Charges were filed by state police Thursday against a Houtzdale couple who are accused of abusing their six children. Both Timothy Dean Krause, 52 and his wife, Barbara Jean Krause, 50, are facing multiple felony counts of aggravated assault, conspiracy and endangering the welfare of a child and additional misdemeanor charges. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 11.
The alleged abuse began as early as 2011 and continued until the investigation started earlier this year. The children are currently between 12 and 16 years old. A doctor who examined them at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville concluded that they were “physically abused and tortured by their parents."
The kids, who were being home schooled, were up to two years behind in their school studies, according to the affidavit of probable cause. The children told police they were beaten with paddles, a stick, a board and back scratchers, often until they bled.
They reportedly had scars from dog bites that were never treated. One of the kids stated that the family dogs were trained to attack anyone who was near when their parents got the stick out.
Punishments in this household were allegedly excessive in other ways. The victims were often made to stand against the wall in an awkward position with their knees bent which they called “halfways” for long periods of time. Knee bends or “up and downs” were another physical punishment they suffered for up to an hour, according to the criminal complaint.
Sometimes they were reportedly not fed or were fed only eggs and water as another punishment. Barbara Krause allegedly shoved their heads into a wall and threatened to shoot them or slit their throats as they slept. On one occasion she held an ax to the throat of one of the victims, police said. They were also allegedly subjected to racial slurs.
Although they lived in a three-bedroom home, the six children all slept in one room. Two of them only had a thin mat on the floor, according to the report.