Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Besides Jesus Manuel LaSanta, four other adults accused of causing their child's death, or in one case, a girlfriend's daughter's death, are currently being prosecuted in Lancaster County. District Attorney Craig Stedman said four child homicide prosecutions at once is a lot.
n William Moore Jr., 24, of Lancaster, is accused of smothering Aurora, his 5-month-old daughter, on April 12, 2011. Prosecutors said he admitted lying on top of her to stop her crying.
He is charged with one count of homicide.
n Andrew Moyer Sr., 24, of Columbia, and
n Brianna Michael, 23, of Columbia, are accused of torturing their 6-month-old son, Andrew Moyer Jr., over several days in October. Prosecutors said the father's knee to his head caused his death on Oct. 18.
They are charged with homicide, conspiracy and child-abuse charges. A trial date has not been set. They face the death penalty.
n Lester Johnson, 30, of Lancaster, is accused of beating 2-year-old Ranasia Ronae Alizae Knight and then doing nothing for 18 hours until she was near death. Ranasia, the daughter of Johnson's girlfriend, died Oct. 12.
He is charged with homicide, aggravated assault and three counts of endangering the welfare of children.
In 2012, through Dec. 18, prosecutors brought at least 180 criminal charges from 428 reports of physical or sexual abuse of a child, Stedman said. The number was expected to rise as other cases were investigated.
In 2011, charges were filed in 280 cases out of 354 such reports and in 2010, charges were filed in 170