Prosecutors stated in a motion filed on Tuesday that the 10 children who were rescued from the home of Johnathan Allen and Ina Rogers were subjected to waterboarding, biting, and burning with scalding hot water. The Solanos County attorneys filed the motion in an attempt to increase bail for Rogers to $495,000 prior to her Wednesday court appearance. The children have also reported puncture wounds and injuries consistent with being shot with a pellet or BB gun.
Officials became aware of the situation in the two-story Fairfield, California, home in March when they returned a 12-year-old boy to the residence. Ina Rogers had reported him missing, and an Amber Alert had been issued. The 30-year-old stated that her son ran away out of rebellion. Officers observed horrible living conditions inside the home including human and animal feces strewn about and rotting food. Ages of the children ranges from 4 months to 12 years. They were removed from the home in March according to the New York Post. Deputy District Attorney Veronica Juarez described the siblings’ living conditions.
“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.”
Officials have stated that the abuse was done for “sadistic” reasons and that the children have speech impediments.
New York Daily News reports that Rogers convinced her children not to report the abuse because she wanted to protect Allen, and that “Instead of taking care of them she has abused them, if not assisting her husband in torture.” She stated that child services came to their home three years ago and interviewed the children after her mother said “something” to authorities. She was allowed to keep the children at that time. Solano County’s Child Welfare Services has not commented on any previous interaction with the family. Rogers also stated that she homeschooled her children, but neither her current home nor her previous three homes were registered as private schools as required when homeschooling in the state of California. The state has no record of any of the children attending public school.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Ina Rogers was charged with nine counts of felony child abuse. Her husband is still in jail with a $5.2 million dollar bail. He also faces charges of felony child abuse along with multiple charges of torture. Both parents deny the abuse. Allen described their “functioning home” where the older children helped the younger children. The children’s grandmother, Wanda Rogers, claims that Allen is a devil worshiper and an abuser. She charges that he used the children as sacrifices.
County court records show four felony charges against Johnathan Allen in 2011. They included corporal injury, assault with a firearm, and criminal threats against his wife. He pleaded no contest to corporal injury and was sentenced to 180 days in jail and three years of probation. The plea was part of a deal made with prosecutors in exchange for them dropping the other charges.