A California couple has been arrested, charged with child neglect and torture after police found 10 children living in filth.
But the mother at the center of the case says the mess in their home wasn’t left by the family, but rather by police after they searched the residence, KABC reported.
Ina Rogers was arrested in March after the couple’s 12-year-old son was reported missing and was returned home. She is currently out on bail. Rogers admits that all of their children sleep on the floor in a single room, saying that the siblings are close.
She also told reporters, during a tour of the four-bedroom house, that it was in disarray when police were there in March because her son who was missing at the time was angry that she and her husband took away his tablet and that she had torn it apart looking for the boy, The Associated Press reported.
Rogers’ husband Jonathan Michael Allen was arrested Friday after a six-week investigation. He was charged with nine felony counts of child cruelty and seven counts of torture, the AP reported. Allen has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. He is being held on $5.2 million bail, the AP reported.
Police say that the children told them that they were abused and showed “puncture wounds, burns, bruising and injuries consistent with being shot by a pellet or airsoft gun,” Lt. Greg Hurlburt told KABC.
Rogers told KABC that she has 11 biological children from the ages of 4 months to 14 years old. She had three children before she and Allen met and eight over the past decade. She home-schools the children while working as a medical technician full-time.
“Not only do I have 11 children and I’m 30 years old, but I also home-school all of my children and people don’t agree with that lifestyle and so I’ve had many people question my right to parent, and I just feel like this whole situation was exploded,” Rogers told KABC.
She told reporters, “There’s no broken bones. There is no major scars, nothing,” the AP reported. “My kids get bumped and bruised and scratched because they’re kids but that’s it.”
The children are currently in the custody of Rogers’ sister and mother.