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Chester County couple heading to trial in severe beating of girl

Dimitrios Moscharis faces charges for causing near-fatal injuries to Julianne Lewis’ daughter.

Dimitrios Moscharis and Julianne Lewis are charged with severely beating Lewis' nine-year-old daughter, leaving her with near-death injuries.
Dimitrios Moscharis and Julianne Lewis are charged with severely beating Lewis' nine-year-old daughter, leaving her with near-death injuries.Read moreDreamstime / MCT

A Chester County man accused of severely beating his girlfriend’s 9-year-old daughter, leaving her clinging to life, now faces an additional charge of sexually assaulting the girl.

Dimitrios Moscharis,, 34, was charged Tuesday with involuntary deviant sexual intercourse with a minor during his preliminary hearing at the Chester County Justice Center.

Magisterial District Judge Martin Goch held Moscharis for trial on that offense, as well as attempted murder, strangulation, aggravated assault, child endangerment, and related charges.

Moscharis beat the girl on multiple occasions in an attempt to “discipline” her, he told investigators. Assistant District Attorney Erin O’Brien, the lead prosecutor, said that abuse was tantamount to torture, and included hitting her with curtain rods, forcing her to sleep on a basement concrete floor, and locking her in a cramped closet for hours at a time.

The girl’s mother, Julianne Lewis, was also held for trial after her own hearing in front of Goch. Lewis faces similar offenses to Moscharis, her live-in boyfriend.

Moscharis’ lawyer, Brian McCarthy, argued that prosecutors had not proven that his client deliberately tried to hurt the girl, and cautioned the judge not to let emotion affect the outcome of the case.

“We’ve heard that this was a misguided attempt at discipline,” McCarthy said. “It was not an attempt at murder.”

Police were called to the apartment the couple share in Westtown Township on Nov. 24 for reports of a child suffering from cardiac arrest. Inside, medics found Lewis’ daughter covered in bruises and unresponsive, and took her to Nemours A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children.

Doctors there said the girl suffered a “near fatality,” including a massive brain injury due to oxygen deprivation, detectives testified at the hearing. A later report determined the girl also had sperm in her mouth.

Lewis, arrested days after her boyfriend, later told detectives she was aware of, and tacitly approved, Moscharis’ physical discipline of her daughter. During Tuesday’s hearing, investigators testified that she searched the Internet for ways to put the girl up for adoption, and had given Moscharis full responsibility for her care while she worked three different jobs.

The two had met just six weeks before, investigator said, and had been living together for a little over a month.

Moscharis has had previous arrests for abusive behavior. In 2015, he pleaded guilty to simple assault in an attack on his former girlfriend, leaving her with a chipped tooth and scratches on her face.

Two years later, he shoved and kicked that woman, who was pregnant at the time, court records show. He also pleaded guilty to simple assault in that case.

Both Moscharis and Lewis remained in custody. Moscharis was denied bail, and Lewis was being held on $350,000 bail.