WEST CHESTER — The man who is accused of brutally beating his girlfriend’s 9-year-old daughter in order to discipline her for minor wrongdoing and rendering her hospitalized, unresponsive and unconscious after what medical authorities referred to as a “near fatality” has a history of domestic violence, according to court records.
Dimitrios Moscharis of Westtown has been arrested twice in the past four years and charged with assaulting the mother of his child and, in a separate incident, both that woman and her mother, serving time in Chester County Prison on both accounts.
Moscharis, 34, was charged with beating his then-girlfriend and leaving her bruised and with other minor injuries after altercations at his house on Old Wilmington Pike in 2015 and 2017. Those incidents both resulted in convictions for simple assault in plea agreements made between his attorneys and the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.
But now he has been charged with felony aggravated assault of a child, strangulation, false imprisonment and attempted homicide, and is being held without bail in Chester County Prison after his arrest by investigators from the Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department and the Chester County Detectives late last month.
The injuries suffered by the young girl appear to be consistent with “child torture,” said District Attorney Deb Ryan in an press conference announcing the arrests. The girl appeared to have been beaten, tied up, and left isolated for extended periods of time in the days before police were called to her home because she was unresponsive. Ryan called the case “heartbreaking.”
The girl was said to be on life-support and not responsive at the A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington on Tuesday, suffering from what doctors said was severe brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen, apparently from strangulation or suffocation at Moscharis’s hands during the extended assault, which lasted from Saturday, Nov. 21, to Monday, Nov. 23.
On Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the D.A.’s Office declined to give an update on the girl’s current condition.
The girl’s mother, Julianne Lewis, has also been charged in the case, after investigators learned that she had witnessed Moscharis’s abuse of her daughter on multiple occasions, but had neither tried to stop the abuse nor attempted to call authorities, and had left the child alone with Moscharis, her boyfriend of two months, at her home in Coventry Village while she went to work as a Lyft driver.
Lewis, 31, is being held without bail in Chester County Prison on multiple counts of aggravated assault, kidnapping of a minor, endangering the welfare of a child, false imprisonment, conspiracy and related charges.
Moscharis is currently on probation for the second of the domestic violence incidents that involved his then-girlfriend, identified in court documents as Mallory Bromley.
On June 12, 2017, Westtown-East Goshen Officer Stephen Hiro was dispatched to the couple’s home in the 1100 block of Old Wilmington Pike in Westtown around 10:30 a.m., the second time that day units had been sent there for the report of a domestic disturbance.
At that time, Bromley’s mother, Jennifer Rinner, told Hiro that Moscharis had pushed and shoved her while she tried to speak with Bromley, and had dumped an unknown liquid on her from an upstairs window while she was standing at the front door trying to get in.
Bromley, when interviewed, said that she and Moscharis had been in a mutual altercation that morning and that he had hit, shoved and kicked Bromley while she was pregnant with their child during the incident. He had also threatened her with a scissors, and poked her in the neck with it.
When Moscharis drove off in Bromley’s car before police arrived, he looked at Rinner and made a slashing motion with his finger across his throat, mouthing, “You’re dead” at her.
On June 1, 2015, Westtown-East Goshen Sgt. David Leahy responded to a call about a domestic disturbance and found Moscharis and Bromley walking along the side of Route 202 south of Route 926. They first denied having had an altercation, but when Bromley was questioned separately, she admitted that a fight had occurred in which one of her teeth was chipped. Although she appeared to have fresh scratches on her face and neck, she would say nothing else about what had transpired.
Moscharis said nothing at all had happened, and that the two of them were just walking through the woods on the way to Bromley’s mother’s house.
In the 2015 episode, Moscharis was charged with simple assault and pleaded guilty to that charge in August 2016. He was sentenced to eight days to 12 months in prison, having already served that minimum amount of time.
In the 2017 incident, he was charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, and recklessly endangering another person. He pleaded guilty before former Judge Anthony Sarcione in October 2017 and was sentenced to seven to 23 months in prison, plus three years probation. He was also ordered to undergo domestic violence counseling.
On Nov. 23, police officers responding to a call for help from Lewis about her daughter’s condition. They found the child in an upstairs bathroom at the home, where Moscharis said she had fallen during a panic attack.
But a physical examination of her body and a later admission by the defendant to police showed that she had been severely beaten across her body on multiple occasions over the past several days, most likely by a metal curtain rod, and that she had been deprived of oxygen enough to cause brain damage.
“What this child endured is unconscionable,” said Ryan in a statement. “The defendant’s depravity is beyond words and comprehension. It is the kind of criminal action that is devastating to our community and parents alike.
A veteran prosecutor of child abuse cases, Ryan quoted a seasoned detective involved with the case as saying that the child’s “bruising all over her body was the worst he’s ever seen in his career. My office vows to seek full justice for the victim child with maximum punishment for the defendant.”
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 14 for Moscharis and for Dec. 7 for Lewis, both before Magisterial District Judge Martin Goch of West Goshen.
Anyone with information related to this case is urged to call Chester County Detectives at 610-344-6866 or Weaverling at 610-692-9600.
To contact staff writer Michael P. Rellahan call 610-696-1544.