An Army major based out of New Jersey and his wife are being accused of torturing their three foster children, as they broke their bones, force-fed them hot sauce and denied them water to teach them how to behave.
John Jackson, 37, was arrested by federal agents along with his wife Carolyn Jackson, 35. The matter is being handled federally because the abuse happened while Jackson was living on the military base in Morris County.
The two are being charged with 17 counts, including conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a child, assault and more than a dozen counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Reports indicate that the abuse began when they fostered and adopted children from August 2005 through April 2010.
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One adopted child died in May 2008, but they are not being charged with his death.
They also involved their three biological children in the abuse, as they ordered them to guard the bathrooms so the foster children would not attempt to drink water from toilets or sinks.
The Jacksons ordered their children to not report the abuse or else they would be beaten.
They also used different types of objects to punish the children, giving them broken bones, and denied the injured children medical attention.
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All foster children were also forced to eat red pepper flakes, hot sauce, raw onion and salt as punishment.
Police say the Jacksons gave officials false medical histories of the children and also blamed injuries on the children's biological mother.
"Carolyn and John Jackson are charged with unimaginable cruelty to children they were trusted to protect," U.S. Attorney Paul Fisherman said.
"The crimes alleged should not happen to any child, anywhere, and it is deeply disturbing that they would happen on a military installation. Along with the FBI, we will continue to seek justice for our communities' most vulnerable victims."
All of the Jackson's children are in the custody of the state.