Sperry Couple Plead Not Guilty To Abusing Adopted Children

Tuesday, January 8th 2013, 5:27 pm
By: News On 6

An Osage County couple charged with abusing their four adopted children pleaded not guilty in court Monday.

The married couple who lives west of Sperry is charged with felony child abuse that investigators believe amounts to torture.

Aubrey Thomas is charged with three counts of child abuse and one count of enabling child abuse. His wife, Lora Lee Thomas, is charged with four counts of child abuse.

The Osage County Sheriff's Office came across the Thomas' when the kids started running away and were terrified to go back home.

3/14/2012 Related Story: Affidavit: Osage County Couple Forced Children To Eat Vomit, Manure

According to court documents, the two boys and two girls, between the ages of 13 and 15, alleged the couple withheld food from them, beat them, forced them to eat soap, vomit, and manure. The affidavit also details instances where the children were forced to perform sex acts.

Investigators say the home schooled children were coached not to say anything about the alleged abuse.

DHS says the Thomas's became foster parents in 1997. According to sheriff's investigators, two foster children showed signs of physical abuse and were removed from the home in 2003 when they lived in Rogers County.

Four other foster children were left in the home and were eventually adopted into the family. The Thomas' then moved to Osage County.

A status hearing was set for January 25. DHS was directed to provide records in the case on that date.

3/15/2012 Related Story: DHS Investigates Its Handling Of Sperry Child Abuse Case