A couple, who took unwanted adopted children and abused them, faces years in prison after they were recently convicted on charges of kidnapping and transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.
Nicole Eason, 37, and Calvin Eason, 46, came to the attention of police following a 2013 Reuters investigation that shed light on an underground network where parents offered children they did not want to strangers using the internet.
Sometimes called private re-homing, the Easons took custody of at least six boys and girls from 2006 through 2009, and lied about themselves to the children’s adoptive parents.
The investigative report highlighted that the Easons had created fictitious identities. Moreover, the couple never told the parents that Nicole Eason’s biological children had been permanently removed from their custody when social workers determined the pair had neglected one child and abused the other.
Federal authorities arrested the Easons in Arizona in 2014. They were initially charged in Illinois relating to the kidnapping of two of the girls that they took in through re-homing. The couple also was charged with taking one of the girls across state lines with the intent to engage her in sexual activity.
The then 8-year-old girl told authorities that both the Eason’s sexually molested and physically abused her. The other girl was expected to sleep beside a naked Nicole Eason but was apparently not molested.
It seems that parents who transferred custody of the children to the Easons made contact with Nicole Eason through Yahoo groups.
Many parents used online bulletin boards to discuss problems with caring for children they have adopted, and Reuters also confirmed several cases where parents tried to unload their problem children to strangers. Reuters determined on a single Yahoo group that a child was advertised for re-homing around once a week on average.
Of note, U.S. federal law prohibits re-homing, and the large majority of the state laws limiting custody transfers and advertising of children do not include criminal sanctions and are frequently ignored by law enforcement.
A follow-up report from Reuters indicated that at least six states have passed new restrictions on advertising children or transferring custody since their initial 2013 report.
Source: NBC News
Photo: RT America/Relay Hero