Is this a life for kids, let alone animals?

On Fri. John Francis Robben's parental rights to his 6 children were terminated 

April 7, John Robben, 32, was picked up by investigators due to a 7 year old child, who told her mother about Robben sexually abusing her. 

When police arrived at Robben's home to begin an investigation, they reported finding deplorable conditions. Allegedly the mother in the house raised and bred dogs. 4 dachshund puppies were found in a playpen, and the investigators described at least an inch of feces in the playpen. They describe that they had difficulty even stepping in the home without stepping in something. They say the home was covered in what appeared to be feces. They reported a problem with fleas. 18 starving dogs were removed, three of which did not survive. At least two of the dogs were pregnant.

Robben was given a polygraph exam, and following that he completed a written confession detailing aggravated assault and indecency with a child. He allegedly admitted to assaulting several children, at least two of which were his own. "He has confessed to several, but says he can't remember the names of at least two other ones." Investigators have confirmed the sexual abuse of two of his biological children- a 5-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy, and the 7 year old non- relative who reported the abuse. There may have been up to 6 children in all, one may be a 17 year old who moved to Nevada.

Robben's children allegedly did tell their mother and their paternal grandmother about the abuse, but but neither intervened.

The children are now in the protective custody of the state. John Robben has been charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault and four counts of indecency with a child. He is in custody. The mother Tara Robben,31, has been charged with three counts of failure to report and one count of animal cruelty. The paternal grandmother Ann, 56. has been charged with one count of failure to report. They have posted bail.

A neighbor commented in one of the articles that they have tried to do something for years, and have even tried to force the family out of the area. They did not specify what those efforts consisted of.   

Between the night of April 14 and the morning of April 15, someone broke into the animal shelter, and besides doing damage to the shelter, stole two of the Great Danes that had been recovered from the Robben's. The Danes were pregnant, and reportedly the puppies they have could sell for as much as $1,500 apiece. Investigators have said they do consider Tara Robben as a suspect in the crime, and they state they will prosecute whoever committed the crime to the fullest extent. However, the theft is still under investigation.

http://www.banderabulletin.com/articles/2006/04/18/news/650.txt

http://www.ksat.com/news/8896310/detail.html

He didn't even remember some of their names. Now that makes me wonder. (I know, I can be dangerous when I wonder). I wonder if Robben is deliberately holding back on the names of the children he abused, hoping to trade that information for a better deal in some way? Or, and I think this is most likely the real reason……he didn't remember their names because they weren't little people to him. They had no value to him, other than to satisfy "a whim" therefore he never bothered to their names. Not that knowing them would have made a difference, as he lived in proximity to his biological children and he abused them too. But that really gets to me.

What happened to those children is something that may have lifelong repercussions for them. He had a major impact or their lives, and it had such little impact on him, that he didn't even bother to learn their names.

Parents are the main persons a child trusts to love and protect them. And at least two of those children had their love and trust abused by their father. And they did what children should do. They told their mother. And when nothing happened they told their grandmother. That just breaks my heart. These children were just babies of 5 and 7. They told and were ignored. They told again and were ignored. By the most trusted people in their world. What will this do to their ability to love and trust others?

One thing that I am not real clear about. With the home in the condition that has been reported, with the complaints from the neighbors, with the children attending school- why had no one reported this to children's services- or had it been reported and nothing done? And with this type of conditions- how did Robben get access to other children?

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month

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