California Man Charged with Abuse of 10 Children
The New Jersey Herald recently reported on a California child welfare matter where the children suffered terrible acts of abuse that may have been committed over a period of year. Despite the allegations of abuse, child welfare representatives never even visited the home. It is reportedly unclear whether any California government agencies had an opportunity to intervene in the years during which authorities claim that 10 children suffered “horrific” abuse inside their suburban home. The children’s mother told reporters that social services interviewed the kids three years ago but that nothing came of the visit. Ina Rogers, 31, told reporters that she had one prior interaction with child welfare officials when her mother “had mentioned something” that prompted a home visit. Officials took pictures of the children and interviewed them individually, she said. “Nothing was found, my kids were placed back with me,” she said.
Prosecutors say the children were rescued from a filthy house in March and suffered puncture wounds, burns, bruising, and injuries consistent with being shot with a pellet gun. Sharon Henry, the county’s chief deputy district attorney, said the kids were tortured “for sadistic purposes.” Their father, 29-year-old Jonathan Allen, was arrested and is in Solano County Jail on seven counts of torture and nine counts of felony child abuse. He has pleaded not guilty and his bail was set at $5.2 million. Allen denied the allegations in an interview and declared, “I am not an animal.” “The truth is that it is a functioning household,” he said. “Everyone helped everyone. It was a complete circle — the older ones helped the little ones.”
Questions remain as to how the children and the alleged abuse went undetected for years until March 31, when police responding to a missing juvenile report entered the house. They found a home filled with rotted food and human and animal waste, said Fairfield Lt. Greg Hurlbut. Stories about the alleged abuse came out gradually in interviews with the children over the past six weeks, and eight of the children told professionals about incidents dating back several years, authorities said.
New Jersey Child Abuse Cases
In New Jersey, child welfare proceedings generally proceed as follows: First, a referral is made to the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. From there, a caseworker must investigate the referral. If there appears to be a welfare concern, the caseworker may take the following action: the caseworker can immediately remove the child from the home if it is apparent that the child is in imminent danger. Or the caseworker may seek to head to court to request a court order compelling the parents to engage in therapy or counseling, as well as to request supervised contact between the child and parents. Or the caseworker can seek to put into place a safety protection plan, wherein the parents agree to engage in certain services or specific restraints on contact.
If you are being investigated for child abuse or child neglect in New Jersey, contact DYFS attorney Travis Tormey today to discuss your legal options.