WESTTOWN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — The Chester County District Attorney’s Office says a 34-year-old man is facing attempted homicide charges after beating his girlfriend’s 9-year-old daughter unconscious in Westtown Township. Dimitrios Moscharis is being held without bail at Chester County prison after he was charged with attempted homicide and other related charges.
“Doctors at duPont have recently described that the actions taken in this case amount to child torture,” Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan said.
Police say the child’s mother, Julianne Lewis, called 911 after returning home from driving for Lyft after receiving a text message from Moscharis telling her to come home immediately.
When she arrived home, she found her 9-year-old daughter unresponsive, wet, and fully clothed in the bathtub. With the help of Moscharis, they pulled the child from the bathtub to perform CPR after Lewis called 911.
First responders arrived to find the child still unresponsive and when EMS removed her clothes to perform life-saving measures, they found extensive bruising all over her body that appeared to be old and new.
She was transported to Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware. The young girl is in critical condition and has been placed on a ventilator.
“Extensive bruising throughout her body from head to toe, and likely brain damage due to oxygen deprivation for an extended period of time,” Ryan said.
The bruising on the child’s body was consistent with objects police found near the bathroom, including a curtain rod, hanger and other implements.
Lewis later told police she had been dating Moscharis for two months and when he saw her struggling to control her daughter, she says he told her the child needed to be “disciplined.”
After that incident, whenever the child “acted out” or “didn’t listen,” Lewis let Moscharis hit her with a curtain rod or baton normally used to open and close window blinds, according to the DA’s office. She says if the discipline became too harsh she would tell Moscharis to stop.
Police say Moscharis also 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.”
Authorities say Moscharis, who had only been dating Lewis for two months, urged her to lie to the police, saying the child’s biological father was responsible. A seasoned child abuse detective says this is the worst case of bruising he’s ever seen in his career.
“The brutality that the defendant inflicted on this child is unconscionable,” Ryan said.
The district attorney is seeking the maximum punishment in this case. There is a preliminary hearing next Monday, Nov. 30.
It isn’t clear if the child’s mother will also face charges.
Anyone with information on this case is urged to call Chester County Detectives.
CBS3’s Alecia Reid contributed to this report.
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