Military Couple Beat And Starved Foster Children, Fed Them Hot Sauce And Onions As Punishment

A military couple from New Jersey were convicted of beating and starving their three foster children – who were all under the age of 4 – and feeding them only hot sauce and onions as punishment, according to People Magazine.

Between 2005 and 2010, U.S Army major John E. Jackson, 40, and his 37-year-old wife Carolyn – who served at the Picatinny Arsenal Installation in Morris County and have three biological children together – were physically abusive towards their three foster children who they later adopted.

If the foster children moved too slowly getting in their car seat or displayed bad behavior, it would result in beatings that led to broken bones. During one incident, the beatings were so severe that the Jacksons fractured one of their foster children’s spine.

Water was also withheld from the children during the punishments as well as forcing them to eat hot sauce, red pepper flakes, and onions – “intended to cause them pain and suffering.”

The couples’ biological children were in the home during the physical abuse, but they were told not to report it as their actions were only to teach the foster children how to behave.

All three children remained silent for a while, but as time ensued, the oldest child reported their crimes, and the Jacksons were investigated.

Prosecutors in the case stated, “The Jacksons even punished one adopted child, who had to resort to sneaking food and drinking from the toilet, by hitting the child, making the child ingest hot sauce, and forcing the child to eat a raw onion like an apple.”

The case went to trial, and the Jacksons’ biological son testified as he witnessed the horrifying crimes.

“Foolishness is bound up in heart of the child but the rod of correction will drive it out,” the boy said in court, which was one of the Bible verses his parents would say while punishing their foster children.

The military couple was convicted on Wednesday on a slew of charges, including conspiring to endanger the children’s welfare and assault.

In 2008, one of their foster children, 2, died in their care, but the Jacksons’ didn’t face any charges regarding the child’s death. It appears there was a mistrial due to an attorney mentioning to the court that the child did not die from abuse but of natural courses as reported by a medical examiner.

The foster children, as well as their biological children, have since been removed from the home following their parents’ conviction.

The military couple could each face a maximum of 10 years in prison as well as a $250,000 fine.

Sentencing will be held in October.

[Image courtesy of John Moore / Getty Images]