John Kraft of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania has been arrested for allegedly abusing his 6-year-old daughter — sometimes burying her “in a hole as punishment,” police say.
An investigation into Kraft was opened in September, after social workers reportedly witnessed bruising on the child’s face and body. When police spoke with one of the girl’s siblings, they told authorities Kraft put the child in a hole overnight and came back “smelling like sewage,” per WTAE.
According to the criminal complaint, the girl herself also told authorities that her dad would “bury her in the yard when he believes that she is lying” — using a shovel to dig the hole, before covering her with dirt and mud. She said her dad would beat her with a belt and his own arm, which has a metal rod in it.
He’s also accused of choking the child until she blacked out, reports WPXI.
Kraft is currently in jail and was charged with aggravated assault, false imprisonment, simple assault, strangulation, reckless endangerment, and more. He’s being held on $125,000 bail.
“The allegations are that this child was beaten brutally, that the child had bruises all over her body, that she was choked to the point that she had passed out,” Greene County District Attorney David Russo said in a statement. “She was buried in a hole as punishment. She was thrown in a hole overnight. Her head was slammed off the wall and slammed off the floor. This is a barbaric situation.”
“My office has always taken a strong stance against child abuse,” he added. “We will not tolerate it in our county, and this individual will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Both children are now in foster care, while Kraft is due in court November 1.