HUNTINGDON COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ) — A Mount Union couple has been charged with alleged child abuse and endangerment of their three children.
Jeffrey Kauffman, 35, and Cynthia Standridge, 28, have been charged after police and Child Youth Services investigated child abuse allegations.
In March, police, and CYS went to a home on North Jefferson Street belonging to Standridge. CYS informed her that her three children would be taken from the home under court order.
Police said that upon entering the home, the conditions were deplorable. Trash was stacked everywhere, floors and counters were dirty, and there were feces on the wall, according to a police report. The children were not clean in appearance either, police noted.
The children’s grandmother was at the home and told police and CYS that the children were being abused. Police saw injuries on the boy’s face, including what looked to be a broken nose, and that one of the girls had a rash due to her diaper not being changed. Standridge claimed the boy fell on toys and that’s what caused the injury, according to police.
After being taken from the home, the boy told CYS that Standridge had been abusing him and telling him she hates him which prompted another interview at the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC).
While interviewing the 8-year-old boy, he told police he did not feel safe in the home as Standridge was very mean to him. He told police his mother would hit him very hard with a belt, making him think he was going to bleed. He also said Standridge hit him with the metal part on the head multiple times. The boy said he’d often be placed in “the corner” all day and not allowed to go to the bathroom or to have food. The boy told police his siblings were not hit like he was and they were fed. He also stated that his mother tells him “I wish you would die.”
The boy also said there were instances where he’d be poked by the mother’s needles. He said in the lockbox under the bed his mother keep needles and her medication. The boy said when he was poked, it made him feel weak. He also told police that one time Kauffman punched him in the face, causing him to bleed, according to court documents.
On April 13, police interviewed Standridge and Kauffman. When questioned about snacks and bathroom usage, Standridge and Kauffman said that all their children were allowed to get snacks and use the bathroom when needed. Both said they’d have the children stand in a corner for five minutes when they were disciplined, but they never used belts to assault the children according to the criminal complaint. At one point Kauffman told police, “It is not like I punch them in the face or beat them, I would never do that.”
Police then continued to question them about the needles. Both were asked if they were diabetic and needed them for medical reasons and both said no. Both told police they had previous drug problems but had been clean for several years according to the criminal complaint.
After the interview, police were taking photos of the apartment when they noticed an orange cap laying on the floor, which police said was the cap of a hypodermic needle. Police questioned the two about the needle cap and Standridge responded saying it must have fallen out of a bag from when they were cleaning and it was old. Police took it as evidence and left the home.
Get daily updates on local news, weather and sports by signing up for the WTAJ Newsletter
Standridge has been charged with two accounts of child endangerment and Kauffman has been charged with simple assault. Kauffman is being held in the Huntingdon County Prison on a $100,000 bond and is awaiting his preliminary hearing scheduled for June 8. Standridge is also being held on $100,000 bond and is awaiting her preliminary hearing scheduled for June 15.