By Bob Allen

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A police recruit accused of abusing his child has been cleared of those charges.

Recruit James Foster was facing one count each of simple assault and endangering the welfare of children.

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The charges came after investigators say Foster’s 6-year-old son was treated by doctors at Children’s Hospital for bruises on his thigh. Police say “an assessment of the injuries determined that the child was the victim of physical child abuse.”

James Foster told the court it was the first time he ever physically disciplined his son, and said he is a loving father. He says slapping his son’s thigh and bottom was the final straw in efforts to discipline his child.

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“He had a system, first he took away things. His son was misbehaving at school, then he put him in time out. His son continued to misbehave, this man loves his son. He admitted, ‘I spanked my son, I want him to grow up to be a productive member of society’,” said defense attorney Blaine Jones.

Foster is undergoing therapy with his son. He says he did not know about the bruises until they were reported by the child’s mother.

“We can’t have it both ways. We can’t say kids are out of control, there’s no discipline. Then you have a man like Mr. Foster, Officer Foster, who puts a system in place to try and help his son, and he disciplines him, and then we come after him,” said Jones.

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Foster was suspended without pay when the charges came in, it is not clear if he will be reinstated now that the charges have been dropped.