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January 9, 2013

Father charged with beating 11-year-old is released

BEVERLY — A Beverly man charged with beating, kicking and threatening to kill his 11-year-old daughter nearly two weeks ago is free on bail, after a judge denied a request by prosecutors to hold the man without bail as a danger to the child and others.

Robert DiPalma, 32, of 23 Fayette St., Beverly, is facing charges of assault and battery and threats to kill following the Dec. 28 incident in his home, which was reported by neighbors who could hear what sounded like a body hitting the floor.

The alleged source of DiPalma’s rage? His daughter had used a bathroom in the home that he had deemed off-limits to the child, his wife told police.

The child’s maternal grandmother yesterday expressed outrage over the decision to release DiPalma on bail.

“This world is crazy,” said Nancy Hill of East Boston, who now fears that her grandchild will end up dead.

“It only takes one time,” Hill said. “You don’t hurt a child.”

DiPalma’s wife, who is the child’s stepmother, told police that she saw DiPalma shove the girl into a closet door and spank her because he was angry that she’d lied about using the bathroom and about Christmas money she had lost. She also told police that DiPalma had folded the toilet paper a particular way when he left that morning, and that he became angry when he returned and saw that it was no longer folded.

The child, who weighs 60 pounds and is around 4 feet tall, began crying when police asked her about the bathroom.

She said her father struck her repeatedly in the face; kicked her right side, hip and leg; and grabbed her by the shoulder and neck and pushed her into a closet door, telling her he was “going to break her neck and kill her,” according to the police report.

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