Kansas missionaries’ penalty for vicious abuse: 32 months!
Jim and Paige Nachtigal, a pair of missionaries from North Newton in Kansas, tomorrow begin sentences of 32 months each for the extreme cruelty they meted out to three children they adopted from Peru.
According to this report, North Newton Police Chief Randy Jordan removed the three Peruvian orphans from the Christian couple’s home three years ago. On the day he took them away from the Nachtigals, two of the children – a boy and a girl who were both 11– looked so thin he was certain they’d been starved. The third, 15, had managed to escape the brunt of the abuse.
Known in the local religious community for their involvement at church and their missionary work abroad, the couple was convicted of several counts of child abuse last summer.
Prior to his arrest, Jim Nachtigal served as the Chief Executive officer at Kansas Christian Home in Newton for ten years. His wife was a missionary at World Outreach Ministries when the abuse surfaced.
On the day Jordan rescued the children, he noticed he boy had a knot on his elbow. The younger girl was limping because her leg had been broken. Both talked of being beaten with a cane and a wooden spoon when they didn’t do pushups, sit ups and jumping jacks correctly. The bruises and welts on their bodies corroborated the account.
Jordan’s testimony came just a few hours before Harvey County District Judge Joe Dickinson ordered Jim and Paige Nachtigal to serve 32 months in prison over their treatment of the children.
The Nachtigals’ defence attorneys, Kevin Loeffler and Brent Boyer, asked that they be placed on probation. Neither has prior convictions, are not a danger to society and could receive treatment in the community, their attorneys argued.
The Nachtigals were not immediately taken into custody after they appeared last week before judge Dickinson. Instead they were ordered to surrender to the Harvey County Jail by 5 pm on March 14 (tomorrow)
Jim Nachtigal was convicted of three counts of child abuse. His wife was convicted of two counts of child abuse.
Medical examinations of the 11-year-olds by pediatrician Kerri Weeks, who specialises in abuse cases, revealed what she said in court was the “extremely severe” nature of the abuse.
The children, she testified, both had calloused hands and cracked feet from excessive exercise and wearing ill-fitting or no shoes, open and sometimes “weeping” sores on their buttocks from spankings, 2-inch long welts consistent with cane whippings and malnourishment so severe that their bones were wasting away.
The starvation had gotten so bad that when the children did get to eat, their bodies “didn’t know what to do” with the food, she testified.
The boy weighed 60 pounds when he was put into police protective custody, police have previously said. The girl weighed 50.
The Nachtigals adopted all three children from a region of Peru where they had previously done missionary work. The older girl was adopted through an agency around 2012. The younger girl and the boy were adopted together about a year later.
Jordan has previously said that the Department for Children and Families received around a dozen reports from people voicing concern about the Nachtigals treatment of their adoptive children – some coming as early as 2014 – but none were forwarded to his department for investigation.