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Molino man accused of beating child with switch for 40 minutes, to tune of 'Blurred Lines'

1:39 PM, Sep 18, 2013   |    comments
Steven Grady Fillingim
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(PENSACOLA NEWS-JOURNAL) -- A Molino man is facing charges of child abuse after allegedly hitting a child with a switch for 40 minutes, at times to the beat of the Robin Thicke song "Blurred Lines."

Steven Grady Fillingim, 40, of the 5300 block of Chestnut Road, was arrested Sunday after Escambia County Sheriff's responded to a child abuse complaint, according to Fillingim's arrest report.

An unidentified child at the scene, who officials say is a relative of Fillingim, told the responding officer that Fillingim had called her lazy and struck her in the face using his hands and a belt because she had not vacuumed bugs off of the carpet, the report said.

Fillingim then made the victim hold a 20-pound weight in front of her and an 8-pound weight behind her. She was then made to shovel dirt for an hour and a half before being allowed to go to bed at 1:30 a.m.

The victim alleged in the report that it had been her punishment for being lazy and for skipping school earlier in the week.

The victim also told officers that on Thursday she skipped school, and Fillingim initially pretended to be unaware of her absence. Later the same evening, he told her he knew she had skipped school and began to strike the back of her thighs swinging a 2.5-foot long switch like a whip.

The beating lasted approximately 40 minutes, and at one point the victim said Fillingim played the song "Blurred Lines" and struck her in time with the beat. According to the arrest report, Fillingim recorded a portion of the event with his cell phone and sent it to his girlfriend.

Fillingim's girlfriend, Lisa Coleman, told officers on Sunday she had witnessed him strike the victim with a belt as well as forcing the child to hold a weight. Coleman said Fillingim had ordered her to mind her own business. She said she no longer wished to be in a relationship with Fillingim.

According to a police report, Fillingim's girlfriend sent the officer a video from her phone, which she had titled "She's Home." Coleman said the video was from Fillingim. In the video, a long, thin switch can be seen repeatedly striking the back of a person's thighs. The officer reported that no faces were visible in the video, but the area shown was consistent with bruising on the victim's legs.

Fillingim was charged with cruelty toward a child and is being held in Escambia County Jail without bond. His is set to appear in court Oct. 4.

By Kevin Robinson, Pensacola News-Journal

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