Mark Hooper, 42, and his wife, Susan Hooper, 20, have been charged with starving their 9, 10, and 11 year old adopted children. Mark is the pastor of a local Baptist church and Susan homeschooled the children. In February of 2013 the 9 year old girl ran away to seek help. The girl was taken into protective custody and told officials she ran away because she “was tired of not getting dinner because of my math” and because she was “afraid of mom.” She weighed only 31 pounds, less than half of the average for her age. She was examined at a hospital and found to be the size of a five year old, and to have signs of long-term starvation and severe growth retardation. The two remaining children were then also taken into protective custody. Together, the three told of being denied meals by their parents for not completing their homeschool lessons perfectly, being denied permission to use the bathroom until they wet themselves (and then being punished for doing so), and being beaten with a paddle, belt, and pots. The three children were adopted by the Hoopers in 2007, six years prior to their discovery. The couple is being charged with three counts of child endangerment.
Date: February 2013
Location: Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania
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