Mega families abuse cases



Swarbrick siblings

3 male adoptees sexually abused other adopted siblings 1993 until 2001. Jodi and Jim Swarbrick adopted 30 special needs children from Asia, South America and USA (foster care and disrupted international) . The parents divorced in 2000 and the abuse was uncovered in 2004. Seven minor children were removed from the home at that time.
Date: 2005-01-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse, Non-lethal neglect
Abuser: Adopted sibling
Disabilities: yes

Location

Cedar Falls, Iowa
United States
See map: Google Maps

Boy adopted by Timothy and Karen Sue Tolin



A 19-year-old boy, one of 13 children adopted by Timothy and Karen Sue Tolin, was found locked in a caged bed covered in urine and feces.

Court records indicate that the Department of Human Services has a history of involvement with the Tolin family.

In 2010, the Huron County Intermediate School District and Ubly Community Schools petitioned Huron County Circuit Court Family Division regarding a charge the Tolins educationally abused and neglected seven minor children. A hearing was canceled after the Home School Legal Defense Association got involved.

One of the children adopted by the Tolins was placed with Tom and Debra Schmitz.

Karen Sue Tolin on her now defunct website admits to being a long time sufferer of Anxiety and Depression.

Date: 2014-10-20
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal neglect
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Disabilities: yes
Home schooling: yes

Location

Ruth, Michigan
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl in care of David Kinghorn

David W Kinghorn was convicted of raping one of the girls in his home. David and Glenda Kinghorn had 2 bio children, adopted 4 children, then took custody of 8 or more children from disrupted adoptions, including Sasha Bignell from Ukraine. They moved from Minnesota to Arkansas when Minnesota CPS was investigating the situation. The 4 adopted children and possibly 3 more were originally from Louisiana.
Date: 2005-10-26
Placement type: Legal Guardianship
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Legal guardian
Home schooling: yes

Location

Mena, Arkansas
United States
See map: Google Maps

Children adopted by Paul and Paula Dunham

Sexual abuse among siblings in a family of 24 adopted, foster and (9) biological children. Some of the children came from disrupted placements and/or were family to family adoptions. Eight of the children were originally adopted from the Philippines. Some of the children were home-schooled. At least one child had a history of sexually abusing girls prior to entering the home.

Criminal charges were filed against two of the Dunhams’ biological children and one adopted son. The biological sons were convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The adopted son was found not guilty after a trial before a Stearns County judge, possibly because a sibling in Florida refused to come and testify.
Date: 2008-11-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adopted sibling, Non-adopted sibling, Undetermined
Home schooling: yes
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Placement

Location

Holdingford, Minnesota
United States
See map: Google Maps

15 children placed with Bill and Debbie Rettew

Fifteen special-needs children, four of whom adopted, and the rest informally placed with Bill and Debbie Rettew were physically abused, medically neglected, and denied food as punishment.

In February 2002, a deal was struck with the Rettews, in order for them to get some of their children back. The Rettews agreed to a court order that found that “they physically and educationally neglected their 15 children.”

The court ordered that most of the children be enrolled in public or private school, that they be allowed ample socialization time as decided by the in-home therapy team, and that they be provided with any medical care or therapy advised by social services.

At least three of the children asked that they not be returned to the Rettews; it is not clear how many eventually returned.
Date: 2000-06-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal neglect, Non-lethal deprivation
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Disabilities: yes
Home schooling: yes
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Location

Greer, South Carolina
United States
See map: Google Maps

Marianna Matthews

Frances Ellen Matthews of Kenton, Tenn., was found guilty of a child-abuse charge and sentenced to 20 days in jail. She admits hitting her daughter in the face with a shoe. Marianna suffers from spina bifida. There were 16 children ages 3-17 in the home with Frances and Dale Matthews (12 adopted, 1 respite, 3 unknown status)

Marianna was sometimes sent to live with Debra and Tom Schmitz who are alleged to have also abused Marianna.
Date: 2004-11-11
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive mother
Disabilities: yes

Location

Kenton, Tennessee
United States
See map: Google Maps

Children adopted by William J. Every and Sharon Every

2 of 14 special needs children adopted by Sharon and Bill Every were sexually abused by Mr. Every.
Date: 2005-08-03
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Location

Henrietta, New York
United States
See map: Google Maps

James Clemons and Michael Clemons

Jamie, 5 and Michael, 8 were killed in a fire started by their 15 yr old adopted brother Jacob S. Clemons, who was born in South Korea. The Clemons family had 15 adopted and 1 bio child. Many of the adopted children had special needs and were from South America or Asia. Jacob, who had cerebral palsy and was blind in one eye was abused at a respite home in Pennsylvania. He said he started the fire in a suicide attempt.
Date: 1988-10-30
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adopted sibling
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Placement

Organizations: Adoption Counseling Organization and Resource Network (ACORN), Catholic Charities, Baltimore
Persons: Sally Clemons

Location

Ellicott City, Maryland
United States
See map: Google Maps

Boy adopted by Mary Lou and Bernard Bauer

A boy adopted from Vietnam was sexually abused by his adopted sister from India. The girl had been sexually abused prior to her adoption. The Bauers had 14 internationally adopted children.
Date: 1985-01-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adopted sibling

Location

Hampton, Minnesota
United States
See map: Google Maps

13+ Children in care of Diana Lynn Groves

13 to 16 children, mainly internationally adopted, were neglected by Diana Lyn Groves (aka Diana L. Roll, Diana Graves, Diana Martin, Spike Martin) after she was granted custody of them though private arrangements with the adoptive parents. She bound children with duct tape, beat them with a tennis racket, and disciplined 1 girl by putting her in a clothes dryer.

