Court documents detail alleged abuse by Emmet Co. parents
An affidavit from the Emmet County District Court has detailed the alleged abuse at the home of Phillip and Kimberly Loesch - who were arrested for child abuse this week.
The investigation started after one of the children, a 13-year-old boy, went missing for two days in July.
Emmet County Sheriff Pete Wallin said his office received several tips as to the reason the boy had gone missing. He was found two days later.
Court documents show that the 13-year-old boy and two other adoptive children were abused from the time they were adopted in 2008 until they were removed from the home by Protective Services in July. One of the children, a now 18-year-old girl permanently left the home in January of 2012 and placed in foster care.
The affidavit shows that the children were required to spend long hours upstairs in their room during each day and were not allowed to leave the room without permission. Documents show the children were required to ask permission to use the restroom and on several occasions were forced to relieve themselves in their room because permission had not been granted.
The court documents allege the bedroom was monitored and secured using a baby gate, alarm system and baby monitor.
The affidavit said the children were given insufficient food to eat, were not allowed water after 7 p.m. and had a diet consisting of soggy corn flakes every morning and a peanut butter sandwich for lunch and dinner. For punishment, the documents allege the children were required to eat something called "mush," which consisted of corn, peas and vinegar. When the children vomited into the bowl, the documents allege they were required to eat the vomit mixture as further punishment.
The children were not allowed to eat any of the other food in the house, the documents said, as it was reserved for the biological members of the family. The adoptive children were also forced to eat in a separate location than the rest of the family, often standing up by the door or in their bedrooms.
The two young boys were both severely underweight and small for their ages as a result of the lack of sufficient nourishment, the documents allege.
The children were also physically abused by beatings on their hands, heads and buttocks with leather "spanking sticks", the records show.
The documents also allege the children were "unreasonably and excessively" required to exercise for long periods of time by carrying or holding large rocks or heavy buckets or water. The biological children were not required to have these punishments when they were disciplined, the documents said.
The rocks and buckets were allegedly required to be hidden when CPS came to investigate based on complaints from school personnel or others, which the documents said happened frequently.
Court documents allege many of the punishments were in retaliation for the kids eating or drinking or taking food or water because they were hungry or thirsty and then lying about it out of fear of further punishment.
The adoptive children were not allowed to socialize with other family members, the court records allege. One of the young boys was required to wear cardboard box sides on his head so he could only look straight forward as punishment for looking up or around when, for instance, family members came in the bedroom.
They were repeatedly told they were "thieves" or "liars" and were told they were not loved, unwanted and that they should "run away for good."
The documents allege the young boys were required to take showers together while a female family member was in the bathroom monitoring them. They also allegedly had to share the same towel.
In the last several months, the documents show the boys were required to sleep on the floor of their bedroom during the last several months, with no mattress, sheets, covers or pillows, the documents show. They were even told what position their hands and bodies should be in while they slept.
The documents allege the abuse was "regular, ongoing, and typical." They claim the three children attempted to run away from home on several occasions and many concerned citizens called in complaints to Child Protective Services.
The children rarely if ever revealed the extent of the abuse out of fear of further punishments and were event told what to say to CPS officials by the parents, the documents said.
"The environment created by these 'parents' for these children was characterized as completely controlling, domineering, coercive, hostile, punitive, unloving, abusive, and cruel, such as to cause serious physical, emotional and mental damage to these children," the documents said.
Phillip and Kimberly Loesch turned themselves in to the Emmet County Sheriff. They are both out on a $10,000 bond. Sheriff Wallin is asking that anyone with information call 231-439-8900.