Jury finds State Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula not guilty of child abuse

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A jury has found Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula not guilty of misdemeanor child abuse

The verdict was read at 3:30 pm on Thursday morning after several days of testimony.

Arambula took the stand Tuesday claiming he only used physical discipline on his daughter one time - the night before police arrested him for misdemeanor child abuse.

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"I caught her," he said. "And I held her like you would a child. I held her in my arms as you would a young child."

Dr. Arambula admitted to going farther than ever before with his discipline on the night in question, but denied causing the injury that led to his arrest the next day.

Arambula's seven-year-old daughter took the stand on May 10 where she spent hours testifying while holding on to a stuffed animal.

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The second-grader described the action she said her father took when he heard her younger sister crying. The girls shared a bedroom at the time of the December incident when she said her father pinned her down and slapped her.

Prosecutors alleged her paternal grandmother coached the child about what to focus on during police questioning.
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