The 13 children removed in November 2003 included her youngest 2 biological children (16 and 13 years), a 2 year old child adopted at 5 months in Texas, and 10 other children. Six of these children had guardianship papers, 1 did not, and 3 are unknown status. Their ages were: 13, 11, 9, unknown, 9, 9, 7, 6, 1, 4 months. The 7 year old was from Poland. Other children were reported to "look like" they were from Eastern Europe, Ethiopia and Asia. She was previously charged with felony theft in 1989, fraud in 1991 and a felony charge of failure to appear in court in 1992. She allegedly operated under names such as Adoptions By Granny and Loving Choices placement agency. Besides the 3 children in the home in November 2003, there were at least 3 other children placed in the home by guardianship.

It appears she pleaded guilt to felony neglect of a dependent for the 2003 issues. She was apparently released by 2006

In 2006 Ms. Groves took $14,000 from 7 people saying she operated an adoption agency. She was sentenced to 3 years.
Date: 2003-11-01
Placement type: Legal Guardianship
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal neglect
Abuser: Adoptive mother, Legal guardian
Disabilities: yes

Location

bloomington, Indiana
United States
See map: Google Maps

28 children adopted by Kathy and Dan Blackburn

28 children, many special needs, adopted by Kathy and Dan Blackburn while they were missionaries in Haiti. Parents divorced after 30 year marriage and both alleged the other parent was guilty of child abuse. Initially Dan was granted custody of the minor children, he lost it after the children were neglected.
Date: 1996-06-06
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Non-lethal neglect
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother
Home schooling: yes
Fundamentalist faith: yes

Location

SHELBYVILLE, Indiana
United States
See map: Google Maps

Girl adopted by Ted and Merrily Ripley

circa 1983
12 year old blind girl adopted from Guatemala as an infant was sexually abused by an adopted sibling from Costa Rica. He was sentenced in to six months in a juvenile institution for taking indecent liberties with the girl. Charges of sexual abuse by her father Theadore E. Ripley were dropped.  Ripley's 30-year-old adopted German-born son, Kori, was charged with sexually assaulting the same girl in 1984,  unknown outcome.  The Ripley's adopted 18 children from Asia, Latin America, Germany, and the US.

Merrily Ripley operates a non-profit adoption agency, Adoption Advocates International. The children would have been primarily adopted through Holt prior to the founding of WACAP's Adoption Services in 1976 (which Ted and Merrily helped found and worked for from 1976 to 1983) or through WACAP. She founded AAI in 1983 and it appears the family was complete at that time.
Date: 1984-01-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adopted sibling

Post placement

Location

PORT ANGELES, Washington
United States
See map: Google Maps

Boys adopted and fostered by Thomas Cusick

Tom Cusick adopted or fostered 28 children, 4 girls and 24 boys. Most of boys were 8 or 9 year old when placed with him. Cusick was unmarried, but had a live-in female companion. At least 5 of the boys accused him of sexually abusing them.

Cusick committed suicide 2 days before the trial was to begin. Cusick claimed to be a famous composer, but apparently his income was only from foster and adoption subsidies.
Date: 1999-10-26
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father

Placement

Location

Langhorne, Pennsylvania
United States
See map: Google Maps

22 children adopted or fostered by Carl and Sherry Scott

12 adopted, 10 foster,and 5 natural children removed from Sherry Scott's home after Oregon Children's Services Division alleges sanitation problems and sexual abuse between children. Carl had left the home the previous fall. Most of the children were physically or mentally disabled. Many of the children were in the home under private arrangements between parents. Sherry also provided temporary respite care.

Sherry admitted to neglect.
Date: 1991-01-01
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Sexual abuse, Non-lethal neglect
Abuser: Adoptive mother, Adopted sibling, Foster sibling, Undetermined

Location

Cornelius, Oregon
United States
See map: Google Maps

Children adopted by Kodzo Dobosu (aka Kojo Odo)



At least three out of thirty-five children adopted by "father of the year" Kodzo Dobosu were sexually abused by him. Another child was sentenced for beating a sibling. He was accused of beating children with a board and pouring hot sauce and hot tea on the genitals of some children. He pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of three children and to petty larceny, in a deal which included no prison time.

Dobosu was born John Love, then legally changed his name to Kojo-Mbogba Odo and later Kodzo Dobosu. Children came from foster care in many states. The family was filmed for a PBS Frontline documentary called "Children of Pride".
Date: 1991-10-22
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adopted sibling
Disabilities: yes

Location

New York, New York
United States
See map: Google Maps

Primary links

Pound Pup Legacy