exactly a rod, or it is the authority of the father to oversee the family and to administer discipline as he sees fit,” Blattert said during his testimony, according to a brief filed in appellate court by Blattert and his attorney David Smith.

This defense was struck down by Lawrence County Superior Court I Judge John Plummer III, a decision which Blattert appealed in the Indiana Court of Appeals, but was ultimately upheld, affirming Plummer’s decision that RFRA was not applicable to this case.

Blattert and his wife, Cherry, also filed a lawsuit against Indiana DCS, claiming the department’s decision to remove their 10 children from their home was a violation of their religious freedoms.

The Blattert’s case against DCS was dismissed on June 9, 2022 by Monroe Circuit Court IV Judge Catherine Stafford.