Abuse cases

This archive contains cases of abuse of children within the child placement system.

Some of the these children have been killed, other's survived but suffered from:

In several cases the abuse was hidden from authorities under the pretext of homeschooling.

For an overview of abuse cases by location, see this map.

To make this list as complete as possible we can use your help. If you know of cases not covered, or know of articles not listed with the cases, please subscribe to this group and help maintain this section of the website or send links and articles to this mail address.

Girl adopted by Earl and Tammy Steidl

8-year-old girl adopted by Earl and Tammy Steidl was sexually abused by her adoptive father, while being physically abused by her adoptive mother. Earl Steidl was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Date: 2003-06-00
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Location

Medina, Ohio
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Eddy and Donna Whisenhunt

7-year-old girl adopted from China at 11 months, by  Eddy and Donna Whisenhunt, was sexually assaulted for 4 years by both her adoptive parents.

December 11, 2009, Eddy Tony Whisenhunt pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree child rape.
Donna Marie Whisenhunt also pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree child rape
Date: 2009-05-14
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Placement

Persons: John J Meske

Location

Lacey, Washington
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Edward Walter Smith

Quickly after she was adopted the sexual abuse started. She was 13 years old at the time. A year later she got pregnant and had a baby in 2000. In 2005 she made a report about the sexual abuse she had endured. Smith was arrested in Transylvania County in 2006 and later indicted. In 2008 he got a 124 year sentence.
Date: 2006-01-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Pisgah Forest, North Carolina
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Ellery and Krisi James

Over a period of 2 years the girl was sexually abused by the couple. As age 14 she reported the abuse to Children Youth and Families officials.
Date: 2006-05-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Location

Los Lunas, New Mexico
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Eva Maria Hofer

14-year-old girl from Vietnam, adopted by Eva Maria Hofer, was beaten by her adoptive mother. At the time, Eva Maria Hofer was executive director of German adoption agency ICCO.
Date: 2006-07-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Hamburg, Hamburg
Germany (Deutschland)

Girl adopted by Gaithersburg MD couple

Girl adopted from Costa Rica was sexually abused by her adoptive father, who had previously sexually abused 3 bio daughters. Mother was unaware of the abuse The girl was adopted along with her brother from Costa Rica in 1981 when she was 11 and he was 9. Both children had been sexually abused in their original family. Sexual abuse started immediately after the adoption. The family also had 3 foster daughters who did not report being abused.
Father was convicted in the adopted daughter's case and 2 of the 3 bio daughters' cases. The 3rd bio daughter refused to testify.
Date: 1981-06-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Gaithersburg, Maryland
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Gary and Leslie Erickson

5-year-old girl adopted by Gary and Leslie Erickson was taken into the hospital with blunt force head trauma. Leslie Erickson was arrested on suspicion of abuse.
Date: 2010-03-21
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Eagle Mountain, Utah
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Gerald Dale and Hope Snapp

15-year-old  girl is taken in by a man who works for a state agency charged with protecting children. He sexually assaults her on several occasions while she is living with him and his family and, after adopting her, impregnates her when she is 17.
Date: 2008-01-10
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Berkley, Michigan
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Hyacinth Morgan

12 year old girl, adopted from Colombia by Hyacinth Morgan, was stripped and tied to a bed with rope for several days. She was beaten with multiple objects, inflicting injuries that covered her entire body. She was locked in a room without food. Eventually she broke out of the house, flagged a motorist who took her to a near by McDonald's restaurant.
Date: 2008-06-20
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Silver Spring, Maryland
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by James Spellman and Delois Spellman

Girl whose mother died of cancer was adopted by relatives James and Delois Spellman. James raped her for 3 years starting at age 10 before she was removed from the home due to physical abuse scars. He had previously raped his 3 step-daughters who are now adults. Delois Spellman is alleged to have physically abused all 4 girls with items such as electric cords and metal rulers.
Date: 2007-01-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Location

smithfield, North Carolina
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Jerome Mitchell and Hermina Ibarra

4-year-old girl adopted by Jerome Mitchell and Hermina Ibarra was allegedly abused by the couple. There also appeared to be signs of sexual abuse.
Date: 2013-01-16
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Location

Prescott, Arizona
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Jon Paul Reid

12-year-old girl adopted by Jon Paul Reid was sexually abused by her adoptive father. He also made her drink alcohol and smoke marijuana.

Reid was convicted to 52 years in prison.

