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Franklin Park Couple to Stand Trial on Child-Abuse Charges

Douglas Barbour, 33, with his wife, Kristen Barbour, 30, appear at a preliminary hearing in Leetsdale District Court.

A Franklin Park couple waived charges today against them of abusing and starving two children they adopted from Ethiopia nearly a year ago. 

Prosecutors dropped two aggravated assault charges against Douglas Barbour, 33, who appeared in Leetsdale District Court alongside  for a preliminary hearing.

Douglas Barbour, a Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General, has been suspended from his state job without pay since he and his wife were arrested Oct. 4. He'll stand trial on two counts each of simple assault, endangering the welfare of children and reckless endangerment. 

Kristen Barbour will stand trial on one count of simple assault, and two counts each of reckless endangerment and aggravated assault. 

According to the criminal complaint, the Barbours are accused of starving their adopted 6-year-old son and leaving him with lesions from being kept in urine-soaked clothing for long periods of time. 

Their 18-month-old adopted daughter will likely remain permanently blind in one eye and paralyzed after suffering abusive head trauma, according to the criminal complaint. 

A doctor determined she had suffered multiple hemorrhages, fractures and injuries to both eyes and had been a victim of physical abuse, including abusive head trauma, the complaint states.

Neither husband nor wife spoke in courtroom and the Barbour’s did not offer comment as they left court. 

Our Newsletter subscribers heard this breaking news first.

A Nov. 19 preliminary hearing for the couple was postponed until this month.

The Barbour's defense attorney, Charles Porter previously told Patch they dispute the allegations. 

Dr. Rachel Berger at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC recommended that the boy be permitted no contact with the Barbours. She also determined that their 18-month-old adopted girl not be returned to the Barbours' home, police said in the complaint. 

Porter said the couple has had supervised visits with their biological children, ages 2 and 4, since their arrests, but do not have custody.

Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning ruled in October that the Barbours would be permitted supervised visitation with their biological children, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported.

Porter said the couple has not seen their two adopted children.

“We’re still trying,” Porter said.

A formal arraignment is scheduled for March 7.

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Julia Farkas January 18, 2013 at 02:29 AM
How do people become monsters?

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