exposing the dark side of adoption
Register Log in

Hearing date set for couple accused of abusing adopted children

A June 29 hearing date has been set for a couple charged with beating, choking and burning their three adopted children.


YUKON — A preliminary hearing was set Monday for a Canadian County couple accused of beating, choking and burning their three adopted children and forcing them to eat dog food.

John Edward Kluth, 50, and Sonja K. Kluth, 57, are charged in Canadian County District Court with child abuse and neglect. They are free on bail.

The couple did not attend Monday’s hearing, said Paul Hesse, assistant district attorney. The preliminary hearing was set for June 29.

Authorities think the couple severely abused their 15-year-old and 11-year-old sons and 9-year-old daughter.

A message left for Bill James, attorney for the Kluths, was not returned.

In an affidavit filed with the charges, Sonja Kluth told investigators she had become a monster and that she lost all control when trying to deal with the children.

She and her husband are accused of confining the boys in a darkened cellar at their home for up to seven months at a time and keeping the eldest boy in a dog crate for up to two months, according to the affidavit.

John Kluth admitted to excessively punishing the children, but he blamed most of the severe abuse on his wife. He said he and his wife were going to be accused of abusing the children, but the children came to them already damaged.

The Kluths adopted the children from Winnebago County, Wis., and had been receiving $4,500 a month in support money until Wisconsin authorities learned about the arrests.

Read more:

2011 May 10