Couple accused of disturbing abuse on adopted children
Jesse Wells Reporting
EL RENO, Okla. -- A Canadian County couple accused of brutally beating their kids and locking them in dog kennels have their day in court. During Wednesday's preliminary hearing, graphic testimony came from one of the victims.
The parents face a half-dozen counts of child abuse and neglect.
Investigators call it one of the worst cases of abuse they've ever seen.
In court, John and Sonja Kluth sit for hours as their teenage son details nightmarish claims of abuse.
The alleged victim told the judge, he and his two siblings were often forced to stay in small dog kennels at the family home in Yukon.
The teen also told prosecutors his parents sprayed him with urine, burned him, routinely strangled him, smashed his hands and feet with a mallet, even squeezed his penis with pliers.
The mother allegedly committed a majority of the abuse, supposedly telling the boy she wanted to see him bleed and be miserable.
The victim also testified he would be confined at the family home for months at a time, never be allowed to socialize with others and said his mom encouraged him to commit suicide.
For their part, the defense painted a picture of the boy as a troubled kid who would lie, steal and cause trouble.
The accused parents had little to say leaving court.
"Do you have anything to say?" asked one reporter.
"No," Sonja said.
"Did you use pliers on his penis?" the reporter asked.
"No," Sonja said.
"So he's making this up?" he asked.
"No comment," Sonja said.
The investigation began after the victim ran away from home in February.
At the end of the hearing, the judge ruled there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial.
Both parents remain free on bond pending trial.