HUDSON – A Hudson man has been accused of years of sexual abuse against four young girls in his care, according to the Pasco Sheriff's Office.
Joseph Kratschman, 57, was charged with two counts each of sexual battery and lewd and lascivious molestation against victims under 12.
Two girls aged 8 and 11 told deputies that Kratschman had touched them sexually over their underwear multiple times while they were getting ready for bed. Child protection investigators found a half-inch scar when checking for signs of abuse on the 11-year-old girl, who had told deputies the abuse was "very hard and it hurt."
The youngest girl's 15-year-old sister told deputies Kratschman had also touched her sexually several times between 2003 and 2008, always after being told to dress for bed. The girls' 23-year-old relative told deputies later that, when she was 8, Kratschman would not allow her to wear underwear to bed, make her scratch his back and put his hands under her nightgown.
Kratschman was arrested Friday and remains in the Land O' Lakes jail in lieu of $400,000 bond.
Born in Mount Vernon, N.Y., Kratschman got his Florida auctioneer license in 1990 and opened the Little Joe Auction Co. in Spring Hill in 2001, state records show. His business license expired in 2006, and Kratschman told deputies he was unemployed.
Contact Drew Harwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6244.