At least 11 children (9 girls and 2 boys, born between 1997 and 2008) were physically and sexually abused by their adoptive/foster parents, Daniel Wayne Spurgeon and Jenise Rae Spurgeon. The children were homeschooled (though at least some had attended school as late as 2008). The Spurgeons’ three biological children (two boys and a girl, born between 2001 and 2006) were not reported to be abused.
Daniel worked from home as a programmer and the family were active in their church and community. The Spurgeons became foster parents in 2004 in Alabama. They adopted five girls (born in 2000, 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2005) and were fostering-to-adopt five more children (girls born 2003, 2005, and 2006; boys born 2007 and 2008). All ten of these children reported being abused by their parents. An additional girl, born 1997, who no longer lived with the Spurgeons, also reported being abused from 2009 to 2013.
The adopted and foster children reported that they were treated differently from the Spurgeons’ biological children. The house had two refrigerators; one contained varied meals for the biological children, while the other contained bread, rice, and beans for the adopted/foster children. The children were punished by being forced to swim laps, do pushups with a parent’s foot on their back, take cold showers, and sleep outside. They were smacked with spatulas and thrown against the wall. They went years without receiving medical care. At least five girls also reported being sexually abused by Daniel Spurgeon.
The Spurgeons left their Alabama home in August 2015 to move to Florida, although they weren’t licensed as a foster family in Florida until June 2016. The abuse came to light when police found three of the girls highly intoxicated in the parking lot of a restaurant. The girls reported that the alcohol was given to them by their father as part of the sexual assaults. The Spurgeons were arrested and both were charged with aggravated child abuse; Daniel was additionally charged with sexual assault.
Date: July 18, 2016
Location: Cape Coral, Florida; Florence, Alabama