A Franklin Park couple accused of physically abusing and starving two children they adopted from Ethiopia in March will be permitted supervised visitation with their two biological children, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports.
Douglas Barbour, 33, and his wife, Kristen Barbour, 30, of Cole Road, Wexford, are charged with two counts each of endangering the welfare of children and one count each of aggravated assault. Douglas Barbour, a Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General, is also charged with simple assault, court documents show.
Barbour has been suspended from his state job without pay, Attorney General Linda Kelly said in a statement after the couple's arrest Oct. 4.
The Barbours were in court to ask for visitation and also to have their $25,000 bond reduced, the Post Gazette reported.
Judge Jeffrey A. Manning denied the bond reduction request, and said the parents would be permitted visitation only with the biological children, aged 2 and 4, but it must be approved by the judge who is presiding over the matter in family court, the PG reported.
There have been no allegations of abuse against those two children.
The couple adopted the children from Ethiopia in March, according to a criminal complaint filed by county police. An investigation began Sept. 29 after the children—a 1-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy—were treated at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, authorities said.
The boy was admitted to the Oakland hospital Sept. 14 after Douglas Barbour initially took him to a Children's Hospital Express Care clinic in Wexford for treatment of a urinary tract infection, according to the complaint.
At the clinic, the boy's body temperature was recorded as 93.6 degrees, prompting concerns about hypothermia, police said. According to the complaint. Douglas Barbour asked clinic workers, "Would that be from being in the bathroom, cold, wet and naked for an hour?"
A doctor at Express Care advised Barbour to take the boy immediately to Children's Hospital, where he was admitted. At that time, his weight was recorded as about 37 pounds, according to the complaint. The boy's weight had been recorded as 46 pounds, 8 ounces when he entered the United States in March.
Within five days of his admission to Children's on Sept. 14, the boy gained 7 pounds without specific treatment other than being permitted to eat, police said. Investigators also noted that the boy suffered from skin lesions that doctors determined were caused by ongoing contact with urine.
At the same time the boy was being treated at Children's on Sept. 14, Kristen Barbour called 911 from the couple's home and asked for an ambulance, saying the girl's eyes had rolled back in her head and that she was shaking and having difficulty breathing, police said in the complaint. An ambulance took the girl to Children's, where Kristin Barbour told workers that the girl had a history of banging her head, according to the complaint.
The girl had not been ill recently, and police said they found no record of medical problems or emergency-room treatment involving her. Dr. Rachel Berger determined at Children's that the girl had suffered multiple hemorrhages, fractures and injuries to both eyes and had been a victim of physical abuse, including abusive head trauma, according to the complaint.
The doctor recommended that the girl not be returned to the Barbours' home, and that the boy be permitted no contact with the Barbours, police said in the complaint.
"I have been part of the (hospital) child protection team for almost 14 years and cannot remember the last time I recommended no contact," the doctor wrote in a report cited by police.
The Barbour's attorney, Christopher Capozzi, told the Post Gazette his clients "vehemently deny these charges."
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