A Columbus County mother is accused of having her 12-year-old son attack his brother to "beat the gay out of him."
Mary Gowans faces misdemeanor child abuse charges. The family lives in the town of Whiteville, northwest of Wilmington.
According to police reports, Gowans had her 12-year-old repeatedly strike the 15-year-old.
The mother claims her teen son had been visiting a gay man, and she heard that the man molested her son.
The teen says his mother made him strip down to his underwear and then hit him with a belt across his body. The mother denies those allegations.
"I was not raised that way," Gowans said. "I felt like...you know someone would have done the same thing that I did."
Gowans claims her 15-year-old son was intoxicated when he reported the incident to police.
She also says she called police about the alleged molestation but says nothing was done.
She admits to beating her son but says she was just trying to protect him.
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