Mother sodomized adopted daughter, teen testifies in rape trial

Date: 2009-11-13

By Valerie Lough

SPRINGFIELD — Vonda Ferguson shook her head as her former adopted daughter, now 19, testified to an alleged sexual assault with a toilet plunger handle in Ferguson’s trial Thursday, Nov. 12.

Ferguson, 46, is standing trial in Clark County Common Pleas Court on 32 charges of child endangering, permitting child abuse, felonious assault and rape.

The 19-year-old woman testified Thursday that Ferguson sodomized her with the plunger handle as a form of punishment.

“I don’t remember what I did...it was for something I wasn’t supposed to do,” the teen said.

Defense attorney Jim Marshall called the girl’s credibility into question, asking her to explain inconsistencies in stories she told various authorities after being removed from the Ferguson home.

“I don’t remember, there were so many people I talked to,” the girl said.

Ferguson is accused of abusing her five adopted children — hitting them with hammers and sticks until they bled, forcing them to eat excrement and burning them with irons — between 2000 and 2004.

Her husband, James, 49, was convicted on similar charges last year and sentenced to 65 years in prison.

The children, now 14 through 19 years old, were taken out of the home in 2004 and the couple gave up custody in 2005.

Testimony is expected to resume Friday in Judge Richard O’Neill’s court at 9 a.m.

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