Parents charged with abuse of adopted 12-year-old

Thursday, November 13th 2008, 8:24 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

FAIRVIEW, Okla. - A Fairview couple is being charged with abusing a 12-year-old girl they adopted from Africa.

A judge listened to testimonies Thursday to decide what would happen to the girl's four sisters, who were also adopted from Africa by Penny and Ardee Tyler.

Until Thursday, only the girl allegedly abused was removed from the home, taken by DHS to live with a cousin of the family. During the court proceedings, several people asked the judge to remove the other girls.

"It's especially horrendous," Fairview resident Lisa Parker said. "We take children out of a country and bring them here and look what we're doing."

Parker and several other people are angry because the four girls adopted from Africa are still living in the Tyler home. Their biological children are also charged with crimes surrounding the girl.

"The children need a voice," Parker said. "All I can do is come out here and support the children."

According to court documents, the 12-year-old girl was "forced to sleep outside." On another occasion she was "tied with a rope and restrained to a bed" overnight.

In addition, the Tyler's biological son Ashton is accused of sexually assaulting the young girl. Their biological daughter Nathania is accused of physically restraining her. In court documents all of the family members either admitted to the abuse or knew it happened.

"It saddens me to think someone in my own family could do something like this to any child," said Penny's cousin, Barbara Thomas.

Thomas is in the process of adopting the girl, who was placed in Thomas' home by DHS. She and others came to the courthouse to encourage the judge to take the other adopted daughters out of the home.

"I'm willing to take every one of them and let them see how people are kind, and normally treat children," Thomas said.

After four hours of testimony from a dozen witnesses the judge decided to keep the other four girls in the Tyler household. According to the children's lawyer, the girls are in DHS custody, placed with the Tyler family.

"There are no words," Thomas said. "This whole thing is just been a nightmare."

The children's lawyer said he recommended they be taken out of the home for 30 to 60 days. He said instead of doing that, the judge based his decision on DHS's recommendation.