Foster family charged with abusing, starving 3 young kids

HAZLETON, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania foster family beat and starved three young children over a period of six years, police said.

Brenda Parise, 60, and her daughter, Amy Parise, who is turning 33 on Wednesday, were arrested Monday on felony child endangerment charges and other offenses.

The Parises beat the children — who were 3, 6 and 11 months at the time of the abuse — with a belt and paddle and withheld food from them, according to a police affidavit. When the children were fed, they were made to eat cross-legged on the floor with one hand behind their backs, and were given only bologna sandwiches and sometimes chicken, authorities said.

Amy Parise allegedly forced one child to assault a sibling and shot video of the assault in an effort to mislead Luzerne County’s child welfare agency. On another occasion, her mother allegedly dragged a child across the floor. Both women repeatedly gave one of the children a higher-than-prescribed dose of medicine, according to court documents.

Another family member, 30-year-old Shawn Parise — who lived next door and is Brenda’s son and Amy’s brother — was charged with beating the children.

The children were placed in the home by Luzerne County Children and Youth in December 2011. They were removed in December 2017.

It wasn’t clear why or how the children were permitted to languish for so long, or whether an investigation into the handling of their case by child welfare authorities has been launched. The director of Luzerne County Children and Youth didn’t immediately return a phone call on Tuesday.

All three adults were jailed Monday after failing to post bail. Court documents don’t list a defense attorney who could speak on their behalf.

The persistent abuse left marks, bruises and severe scarring on the children’s bodies, police said. All three children were malnourished and suffered from scabies, a condition caused by mites that burrow under the skin and lay eggs. One child was hospitalized in 2014 for failure to thrive and extreme weight loss.

Police said the home was in deplorable condition.

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