Iarocci said Wednesday that the couple “repeatedly and harshly” beat the girls and older son with a paddle that eventually became stained with blood. The three victims were given little to eat and were malnourished, Iarocci said.
He called living conditions inside the home “deplorable.”
The victims were typically allowed out of their rooms for two hours a day for school lessons and to use the bathroom, Iarocci said. They were not allowed to socialize with other children in recent years, he said. Iarocci could not explain why a younger adopted son, now 13, was not abused.
Indictments allege the abuse occurred over a two-year period starting in September 2011. The investigation began after the two girls escaped from their shared bedroom in August 2013, sped away in the van and got into an accident, Iarocci said.
The girls were cited in juvenile court, which led them to tell a probation officer about the abuse, Iarocci said. The three children and the man were removed from the home and placed in foster care a month after the crash.
The couple adopted six children about 11 years ago but the abuse began only after two older boys left the family home after turning 18, Iarocci said.
The abuse inflicted psychological damage on the girls, but they and their older adopted brother have thrived in foster care, Iarocci said.
“They’re almost different children,” he said, adding that the girls are being adopted by another family.
An attorney for the husband declined to comment on Wednesday. The wife is expected to be assigned an attorney in the next few days. Each are being held on $50,000 bail.