Six children adopted by Martin and Kathleen O'Brien

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
Date: 2011-08-03
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Home schooling: yes


Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
United States
See map: Google Maps
DocumentDatesort icon
Martin And Kathleen O’Brien: Abuse Trial Of Mom And Dad Details Horrifying Cruelty To Adopted Kids2015-07-14
Kathleen and Martin O'Brien plead not guilty to child abuse charges2014-12-02
O'Briens' attorneys file motions to dismiss child abuse charges2014-10-01
Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds new hearsay law2014-09-07
TFR promises to punish those responsible for the deaths of Americans orphans from Russia2013-02-21
Over 100,000 American orphans seek American love and care2013-01-11
Judge delays Lake Geneva child abuse case2012-11-23
Abuse suspects plead not guilty2012-09-20
Couple plead not guilty in Walworth abuse case2012-09-19
Bloomfield couple pleads not guilty to child abuse charges2012-09-19
Russia to tighten adoption rules after Wisconsin abuse case2012-08-02
U.S. Foster Parents Charged Over Abuse of Russian Children2012-08-01
Abuse charges against Walworth County couple bring international attention2012-08-01
Walworth County couple accused of hitting, stabbing, using pepper spray on kids2012-07-31
US couple on trial for abusing adopted Russian kids2012-07-07
More Russian children tortured in US2012-06-06
Couple facing 17 charges for allegedly abusing adopted children2012-05-21
Walworth County couple faces 17 charges including child abuse2012-05-21
Complaint: Lake Geneva parents stabbed, pepper sprayed children2012-05-19
State of Wisconsin vs Kathleen O'Brien and Martin O'Brien (complaint)2012-05-16


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