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Foster parents facing hundreds of sex crime charges, including ‘sexual torture’ and trafficking

by Ellen Killoran

The youngest alleged victims were toddlers

Married foster parents arrested in Florida last year for allegedly abusing fostered and adopted children are now facing hundreds of charges in that state and in Alabama, where the couple housed foster children before moving the family to Florida.

According to AL.com, Daniel W. Spurgeon and Jenise R. Spurgeon have been under investigation in Alabama since last July, when authorities in Cape Coral, Florida, contacted Florence, Alabama, police to let them know they believed children had been victimized in Alabama as well.

According to WHNT News 19, the investigation began last summer when police were called to Cape Coral restaurant due to reports of intoxicated teenagers. Three teenagers dining with Mr. Spurgeon told police he had given them alcohol, and when questioned further they began to reveal details of ongoing sexual and physical abuse and neglect. One, a female, reportedly told police the abuse had been going on for seven years. At the time, the Spurgeons had ten children in their care, a mix of foster children and adopted children.

The couple is now facing several hundred counts of abuse. According to AL.com, Mr. Spurgeon is facing  115 counts of first-degree sex abuse, including two counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12; 122 counts of child abuse; four counts of first-degree sodomy; four counts of sexual torture; three counts of domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation; six counts of first-degree rape, 115 counts of enticing a child for immoral purposes, 11 counts of first-degree human trafficking; and six counts of incest.

Mrs. Spurgeon is reportedly facing 100 counts of child abuse, 100 counts of endangering the welfare of a child, an100 counts of enticing a child for immoral purposes, one count of domestic violence by strangulation of suffocation, and 11 counts of first-degree human trafficking.

Florence police Sgt. Brad Holmes told AL.com that the victims ranged in age from toddlers to teenagers. An earlier report said that the children living in Cape Coral were being returned to Alabama, where the family reportedly lived until the year before. The Sturgeons are expected to be extradited to Alabama.

 

 

Photo: Florence Police Department

Ellen is a seasoned journalist and former media & entertainment reporter with a taste for true crime. Formerly a senior editor at IBTimes, her work has appeared in Forbes, Rolling Stone, Maxim, NYMag, Indiewire, and more. She co-produced the HBO documentary "Youth Knows No Pain" and appeared in a documentary series that aired alongside the Lifetime movie "Manson's Lost Girls."