BEDFORD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A couple is facing multiple charges after state police say they covered up the abuse of three children.
Dakota Bussard, 27, of Everett and Daisy Maust, 29, of Martinsburg both lied to authorities on Dec. 17, 2021, during a welfare check of a boy and two girls, according to Bedford state police. The welfare check was conducted after it was reported one of the children sustained a broken leg the day prior. This came shortly after authorities said another child had sustained a broken arm while all children had bruises.
Bussard told state police the child fell out of a car with a diaper bag tangled around her leg while Bussard was inside a Walmart in Snake Spring Township. However, Maust later admitted to Everett Borough Police on Feb 10 that Bussard was in the car with the children while she was inside the store. Police were reportedly investigating a separate incident involving Bussard covering the mouth of one of the children and bruising their ribs.
During an interview on Feb. 22, Maust told state police the children told her Bussard would hit them and cause bruises as far back as Christmas 2021 but decided to not report it for fear he would hurt her instead.
State police also said she informed them of a Feb. 7 incident where Bussard squeezed and twisted a child’s leg and also used pliers to squeeze her fingers. Maust reportedly continued to inform troopers of other incidents involving Bussard throwing a cowboy boot and using a lighter to burn skin.
Maust further explained that she and Bussard had discussed making excuses for the incidents prior to talking with Child Youth Services and state police. She and Bussard also reportedly staged an incident where a child had cut her eye and made it appear as she had fallen into a dresser. Maust alleged that Bussard directed her on what to say about the incidents.
State police said Bussard was arrested for several assaults including a 2019 assault involving another small child. He’s now facing a slew of felony and misdemeanor charges including aggravated assault of a child less than 6 years old, simple assault, endangering the welfare of children and providing false information to authorities. Bussard was taken to Bedford County Prison where he is being held on $100,000 bail.
Maust is also facing charges for endangering the welfare of children and providing false information to authorities.
Preliminary hearings have been schedueld for March 16 and April 13.