Kewaunee Co. couple faces 37 child abuse charges

Steven and Christine Oswald (Kewaunee Co. Jail)
Steven and Christine Oswald (Kewaunee Co. Jail)

TOWN OF CARLTON - A Kewaunee County couple is facing years in prison for allegedly abusing nine of their children.

Authorities say Christine Oswald, 44, and her husband Steven Oswald, 46, physically and mentally abused their adopted and biological kids.

In a farm house south of Kewaunee, a criminal complaint outlines a story of years of abuse against the nine children ranging in age from four to 18.

The Kewaunee County sheriff says the children were put in protective custody last September.

The couple is facing 37 charges.

Court documents indicate outdoor chore sessions would often end with children being slapped, locked in their rooms, and forced to eat soap.

One child told investigators she tried to kill herself, "By drinking household chemicals or automotive fluids, she has been cutting herself and also was going to stab herself."

Prosecutors say Christine Oswald whipped one of her sons after he finished some chores. They say the father stood by and did nothing to stop it.

According to the criminal complaint, Christine Oswald gathered all the children together, while she punished one of the boys. The document says, "And told them this is what happens when you lie to mom."

We were unable to contact the Oswalds. Their attorneys said they had nothing to say at this time.

The Kewaunee County district attorney refused to comment for the story.

The Oswalds have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. They each face more than 100 years in prison. They are due back in court in April.