FAIRFIELD, Calif. - Fairfield police said they rescued ten children found living in squalor and arrested their parents.
Jonathan Allen, a father of eight of the children, was charged with seven counts of torture and nine counts of felony child abuse, by the Solano County District Attorney's Office. Police believe more charges could be filed as the investigation continues.
Lt. Fairfield Police Department Greg Hurlbut said the children were living in unsafe living conditions. Responding officers found spoiled food, as well as animal and human feces on the floor. There was so much debris that some areas of the home were unaccessible, according to Hurlbut.
Investigators believe nine of the 10 children were abused. In interviews the children described incidents of intentional abuse resulting in puncture wounds, burns, bruising and injuries consistent with being shot with a BB gun or pellet gun.
"I have not had a case where we charge someone with torture of their own children if that tells you something. I've been in law enforcement since...well... more than 30 years ago," said Hurlbut.
The Solano County District Attorney's Office described this type of crime of torture as inflicting pain with the intent to cause cruel and extreme pain and suffering, and in this instance, for a sadistic purpose.
But the children's mother said it's all a big misunderstanding.
Officers responded to the home and discovered the apparent abuse when the children's mother, Ina Rogers, called 911 on March 31.
Rogers told KTVU she called 911 after her 12-year-old son went for a walk and didn't return home. She said her son was upset when she took his iPad away because he didn't do one of his chores.
Fairfield police located the boy asleep under a bush and returned him to the family home in the 2200 block of Fieldstone Court. Officers said they conducted a search of the home due to concerns for the safety and health of the child and the child's siblings.
During the search officers located nine more children, ranging in age from 4 months to 11-years-old. Officers said the children were living in squalor and unsafe conditions.
Rogers said the home's condition was a result of her "tearing up" the house because her son was missing. "I was afraid that I could not find him. Once that fear sets in, you don't know what to do so in that moment," she said. "I tore up my house, I lifted up beds, I ripped things out of the closet, I completely tore up everything to make sure that he really wasn't here."
Rogers, a 30-year-old Fairfield resident, was arrested and booked into Solano County Jail for child neglect. All ten children were taken into protective custody by Solano County Child Welfare Services. According to Rogers, the children are now staying with family members.
Investigators from Child Welfare Services, Solano County District Attorney's Office, Fairfield Police Department's Family Violence Unit allege there has been a long and continuous history of severe physical and emotional abuse of the children.
Rogers denies any abuse, neglect or torture by her or her husband Jonathan Allen. "I am 30-years-old and I have 11 children and also homeschool all of my children and people don't agree with that lifestyle. And so I've had many people question my right to parent and I feel this whole situation has exploded."
On May 11, detectives with the Fairfield Police Department arrested Jonathan Allen, a 29-year-old Fairfield resident. He was booked into the Solano County Jail for nine counts of felony torture and six counts of felony child abuse. Eight of the ten children are Rogers' and Allen's biological children. Rogers has 3 older children from a previous relationship. Her oldest child, who is 14, does not live in the home and was not taken by Child Welfare Services.
"This is absolutely appalling to me. I strive and I pride myself on being a good parent to my children, My husband has a lot of tattoos. He looks like a scary individual and that's why people are so quick to judge him. My husband is an amazing person and I am an amazing mother. I am not going to allow this to break us and I am not going to stop fighting," Rogers said.
Allen is due back in court May 24th.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the Fairfield Police Department.