Topeka City Councilman Jonathan Robert Schumm and his wife have been arrested for allegedly torturing five of the 16 children in their care. Jonathan, 34, and his wife, Allison Nicole Schumm, 32, adopted 12 black children to add to their growing biological family. The couple had earned an award for their adoption advocacy just two years ago.
The Topeka councilman and his wife have four biological children and 10 adopted children, according to Homeschooling’s Invisible Children group.
Both Jonathan Schumm and Allison Schumm have been charged with one felony count of aggravated battery for the alleged torture or cruelly beating a child under the age of 18. The child abuse allegedly occurred between October 7 and 11, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal.
The Topeka councilman and his wife were also charged with four counts of endangering a child. The crime allegedly took place on October 31. The official Kansas city website issued a statement following the arrests to inform the public that the councilman and his wife had been under investigation since earlier this month, WIBW reports.
— Cristina Frank (@CristinaKSNT) November 20, 2015
The Kansas Department for Children and Families reportedly asked the Topeka Police Department to aid in its investigation of allegations that the councilman and his wife were committing physical child abuse against the adopted children inside their home.
Police detectives and social workers launched an investigation into the child abuse allegations, and then filed for an arrest with the the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office.
— KAKE News (@KAKEnews) November 20, 2015
Allison and Jonathan Schumm were also reportedly fostering two more children at the home when they were arrested on child abuse charges late last week.
Earlier in November, the Topeka councilman, who frequently advocated for adoption in public, said the family was in the process of adopting a twelfth child.
“One of the things I’ve been criticized for is adopting too many children. I don’t think that,” Jonathan Schumm said.
Jonathan and Allison got married in May, 2004, and were awarded the Angels in Adoption Award in 2013. The organization honors people who help orphaned and foster care children.
In a blog authored by Allison Schumm, she often wrote about the family and detailed their journey to adoption, which began in 2005. Ten children were reportedly adopted into the family between 2006 and 2013.
In 2013, the same year the family was given an award for their adoption activities, Kansas DCF investigators were looking into allegations that Jonathan Schumm and his wife had abused a child. A child’s foster care family had accused the Topeka councilman and Allison of “inflicting bruises” on him, and possibly abusing other children inside the home.
Allison wrote about the visit from Kansas child protective services staffers on her blog. She said that she took a trip to Manhattan to visit her family because she didn’t want to “deal with DCF at that point.” She also wrote that the children involved in the DCF investigation were separated from the rest of the family during this time.
“Up to this point, nobody had told us anything other than you can’t see the children. At this point we decided to leave all the children who the charges weren’t addressing at my mother-in-law’s house and only bring home the children the DCF wanted to talk to,” Allison Schumm wrote. “I was still terrified, but knew that I would need to trust God for His protection of our family.”
DCF agents reportedly discussed discipline techniques with the couple but found that the child abuse allegations were unfounded.
In another post, entitled “Loving the Unlovable,” Allison talked about punishing some of the adopted children who threw rocks in a dozen windows in the building next to their home.
An excerpt from Allison Schumm’s blog post follows.
“At this point I was starting to realize just 24 hours prior we had taken in furious vandalizing thieves and liars. Now I’m sure some of you are wondering what real life consequences there are for children who would throw rocks through 12 windows, steal a toilet paper dispenser and then lie about it. I will tell you it wasn’t easy. After carefully thinking about it and realizing that they were never going to be able to pay for it, Jonathan and I decided in loving our children they would have to fill 12 40 pound cat litter buckets with rocks and carry them across our 1 acre parking lot of a yard and dump them. They were mad, they were frustrated, they thought it was stupid, but you know what? They learned that my husband and I were serious enough that they never pulled anything to this extent again.”
Jonathan Schumm ran for Topeka City Council in March. A voter’s guide quoted him as stating he was ” very active in promoting adoption and foster care opportunities.”
Jonathan and Allison Schumm were booked into the county jail on last Thursday and posted bond the following morning. They were appointed a public defender to aid them in their defense against the child abuse allegations.
[Image via Twitter]