Police removed 10 children from a family farm in Kentucky, claiming their off-the-grid lifestyle was harmful to the children.
Joe and Nicole Naugler say the police seized their children because they disagree with their free-range lifestyle, which includes homeschooling their children. The couple is trying to regain custody and pleaded not guilty to charges that included resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
"Allegations are that there is no running water and no septic and the mother and father refuse to cooperate with the Cabinet and police," according to the police report posted on saveourfamily.org, a blog run by the Nauglers.
Joe Naugler writes on Facebook that the petitions made against his family were filed by a "known meth addict," who held a grudge because Naugler unfriended him on Facebook.
While the Nauglers have gathered support from across the country (a GoFundMe page has collected more than $45,000 for them), reports say Joe's oldest son, Alex Brow, is testifying he was abused by his father.
"I got all the beatings. I got most of the mental abuse," Brow said at the hearing. "There was a lot of sexual abuse towards me. We had a very dysfunctional relationship."
Joe Naugler says the family's lifestyle is peaceful, but Brow says he's worried for his younger siblings.
The Nauglers have not addressed Brow's comments publicly, but have explained their lifestyle is what's really on trial.
"This is a choice. Intentional. And the children have been involved in these decisions. In short. We just wanted a simpler life. It's not for everyone but we love it," Nicole Naugler writes.
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