In August, Dwight Howard's ex-girlfriend went to children's services in Orlando to claim that Howard had used a belt to punish their six-year-old son. Yesterday, it emerged reported that Howard had been cleared after an investigation, but documents obtained today by TMZ indicate that the doctor who examined the boy says his injuries were "consistent with a medical diagnosis of physical abuse."
The Florida Dept. of Children and Families found that the abuse allegations against Howard were "not substantiated," a status that doesn't rule out findings of abuse, only that for whatever reason the evidence doesn't warrant proceeding with charges.
Per TMZ, here's what the case file had to say about the doctor who examined the boy:
"Dr. Kesler noted the child to have a linear bruise and patterned abrasions consistent with the history given by the child of being struck with a belt numerous times by his father."
The report goes on to say the injuries were "consistent with the child being struck with the buckle end of the belt ... with excessive force, resulting in soft tissue injuries such as bruising and abrasions."
And the report indicates Dr. Kesler found the injuries lasted longer than 24 hours and were "consistent with a medical diagnosis of physical abuse."
And the doctor recommended that Howard participate in parenting classes and use methods other than corporal punishment to discipline his son.
Yesterday, in its story on the investigation being closed, TMZ reported that Howard confessed to using a belt on the boy, but (and this is TMZ's phrasing), "said he didn't realize there was anything wrong with it because he was disciplined the same way as a kid."
In a statement to the Orlando Sentinel, Howard's attorney accused the boy's mother, former Magic dancer and Basketball Wives star Royce Reed, of using the child abuse complaint as a weapon in the former couple's long-running legal battles. He implicitly accused Reed of leaking news of the abuse allegations to TMZ as a response to Howard's filing for full custody of the boy last Wednesday.