UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) – A Pennsylvania state trooper will serve six months’ probation in a first offenders’ program on charges he pepper-sprayed his girlfriend’s 13-year-old son because the boy stayed in bed instead of going to school.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports a Fayette County judge accepted 49-year-old Ernest Boatright, of Pittsburgh, into the program on Monday.

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The program does not require defendants to plead guilty and they can petition the court to expunge their record if they complete the probation without incident.

Boatright told investigators he had pepper sprayed two cats on an enclosed porch.

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But the boy told investigators that Boatright sprayed the chemical into his room in April 2013, and had sprayed him with the substance before.

Boatright’s defense attorney says the trooper maintains his innocence and hopes to get off unpaid suspension and return to work soon.

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