A 34-year-old man is accused of brutally abusing his new girlfriend’s 9-year-old daughter to the point of hospitalization and possible brain damage, according to the Chester County District Attorney’s Office in Pennsylvania.
The district attorney’s office said in a press release that Dimitrios Moscharis, of West Chester, is charged with “attempted Homicide, Strangulation, Aggravated Assault, Possessing an Instrument of Crime, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, False Imprisonment, and related charges.”
The charges came after emergency responders went to a home in the early morning hours of November 23 in response to a 911 call of an “unconscious 9-year-old child.”
When Westtown-East Goshen regional police arrived they “found the child unresponsive on the bathroom floor. When EMS removed her clothes to perform life-saving measures, they found extensive bruising all over her body that appeared both old and new,” per the press release.
According to the district attorney’s office, “The child’s body had bruising patterns consistent with objects police found near the bathroom, including a curtain rod, hanger, and other implements.”
Doctors at Nemors/A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington said the little girl was nearly killed. She has life-threatening injuries including to her lungs, and she “likely suffered brain damage because she was deprived of oxygen for a significant time, indicating strangulation or suffocation.”
At the time of this writing, the girl is listed in critical condition according to Michelle Bjork, the communications director at the Chester County District Attorney’s Office, who told Heavy no updates are yet available.
Police Say Moscharis Knew the Child Wasn’t Breathing for 10 to 15 Minutes & Did Not Call for Help
According to the Chester County District Attorney’s Office, the child’s mother, Julianne Lewis, was working at her job as a Lyft driver and the girl was alone with Moscharis at her home. She got a text from him saying to “come home immediately.”
When she got home her daughter was unresponsive, wet and fully clothed in the bathtub, according to the press release. The couple pulled her out and started CPR. Lewis called 911, which Moscharis had failed to do “despite knowing the child had stopped breathing for at least 10-15 minutes,” investigators learned, according to the release.
When police and emergency workers arrived, they found the house “in disarray, indicating a struggle,” per the district attorney’s office.
After further investigation, the district attorney’s office reported that Moscharis told Lewis to lie about who nearly killed her daughter. He said to tell the police it was the girl’s biological father.
Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan said in a press release:
What this child endured is unconscionable. The defendant’s depravity is beyond words and comprehension. It is the kind of criminal action that is devastating to our community and parents alike. A seasoned child abuse detective said that the child’s bruising all over her body was the worst he’s ever seen in his career. My office vows to seek full justice for the victim child with maximum punishment for the defendant.
Lewis Has Only Been Dating Moscharis for 2 Months & She Allowed Him to ‘Discipline’ Her Daughter
According to the district attorney’s office, Lewis has only been dating Moscharis “for about two months.” Moscharis “saw Lewis struggling to control her daughter” and told her the 9-year-old “needed to be disciplined,” the press release said.
According to the district attorney’s office, Lewis told police that she let Moscharis “discipline” her daughter:
… whenever the child acted out or didn’t listen, Lewis allowed the defendant to hit her with a curtain rod or a baton used to open and close window blinds. If the discipline became excessive, Lewis said she told the defendant to stop. Additionally, the defendant would force the child to walk up and down the stairs with her arms outstretched for hours at a time and lock her in the closet for extended periods.
As to whether Lewis will face charges for what happened to her daughter, Bjork at the district attorney’s office told Heavy, “We are still investigating.”
Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department Chief Dr. Brenda Bernot said:
Children are the most vulnerable members of our society, and it is heartbreaking and unimaginable that anyone could abuse a child in such a horrific manner. The Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department is committed to pursuing every possible lead to ensure that those responsible for this horrific crime are brought to justice.