Councilman and Wife Arrested for Allegedly Abusing 5 of the 16 Children in Their Care
A Kansas politician and his wife who were previously awarded for their efforts as adoptive parents were arrested and charged for abusing five of the 16 children in their care, officials said.
Jonathan Robert Schumm, 34, a Topeka City Councilman, and his wife Allison Nicole Schumm, 32, were arrested last Thursday and charged with one count each of aggravated battery, according to reports.
The abuse allegedly took place between October 7 and 11 and involved children between the ages of five and 16.
The couple was also charged with four counts of endangering a child, which reportedly took place on October 31.
The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) asked the Topeka Police Department to help in its investigation of reports of physical abuse against children, according to a City of Topeka spokesperson who issued a statement at the time of the arrests, WIBW-TV reported.
Arrest warrants had been issued for the pair following the investigation that began earlier in the month, the statement reportedly said.
Court documents reportedly said that a 12-year-old was tortured and cruelly beaten by the Schumms, who have four biological children and 10 adopted children who were brought into the home between 2006 and 2013. They were also reportedly fostering two children when they were arrested.
The Schumms, who were reportedly homeschooling the children, were awarded in 2013 an Angels in Adoption Award, which honors individuals who help children in need of homes.
That same year, Allison Schumm detailed her frustrations and the challenges she experienced with the foster care system in her blog, ‘Schumm Explosion.’
“Just thinking about the craziness of our life right now makes my head spin. I'm ready to settle in and see how things work out without the constant yo-yo of children coming and going, without all the emotions of saying good-bye over and over, without dealing with uncooperative foster parents,” she wrote in February 2013.
She wrote in another post that year, entitled ‘Loving the unlovable (Bonding Part 2)’ about punishing some of the children who denied they threw rocks through a neighboring building’s windows.
“Now I’m sure some of you are wondering what real life consequences there are for children who would throw rocks through 12 windows, steal a toilet paper dispenser and then lie about it. I will tell you it wasn’t easy. After carefully thinking about it and realizing that they were never going to be able to pay for it, Jonathan and I decided in loving our children they would have to fill 12 40 pound cat litter buckets with rocks and carry them across our 1 acre parking lot of a yard and dump them. They were mad, they were frustrated, they thought it was stupid, but you know what? They learned that my husband and I were serious enough that they never pulled anything to this extent again.”
Allison Schumm went on to write that though it would have been easy to walk away from the situation, she and her husband wanted to show the children they cared.
“It would have been so easy for Jonathan and I to walk away and honestly who would have blamed the 7th month pregnant woman if she didn’t want to deal with 3 bratty children who didn’t love her, didn’t like her for giving them consequences and hated being in her home. Nobody would have blamed her for not wanting to supervise them almost constantly until they started school, but she and her husband decided that if somebody else would have been expected to love them, us sending them to a new foster family would only teach them they could be unlovable and that nobody was willing to fight for them,” she wrote.
She and her husband were also investigated by DCF that year in connection to abuse allegations after a child’s foster family accused them of bruising him and potentially abusing other children in the home, the Capital-Journal wrote.
The children involved in the abuse allegation were separated from the rest of the family, Allison Schumm wrote in March of that year.
“Up to this point nobody had told us anything other than you can't see the children,” she wrote at the time.
“At this point we decided to leave all the children who the charges weren't addressing at my mother in laws house and only bring home the children the DCF wanted to talk to... I was still terrified, but knew that I would need to trust God for His protection of our family.”
She wrote that two DCF employees came to talk to the children involved and then spoke to her and her husband out their “discipline techniques.”
The allegations were ruled unfounded, the Capital-Journal wrote.
Allison Schum shuttered her blog in June 2014, writing: “My writings here have been fun, but I'm sad to say God has closed this door for our family. I'm sad to see it go, but life has change enough that I've not had time to write or a desire and I honestly feel that it was God preparing me to move on. If you are a personal friend and would like information I have shared in our blog about adoption, foster care or helping children in need please contact me. Pray for our family as we travel the journey God has planned for us!”
The couple made a court appearance last Friday in Shawnee County District Court, where Johnathan Schumm’s bond was set at $35, 000 and Allison Schumm’s bond was set at $20,000, according to reports.
They were released on bond that day.
Jonathan Schumm was reportedly elected to his first term to represent the fourth district in the Topeka City Council in April.
He remains an elected representative, a spokeswoman for the city told the paper.
Calls made by INSIDE EDITION to the Schumm’s attorneys were not returned.