18 Children in care of Tom and Debra Schmitz
2004 Jun 30
10 children adopted by/in legal custody of and 7 children illegally in the "care" of Tom and Debbie Schmitz were abused by their adopters (they also had 1 bio child). For years the Schmitzes took in disabled and otherwise troubled children in their home and were part of an under-ground network of people taking in children from disrupted adoptions. As adherents of Attachment Therapy, they beat their children, locked them up in cagelike bunk beds, forcing one child to eat his own vomit; holding another child's head underwater as punishment; sitting on a girl and urinating on her; and hurling a wheelchair-bound girl into a swimming pool; placing a hose in a girl's mouth and turning on the water, and lancing a boil on another child with a box cutter as she screamed in pain; forcing children to dig what they were told were their own graves.
Seven children in the "care" of Tom and Debra Schmitz were illegally placed. At least: 2 were from China, 2 from Russia, 1 from Vietnam and 1 from Mexico.
Debra pleaded no contest to 14 counts of child abuse and one count of trafficking. She was sentenced to six months in jail and probation. Tom Schmitz case has been expunged. The Schmitz are now divorced.