WASHINGTON, Ill. — An Illinois couple sexually abused an 8-year-old girl who they volunteered to take in after her adoptive family could no longer care for her — a practice known in adoption circles as "re-homing," according to an indictment handed down by a federal grand jury.
The Danville (Ill.) Commercial-News reports Nicole Eason, 37, and Calvin Eason, 36, formerly of Danville, Illinois, and Westville, Illinois, are charged with counts of kidnapping and transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity with a minor, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Easons were arrested on April 3 in Tucson, Arizona, and remain in federal custody. They are accused of posting in an online adoption discussion board in 2006 and 2007 before using false information to bring the female child — now 16 years old — into their home on Chandler Street in Danville through a process known as private re-homing.
Re-homing, according to the release, is often associated with failed adoptions when an adoptive family places a child in another home because the family can no longer care for the child.
An affidavit filed in the case states that the girl told her parent in February that she was sexually abused by the Easons while in their custody for several weeks in March 2007, around the time of her eighth birthday. The affidavit indicates that during an interview with officials, the girl said she was forced to watch pornography and that both Nicole and Calvin Eason forced inappropriate sexual acts on her. She was slapped and hit if she resisted, according to the affidavit.
The original adoptive parents said they turned over the girl because the "Easons seemed like nice people," according to the affidavit.
The adoptive parents became concerned when the girl told them that Calvin Eason bathed her. They took action after a woman who monitored adoption scams alerted them to false information the Easons provided and that Nicole Eason had a criminal record. The woman told an FBI special agent that the Easons "knew what desperate parents wanted to hear" and "grabbed up the most vulnerable children," according to the affidavit.
The girl did not indicate she had been abused when she — along with a re-homed boy also in the home — was taken from the Eason residence, the affidavit indicated.
The girl has resided with a custodial parent since March 2007. The boy, who ended up in foster care until he was 18, did not disclose any sexual abuse at the hands of the Easons during a 2014 interview with officials. He did indicate that the girl told him the Easons took sexually explicit pictures or possibly videos of her while they lived there.
The Danville (Ill.) Commercial-News contributed to this story.