Date: 2010-08-10
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Boone County, Missouri
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Jonathan Outlaw

A girl was sexually abused by her adopted father over 5 years. Jonathan Brett Outlaw is charged with 2 counts of sexual battery by a parent or custodian.
Date: 2012-08-13
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

brooksville, Florida
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Justin and Marsha Harris

6-year-old girl adopted by Justin and Marsha Harris was re-homed, together with her 3-year-old sister, six months after the adoption was finalized. She came to live with Eric Cameron Francis, a former employee of Rep. Justin Harris. Cameron sexually abused the girl.
Date: 2014-04-04
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Other non-family member
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Location

Bella Vista, Arkansas
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Kathryn and Kenneth Kreier

14-year-old girl adopted by Kathryn and Kenneth Kreier was forced to sleep outside, was withheld food and had her fingers fractured by her adoptive mother. The adoptive father failed to act to prevent the abuse.
Date: 2007-09-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father
Home schooling: yes

Location

Clyman, Wisconsin
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Kenneth Lee Ashcraft

Despite having a string of child abuse complaints on file since the early 1980's, Kenneth Lee Ashcraft had been allowed to adopt a girl, whom he later on abused.
Date: 2008-07-08
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

New Miami, Ohio
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Laurence Jacobsen

8-year-old girl adopted from the Dominican Republic by Laurence Jacobsen was sexually abused. Jacobsen, a school teacher,  was at the time also accused of molesting at least five other girls and a boy.
Date: 1983-11-05
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Port St. Lucie, Florida
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Lian

6 month old girl adopted by Lian and her husband was slapped and thrown to the ground by Lian. They waited until the next day to take the baby girl to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Date: 2013-03-06
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Shenzhen, Guangdong
China

Girl adopted by Lynwood Elmer Vinum



5-year-old girl informally adopted by 72 year old man from the USA, living in Thailand. Mother had consented to the arrangement because Vinum was to pay for the girl's education and she was to be allowed contact. The girl had been in his care for 2 months during which he sexually abused her. Mr. Vinum had lived in Thailand for 20 years.
Date: 2008-07-18
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Moo Baan Rungland
Thailand

Girl adopted by man from Brazoria, Texas

14-year-old girl, adopted by a man from Brazoria, Texas, was sexually abused by her adoptive father.
Date: 2010-02-02
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Brazoria, Texas
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by man in Bermuda

Girl adopted as a baby from 'a developing country' was sexually abused by her adoptive father for at least 2 years while she was 8 and 9 years old. The unnamed adoptive father, referred to as Mr. X, has a history of sexual assaults beginning in 1954.
He was sentenced to 4 years for sexual touching.
Date: 2013-01-24
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Bermuda

Girl adopted by Maria Quintanilla Cuadra

11-year-old girl was found, her body covered with welts and bruises and she appeared malnourished. Maria Quintanilla Cuadra and her boyfriend, Jose Esteban Guevara were charged. They had subjected the girl to malnourishment and repeated, daily beatings. The girl also was forced to hold heavy objects over her head for extended periods, and Guevara forced her to eat jalapeños without water, police said.

Cuadra, the girl's aunt, adopted the child after both of her parents died.

Date: 2008-07-26
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother, Other non-family member

Location

Salinas, California
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Missouri couple

A married couple adopted two children, a boy and a girl, from Peru in October 1990 when both children were 3 months old. The father molested the girl during their 4 month stay in Peru and for at least 18 more months in the United States. The father had molested before as a teenager, similarly violating his then-3-year-old cousin.

After confessing to his clergyman in 1992, the father was charged and pleaded guilty to two counts of sodomy. The court gave him a suspended sentence, placed him on five years' probation and ordered mandatory counseling. The parents divorced.
Date: 1990-10-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Missouri
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Patrick Ryan Harrison

At the time 12-year-old girl, adopted by Patrick Ryan Harrison, was raped by her adoptive father.
Date: 2009-03-18
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Annapolis, Maryland
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Paul Lavoe

Teenaged girl from Ghana was adopted by her relative Paul Lavoe and his wife, Amanda. She, along with Lavoe's biological daughter was beaten with electrical cords. The girls were homeschooled so that they could care for younger siblings.
Date: 2012-04-16
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father
Home schooling: yes

Location

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Rajesh Sengar and Bebi Sengar

5-year-old girl adopted by Rajesh Sengar and Bebi Sengar was killed by her adoptive parents. Post mortem reports revealed the girl was sexually assaulted too.
Date: 2012-09-28
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse, Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Location

