Ardee Verlon Tyler and Penny Sue Tyler adopted five girls from Liberia in 2005. The couple had two older biological children. The second adopted daughter, age 8 when she first arrived in the family and 10 when the children were finally removed, was singled out for abuse by her adoptive parents. They tied her with a rope during the day and restrained her in the basement at night, beating her, depriving her of food, and once forcing her to spend the night outside in the cold for stealing a cookie. She was also sexually assaulted by her older adoptive brother (he pleaded no contest at trial), and her older adoptive sister cooperated with their parents in restraining her. The Tylers were convicted of child abuse and each received ten year sentences. The Tyler’s older biological son was sentenced to two years and their biological older daughter received a 90 day sentence. The abuse did not come to light until the Tylers were in the process of handing the girl off to another family. The Tylers homeschooled all of the children and a retired teacher who came in to help out with the girls’ education served as a key witness against the couple in court. The other adopted children were also abused—deprived of food and called degrading names—but none to the extent that the second adopted daughter was. The couple asserted that the second adopted daughter was controlled by Satan and that the abuse they subjected her to was for her own good.
Date: October 1, 2007
Location: Fairview, Oklahoma