A US mother is being accused of having her son attack his brother in order to ‘beat the gay away’.
Mary Gowans, from Whiteville, North Carolina is facing a misdemeanour child abuse charge.
Police were called to an incident on Saturday evening (24 August), with officers saying when they arrived there were several people yelling and screaming.
According to the police report, the mother allegedly told her 15-year-old son he had to not move, not fight back and lay still while his 12-year-old brother hit him repeatedly.
She then allegedly made the teen strip down to his underwear and hit him with a belt across his body.
Gowans denies the allegations, but police say there was a large abrasion on the 15-year-old’s back.
The mother says her son was drunk, and while she does not agree with ‘the gay lifestyle’, she would never harm her children.
She said he had heard her son was visiting a gay man, who she was afraid would be a ‘molester’.
Gowans admitted to beating her son in an effort to stop him visiting the man, claiming she was trying to ‘protect him’.