It’s an unimaginable story. A 2-year-old girl is dead after being brutally beaten by her mother’s boyfriend at their home on the 500 block of East Ross Street. Police say emergency workers found Ranasia Knight in and out of consciousness early Saturday morning after they got a call that she had fallen down the steps. An autopsy performed Monday revealed otherwise. Police are now ruling her death a homicide and charging her mother’s live-in boyfriend Lester Johnson.
Police say Johnson punched the child in the head, splitting her retina and blinding her in the right eye. He is accused of then kicking her in the stomach several times while she was on the ground, injuring her internal organs.
“What excuse is there. Two years and I think nine months, what excuse is there for anybody to punch anybody in the head and kick her in the torso while she’s down. And then not call for emergency services,” said District Attorney Craig Stedman. “ The victim can’t speak for herself anymore and that’s going to be our job. We’re going to be the victim’s voice in the courtroom and make sure that justice is done. It’s despicable and obviously criminal and we a got a long road ahead of us. ”
Ranasia’s uncle wants answers. “I never saw any of them hurt their kids. He was a decent guy he took care of his kids he did all that stuff but I don’t know. I mean I want justice if he did do this,” said Justin Bachman.
Johnson is in Lancaster County Prison without bail. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on January 25th. Three other children have been removed from the home by Children and Youth Services.