The grandmother of 10 children who were removed from what some are calling a “house of horrors” in Fairfield, California, claims her grandkids “lived in torture” and accused their father of worshiping Satan.
"I can't believe we're going through this, my whole family, this is a nightmare," Wanda Rogers told NBC News in an interview on Monday night. Rogers’ daughter, Ina Rogers and her husband Jonathan Allen have both denied charges of child abuse.[[482724361, C]]
Authorities arrested the children’s father, 28-year-old Allen, on Friday and charged him with nine counts of felony torture and six counts of felony child abuse. He is currently being held on $5.2 million bail and has pleaded not guilty.
On Tuesday, Ina Rogers was charged with nine felony counts of child abuse. New court documents show the children were punched, strangled, and shot with weapons such as crossbows and BB guns as well as waterboarded. The documents also claim that Ina Rogers not only knew about the abuse but assisted in the torture as well.[[482723921, C]]
The children were removed from their Fairfield residence after officers, responding on March 31 to a report that one of the children was missing, discovered "horrible living conditions" in the house. The officers found “unsafe and unsanitary living conditions, including garbage and spoiled food on the floor, animal and human feces and a large amount of debris making areas of the house unpassable,” said Lt. Greg Hurlbut with Fairfield Police.[[482626671, C]]
U.S. & World
The missing 12-year-old was found asleep under a bush in a nearby yard, police said.
Some of the children, in interviews with police, described years of persistent abuse that sometimes resulted in puncture wounds, burns, bruising and injuries consistent with being shot with a pellet gun, police said Monday.
Officials said that, based on interviews with at least eight of the children, they believe that "significant torture took place" in the home at least as far back as 2014.[[482723371, C, 600, 427]]
Solano County Chief Deputy District Attorney Sharon Henry said she was "horrified" by the children's reports of "torture" carried out "for sadistic purposes."
"It literally breaks your heart, and you're outraged by how a parent or anyone could commit those acts," Henry said.
Sonoma County Welfare Office took custody of the children, who range in age from 4 months to 12 years. Their mother was arrested the same night but was later released after posting $10,000 bail.
NBC Bay Area is not naming the children to protect their identity.
“They went through a lot — a lot of abuse,” Rogers, who is currently taking care of seven of the 10 children, told NBC News late Monday night. The other three children are currently with extended family.
“Ina called us to come and pick up the children because she was being arrested,” the children’s grandmother said. “We picked up our grandkids, when we got there she was already taken to jail.
The police took the kids into CPS and took custody. The next day they brought them to us.”[[482673861, C]]
Wanda Rogers called her son-in-law “an abuser” and accused him of devil worship. She provided pictures of what appears to be a table with a knife and a Satanist book which she claimed is his “devil room.”
“Jonathan worships the devil. He had a devil room, a devil room that he called a meditation room,” Wanda Rogers said. “He was using my grandkids for sacrifice.”
Police have said that some of the abuse that took place appeared to be of a “sadistic nature” but have not elaborated.[[48272392, C]]
“My grandkids they talk so much they tell so much, they have so much to tell,” Rogers said, detailing abuse by her son-in-law which involved duct tape and even water torture.
“It's unbelievable. These kids didn't even get to go to school, they don't have no friends, they didn't do nothing, they stayed locked up in their home for so long, they didn't even know what a park was,” she said. “They don't even know how to they take baths, they eat, the play. They do things like normal kids are supposed to do now. They didn't used to be able to do any of that stuff.”
She added that her son-in-law said that “the demons were making him do it.” “He said ‘when the voices stop, I’ll stop hitting you,”’
In a jailhouse interview with KCRA news station in Sacramento on Tuesday, Jonathan Allen denied all the allegations against him. Calling himself the "Indiana Jones of spirituality." Allen said that he believed his children were brainwashed by police.[[482722421, C]]
“This is torture,” he said. “They took everything from me,” Allen said. “My hope is to reunite with my family.
Allen said that he was hopeful that the evidence would speak for itself. He added that the children had a normal life and childhood, apart from “being home-schooled.”
He added that he was not religious but "spiritual" and dabbled in Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism.
“They say they were tortured and beat, but can a doctor prove it,” he asked.
"I love my children with all my heart," Allen said crying. "I am not 100 percent perfect ... but I am not a torturer and I am not a monster."
NBC News contributed to this story.[[482586441, C]]