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Waseca couple accused of abusing 7-year-old who weighed 28 lbs due in court

(Waseca, MN) – A Waseca couple accused of abusing their adopted daughter is due in court this week.

Keith Luke Krause, 38, and his wife, Katie Rae Krause, 35, were charged last month with one count each of felony child neglect.

According to the criminal complaint, the Krauses adopted the little girl from China when she was three-years-old.  The girl, now 7, suffered a seizure in September 2018, at the home of Katie Krause’s mother in North Mankato.  The child was taken to Mayo Clinic Mankato, then flown to St. Mary’s Rochester because of concerns that she was a victim of chronic child abuse.

Dr. Donald Derauf, who holds certification in child abuse pediatrics, told Waseca County investigators that several of the girl’s injuries were concerning.  She had fractures in the ring and middle finger on her left hand, rectal bleeding, abrasions, a pelvic fracture, and weighed just 28 pounds – the weight of a typical 2-year-old when she was hospitalized.  The girl also had two different subdural hematomas (brain bleeds), which Derauf said are generally caused by a force equivalent to a car accident.

In interviews with investigators, Keith Krause said the girl had a prosthetic eye which had caused some depth and perception issues.  Both parents told police the girl had recently fallen off her bike, hit her head when she fell in the master shower, and fallen out of the couple’s bed.  According to Keith, the girl had recently complained of headaches, but they appeared to have gone away.  Keith and Katie both said they’d taken her to a doctor, but there was no concern about the girl’s weight, according to the complaint.

Katie Krause was not able to explain the fractures or bruises to investigators  She admitted to police that she had a different bond with her biological children, but thought things were progressing nicely with her adopted daughter, according to the complaint.

In November 2018, a child protection agent interviewed the girl, who told investigators that her punishments included doing jumping jacks for 15 minutes, running, or taking a cold bath or shower.  The girl said the other children didn’t get cold showers when they had bathroom accidents.  The girl said she would eat crumbs off the table because she was hungry and is sometimes punished for it, according to the complaint.

The girl also recalled one specific incident where she had fallen down outside.  Her mother took her to the bathroom to wash the dirt off her arm and held her arm under hot water for 5 minutes.  The girl said she told her mother the water was too hot and that “it was burning,” and skin came off, according to the complaint.  When her father later looked at the would, the girl told police he said “this is bad,” according to court documents.  The girl also said she is required to take a 3-hour nap each day and can go running if she wakes up early, but the other kids are allowed to play downstairs.

During an October 3rd meeting with investigators, Dr. Derauf said no medical reason could explain the girl’s low weight and reported that the bruising on her body wasn’t consistent with accidental trauma.  High levels of creatine also reflected trauma to muscles, according to Derauf, who was also concerned that the girl’s fractures had not been addressed. Derauf also concluded that the girl’s brain bleed would have been caused by a high-velocity accident which would have resulted in unconsciousness, of which her parents should have been aware.

The girl’s weight as of January 2018 had increased by 20 pounds, according to court documents.

Both Katie and Keith Krause are due in court April 2nd at 2:00 p.m.

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