CLEARFIELD – A Houtzdale couple accused of abusing their six adopted children pleaded guilty Monday during colloquy court.
Timothy Dean Krause, 52, and Barbara Jean Krause, 51, both pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of children, criminal conspiracy, six counts of simple assault, two counts of terroristic threats and six counts of recklessly endangering another person, all misdemeanors, before Judge Paul E. Cherry, who sentenced them to a total of seven to 40 years in state prison.
The charges stem from incidents occurring over several years when the victims, aged 12 years old to 16 years old, were beaten and food was withheld from them.
Prior to sentencing, the couple who are fostering the children addressed the court.
“There are no words for the physical and emotional abuse against these children,” the foster mother said.
A mother protects her children and does not beat them or not feed them, she said. “They tried to break these kids but they did not succeed.”
If they regret their actions, it is only because they got caught, she stated, adding that if the kids were still in that home, they would still be in that situation.
She finished by saying she loves these children and wants them to be a part of her family so they know what that is really like.
Cherry told the Krause’s that “no child should have to endure what you did to them.” “You violated the trust you had with these children.”
When asked if she had anything to say, Barbara Krause said she loved them and will never stop loving them.
Timothy Krause apologized for what he had done and said he was sorry this happened. He also stated he loved the children.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, the kids were beaten multiple times over several years with paddles sometimes until the extent that their buttocks would bleed. They were also beaten with a board until their knuckles bled.
As they were being beaten, trained dogs would bite them and police said they had scars from the attacks.
Food was reportedly withheld as another punishment and they were sometimes fed only eggs and water. They all slept in one room of the three-bedroom home with two of them sleeping on a thin mat on the floor, police said.
Their mother said she would slit their throats in their sleep and threatened another child with a gun and an ax, they told investigators.
After physical exams by a doctor, it was determined that the children “were physically abused and tortured by their parents.”
This doctor also found that the kids who were being home-schooled were one to two years behind in their school work, according to the report.