Peoria Parents Accused of Keeping Children in Home "Prison"

A pair of Peoria parents are accused of keeping two of their adoptive daughters in a twisted home "prison," according to police.

Court documents obtained by New Times describe various treatments the 13- and 11-year-old girls faced: Being forced to sleep nude in the backyard, having their heads shaved, being forced to do barefoot running exercises, getting swatted with a paddle, and having to hand-write Bible verses for hours on end, among other things.

The parents, Johann and Kimery Jorg, confirmed "virtually every detail" the girls told a Child Protective Services caseworker. CPS was tipped off by health care workers who had been seeing the girls since they were adopted.

According to court documents, here's how Kimery Jorg described the punishments to police:

For lying, the child has to apologize for the lie, get swatted on the buttocks with a wooden paddle (# of swats equal to their age), have apple cider vinegar sprayed in their mouth (# of sprays equal to their age), hold it in their mouth for 15 seconds, swish it around for 15 seconds, then swallow. This is fallowed by a time-out of standing against a door wit hands behind the head for a number of minutes equal to their age plus one. After the time-out, the child can get a drink of water to remove the taste of the vinegar. Then the child must run outside in the heat for 60 minutes straight then write several bible verses 3 times each (# of verses equal to their age). If there are three or more mistakes the child must re-write the bible verses four times, then repeat, increasing to five, six, etc. for subsequent errors. The child must then explain the bible verses to their mother, and memorize and recite all the bible verses. If there are any mistakes, then time gets added to their 60 minute run. The punishment for stealing in the home is identical ,except with the added task of mopping the floor for 45 minutes followed by cleaning the tile grout for 45 minutes, or some other comparable task.
Court documents note that the Jorgs are foster parents, and had initially taken in the girls after they were removed from abusive homes.

The girls told investigators that the punishments went beyond what their adoptive parents explained.

The girls explained the "prison" system they were living in. There was "regular prison" and "deep prison." In regular prison, the girls were allowed to sleep on a towel on the ground inside the house, but had to go to the bathroom in a bucket no matter which "prison" they were in. The 13-year-old girl, who said she'd been in "deep prison" since Christmas, had to sleep outside in a tent. Neither girl was allowed to wear clothes, except the 11-year-old, who was allowed to wear a diaper, according to the documents.

The girls were home-schooled by Kimery Jorg, but the older girl told investigators she was very far behind because of all of the running and Bible-verse writing.

Police asked the Jorgs about all the punishment, and about the "lying" and "stealing" they claim the girls do. Kimery Jorg told police the girls were punished after she found a single breath mint missing during a recent family trip to Colorado. In another instance, she claimed the other girl stole "22 items" from a relative's home, but Jorg couldn't identify a single item, according to the court documents.

Johann Jorg didn't have a better explanation -- police say he described a situation two or three years ago in which the older girl took some grapes she wasn't supposed to, and possibly a recent incident involving beef jerky.

Perhaps that has something to do with the "prison food" the girls told CPS workers they eat: Oatmeal for breakfast, prunes and crackers for lunch, and grits with salsa for dinner.

The 13-year-old girl was almost 5 feet tall, but weighed just 61 pounds, "not even registering on standard pediatric growth charts," police note in court documents.

The older girl was hospitalized over concerns of "refeeding syndrome."

According to the court documents, "This condition is usually seen with concentration camp survivors and the like."

She also had abnormal growths on her legs, likely due to the combination of malnutrition and exercise, according to the documents.

When police served a search warrant at the house, they discovered, "Every wall and cabinet door (inside and out) in every room to include the kitchen, family room, office and bedrooms, was covered with pieces of paper outlining chore lists, house rules and consequences for breaking them. There were dozens of 'post-it' notes in the kitchen with messages about punishments that [the victims] still 'owed' to the parents."

There were two other, even younger, children in the home, who weren't subject to the "prison" treatment, apparently because they're too young. CPS removed all four children from the home.

The Jorgs face felony child-abuse charges. Their bond was set at $100,000 each.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley