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Yukon couple convicted of child abuse

A Canadian County jury has recommended Sonja Kluth spend the rest of her life in prison. John and Sonja Kluth forced their adopted children to eat pet food and kept them in dog crates, according to testimony.

BY SHEILA STOGSDILL Modified: June 19, 2012 at 12:00 am •  Published: June 20, 2012
/articleid/3685955/1/pictures/1753863">Photo - John Kluth
John Kluth

All three children testified they now live with foster families, Hesse said.

In an earlier interview, family members described John Kluth, a postal worker, and Sonja Kluth, a hotel manager, as middle-class people who never abused their biological children. Family members said the couple’s three biological children had been estranged from their parents for years, after disagreeing on the way their parents were secluding the two adopted boys from the rest of the family and the way they were raising the children.

After a weeklong trial that began June 11, the jury deliberated about three hours. Sentencing is set for July 24.

The jury recommended Sonja Kluth serve 25 years each on the other two counts of child abuse and three counts of child neglect. John Kluth, 58, was acquitted on one count of child neglect but convicted on three counts of child abuse and two counts of child neglect, Hesse said. The jury recommended he serve 10 years on each count.

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