KC couple facing charges for years of frequent alleged sexual, physical child abuse

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City couple is facing numerous charges after prosecutors say the husband physically and sexually assaulted children who were related to him over many years and his wife also allegedly assaulted the children.

Arthur Peterman, 47, has been charged with three counts of statutory rape, four counts of first-degree child molestation, seven counts of abuse or child neglect, one count of child endangerment, and two counts of furnishing pornography to a minor. Altogether, he is facing 17 charges in Jackson County.

Jenny Peterman has been charged with three counts of child endangerment and three counts of child abuse or neglect.

Court documents said police were called to the couple's home on a child welfare check. Arthur Peterman let officers into the home where police found two children, a 7-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl, in filthy condition.

Both children were removed from the home and taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation.

The boy told investigators Arthur Peterman burned him and that he frequently got "beat." Police said when officers found the boy, he had several burns and cuts on his body.

The 47-year-old also allegedly sexually assaulted a 9-year-old girl, sometimes in the presence of the boy. The girl told police Arthur Peterman sexually assaulted her more than one time and told her it happened because he thought she was his wife.

According to court documents, Jenny Peterman allegedly watched her husband sexually abuse the girl and she also physically abused both children. The children told investigators they were told not to tell anyone else what was going on.

Court records also say Arthur Peterman displayed pornography and methamphetamines in the home and used the drugs with the children. Police said the 9-year-old girl tested positive for the drug after officials removed her from the home.

Police said both children were regularly kept home from school, and a witness said the children had not completed a full year of school yet.

According to court records, Arthur Peterman also abused an older child, who is now an adult, for years on a regular basis. The now-19-year-old told investigators the alleged abuse started when she was 4 years old.

When interviewed by police, Arthur Peterman refused to speak. Jenny Peterman denied the allegations when confronted by police and said the children were "story tellers." She also said she home-schooled the children but couldn't show police any books because they were "put up."

Arthur Peterman's bond has been set at $150,000 cash; Jenny Peterman's bond has been set $25,000. Initial court appearances have not been scheduled yet.