ELKINS, W.Va. – A Randolph County man is facing a number of charges after police said he sexually abused and assaulted children who were in the care of him and his wife, dating as far back as 2014.
The Elkins Police Department began an investigation into Luis Torres-Serrano, 38, of Elkins, after a 10-year-old girl walked into a store, claiming to be homeless and asking for food, according to court documents.
Police soon learned that Child Protective Services was already investigating Torres-Serrano and his wife, his criminal complaint said.
During the investigations, two girls separately detailed multiple instances of sexual abuse and assault and said that Torres-Serrano told them he would “kill” them if they told anyone about the abuse, the complaint said.
The girls were so afraid of Torres-Serrano that they would go to the bathroom in their bedrooms instead of walking past his bedroom to get to the bathroom, according to details in the court paperwork.
The girls and other children in the home described the parents using fishing poles, golf clubs and other blunt objects, along with their hands and feet, to abuse them, the complaint alleges.
In the documents, children also described being beaten with a metal flute and a cane and being made to kneel with their heads on the floor for periods of time.
The parents told the children they “hated them” and called them “a——- and b——,” the criminal complaint detailed.
It went on to say that some of the children were made to stand outside in cold weather, to put their feet under heaters and to stay in dark closets. They also described Torres-Serrano stomping on their hands with boots.
Food was often withheld from the children, sometimes for days, they said, and police found a padlock on the home’s pantry, the complaint states.
In the criminal complaint, the children described Torres-Serrano’s wife as being jealous of the young girls and made them wear over-sized, male clothing and cut their hair very short, to make them less appealing for her husband.
Torres-Serrano is charged with first and third-degree sexual abuse; second and third-degree sexual assault; sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or person in a position of trust to a child; and child abuse resulting in injury.
He is being held in Tygart Valley Regional Jail, with cash-only bail set at $210,000.
There is no immediate word on if his wife faces or will face charges.
All of the children have been removed from the home, officials said.
****CLARIFICATION: Our original story referred to Torres-Serrano and his wife as foster parents of the children. That was based on references in court documents filed by the Elkins Police Department. However, a spokesperson from the WV DHHR issued a statement that neither the adults, nor the children are a part of the foster care system.