Police: Cumberland County man taught 3-year-old how to smoke marijuana


MOUNT HOLLY SPRINGS, Pa. (WHTM) — A 33-year-old Mount Holly Springs man is accused of raping a woman and instructing a 3-year-old to smoke marijuana.

Mount Holly Springs police got involved after Children and Youth Services forwarded them a complaint on Monday from a woman who indicated that she had been raped by a member of her household, and she feared for the safety of her children.

Police said 33-year-old John Yurasits — who lives with the victim — raped her as recent as Easter Sunday. 

“She was in fact sexually assaulted three times since January in the borough,” said Detective Andrew Wolfe.

That was just the beginning.

Yurasits told police that the infant, 2 and 3-year-old living in the home played with marijuana and paraphernalia left sitting out at least 30 times, but still — there was more to the story.

“He handed the bowl to the three-year-old — in the direction that she would have to ingest the drugs, and told her, ‘It’s easy. Suck into it like a McDonald’s straw,'” Wolfe said.

Yurasits told police it was to treat her autism, but Wolfe said she was never diagnosed. 

“He said he has scientific research that it helps with autism. I’m not sure what scientist he spoke to, but that’s what he said,” Wolfe said.

Even so, police said the marijuana wasn’t medicinal. 

“He’s just giving her marijuana that he’s buying off the street from Jim Bob or whoever, and letting her smoke it from a pipe that he has,” Wolfe said.

Police were also given photos of welted hand prints on that same child’s back from March.

“He admitted that he lost control because she was bad, and he hit her and caused her a lot of severe pain,” Wolfe said.

It’s a pain that Wolfe says is inexcusable, even during a high-stress situation like a pandemic. 

“Go somewhere else. Go to a different room. Go outside — you can be outside,” Wolfe said.

Yurasits is being charged with sexual offenses including rape, along with simple assault and endangering the welfare of children.

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