UGA professor suspended after he allegedly beat his special needs son

A University of Georgia history professor has been suspended pending an official investigation into family violence allegations. 

Robert Antonio Pratt was arrested on UGA’s campus Thursday after school officials said he assaulted his son, who has autism, in a room at Oconee County High School on Dec. 6, according to an Oconee sheriff’s office incident report.

The 59-year-old allegedly yelled at his son, who was described as balled up on the floor, and asked, “What is wrong with you?” deputies wrote in the report.

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Pratt then allegedly slapped his son’s arms and torso, the report states. When the 20-year-old son started to fight back, Pratt allegedly kicked him until the student turned over to avoid his father’s closed-fist punches.

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A staff member recorded the incident and turned that video over to investigators.

After several minutes, Pratt’s son got up and was escorted to a car to be taken home, the report states. 

Pratt was charged with exploiting and inflicting pain on a disabled person and simple battery under the Family Violence Act, according to the sheriff’s report.

“In light of this arrest, the professor has been suspended by the university effective immediately pending further investigation,” UGA spokesman Greg Trevor said Monday in an emailed statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Pratt was released from the Oconee County Jail on a $20,000 bond.

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