A Northern California couple pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges stemming from the alleged neglect and torture of their 10 children, with prosecutors adding four lewd acts upon a child counts against the father, according to the Solano County District Attorney’s Office.
Ina Rogers, 30, and husband Jonathan Allen, 29, were arraigned on an amended complaint before a Superior Court judge in a case involving allegations that the children were waterboarded, bitten and burned with scalding water.
The new complaint charges Allen with 20 felony counts, including seven alleging torture, nine for abuse or endangerment and four for allegedly committing a lewd and lascivious act on a child under 14.
Rogers faces nine felony counts of abuse or endangerment and one misdemeanor count of child endangering by health, according to the complaint.
The children have told investigators they had suffered puncture wounds, burns and bruising, as well as injuries consistent with being shot by pellet guns or BB guns.
Rogers and Allen will next appear before Superior Court Judge William Pendergast on July 10.
Tommy Barrett, Allen’s attorney, said before the hearing that his client “looks forward to his day in court and understands it’s going to be a lengthy process.”
On the phone before court, Rogers’ attorney, Barry Newman, would only say the new charges don’t apply to her.
In March, authorities searched the Fairfield home of the couple and their 10 children after taking one child – who was reported missing – back to the home.
Fairfield police described as disgusting the conditions in the home, including animal and human feces spread on the floor. The children range in age from 4 months to 12 years old.
Rogers was being held on $495,000 bail, and Allen’s bail was set at $5.2 million.
The couple has denied wrongdoing in interviews with local media.
Rogers told CNN affiliate KGO/KTXL, “I strive and I pride myself on being a good parent to my children.”
Fairfield police Lt. Greg Hurlbut said the children were home schooled.
The authorities’ involvement began March 31 when police were called to find a missing 12-year-old child. They found the child asleep under a bush in a nearby residence and returned the child to the home, where they conducted a search due to concerns about the children’s safety, police said.
The 10 children were eventually taken into protective custody by Solano County Child Welfare Services, and placed in the care of relatives.
Away from their parents, the children revealed a history of severe physical and emotional abuse, police said.