OKLAHOMA CITY — Court documents released on Wednesday outline the severe abuse to three adopted children.
John Edward Kluth, 50, and Sonja Kay Kluth, 57, were arraigned at the Canadian County Courthouse on Tuesday, the same day they were arrested on child abuse and child neglect charges. The couple bonded out after lunch the same day, police said.
Prosecutors said the abuse happened from January 2009 through November 2010.
The Canadian County district attorney filed charges against the couple on Tuesday.
The court documents said that the three children, which included a 15-year-old boy, an 11-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl, were kept in an underground storm cellar by the Kluths and confined to small dog crates. The children weren’t fed for long periods of time and were without proper sanitation, the charges said. But when they were fed, the boys were given dog food, while the girl was fed cat food, the documents said.
According to the affidavit, the children were not allowed to ask for food or tell their adoptive parents that they were hungry. If they did, the documents said, they were punished. The affidavit said the punishment could include beatings, sleeping in a 14-square-foot cellar, deprivation of food or running laps.
The district attorney said in the charges that Sonja and John Kluth would beat the children. Sonja Kluth would beat the children with the buckle ends of belts and broom handles until they lost consciousness, burned the 15-year-old boy’s tongue and skin with scalding hot kitchen utensils, squeezed the teen’s tongue and genitals with pliers, smashed the teen’s fingers and toes with a mallet and struck him in the face with various objects, including a dog bowl, the district attorney said.
The charges filed against Sonja Kluth said that she choked the children with her hands and beat them with her fists.
(Left) John Kluth, (Right) Sonja Kluth More
The court documents said the girl was beaten and thrown to the ground and into countertops and doors by the Kluths. During one of the incidents, documents said, the girl’s earring was ripped from her ear, and was struck in the face with a telephone that broke a tooth.
According to the affidavit, the teen boy told police the the Kluths would “get together sometimes and ‘slide throw’ them across the carpet and that they would get carpet burns.
According to the court affidavit, Sonja Kluth explained to police that in the process of trying to gain control of the children, she had totally lost control and became a monster toward her children.
John Kluth told police in the affidavit that “kids need walls and there is a wall of discipline in the home,” the affidavit said.
In one incident, police said, Sonja Kluth was smashing one of the children’s fingers with a mallet she said, “Get back up here. You know I want blood.”
According to the court affidavit, doctors said that the teen’s bone growth was significantly delayed due to the malnourishment the children received. The doctors also noted the teen suffered from a broken hand, the documents said.
Police said they discovered the abuse after finding that one of the children was living in a cardboard box behind a Braum’s. After an investigation, officers said they discovered the two other adopted children living in the home.
The bond for Sonja Kluth was set at $9,000. John Kluth’s bond was set at $7,500.