Police: Mother and Boyfriend Are Child Abusers

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MINERSVILLE -- A mother is locked up, and her boyfriend made bail, after being accused of severely beating two children in Schuylkill County.

John Heffner and his girlfriend, Rachael Schaeffer, were arrested by Minersville Police. They're accused of being child abusers.

Police said Schaeffer is  accused of allowing Heffner to beat her 11-year-old son. Police Chief Mike Combs said the kids treatment went far beyond discipline.

"We could tell that he was beaten with some type of instrument, and that turned out to be a towel rod, a wooden towel rod, and later beat him again actually put him up against the wall spread eagled struck him again several times with the towel rod," said Combs.

Investigators said Schaeffer also beat her 7-year-old daughter.

"Black and blue marks on her body that were a piece of wood that were used on her," said Combs.

Police showed pictures of the abused victims' injuries. You can clearly see the black and blue marks.

Police Chief Combs said the boy was told he was unwanted and unloved.

"That`s what breaks your heart in this business and there is no excuse for abusing these children the way they were abused," said Combs.

Officer Jeff Bowers has children around the same age as the victims.

"You take the investigation almost on a more personal level knowing there are children involved. You almost can't imagine how people can do that to children that age." explained Bowers.

Abigail Kauffman of Minersville is shocked to hear what police said happened just a few doors away.

"It kind of gave me goosebumps, it kind of makes me sick in the stomach. I could not believe that a mother could do that to her children, it's just sickening," said Kauffman.

Police said the children who were abused are in the custody of their fathers.