Kreiers plead not guilty to abuse charges
By AARON MARTIN
JUNEAU - A mother accused of depriving her daughter of food by padlocking cabinets and a refrigerator pleaded not guilty Wednesday to two felony counts of child abuse.
Kathryn G. Kreier, 45, was ordered to stand trial on the charges during a preliminary hearing last week. Her husband Kenneth J. Kreier, 44, was also ordered to stand trial on a charge of failing to prevent child abuse.
Dodge County Judge Steven Bauer found probable cause in the charges filed against the Kreier's following a three-hour hearing in which Dr. Barbra Knox testified that she diagnosed child abuse in the 14-year-old victim when she evaluated her in November. That was more than a year after the victim had been removed from the Kreier horse farm at W7088 Hogsback Road.
Knox also testified that in about a year living with the Kreiers, the victim had "dropped off" growth charts for children her age, and lost about 20 pounds. Knox also said she diagnosed a partially healed finger fracture the child alleges to have been caused by Kathryn Kreier yanking on it.
The Kreiers' attorneys argued that there was no nexus between the child's allegations and physical evidence that proves the Kathryn Kreier subjected her daughter to physical abuse; and that Kenneth Kreier, an over-the-road truck driver who spent many days away from home, saw it and failed to intercede.
However, Dodge County Judge Steven Bauer said that while it wasn't a "clear" case, he found probable cause to believe crimes had been committed and ordered the Kreiers to stand trial.
The Kreiers entered not guilty pleas in the courtroom of Dodge County Judge John Storck Wednesday morning. Storck granted 30 days for attorneys to file motions. Storck also ruled that Kathryn and Kenneth's cases will proceed together, unless one of them requests to sever.
Future court dates have not been scheduled.