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Police statement on James arrest


Here's the statement issued this morning by Anchorage police:

Subject: Woman Arrested on Multiple Counts of Offenses Against Children

Case Number: 10-48975

Anchorage Police arrested a 50 year-old woman following an 8 month investigation into criminal offenses against her adopted children. Anya James was arrested yesterday and charged with 10 counts of kidnapping and 6 counts of assault in the first degree.

In early October 2010, APD Detective Chris Thomas received information and was assigned to investigate an alleged claim of child abuse against four of James' children who were living in her home.

The APD investigation revealed between 2000 and 2010, James fostered and adopted six children, collecting over $750,000 in adoption subsidies from the State of Alaska. James moved from the Eagle River area to a home on the Anchorage Hillside in 2001. James homeschooled her adopted children and severely restricted their contact with the outside world.

All of the children were subjected to years of emotional and physical abuse. They were confined to small rooms with doors and windows alarmed to notify James if the children tried to escape. James also had video and audio monitors so James could monitor the children's activities and conversations. Inside the rooms, the children were forced to toilet in a kitty litter bucket, despite three working bathrooms in the home.

James also restricted their diets which led them to become severely malnourished, stunting their growth and preventing them from going through puberty during their teenage years. Several of the children removed from James's house in October 2010 were so malnourished they had to be hospitalized.

James was booked into the Anchorage Jail with bail set at $100,000 cash plus third party custodian with conditions that James have no contact with any of her adopted children or minors under 16 years of age. James is due to be arraigned in Superior Court today at the Nesbitt Courthouse at 1:45 p.m.

Detectives believe James may have adopted additional children prior to the year 2000. If you have any information about children living in the James home before 2000, call Anchorage Police Detective Chris Thomas at 786-2628.

2011 May 18