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State prosecutor and wife 'abused adopted Ethiopian children found near death with skull fractures and bruises'


A deputy Pennsylvania attorney and his wife have been arrested after their two adopted Ethiopian children were found starved and beaten to near death according to police.

Deputy Attorney General Douglas Barbour and his wife, Kristen were arraigned today after their 6-year-old boy was found malnourished with skin lesions and the 18-month-old girl having multiple skull fractures and being possibly permanently blind.

A doctor has recommended that the children have no contact with their parents, particularly the girl who was said could be injured again or die if she remains with the Barbours, according to court documents.

Allegheny County police said they began an investigation after the children saw a doctor on Sept. 14 and the boy was admitted to the hospital.

The girl was found with five bone fractures from separate incidents and is feared going permanently blind from her injuries, KDKA reports.

Douglas Barbour, 33, and Kristen Barbour, 30, face charges of aggravated assault stemming from their daughter's treatment and endangering the welfare of children related to both the girl and boy.

Douglas Barbour also faces a simple assault charge related to his son's condition.

Chris Capozzi, a lawyer representing the Barbours, declined comment when the arrests were announced on Thursday. He did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press on Friday after details emerged from court documents following the couple's arraignment.

Both children, whose names were not released, went to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh on Sept. 14 after the boy was taken to an urgent care center for hypothermia, rapid breathing and skin lesions, which a doctor later determined were caused by lengthy exposure to urine, court documents say. The boy was admitted to the hospital.

The girl was having difficulty breathing and her eyes were rolling back in her head; Dr. Rachel Berger found the toddler had multiple head fractures in various stages of healing, the documents say.

Kristen Barbour allegedly told doctors the toddler often banged her head accidentally, but Berger said the child's injuries were consistent with abuse.

She is the one who recommended to police that the children have no contact with their parents who according to KDKA adopted them in March through a church organization.

The boy weighed 47 pounds when he came to the U.S. from Ethiopia in March but 37.5 pounds when he was admitted to the hospital, police said. He gained nearly seven pounds during a six-day hospital stay, Berger told police.

When Douglas Barbour was told his son's body temperature was 93.6 degrees, he reportedly asked: 'Would that be from being in the bathroom, cold, wet and naked for an hour?'

Officials who questioned the boy were told he was forced to eat his meals in the bathroom or sometimes stand there in the dark if he soiled his pants.

Attorney General Linda Kelly said Douglas Barbour has been suspended without pay.

'Our thoughts are with the children, and the Office of Attorney General will cooperate fully with this investigation,' Kelly said.

The Franklin Park couple are scheduled for an Oct. 9 preliminary hearing.

The couple are currently out on bond.

2012 Oct 5