(MARYSVILLE, Ohio) — A National Guard member from Ohio recently deployed to Kuwait is accused of sexually abusing three of his children.
The man, who ABC News is not identifying to protect his children’s identities, was indicted on 17 counts on July 15 in Union County Criminal Court in Ohio.
He is accused of sexually abusing two 12-year-olds and one 5-year-old, according to Floyd Golden, the chief police officer for the Marysville Police Department. He was the stepfather of one of the children and adopted the other two, Golden told ABC News.
The alleged abuse took place between 2006 and 2012, according to court documents. In addition to sexual battery, the guardsman was indicted on charges of rape, sexual imposition and, “intimidation of an attorney, victim or witness in a criminal case.”
The guardsman was deployed to Kuwait in June, James Sims, a spokesperson for the Ohio National Guard, told ABC News. He has been part of the National Guard since 1996.
He was being detained in Virginia, pending a return to Ohio, and it was unclear if he had an attorney, Union County Prosecutor David Phillips said. A phone call to a number believed to be the guardsman’s family home in Ohio went unanswered.
Phillips told ABC News the man could face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment without parole if he is found guilty of raping a child under 10.
The man and his wife have 11 children — five biological and six adopted, police said. In August 2012, authorities removed all 11 children from the family residence in Marysville, Ohio, and placed them in foster care, said Golden.
After officials removed the children, the Marysville Police Department and Union County Department of Job and Family Services subsequently investigated the parents and presented the case to a jury at the Union County Criminal Court last week.
Court documents showed that the guardsman’s wife was also indicted on two counts of witness intimidation and obstruction of justice.
Attempts to reach the Union County Department of Job and Family Services were unsuccessful.
Golden said he had informed the National Guard that the suspect was under investigation several months before he was indicted.
Although the suspect was released from duty in Kuwait, he was not being released from the military.
“You don’t discharge someone for indictment,” said Sims. “The civilian process will go forward from there but, as of right now, he is not out of the military.”
A 2008 article written for the Defense Video and Image Distribution System featured the guardsman and his wife as a happy, churchgoing couple seeking a large family. It said they purposely adopted older children from developing countries because they said they were the least desirable adoption candidates. They originally were going to adopt one Liberian child, according to the article, and ended up taking home three. The article quoted the guardsman saying he wanted to adopt a girl from Liberia because, “They are often raped and molested from a very young age.”
The names of the child victims have not been released.
An arraignment was scheduled for Aug. 1.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
John Clyde, KSL.com
Sara Zendehnam, CNN