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Couple Get 3 to 7 Years for Neglecting, Endangering 3 Small Kids ​

December 1, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kate Kohler, 215.348.6327, kkohler@buckscounty.org

William Medl Kimberly Block
       William Medl                  Kimberly Block

A drug-addicted Levittown couple who took their severely neglected young children on shoplifting and heroin-buying excursions – but never to school or the dentist – were sentenced this week to serve three to seven years each in state prison.

By the time Bristol Township police and Bucks County social workers intervened last December, the three children of William Medl and Kimberly Block were filthy, diseased and hungry.

Two girls, ages 8 and 7 at the time, did not know their last names or their ABCs, had never attended school, had rotted teeth and were infested with lice.

Their 2-year-old brother did not know his first name, communicated only with gestures, and smelled of rotted milk, cigarettes and a diaper saturated with urine and feces, court records said.

The toddler, like his sisters, was covered with lice; all three had to have their heads shaved.

Medl and Block, both 44, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Bucks County Common Pleas Court to endangering the welfare of children and several theft and drug-related charges. In addition to the prison time, Judge Wallace H. Bateman Jr. gave each a consecutive five years of probation.

The children are now in foster care. Between the three of them, they have had 31 rotted teeth extracted under anesthesia because of severe decay.

“The time it will take [the children] to get caught up in school and have a normal life is anybody’s guess,” Bateman said. “All for drugs.” 

Block, a former model, airline attendant and nursing home aide, and Medl, a former construction worker, became addicted to opioids after suffering back injuries at work a decade ago. Block said she was frequently abused physically by Medl during their 11 years together, sometimes in front of the children.

Both turned to heroin two years ago after their doctors stopped prescribing the painkillers they were abusing.

Since then, the family lost its house to addiction-fueled debt, and Medl and Block led their children through a nomadic existence, shuttling between cheap motel rooms and, when money ran short, sleeping in cars.  

By day, Medl stole batteries from home-improvement stores, sometimes with the children in tow. He sold the merchandise to pay for lodging and what the children called “adult medicine.”

According to court records, the girls described driving to Philadelphia, where Medl left them alone in the car to purchase “adult medicine.” They told of watching their parents snorting or injecting the powder, and of moving it out of their little brother’s reach, knowing it was poison.

They also told of seeing their father strike their mother. One of the girls was inadvertently punched in the midst of one fight, bloodying her nose.

Block “was a victim of drug addiction,” her attorney, Christa Dunleavy, told Bateman, saying Block had worked hard to get clean since being arrested. “She also was a victim of domestic violence.”

Block said she was “horrified about what happened to the kids. I’m a shell of the person I used to be….I do love my children very much. I’ll spend the rest of my life making it up to them.”

Medl’s attorney, Niels Eriksen, said his client “does extremely well” when not on drugs. “His actions are inexcusable because of the drugs.”

Deputy District Attorney Kate Kohler argued that it shouldn’t have taken police intervention to get the couple to stop neglecting their children.

“I just can’t wrap my mind around how three little kids aren’t enough for you to get clean,” she said. “I can’t imagine a more aggravated case of endangering the welfare of children.”

Kohler called it “just appalling” that the girls did not know their last names, never made any friends, never went to school and instead were exposed to constant drug abuse.

Bateman concurred, and imposed a sentence close to the maximum allowed for child endangerment.

“When [Block] says she’s horrified by what happened, how could she not see it? How could [Medl] not see it?” the judge said.

“They went from perhaps living a life of torment with you to living with strangers,” Bateman told Medl and Block. “It’s hard for me to fathom how you treated them, it really is.”

Approved for release by Antonetta Stancu, Deputy District Attorney. 

Office of the District Attorney
Bucks County Justice Center
100 N. Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901 
Phone: 215-348-6344 
Fax: 215-348-6299

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