Stepmother accused of burning, cutting
QUARRYVILLE, PA – A Lancaster County woman is accused of physically abusing her 4-year-old stepson, causing lacerations, multiple burns and bruising over his entire body, while the boy’s father let it happen.
Danielle Duke, AKA Danielle Miller, and the boy’s father, Nathan Duke, were the sole caregivers at a home at 783 Lancaster Pike in Quarryville, according to investigators. Both face multiple charges.
State police started investigating after a concerned person alerted them. According to court documents filed today, that person told police “on numerous occasions, spanning approximately three months, she observed Danielle Duke on a daily basis cause (the child) to suffer her verbal, physical, and psychological abuse and Nathan Duke’s failure to stop said abuse.”
**** WARNING!!!! Graphic Content!!!
According to the document, the following abuse was witnessed (please note some of the following content is graphic):
- Child’s legs were wrapped in a sheet, then duct tape was applied to the child’s legs, confining him for hours.
- Child was force-fed “poop beans,” which contained adult laxatives.
- Hot sauce was poured into the child’s mouth.
- Child was forced to sit on the toilet and defecate on command or stay on the toilet for two to three hours until he was able to defecate.
- If the child soiled his pull-ups, he was forced to wear them for hours.
- The child was locked in a third-floor closet that was lined with gym mats and barricaded outside with a mattress and dresser. The child was locked inside for hours and sometimes scratched the walls saying that the rats would come and get him.
- The child was sometimes taken to the fishing creek but made to stay in the car with a bandana tied around his eyes while other children played.
- The child was yelled at and, among other things, told he had a “stupid … ugly face” and that he was a pig.
Nathan Duke told a state police trooper that he did not seek any medical care for his son because he knew the injuries looked like they were the result of child abuse.
Nathan Duke faces charges of criminal conspiracy and endangering the welfare of children.
Danielle Duke faces charges of false imprisonment, unlawful restraint, endangering the welfare of children, terroristic threats, recklessly endangering another person and harassment.