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I-Team: Trial starts for mother accused of torturing adoptive kids

LAS VEGAS - The trial for Janet Solander, a woman accused of torturing her adoptive children, started Thursday, and the revelations made in court were not favorable to Child Protective Services.

During opening statements, prosecutors say three children suffered for years at the hands of their adoptive parents, Dwight and Janet and Solander. Dwight took a plea deal, but as prosecutors at Janet's trial spoke Thursday, they pointed out how CPS failed these children by failing to protect them and take action when people made complaints five times stating that the girls may have been in danger.

Prosecutors told the jury when the Solanders adopted the three girls they changed their names.  They then proceeded to beat and torture them, by restricting their food to eventually one liquid meal a day.

The Solanders also allegedly created issues around bathroom use, even putting catheters in them and threatening to cut their private parts with a razor. They also claimed the girls had health issues which they did not.

Photos from inside the home were shown to the jury, and it added to the story.   Prosecutors said the sticks in one photo were used to beat the children and beat them so badly the sticks would break.

Big orange buckets were used when they forced the girls to sit on them without wearing any pants for hours.  

The children didn't sleep on beds. They slept on cots or boards that didn't have sheets or pajamas, and the fan would constantly blow on them.

According to prosecutors, CPS had plenty of chances to intervene and help the girls after the agency repeatedly received complaints that something was wrong, but instead, CPD placed even more children inside of the home.

"Even though there's been a previous investigation where this same child has gone to La Petite and stated that she's hungry and getting beaten with a belt about food, and even though one of their own, one of their own, a CPS permanency worker calls in and says 'something is not right, these girls are not okay,' CPS closes this out as unsubstantiated and leaves those little girls in that house," said Jacqueline Bluth, Clark County District Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors told the jury Janet Solander burnt one of the girls with hot water, and kicked another one down the stairs.  The couple would also humiliate the girls who were in the age range of 6, 7, and 8, by making them wear cloth diapers, suck pacifiers and act like babies.  They allegedly did this in front of and for the amusement of other foster children who lived in the home.

The I-Team has been reporting on problems at CPS for a while. However, the when the I-Team tries to get information, the agency states a law that prevents them from sharing private information.

The prosecutor told the I-Team that she believes the CPS caseworker who handled this case is still employed by the agency.

Janet Solander says she's not guilty, while her attorney argues that parenting presents challenges and that children's version of the events is not true.
    


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