Indore, Madhya Pradesh
India

Girl adopted by Regina Marquez

6-year-old girl adopted by her aunt Regina Marquez was physically abused and locked up in her room by her aunt/mother and her aunt/mother's live-in girl friend, Deanna Martinez. The girl had a broken and now deformed arm, three broken fingers and several old fractures that had not healed well.
Date: 2011-08-02
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal neglect, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive mother, Other non-family member

Location

Denver, Colorado
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Renee and Scott Dean

17-year-old girl adopted from Zacapa, Guatemala by Renee and Scott Dean was sexually abused by her adoptive father. She was adopted along with 4 siblings in 2008.
Date: 2010-10-28
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Harlem City, Georgia
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Richard and Ann Stenfeldt

11 year old girl adopted at age 7 from Lithuania along with her 3 younger brothers in 1996 was allegedly repeatedly raped by her father. Outcome of the case is uncertain.
Date: 2000-04-06
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Placement

Location

Plainville, Massachusetts
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Richard and Rana Cooper

16-year-old girl adopted by Richard and Rana Cooper was systematically abused by her adoptive mother. Rana Cooper is accused of forcing the girl to eat used cat litter, attempting to gouge the girl’s eyes out and trying to sew her mouth shut. Allegedly she also forced the girl to run her finger along the rim of the toilet and eat what was on her finger.
Date: 2014-10-09
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Avella, Pennsylvania
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Richard Cook

14 year old girl adopted by Baptist minister Richard Cook and his wife Mary Cook was sexually abused by her adoptive father. There were 9 foster or adoptive children in the family who were originally from South Dakota and 1 bio child. More of the girls may have been abused. Cooks also used a wooden paddle to beat the children. Cooks  were missionaries in remote Ruby Alaska and the abuse was discovered after Cooks came to Fairbanks to get help for the girl who had attempted suicide.
Date: 1998-04-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Ruby, Alaska
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Roberta and Joseph Shane

9-year-old girl, adopted by Roberta and Joseph Shane, was locked into a garage for extended periods of time.
Date: 2014-04-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal neglect, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Location

Casper, Wyoming
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Samuel and Diana Franklin

15 year old girl adopted by Diana and Samuel Franklin was confined in a chicken coop, required to wear a shock collar, and had food and water restricted.
Date: 2012-05-30
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Home schooling: yes
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Location

Butler, Georgia
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Silver Springs Shores couple

A girl adopted by her great aunt and her husband was sexually abuse from age 6 until age 16. The man was about 77 years old when the abuse started. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
Date: 2012-11-15
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Silver Springs Shores, Florida
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Snohomish couple

A girl, removed from a polygamous clan in Utah, was placed for adoption with a couple who moved from Utah to Snohomish, WA. The girl was subsequently sexually abused by her adoptive father. A female Bothell, WA therapist had advised the adoptive couple to start sleeping with the girl.
Date: 2012-01-21
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Everett, Washington
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Stacey Garrett Begay

A 16 year old girl adopted by Stacey Garrett Begay and his wife Terry D. Begay was sexually abused for months before being discovered by Mrs. Begay who fired shots at both her daughter and Stacey Begay. Stacey provided a written confession. Later he recanted and requested he be allowed to be free so “that I can keep on doing Jehovah’s will.” Begay is a Jehovah's Witness. Mrs. Begay was charged with perjury after Begay's conviction as she was not cooperative on the stand.
DNA proof showed that Stacey was the father of his adopted daughter's child.

Stacey Begay was found guilty of abuse in two separate trials.
Date: 2011-04-27
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Location

Tahlequah, Oklahoma
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Stephen and Kathy Rhoten

14-year-old girl, adopted from Panama at age 3, by Stephen and Kathy Rhoten, was kept in unlawful restraints.
Date: 2007-12-07
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Location

Edwardsville, Illinois
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Stephen Douglas James

12-year-old girls was sexually abused by her adoptive father. She was adopted with her three brothers by James and his wife, who home-schooled the children.
Date: 2001-12-04
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father
Home schooling: yes

Location

Bastrop county, Texas
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Stephen L and Kathryn A Truex

13-month-old child adopted from China was hospitalized after being shaken by her father, Stephen L Truex
Date: 2004-01-13
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Lysander, New York
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Steven Lynn Mouton

A Chinese girl was adopted for the purpose of sexual abuse and the production of child pornography by Steven Lynn Mouton.

Mouton was convicted for sexual abuse in 2006, later probation officers found pornographic images of the abuse during a home visit in 2007.

