Deputy AG, Wife Charged in PA Child Abuse Case

Cases like this are always hard to stomach, but the hypocrisy here just takes it to a whole new level. Keep in mind that these charges are being brought against one of the state's highest public officials, and his wife. The office of the attorney-general is not only the senior legal adviser to the government, but also responsible for leading criminal prosecutions. In essence, you might say that the one of the state's "top cops" is being charged with these terrible crimes.

There will be those who give the old "bad apple" excuse, and say that such a case is not indicative of a real problem. Well my friends, I would have to disagree and say that a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link. Sure people are people, cops and prosecutors are only people too. And that is exactly why we, as a society, should not allow these officials to wield inordinate power over the citizenry.

I wonder how many cases this man prosecuted in the same mindset that he showed to his own children, or worse. One of "tough love" or a sense of "justice" so rigid and unforgiving that it is a crime in it's own right. This is the sort of man who was put in charge of charging other people with crimes, on behalf of the people of Pennsylvania...

Pa. deputy attorney general, wife charged with abuse of children

A state deputy attorney general and his wife have been charged with child endangerment and assault against two children they adopted from Ethiopia earlier this year.

Douglas B. Barbour, 33, and Kristen B. Barbour, 30, of Franklin Park, were charged Thursday with two counts of child endangerment against their 6-year-old son and 18-month-old daughter. Each also received an aggravated assault charge against the daughter. Mr. Barbour was charged with simple assault against his son.

"The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is in the process of reviewing the criminal complaint and will closely monitor the charges as they progress through the criminal justice system," said a statement from state Attorney General Linda Kelly released Thursday night.

"Mr. Barbour faces a felony offense. Under OAG policy, he will be suspended without pay pending the resolution of the charges. At this time, our thoughts are with the children and the Office of Attorney General will cooperate fully with this investigation," the statement reads.

Allegheny County police are leading the investigation.

The Barbours' daughter is the victim of physical child abuse, including abusive head trauma, according to Rachel Berger of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, whose examinations of the children was referenced in the criminal complaint.

Ms. Barbour told hospital personnel last month that their daughter has a history of banging her head, but the extent of her injuries and the fact that she had no underlying medical problem does not support that, Dr. Berger said in the complaint.

The Barbours' 6-year-old son is "the victim of significant neglect and possible emotional abuse over a prolonged period of time," Dr. Berger said in the complaint.

Doctors who evaluated the boy determined his skin lesions were likely the result of ongoing contact with urine. He was experiencing weight loss at home but ate voraciously and gained weight -- without medical treatment -- when fed at the hospital, according to hospital personnel cited in the complaint.

The boy told a doctor that when he soiled his pants, his parents would make him stand or eat dinner in the bathroom, according to the criminal complaint. Authorities noted his room contained no furnishings, decorations or window treatments: only a mattress on the floor with sheets.

Dr. Berger recommended the children be removed from the home and cease contact with their parents. She told authorities the Barbours' daughter is likely to be reinjured or killed if she returns.

"I have been part of the Children Protection Team for almost 14 years and cannot remember the last time I recommended no contact," she said in the complaint.

A little more research into this case shows that the girl may have suffered a stroke as a result of her injuries, and may now be permanently blind.

It appears that Barbour is mainly listed as representing the state in cases against prisoners. 

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?”

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