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Mom on Trial in Abuse Case

A Will County judge will decide whether a Mokena mom crossed the line when she beat her son with a belt last spring after he got in trouble at school.

Physical punishment by parents isn’t illegal, prosecutors said, but the beating Korie M. Kellogg, 30, gave the 10-year-old son she had with former Chicago Bull Eddy Curry was abusive.

Kellogg’s attorney, Jeff Tomczak, argued it was simply a parent disciplining her child.

A bench trial on Kellogg’s aggravated battery charge began Thursday.

Kellogg was arrested after she brought the boy to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox on April 4, the day after the beating, to treat swelling of bruises on his back, leg and face.

A hospital staff member called Mokena police after they saw the boy’s injuries.

After the state rested its case Thursday afternoon, Judge Daniel Rozak said he would consider Tomczak’s motion for a verdict of not guilty and issue his decision on Jan. 18.

Tomczak said Kellogg’s physical punishment wasn’t given in anger or to be malicious.

“She tells him why, she inflicts her punishment, and she tells him she loves him,” Tomczak said, pointing out the boy testified his mother had never hit him in anger.

“The state is not arguing that it’s unreasonable for parents to put their hands on their children ever,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Adam Capelli. “The state believes (punishment) is up to each individual parent. This does rise to the level of unreasonable.”

Under questioning by Tomczak, the boy said he was not afraid of his mom, and that he knows she loves him.

“You knew why your mom gave you that whuppin’, didn’t you?” Tomczak asked the boy.

“Yes,” he said.

“And you knew your mom did that because she cared about you?” Tomczak asked.

“Yes,” he said.

Mokena police Detective Jeff Kowalczyk testified that Kellogg told him she had her son remove his clothing before she hit him with the belt 10 to 15 times as a punishment for behavior problems at school.

She was whipping his back and buttocks, but the boy was hit in the face as well because he was “flailing around.”

She told the detective that, after she hit him, she laid down with him and told him she loved him, Kowalczyk said.