Pittsburgh, PA – Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General Douglas Barbour and his wife, Kristen, were arrested to abusing their adopted Ethiopian children. The children were reportedly found near death with skull fractures and bruises throughout their bodies. The couple faces charges of aggravated assault.
The Barbour’s 6-year-old son was found with skin lesions, extremely malnourished, and claimed his father hit him. An adopted 18-month-old girl had multiple skull fractures and may be permanently blind. The Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General and his wife adopted the children in March through a church organization, according to the Daily Mail. The doctor who examined the allegedly abused children recommended that they do not have any contact with their adoptive parents. The physician also noted that the baby girl could be injured again or die, if placed back in the Barbour’s custody.
Allegheny County law enforcement officers launched an investigation into the public official after the children visited the doctor last month. The Ethiopian boy was admitted to the hospital for hypothermia, skin lesions, and rapid breathing, according to KDKA CBS Local. The boy’s doctor reportedly determined that the skin lesions were a result of prolonged exposure to urine.
The baby girl’s eyes were reportedly rolling back in her head and she was having difficulty breathing. Multiple head fractures were in various stages of healing. Kristen Barbour allegedly told the physician that the girl often banged her head accidentally, but the doctor considers the injuries consistent with abuse.
The boy weighed 47 pounds when he arrived in the United States in March, but tipped the scales at only 37.5 pounds when he entered the hospital. He gained almost seven pounds during his six-day hospital stay. When Douglas Barbour was informed that his son’s temperature was just 93.6 degrees, he reportedly asked if that could be caused by being naked, wet, and cold in the bathroom for an hour. The child told investigators that he ate his meals in the bathroom and had been forced to stand in the dark if he had an accident in his pants.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly suspended Douglas Barbour without pay. Kelly also stated that her office is fully cooperating with the investigation and that her thoughts are with the children. The Barbours are currently out on bond pending an October 9 preliminary hearing.