Police: Windber woman used ‘gangster rings’ to hit children, faces abuse charges

Local News

SOMERSET COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Windber woman is accused of physically abusing and medically neglecting multiple children under the age of 15.

Brandi Thurau, 36, faces charges including corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of children, simple assault and harassment. Earlier this month, her husband, 40-year-old Shawn Thurau, was arraigned on 155 counts of rape-related charges, according to court documents.

On April 22, the Windber Borough Police Department received a tip regarding the abuse and began their investigation.

The children told police that Thurau had hit them multiple times over the course of a year. At one point, Thurau punched them while wearing “gangster rings,” causing their lips to bleed, the criminal complaint notes.

One of the children told police that when Brandi and Shawn Thurau would fight, the youngest child would be thrown at her.

From June 2020 through November 2020, the children told police they shared a room with a step-sister who would bring multiple boys over and have sex knowing the young children were awake. The children tried to tell Thurau, but nothing was done about it.

In addition to the physical abuse, it’s reported that in 2019, the home was in “deplorable conditions” with animal feces throughout the house as well as bugs, according to the complaint. The youngest child had to be taken to the doctor due to the severity of bug bites sustained during that time.

Thurau is currently awaiting a preliminary hearing.

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