LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) — A southern Indiana couple is facing felony charges after an investigation determined they had allegedly been physically abusing their nine children.
On Oct. 31, an Indiana State Police trooper responded to a property in Springville in Lawrence County, south of Bloomington, to investigate a report of physical abuse of juveniles. At the home, it was learned that Scott and Cherry Blattert have 9 children.
Indiana State Police opened an investigation of physical abuse of the juveniles within the Blattert home. Interviews were conducted, then a search warrant was obtained and executed at the residence on Armstrong Station Road on November 1, 2019.
The probable cause affidavit indicates investigators were shown a video tape of Scott Blattert hitting one of the couple’s girls with a belt approximately 25 times is just one of the pieces of evidence obtained by investigators. The girl appears to be facing Blattert as he delivered blows to the left side of her body from the shoulder down. The affidavit does not indicate who recorded the video.
According to the affidavit the video also shows Scott Blattert punch the child in the face and push her to the ground. He then elbow strikes the back of the child’s head. Two toddlers can be seen entering the room and Cherry enters to try and remove them. The incident is believed to have taken place in September 2019.
Following Scott Blattert’s arrest, the eldest child, who is 15, was interviewed at a child advocacy center in Bloomington. She told investigators that her parents discipline the children with industrial grade glue sticks which are used in glue guns. She said the sticks were hidden on top of the fireplace mantle and when the family expected a visit from the Department of Child Services (DCS), the glue sticks were hidden in Scott and Cherry’s bedroom. Scott had determined after experimenting with wooden spoons and dowel rods that glue stick caused the most pain and left the least amount of markings.
The eldest child also said Scott and Cherry told the children that DCS works against religious people. The family recently moved from one home to another because a DCS worker lived nearby, the affidavit said.
The affidavit said the children were home schooled, and Cherry handles discipline of “minor accidents or behavior issues” by striking the children with the glue sticks. Cherry keeps a list of the issues and gives it to Scott when he gets home from work, and Scott then hits the children with the glue sticks or a belt, the affidavit said.
Scott slammed the children against the wall because they were not behaving during “Cherry’s religious speech,” and he choked one of the children until she couldn’t breathe, the affidavit detailed.
Cherry reportedly would photograph the children’s injuries and markings with a camera she kept in the couple’s bedroom, where the children were not allowed to go, according to the affidavit. The only phone in the home was in the bedroom, as well.
The affidavit said the couple warned the children not to speak with DCS about the abuse “because it will ruin the whole family.” During one DCS visit, one of the children told the investigator “a little too much information” and Scott got his belt to “deal with it,” and he struck two of the children repeatedly as he yelled that they were going to “ruin the whole family,” the affidavit said.
One child kept a diary of the abuse and hid it inside her mattress, the affidavit said.
Blattert was arrested on Oct. 31 on charges of Domestic Battery and Neglect of a Dependent. Those charges were later changed to Aggravated Battery and Strangulation.
Cherry Blattert was arrested days later.