A children’s book author and her husband were arrested after they neglected their three adopted children.
41-year-old Jennifer Wolfthal was first arrested on January 1 on charges of neglect with great bodily harm and child abuse. She was arrested again on three counts of false imprisonment.
Her husband, 39-year-old Joseph Wolfthal, was also arrested on charges of neglect with bodily harm, false imprisonment, and aggravated child abuse.
An arrest report revealed that the incident started unfolding on New Year’s Day when officers were called to Advent Hospital for a medical problem involving an 8-year-old girl.
The police heard from a Child Protective Services investigator that the ‘critically ill’ child had been taken to the hospital by her father.
The young girl was diagnosed with liver and kidney failure, pneumonia in both lungs, open infected wounds on both legs, a staph infection, and sepsis.
Police uncovered evidence of abuse targeting not only the 8-year-old girl but also the couple’s two other adopted children: a girl, 11, and a boy, 9.
The girl told police that “she did not want to go back to her parents and on several occasions, she referred to herself by saying that according to her parents, she ‘couldn’t stop sinning,’” which officers said was something the couple would tell the children whenever they were punished.
She also said that she would be disciplined for wetting the bed, not going to the bathroom at ‘proper’ times, and not performing squats.
Officers searched the home and found the girl’s writings, which read: “My body stays flat on the bed at all times. I was never given permission to move or say anything. Now I get to write about this along with everything else. I am a fool.”
The 9-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl both said that they have cold water poured over them every night as punishment.
Jennifer’s bond is being held in prison without bond while her husband’s bond was set at $210,000.
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