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HOUTZDALE – A Houtzdale couple accused of physically and emotionally torturing their six adopted children has agreed to plead guilty.
In May of 2018, Timothy D. Krause, 52, and Barbara J. Krause, 51, were charged by the Clearfield-based state police with six felony counts each of aggravated assault, conspiracy/aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of children and conspiracy/endangering the welfare of children.
The Krause’s were also charged with six misdemeanor counts each of simple assault and recklessly endangering another person; two misdemeanor counts of terroristic threats; and six summaries.
Online court documents indicate both have negotiated plea agreements. Barbara and Timothy Krause will appear for sentencing in Clearfield County Court on April 22 and April 23, respectively before Judge Paul E. Cherry.
The couple’s children reported being abused between 2011 and 2018 at their home. They were beaten with paddles, a walking stick, a board and back scratchers, according to the affidavits of probable cause.
Beatings with the paddle were allegedly so severe that the children’s buttocks would bleed, and it could be seen through their underwear.
Beatings with the walking stick would cause knots or lumps to form on their heads. The children’s hands were also beaten with a board until their knuckles would bleed, state police said.
As forms of punishment, the Krause’s allegedly deprived their children of multiple meals for not doing their chores or misbehaving and forced them to do “halfways” (or sitting against the wall with their knees bent) and “up-downs” for extended periods.
The family’s dogs were allowed to bite the children for which they were never treated and have scars from. The six siblings were also forced to share the same bedroom in a three-bedroom home; two slept on the floor on very thin mats, state police said.
According to the affidavit, Barbara Krause shoved her children’s heads into the wall. One child was beaten by Timothy Krause with a back scratcher to the extent his injuries had to be treated with lotion for weeks.
The Krause’s home-schooled their children for a few years. In a report, a Geisinger Medical Center doctor wrote that the children were “lacking in academics and are one to two years behind.”
The 15-year-old has multiple scars on his chest, abdomen, legs and arms. He said one scar on his chest was from a dog bite, and it wasn’t unusual to be “paddled” 30-40 times on one occurrence. He said his mother also threatened to “slit his throat” with an axe while he was sleeping.
The 14-year-old said anytime his parents would get the stick out, the dogs were trained to “attack” whoever was nearby. He had multiple bite marks and scars on his legs and arms.
He said he was paddled on his right buttocks until an abscess formed, which he had to lance himself. His medical records noted multiple scars on his right buttocks, as well.
The other 14-year-old reported being beaten with a paddle 58 times on one occurrence. He said he was beaten multiple other times and threatened to have his throat slit at night.
He said his parents hit him on his face and nose area, which caused bleeding, and he had a scar on his back from being beaten with a stick.
The 13-year-old said her parents threatened her with a gun and axe, and she was paddled on her bare buttocks until it was black and blue. She also had multiple scars on her arms and legs from dog bites.
The 16-year-old said he was threatened by his mother with the edge of an axe placed on his neck. He said he was also threatened to be shot; on one occurrence, he was paddled 30 times and to the point his buttocks was black and blue and he couldn’t sit down.
The 12-year-old said that his mother threatened to shoot him if he touched the phone after he called police to report abuse.
He said he was once paddled on the buttocks 49 times, and had bleeding from the punishment. He now has numerous scars on his arms, legs and other areas from dog bites.
In his opinion following an assessment of the children, Dr. Pat J. Bruno, M.D., Geisinger Medical Center, wrote: “With a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the children were physically abused and tortured by their parents.”