Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Prosecutors Say Child Abuse Suspect is Not Man Seen Whipping Daughters in Viral Video

Greg Horn's booking photo.

Last week we, and a host of other media outlets, reported that the man seen in a viral video whipping his daughters with an electrical cord  was arrested by Dayton, Oh., police. It seems that we were wrong.

According to authorities, 35-year-old Greg Horn is accused of beating his two daughters, 12 and 14, with a TV cable for sneaking out of the house. The man in the video is seen beating two girls who appear to be of a similar age, also with an electrical cord. The title of the video, which first gained popularity on WorldStarHipHop, claims the father is beating the girls for making a “Twerking” video and posting it online.

Dayton prosecutors say Horn is not the man in the video. Greg Flannagan, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office, told the Dayton Daily News that, After having the prosecutor look at the video, that is not our guy,” adding that the prosecutor “said what’s going on in this video does not fit the facts of the case as it was relayed by the victims.”

Flannegan also mentions that the man in the video appears leaner, and possibly taller, than Horn.

After watching the video, many, Crime Library included, wished for the father’s arrest. When Horn was charged for actions strikingly similar to those seen in the clip, we leapt to make the connection.

Stills from the video.

The connection, according to prosecutors, isn’t there, and what we’re left with now is the reality of just how prevalent the practice of hitting children with electrical cords is. Last month, Texas mom Erica Moore was arrested for that very act. She walked into her 15-year-old son’s room to find him engaged in a sex act with a male relative. Enraged, she began whipping him with an electrical cord. In a radio interview, Moore says she was taught to believe in that type of discipline. Police say the whipping caused bleeding and left marks on the boy’s thighs, forearms, hands, torso and back.

A 1986 study on the practice of using electrical cords for corporal punishment found that 95% of children who suffered this abuse had scars or lacerations on their bodies. The whippings, the study found, were not limited to buttocks; the most commonly scarred areas of the body were the arms, thighs, and back. The most common victims of this abuse were black children over the age of five.

A guide, published in Ohio where Horn’s arrest took place, teaches readers how to tell the difference between marks caused by abuse and those caused by accidental falls. Among the telltale signs of abuse, the guide says to look for loop-shaped marks caused by a folded electric cord.

No matter one’s stance on the use of spanking, a whipping with an electrical cord goes far beyond the scope of appropriate parental discipline. A scenario such as the one seen in the video, where the girls cowered in the corner while the father swung at them full-force and without regard for where on their bodies the cord landed, is not an example of parenting. It’s an example of a parent unleashing his rage and frustration in the form of violence.

ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline


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