Couple Convicted Of Some Charges In Oregon Adoption-Family Case

Date: 1995-11-23

Couple Convicted Of Some Charges In Oregon Adoption-Family Case

November 23, 1995
AP

BEND, Ore. - A couple who won accolades for adopting dozens of troubled children were convicted yesterday of racketeering and forgery for turning their Celebration Family into a criminal enterprise. But they were acquitted of manslaughter in the deaths of three youngsters.

Capping a one-year trial, the Deschutes County jury deliberated for seven days on 22 counts before reaching a decision.

Dennis Nason was acquitted of manslaughter in the children's deaths, and his wife, Diane, was acquitted on two of three manslaughter charges. The jury was deadlocked on a third count against her.

The Nasons also were acquitted of criminal mistreatment and aggravated theft. They will remain free pending sentencing Feb. 6.

The charges alleged the couple allowed three children to die in the 1980s; one starved and two had a form of dysentery. They also were accused of using a cattle prod and other forms of abuse as discipline, falsifying records to adopt more children and siphoning off $10,000 in contributions to their school.

The couple adopted 84 children in addition to their six biological children and raised them in a 33-room farmhouse in the Sisters area.

The prosecution argued the Nasons adopted more and more children to make more money, but the defense countered that they were guilty only of trying to help children no one else wanted.

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