On February 10, 2023 at 12:59 PM Sugarcreek Borough Police Department received a report of alleged child abuse of a minor with bruising.
Sugarcreek Borough Police officers initiated an investigation and spoke with the alleged perpetrator. While speaking with him he made statements that he had in fact made physical contact with the child.
Assisted by Probation and Parole as well as Children and Youth Services, officers were able to meet with the 3 year old child and noted that there was broken blood vessels and bruising several days after the incident was alleged to have occurred.
James Koch, 41 of Franklin, was taken into custody for the assault. Officers then conducted follow up interviews with other children residing at the house with James Koch.
Officers learned of an extended pattern of the children in the house being struck with hands, shoes, and belts in what was deemed to be an excessive manner.
James Koch would also smoke marijuana in close proximity to the children exposing them to the marijuana smoke.
James Koch was charged with the following:
Endangering the Welfare of a Child – Felony 3 (3 counts)
Simple Assault – Misdemeanor 1 (2 counts)
James Koch was lodged into the Venango County Jail as he was on parole for previous charges.
The charges were filed through Magistrate Kirtland’s office.