Six children (four of whom from Russia, and 2 of whom are from Guatemala) adopted by Martin and Kathleen O'Brien were allegedly abused by their adoptive parents.The Russian children were bio siblings adopted in 2004 at approximately ages 5-11. Some of the children were homeschooled.
The O'Briens are charged with:
- Stripping the children naked as part of punishment.
- Dragging the children by their arms while the children were naked.
- Kicking the children in the groin.
- Spraying the children in the face and on the neck and chest with pepper spray.
- Bending a child’s arm into a “compliance-type” arm bar.
- Hitting the children with a stick.
- Slapping the children in the face.
- Stabbing one child in the hand with a knife.
- Grabbing children by the throat and lifting them off the ground.
- Striking children in the groin with a knee.
- Picking one child off the floor by an ear causing the ear to tear and bleed.
- Striking children with a ruler.
- Placing one child in a “bin” while Martin O’Brien struck the outside of the bin with a log.
- Striking one child in the chest with a flashlight
- Forcing the adopted children to eat frozen loaves of bread off the floor before bedtime while the biological children watched.
- Forcing the children to stand naked in the snow three to four times a year.
- Locking the children in a bedroom for four to five days at a time.
- Beating the children with a belt.
- Choking one child because of a prayer he said
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Home schooling: yes
LocationLake Geneva, Wisconsin