Florida foster parents Daniel Spurgeon and his wife, Jenise Spurgeon, have been arrested and charged with more than 700 counts of child sexual abuse. A total of 300 of the counts involve their 11 biological, adopted, and foster children, some of whom were younger than 12 when the alleged sex crimes occurred in Florence, Alabama.
Daniel Spurgeon, 47, and Jenise Spurgeon, 52, were arrested in Cape Coral, Florida, on outstanding warrants from Alabama, where the Florida foster parents had previously lived until 2015, the Daily Mail reports.
— Mizer Hunt (@mizer_hunt) March 9, 2017
Alabama law enforcement officials contacted the Florida police last July about the child sex abuse allegations involving Daniel and Jenise Spurgeon and the children inside their home. A thorough investigation was then launched.
After multiple interviews were conducted during the evidence-gathering stage of the child sex abuse case, Alabama police detectives had arrest warrants issued for the Florida foster parents.
Daniel Spurgeon has been charged with more than 100 counts each of first-degree sex abuse, enticing a child for immoral purposes, and child abuse. He was also charged with various counts of sodomy, rape, sexual torture, domestic violence by strangulation, human trafficking, and incest.
Enticing a child for immoral purposes laws vary by state. Such solicitation typically involved enticing a minor less than 16 years of age. A suspect can be charged with an enticement of a child crime regardless of whether or not the adult is related to the minor or if they suspect is a complete stranger. A solicitation charge of this type is often levied when police investigators believe a suspect had intended to force or induce the child as part of a sexual assault or other illegal act.
Jenise Spurgeon also faces 100 counts each of child abuse, enticing a child for immoral purposes, domestic violence by strangulation, endangering the welfare of a child, and 11 counts of human trafficking. Florence police Sergeant Brad Holmes told AL.com the victims of the foster parents ranged in age from toddlers to teenagers.
Alabama law enforcement detectives first began investigating the couple after one of the couple’s foster children, a 19-year-old girl, moved out of the house and contacted local police officers. The unidentified young woman said she had been sexually assaulted from the age of 12 to 16 by her foster parents, the News-Press reports.
After Jenise Spurgeon was arrested on 10 counts of aggravated child abuse in Florida, the investigators from Alabama were able to locate the couple they had been trying to find, NBC2 reports. She pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated child abuse. Spurgeon was allowed out on bail after her $300,000 bond had been met. She was taken back into custody earlier this week after a court hearing relating to the child abuse charges filed in Alabama.
Daniel Spurgeon was also arrested previously. He and three teenagers with him at a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Cape Coral were arrested on public intoxication and related charges. Spurgeon was also arrested and charged with 15 criminal counts of lewd and lascivious behavior on a child between the ages of 12 and 18. He was already in jail on the charges when the warrants arrived from Alabama.
Florence police officers reportedly feel they have ample evidence to prove Jenise and Daniel Spurgeon were abusing at least 11 children who had lived inside their home before moving to Florida. Neighbors in Cape Coral said there appeared to be 15 people living inside the Spurgeon residence before the couple was arrested. One neighbor told local reporters that Daniel Spurgeon said he had “fostered to adopt” 35 children.
The Florida foster parents are now awaiting extradition to Lauderdale County, Alabama, to address the more than 700 child sexual assault charges levied against them.
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