A Solano County Superior Court judge once again has reshuffled legal proceedings for a 33-year-old Fairfield man charged, along with his wife, in connection with a notorious child torture, endangerment, and assault case that came to light more than four years ago.
Jonathan Michael Allen, who appeared Wednesday in Department 11, heard Judge William J. Pendergast III reschedule a readiness conference and new setting date for 8:30 a.m. Oct. 14 in the Justice Center in Fairfield, court records show.
The Alternate Public Defender represents Allen, who remains in the Stanton Correctional Facility in Fairfield, with bail set at $5.25 million.
Allen’s wife, Ina Aurelia Rogers, who has been charged with 10 counts of willful child endangerment and pleaded no contest in late 2019, was scheduled for sentencing on Thursday morning, but Pendergast reset it for 8:30 a.m. Oct. 26.
She is out of custody after her former defense attorney, Barry K. Newman, earlier submitted a motion for her release and the judge granted it. At sentencing, Rogers, also 33, could face up to six years in state prison and up to a $10,000 fine for a single felony charge alone.
She was arrested on April 3, 2018, and Allen several weeks later, on May 10, with the couple’s story making national headlines.
The alleged crimes surfaced in March 2018, when one of their sons, who was 12 at the time and said to have the mental capacity of an 8-year-old, disappeared from the family’s Fieldstone Court residence.
Police were notified and searched the home as part of the investigation and found what they described as squalid, unsafe, and unsanitary living conditions, “including garbage and spoiled food on the floor, animal and human feces, and a large amount of debris making areas of the house unpassable,” according to wording in the Solano County District Attorney’s complaint.
Nine more children, ranging in age from 4 months to 11 years old at the time, were found inside. The missing boy, asleep under a nearby bush, was located soon afterward.
Some of the charges against Allen, multiple counts of child torture, and lewd acts on a child date back to 2014.
He originally had been scheduled for a jury trial in early May 2020 but court records indicate that Pendergast ordered him to return at that time for a trial readiness conference, a trial setting, and further proceedings, but, because of the pandemic and public health directives, some court operations were reduced and cases reshuffled as COVID-19 cases surged.
During a preliminary hearing in December 2018, horrific allegations of torture, based on investigators’ findings, were heard in public for the first time. All directed at Allen — more than 10 of them, the maximum number posted on a public court calendar — they included physical abuse that left scars and cuts, evidence of choking, malnutrition, the use of duct tape and waterboarding, biting that drew blood, the shooting of sharp wooden sticks or small metal rods from a bow, the pouring of scalding hot water on a child’s feet. Allen also is charged with at least three counts of lewd acts on a child under 14.
Former Solano County Chief Deputy District Attorney Sharon Henry said at the time that she was “horrified” by the children’s statements and that “as a parent, first and foremost in my heart, we believe these children deserve justice.”
If found guilty of the torture and molestation charges, Allen faces more than 50 years to life in state prison.