09-16-2012, 06:06 PM #1
MO-Guardians charged with malnourishing and abusing girls
These were the girls aunt and uncle... How could they do this
Jeffrey "Adam" Kraft, 34, and Michele L. Kraft, 28, each face a count of first-degree assault and first-degree endangering the welfare of a child.
During an interview at the Child Protection Center, the older girl told officials the Krafts had pushed her into things, hit her on the back of the head and spanked her. She ate in her locked room and could only ask for something to drink once she heard the Krafts in the kitchen. The 8-year-old told officials she had not been to school since kindergarten, but was told to read daily.
The 8-year-old weighed 42 pounds, was 47" tall and medical records showed she had lost 6 pounds since the age of 5, while in the Krafts' care. She had not seen a medical provider in four years.
12-03-2015, 03:06 PM #2
A Kansas City couple accused of locking a malnourished 8-year-old girl in a bedroom has been acquitted of assault and child endangerment.
A Jackson County judge determined that prosecutors didn't prove that Jeffrey "Adam" Kraft and Michele Kraft had intended to injure the girl, known in court records as GW..
The defense said the girl was skinny, not malnourished.
"Sometimes there are skinny kids out there and I don't believe that it is criminal to have a skinny child in your home," Hastings said.
She said GW also had ongoing behavioral issues.
"Threatening to harm her infant baby sister, threatening to harm her aunt and uncle while they slept, turning on the stove at 4 o'clock in the morning while the entire family was sleeping," she said.
She said the Krafts resorted to a number of measures to try to keep GW and her family safe, including locking the girl in her room for short periods of time at night...
She said children in these cases are often called to testify, but the court never heard from GW. Hastings said she believes that shows a weakness in the prosecution's case.
12-03-2015, 03:11 PM #3The couple agreed to a bench trial, which meant Judge Schieber would hear the evidence and decide the case, rather than a jury.
On Tuesday, in his ruling, Judge Schieber said the couple made bad parenting decisions and won't win 'Parents of the Year', but he said he did not consider what they did 'criminal'.
Judge Schieber said the girl is a 'slight, skinny kid, but not malnourished.'
12-03-2015, 03:14 PM #4Jackson County judge attributed a lack of evidence and unconvincing testimonies on Tuesday to prove the actions of Jeffrey A. Kraft and Michele L. Kraft were criminal in nature...
These people did the best they could on a food stamp budget. This was not a malnourished child, this was a skinny kid," said lawyer Cathy Noble, who represented Jeffrey Kraft...
With one battle behind them, the Krafts will now fight for custody of their own 3-year-old daughter taken by the state when charges surfaced.
12-03-2015, 03:19 PM #5
Though the girl at the center of the case suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, Schieber said an expert witness could not say whether it was caused by the Krafts or from earlier moving “from household to household with a mother with mental health issues.”
The 8-year-old girl who allegedly was abused did not testify during the bench trial. Her younger sister did. Schieber said that sister’s testimony appeared to be “prompted, mechanical and robotic.” More credible, he said, was the younger sibling’s 2012 recorded interview with child protection authorities, in which she painted a more complete — and balanced — picture of the household.
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