A Pennsylvania father is facing decades in prison after he was charged with multiple accounts of child abuse in a case that Greene County District Attorney David Russo described as one of the worst he has ever seen to KDKA reporter Jennifer Borrasso.
Russo said that John Kraft, 50, allegedly punished his six-year-old daughter by burying her in a hole in his backyard and covering her in mud. He is also accused of brutally assaulting her, leaving her with bruises on her face.
“There are numerous allegations that are very severe and barbaric in nature,” Russo said. “It is alleged that he had brutally beaten a child, that the child was choked to the point of unconsciousness, that the child’s head was slammed off the floor and off the wall, that the child was buried in the backyard as punishment. One allegation even states that the child was thrown in a hole and left in a hole overnight.”
A family friend spoke with WTAE and said that she saw signs of abuse over a year ago and filed several reports to the Greene County Children and Youth Services Department.
“For one thing, the kids were always dirty. There wasn’t much food in the house, especially the little girl. She would always have knots in her hair. There was countless times that I had to cut them out because I couldn’t get them out,” Larissa Fonner told the news station. “At one point, I saw cigarette burns on them, and I had reported that.”
Despite her reports, no action was taken until last month, when a social worker noticed bruises on the young girl’s face.
Officials said that the girl and her siblings are in foster care.