National News

Parents accused of abusing 10 kids had history of domestic violence

Posted May 15, 2018 8:09 p.m. EDT

FAIRFIELD, Calif. -- The Fairfield man accused of torturing his children had a history of domestic violence and a knack for isolating his family from relatives and neighbors, court records and interviews show.

New details emerged Tuesday complicating the portrait of Jonathan Allen, 29, who had a felony rap sheet and was known to some as an enigmatic loner. He was arrested Friday and booked into Solano County Jail on seven counts of torture and nine counts of child abuse or endangerment.

Allen and his wife, Ina Rogers, are accused of forcing their 10 children to live in squalor while subjecting them to ``sadistic'' abuse and torture over the last several years, authorities said.

Allen's alleged pattern of abuse dates back further to late 2011, when he was charged with corporal injury to a spouse, cohabitant or child's parent, assault with a firearm and two counts of criminal threats. All felony allegations were against a victim identified as I.R. in court records, and Jonathan Allen was later ordered to have no uninvited contact with Rogers.

The charges stem from two incidents in Vallejo that occurred Oct. 31, 2011 and Nov. 9 of that year. Solano County prosecutors accused Allen of using a .22 caliber revolver to assault and threaten the victim during the Halloween incident.

The alleged crime, court records state, ``was so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate and specific as to convey to I.R. a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution.''

Allen pleaded no contest to the charge of corporal injury, and prosecutors agreed to dismiss the remaining charges. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and three years of probation, which ended in January 2015.

His mother, Peggy Allen, told The Chronicle that she was blindsided by the recent torture allegations. She described her son as an introvert who kept his extended family at bay.

``If we knew that my grandchildren were abused, we would say something,'' Peggy Allen said. ``I'm trying to find the facts, just like you are.''

Peggy Allen said it's been four years since she last saw her 10 grandchildren, who were removed from their Fieldstone Court home on March 31. Their mother, Ina Rogers, called Fairfield Police that evening to report that her 12-year-old son was missing.

The boy was found later that night, sleeping under a bush in a nearby yard, and when police brought him back to the home they reportedly found floors piled with trash, spoiled food and human and animal feces. Rogers was arrested and booked into Solano County Jail on on suspicion of child neglect. She was released April 9 after posting $10,000 bail, according to court records.

On Tuesday, the Solano County District Attorney amended the criminal complaint against Rogers, adding nine counts of felony child abuse. She is due back in court Wednesday morning.

The children were taken to live with relatives the day investigators discovered the squalid living conditions. In follow-up interviews with investigators, the children described extreme abuse that left them with puncture wounds, burns and injuries consistent with being shot with a pellet gun or BB gun, authorities said.

``I love my son and my grandchildren very much, and we're going to get through this,'' Peggy Allen said, adding that her son is ``a very private person.''

The story of torture and abuse has drawn national attention to the parents who had apparently lived as shut-ins, largely isolating themselves from their neighbors.

Records show two calls to police from the Fieldstone Court home last fall.

On Oct. 12, Rogers reported her Chevrolet SUV missing, which turned out to be unfounded, police said. On Nov. 16, someone called from the home to report a suspicious person.

Despite the repeated interactions with law enforcement, other residents of the quiet cul-de-sac said they knew little about the family and had no idea so many children were living in the rundown home.