Two parents in Northern California were arrested after allegedly torturing 10 children, according to local reports.
The 10 children had lived in squalor, including piles of spoiled food and feces, for years, investigators told SFGate this week. They were also allegedly burned and shot with a BB gun.
Ina Rogers first reported her 12-year-old son missing in March of 2018. He was later found asleep in a bush in a yard.
That’s when authorities first encountered the family. Responding officers then searched the home due to concerns about the child’s welfare and found nine more children between the ages of 4 months and 11 years old living in unsafe conditions, the SFGate report said.
Rogers was arrested and taken to Solano County Jail on child neglect charges. The 10 children were taken to live with other family members. She was released after posting $10,000 bail, court records show.
The father, 29-year-old Jonathan Allen, was arrested on Friday, May 11, and taken into jail on seven counts of torture as well as nine counts of child abuse. Allen is being held on $5.2 million bail, and he’s slated to make another court appearance on May 24.
Rogers, 30, defended herself in front of reporters, ABC7 reported.
“This is absolutely appalling,” Rogers said in reaction to the allegations against her and Allen. “I strive, I thrive on being a good parent to my children,” Rogers added. “My husband has a lot of tattoos. He looks like a scary individual, and that’s why people are so quick to judge him. But my husband is an amazing person. I am an amazing mother.”
But police are telling a different story.
“The children described incidents of intentional abuse resulting in puncture wounds, burns, bruising and injuries consistent with being shot by a pellet or airsoft gun,” said Lt. Greg Hurlbut, according to ABC7.
“Officers located unsafe and unsanitary living conditions including garbage and spoiled food on the floor, animal and human feces and a large amount of debris making areas of the house unpassable,” Hurlbut said.
Sharon Henry, who is a chief deputy district attorney for Solano County, told the ABC affiliate that she was “horrified” by the statements made by the kids.
“Torture occurred in this house,” Henry said, adding that it was carried out “for sadistic purposes.” She didn’t elaborate on the details.
“It literally breaks your heart, and you’re outraged by how a parent or anyone could commit those acts,” Henry said.
Neighbors were flabbergasted, and some didn’t know the couple had 10 children.
Tawnya Roth, a next-door neighbor, told SFGate that she was under the impression the couple had three children.
“My daughter was saying that when she was home at Christmastime, she saw some kids out there,” Roth told the website. “And when they first moved in, we heard kids playing out in the backyard late at night. But that was really the only time. Once in a while we’d see a kid, but I didn’t even know that they were theirs.”
Larry Magney, who lives across the street, said the couple moved in about one year ago. He said he was unaware that they had children until Rogers approached him in March, asking about her missing son.
Magney recalled her asking him: “Is there a way I can check your backyard, because my son is … missing or ran away?” He said that it wasn’t likely because his dog would have barked.
“She was pretty concerned, and she was like, you know, running around the neighborhood,” Magney said. “I walk my dog at least twice a day, and my wife works out of our house,” he said. “If there’s any activity here, we would kind of know.”
“I Was a Communist Slave”