PEORIA, Ariz. – A Peoria couple are accused of abusing the children they adopted.
Police said over the last five years, the four girls, ages 7 to 13, had been fostered and then adopted by Johann and Kimery Jorg.
When Peoria police went to the home last week, they said they found a list of the punishments used on the two older girls, which allegedly included making the 13-year-old live in the backyard off and on since Christmas naked without even a bathroom.
The teen and an 11-year-old were extremely malnourished and emaciated.
"There's no words," neighbor Brittany Balog said. "I'm just sick right now."
Balog was stunned when she found out what Peoria police said her neighbors allegedly have been doing to their two oldest adopted daughters.
"The 13-year-old daughter was put in the backyard in what they call 'deep prison,'" Peoria police spokeswoman Amanda Jacinto said. "She would live in the backyard. She would be forced to wear a diaper or sometimes not even a diaper. They would have bathroom facilities out there that involved a bucket. She would live out of a tent."
Jacinto said other punishments included running for an hour or more barefoot in the heat and getting swatted on the buttocks with a wooden paddle. The couple allegedly had shaved the 13-year-old's head as a punishment, telling her she didn't deserve to have her hair.
Jacinto said the punishments were mainly for stealing and lying. The 13-year-old acknowledged she had been caught stealing food because she was hungry.
"That's horrible," neighbor Tim Brackett said. "I just can't imagine anybody treating their children or even anybody else's children like that."
Police said the Jorgs came to the attention of Child Protective Services when they went to a behavioral health facility for help with their 11- and 13-year-old daughters. When the parents told workers how they had been disciplining the girls, the facility called CPS, who then called police.
Kimery Jorg reportedly told police that the girls have so many punishments, she often can't get through them all so she writes notes to remind herself of the remaining punishments the girls "owe" her, according to court records. Police said they found dozens of Post-it notes in the kitchen.
"When we brought them in, they again stood by the fact that this was in the best interest of the girls," Jacinto said.
Police said the two youngest adopted daughters, ages 7 and 8, were not subjected to the same type of punishments.
All four girls are in the protective custody of CPS. The 13-year-old is still in the hospital due to severe malnutrition. Police say at nearly 5 feet tall she weighed only 61 pounds.
The Jorgs were arrested Thursday and are each facing four counts of child abuse. Each is being held on $100,000 bond.