October 7, 2009, Steven Lynn Mouton was found guilty over the production of child pornography. Local press reporting the case didn't mention the adopted status of the girl involved. Mouton is believed to have been married at one time.
Date: 2006-01-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse, Sexual exploitation
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Boerne, Texas
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Ted and Merrily Ripley

circa 1983
12 year old blind girl adopted from Guatemala as an infant was sexually abused by an adopted sibling from Costa Rica. He was sentenced in to six months in a juvenile institution for taking indecent liberties with the girl. Charges of sexual abuse by her father Theadore E. Ripley were dropped.  Ripley's 30-year-old adopted German-born son, Kori, was charged with sexually assaulting the same girl in 1984,  unknown outcome.  The Ripley's adopted 18 children from Asia, Latin America, Germany, and the US.

Merrily Ripley operates a non-profit adoption agency, Adoption Advocates International. The children would have been primarily adopted through Holt prior to the founding of WACAP's Adoption Services in 1976 (which Ted and Merrily helped found and worked for from 1976 to 1983) or through WACAP. She founded AAI in 1983 and it appears the family was complete at that time.
Date: 1984-01-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adopted sibling

Post placement

Location

PORT ANGELES, Washington
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Terri and Pamela Dennis

7-year-old girl adopted by Terri and Pamela Dennis died after having been unresponsive for over eight hours. Her death was caused by blunt force trauma.

The girl had been adopted 5 months prior to her death.
Date: 2013-04-04
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Disabilities: yes

Location

Newport News, Virginia
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Theresa McNulty

4-year-old girl (Dasha), adopted from Russia by Theresa M. McNulty allegedly suffered bruises, welts, cuts and burns to her face and upper body from scalding hot bath water.
Date: 2010-02-21
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Ambler, Pennsylvania
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Wanda and Bobbie Holmes

Less than 17 year old girl adopted by Wanda and Bobbie Holmes was sexually abused by her 72 year old adoptive father with permission of her adoptive mother.
Date: 2003-08-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Location

Roxana, Illinois
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by woman in Ontario, Canada

A girl, adopted from Romania, by a woman from Ontario, Canada, was sexually abused by convicted pedophile Randolph “Randie” Bartley. The adoptive mother enabled the abuse.
Date: 2006-08-17
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse, Sexual exploitation
Abuser: Adoptive mother, Other non-family member

Location

Paris, Ontario
Canada
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Zhuzhou couple

3 year old girl was beaten to death by her adoptive mother surnamed Yi. Father's surname not released. The family had been reported for abuse previously. This was a domestic adoption in China.
Date: 2013-12-10
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother

Location

Lusong District Zhuzhou, Hunan
China

Girl adopted David and Jan Carpenter

3-year-old girl adopted from Guatemala in 2008 by David and Jan Carpenter was severely malnourished, had head trauma, signs of pooling blood on the brain and was having seizures. The girl lost more than 2 pounds in the 11 months since her adoption, going from 23 lbs to 21 lbs at almost 4 years old. A second child adopted at the same time was also removed from the home.
Date: 2009-10-15
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal neglect, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother

Location

Little River, Wisconsin
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl in care of David Kinghorn

David W Kinghorn was convicted of raping one of the girls in his home. David and Glenda Kinghorn had 2 bio children, adopted 4 children, then took custody of 8 or more children from disrupted adoptions, including Sasha Bignell from Ukraine. They moved from Minnesota to Arkansas when Minnesota CPS was investigating the situation. The 4 adopted children and possibly 3 more were originally from Louisiana.
Date: 2005-10-26
Placement type: Legal Guardianship
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Legal guardian
Home schooling: yes

Location

Mena, Arkansas
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl in care of Vladimir Karpov

7 year girl from Ukraine was brought to the US by Delaware man in 1999 after her foster family in Ukraine agreed to the move. He abused her sexually for six years. In 2005 the girl's former Ukrainian foster family visited and the girl told about the abuse. Karpov, a Ukrainian native, fled and was eventually found in 2007 by Mantega, CA, police. He is charged with 50 counts of first-degree rape and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child

This was an informal foster or adoption arrangement, and likely there was no homestudy,etc.
Date: 2007-07-07
Placement type: To be adopted
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Newark, Delaware
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl in foster care abused by Randy Horton

Unpublished
7-year-old girl in foster care was sexually abused by Randy Horton, the boy friend of her foster mother.
Date: 2009-03-04
Placement type: Foster care
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Other non-family member

Location

Anderson, Indiana
United States
See map: Google Maps

Pound Pup Legacy