KEY POINTS

  • Shelley Noreika is now charged with felony strangulation
  • Her husband David Noreika faces felony endangering welfare of children
  • They were arraigned in court Saturday and released on a $50,000 bail
  • The preliminary hearing is scheduled May 13

A Pennsylvania mother who has been accused of faking her 6-year-old daughter’s illness now faces additional charges for physically abusing the child for a period of three years, police have said.

Shelley Noreika, 47, of Newville, who has been accused of assault and theft, is now charged with felony strangulation, endangering the welfare of children, aggravated assault and misdemeanor simple assault, reported Penn Live.

Shelley’s husband, David Noreika, 48, is also charged with felony endangering the welfare of children, misdemeanor simple assault and summary harassment.

Police allege that the couple used a plastic whiffle ball bat to strike the victim while disciplining her. David is accused of choking the victim and striking her with a closed fist, causing injury on separate occasions.

The alleged physical abuse occurred between 2017 and 2020. Police took the couple into custody and were arraigned in court Saturday. They were released on a $50,000 unsecured bail.

Investigators earlier found out that Shelley had given false information to doctors about her daughter’s illness for five years. Because of the misleading information, the girl had undergone several unwanted treatments including surgery to place a feeding tube directly into her intestine. The child had also been given unnecessary medications and medical devices to aid her in walking, police said as per FOX 43.

Shelley is also accused of raising money in the form of donations through GoFundMe, Facebook and Amazon Wishlist to pay up the medical bills during this period. Police learned that Shelley had received approximately $5,400 through her fundraisers.

Investigators were also informed about earlier reports of abuse from the couple's home. According to court documents, Shelley and David were poster parents to some of their children. During an interview with the forensic department in January, a 14-year-old boy under the couple’s care reported physical abuse. The teen told the investigators that both parents had hit him with a bat and had often beaten him.

He also said that on two or three occasions, his father had strangled him to a point that he could not breathe. The boy became suicidal and expressed his intent to kill himself. He also ran away many times. When he discussed his suicidal thoughts with Shelley, she reportedly responded to him to “go ahead.”

The court has scheduled a preliminary hearing for the couple on May 13.

child-1439468_640 The police allege that the couple used a plastic whiffle ball bat to strike the victim while disciplining her. Photo: pixabay