Savannah and Selena, both adopted, were subjected to horrific sexual abuse at the hands of their adult brother, Michael, who was also adopted. The couple, described only as Mother and J.S. in court documents, had three additional young adopted children and four additional older biological children. When Selena told their mother about her abuse at the hands of her older brother, her mother responded by disciplining her. Selena then went to school officials about the abuse, and her mother responded by withdrawing both Selena and Savannah from school to homeschool them so that they would not “spread lies.” Fortunately, the school officials had already involved the Department of Child Services, and the children were subsequently removed from the home. As the trial continued, allegations surfaced that both J.S. and Mother had sexually abused the children and that J.S. had beaten the children with a belt. After a trial, the court terminated parental rights.
Date: August, 2005
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee