Child abuse, rape charges filed against local family

Date: 2008-10-09

Fariview Republican

The Major County District Attorney's Office filed a string of felony charges against a county family last week, alleging that family members engaged in abuse, rape and assault and battery against an adopted daughter.

Assistant District Attorney Tim Haworth filed the charges last Wednesday after receiving an extensive investigation report from his offices's investigator, Steve Tanio.

In his affidavit Tanio asserts that Penny Sue Tyler and husband Ardee Tyler abused their 12-year-old daughter the oldest of five girls that the couple adopted from Africa in August of 2005.

The state affidavit alleges that the Tylers disciplined the girl by tying her to a bed post overnight, by tying her to a stairway post and by forcing her sleep outside on a porch "when the outside temperature was very cold."

On one such instance the girl was tied to her bed over night for "stealing food," according to Tanio's affidavit.

The Tylers face one felony count each of child abuse charges that carry a possible penalty of between one year to life in jail and/or $500 to $5,000 in fines each.

The affidavit goes on to assert that the Tylers' adult son, who was a 15-year-old at the time of his alleged offense, carried his then nine-year-old adopted sister to his bedroom and sexually assaulted her.

The son now faces one felony charge of rape by instrumentation, a charge that carries a penalty of not less than five years in prison.

The Tylers adult daughter Nathania Dellare Tyler has also been charged with one misdemeanor charge of assault and battery for hitting her adopted sister in the back of the head.

The alleged offenses came to light after Penny Sue Tyler's sister, Barbara Thomas-Johnson, began proceedings to adopt the 12-year-old girl, and had moved the girl to her home in Highland, IL.

According to Tanio's affidavit, the girl confided in Thomas-Johnson after the move to Illinois, and related details of the alleged incidents of abuse and rape.

A subsequent investigation conducted by a child welfare specialist with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services led to the case being forwarded to the district attorney.

Tanio stated in his affidavit that he had received hand-written admissions of the alleged offenses from Ardee Tyler and his adult son.

The Tylers and their son and daughter surrendered themselves into sheriff's custody last Wednesday, and were subsequently released on bond amounts ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

DHS case workers initially declined to remove the four remaining adopted children from the Tyler household.

That situation changed this Monday, however, when Associate District Judge N. Vinson Barefoot signed an order instructing DHS to take the children into their care.

The four girls are currently being retained in DHS custody at an undisclosed location.

Major County Sheriff Steve Randolph stated Tuesday that an initial custody hearing for the four girls is expected next week.

The Tylers are currently permitted to visit the girls under the supervision of a DHS worker, according to Randolph.

The Tylers are scheduled for an initial court appearance on Oct. 29th in the Major County Courthouse.

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