‘Strangled, waterboarded & shot with crossbows’: 10 children tortured by parents in California

In a horrific case of domestic torture, a California couple routinely beat, strangled, “waterboarded” and fired crossbows and BB guns at their 10 children, prosecutors have told a court.

The chilling allegations surfaced after the children were interviewed as part of a police probe. Officers found them living in a filthy house full of garbage and animal and human feces in early March.

The 10 children had been continuously “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,” according to the prosecutors’ motion, cited by AFP.

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It said when the police entered the premises while responding to a call, the terrified victims were found clinging to each other. The children reportedly bore “varying forms of scars” and had endured serious injuries, including broken limbs. They had been taken into custody.

Their 31-year-old mother, Ina Rogers, was charged with nine counts of felony child abuse and her bail was set at $495,000. Her 29-year-old partner, Jonathan Allen, had also been taken into custody and charged with torture.

“During the investigation, the children thoroughly described the incidents of abuse,” the prosecutors said. Despite the fact that under California law children must be enrolled in public schools unless they fall into one of the categories that can be exempted, none of the 10 children went to school.

Rogers stated that she was home-schooling all 10 of the kids. However, Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District failed to find any record of Rogers registered with the state to have a formal approval for home-schooling.

The investigation was launched at the end of March when Rogers and Allan reported that their 12-year-old son was missing. The police discovered him sleeping under a bush, which triggered suspicions and later led to a chilling discovery that an idyllic-looking two-story house in a suburb was, in fact, a house of horrors.

The couple was arrested on March 31 at their home in the town of Fairfield, north of San Francisco, and they were initially charged with one count of misdemeanour child abuse. Now both Rogers and Allen are facing nine counts of abuse.

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