Siblings in squalid California home 'waterboarded and shot with crossbows'

Cheryl Sanders
May 17, 2018

California prosecutors say 10 children rescued from a filthy, abusive home were subjected to "waterboarding", shot with crossbows and had scalding water poured on them.

The investigation began on March 31 after police brought a 12-year-old who was reported missing back to the house on the 2200 block of Fieldstone Court in Fairfield, California, about 46 miles northeast of San Francisco.

The boy was eventually found sleeping under a bush in a neighbor's yard, police said.

The children range in age from four months to 11 years.

The children's father, 29-year-old Jonathan Allen, pleaded not guilty to torture and child cruelty charges. Solano County prosecutors included the horrific details in a motion to increase the bail for Rogers, who was charged with nine counts of felony child abuse.

Rogers says she home-schooled the children, but the Fairfield, California, home was not registered as a private school and neither were three prior addresses where the family lived in Fairfield and Vallejo, according to the California Department of Education.

Some of the children, police said, described incidents of intentional abuse dating to 2014 - puncture wounds, burns, bruising and injuries consistent with being shot with an airsoft or BB gun.

She says prosecutors say filed eight counts of felony child abuse against the California mother. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 24. "When the children were taken into protective custody and to live with relatives, the children started to disclose vicious and callous acts that were committed against them", said Solano County Chief Deputy DA Sharon Henry. She has been charged with neglect and could face additional charges.

"My kids get bumped and bruised and scratched because they're kids, but that's it", she told reporters in front of her house, according to the AP.

"Based upon what the children stated in their interviews, we believe torture occurred in this house", Henry said at a news conference.

She also told ABC 7 News that she was being judged for homeschooling her children.

Rogers could not be reached Monday evening for comments.

With the assistance of Child Welfare Services and the Solano County District Attorney's Office, detectives with the Fairfield Police Department's Family Violence Unit initiated an investigation. On Wednesday, the judge indicated that Rogers had tried to contact her children in violation of court orders, which was part of the consideration in setting bail.

Rogers said she previously enrolled her two oldest children in school but made a decision to teach them herself because she didn't think they were getting enough attention. The children, authorities said, were home-schooled. The officers located the missing 12-year-old and returned to the child's home. Parents who teach their own children are required to register with the state, but the state does not approve, monitor or inspect them.

Allen was taken into custody and booked into jail.

She led reporters through the house, which the AP reported still looked squalid behind the cream-colored, hedge-lined exterior: animal droppings littered the bathroom, and scuff marks still covered some walls.

While inside, Fairfield police Lt. Greg Hurlbut said, officers found "unsafe and unsanitary living conditions including garbage and spoiled food on the floor, animal and human feces, and a large amount of debris making areas of the house unpassable".

Wanda Rogers, the children's maternal grandmother, said Allen "worships the devil" and used the children as "sacrifice". "There's no broken bones, there is no major scars, nothing".

Other reports by iNewsToday