Ten children rescued from their parents’ northern California home were waterboarded and shot crossbows and BB guns, according to prosecutors.
The new allegations were laid out Wednesday after prosecutors charged Ina Rogers with nine counts of felony child abuse. Her husband, Jonathan Allen, 29, already faces nine counts of felony torture and six counts of felony child abuse. He pleaded not guilty Monday.
The 10 children, ages 12 years to four months, were taken from the home in Fairfield, about 46 miles northeast of San Francisco, after the couple called police about their missing 12-year-old son. Officers found the nine other children huddled together amid filth, prosecutors said.
The two-story home was filled with “garbage and spoiled food on the floor, animal and human feces and a large amount of debris making areas of the house unpassable,” Fairfield Police Lt. Greg Hurlbut said.
On Wednesday, new startling allegations were mounted against the couple. Solano County Deputy District Attorney Veronica Juarez wrote in a court filing, which was obtained by the Associated Press, that the children were strangled, punched and the target of constant abuse by Allen — and the children’s mother did nothing to prevent it.
“On a continuous basis the children were getting punched, strangled, bitten, shot with weapons such as crossbows and bb guns, hit with weapons such as sticks and bats, subjected to ‘waterboarding’ and having scalding water poured on them,” Juarez wrote.
“The children appeared to be skittish and spoke with speech impediments,” Juarez added.
She said in the court filing that Rogers dissuaded the children from reporting their injuries, which include broken arms, in order to protect Allen.
Allen is being held on a $5.2 million bond and has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Rogers was originally charged last month with child neglect but she bailed out of jail. The charges on Wednesday accompanied a new $495,000 bail. She has not entered a plea but has denied the allegations.
Speaking with reporters, Rogers said the children suffered bumps and bruises associated with being kids but no serious injuries. The house was a mess the day police returned their child because she had tossed everything around looking for her son, she said.
“My husband is an amazing person,” she said. “I am an amazing mother. I am not going to allow this to break us and I’m not going to stop fighting.”
Solano County prosecutor Sharon Henry had previously said the children described “sadistic” treatment to professional counselors since they were taken from their parents’ home.
“I am horrified by the statements that were given by these children,” she said. “We have the children first and foremost in our minds. And as a parent, first and foremost in my heart.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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