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Middletown woman accused of beating daughter over Bible verses

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Rhonda Shoffner

MIDDLETOWN, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.–A Middletown woman is accused of brutally assaulting her daughter after the girl failed to properly recite bible verses last week.

Rhonda Shoffner, 41, is charged with aggravated assault, strangulation, terroristic threats and endangering the welfare of children.

The incident happened on March 14 at Shoffner’s home located along the first block of Genesis Court in Middletown. The victim told police that Shoffner had been drunk for three days prior to the assault, according to the criminal complaint.

The girl said Shoffner flew into a rage after multiple family members did not answer Shoffner’s phone calls. Shoffner ordered the girl into the bathroom and onto her knees, court documents state.  Shoffner began citing Bible verses at he daughter and demanded the girl precisely repeat the verses.

When the girl failed to repeat the verse exactly–Shoffner slammed the girl’s head into the bathroom wall and kicked her multiple times, according to the criminal complaint.

The victim told police that during the attack Shoffner strangled her and stated she was going to kill her. The girl tried to fight off Shoffner–but Shoffner bit her twice before kicking the girl out of the house, according to court documents.

The girl fled from the home and ran to a nearby fast food restaurant for help. The girl’s father picked her up and drove directly to the police station.

Police noticed the girl had scratches on her hand and chest, strangulation bruise marks on her neck and bite marks on her body.

Shoffner was arraigned and taken to Dauphin County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail.

This wasn’t Shoffner’s first run in with police in 2017. Officers responded to her home on February 10 for a report of an active domestic dispute.

Police knocked on Shoffner’s door and announced themselves as being from ‘Middletown Police.” A moment later a half-naked Shoffner opened an upstairs window and began cursing at the officers and giving them the middle finger. According to court documents, Shoffner yelled that if police came through the door she ‘had something for them.”

During the exchange, she exposed her breasts and refused to come to the door. She was charged with open lewdness and disorderly conduct.

A preliminary hearing in both cases are scheduled for March 29.