In a series of interviews prompted by a welfare check this spring, Arthur Shane Peterman’s children alleged to police detectives and a case worker that Peterman beat his son with a meth pipe, burning his skin and leaving visible marks.
They said he watched pornography with his children present and allowed at least one of his children to smoke and snort methamphetamine with him.
They said he performed sexual acts on his daughter.
On Tuesday, Jackson County prosecutors charged the 47-year-old Kansas City man with 17 counts of sexually and physically abusing children.
Most of the charges filed against Peterman in Jackson County Circuit Court are for alleged incidents in 2017 and 2018, but some involve allegations from 2001 and 2002.
The earliest counts allege an incident in 2001, in which he is charged with attempted statutory rape and two counts of child molestation.
Peterman is charged with another count of attempted statutory rape from an alleged incident in 2002.
Nine other charges stem from two dates in 2017. In those cases, he is charged with statutory rape, child endangerment, child molestation, two counts of furnishing pornography to a minor and three counts of child abuse or neglect.
And he is charged with four counts of child abuse for alleged incidents in February and March.
Peterman’s 39-year-old wife, Jenny L. Peterman, was also charged Tuesday with three counts of child abuse or neglect and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The six charges against Jenny Peterman are from 2017.
Arthur Peterman is being held in custody on a $150,000 cash bond. The bond for Jenny Peterman was set at $25,000.
According to charging documents, Peterman’s children were first observed by police officers during a welfare check in April.
Peterman’s 9-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son had matted hair and appeared dirty and unkempt. His son had burn marks on his face and neck that later told a family member was from fire.
That family member told police that she had been taking food to the Peterman home because the family had nothing to eat. Another witness told police she heard Peterman brag about burning his son with a glass pipe because the son got in his way. That person also told police Peterman smoked meth in the presence of his children.
Both the family member and the witness told police that the Peterman children did not attend school and did not have access to hot water in their home. Two former teachers told police that the Peterman children appeared hungry, dirty and tired.
Police took protective custody of the children after that April visit. The daughter tested positive for methamphetamine at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
The son had burns on his left shoulder and neck and lacerations on his temple and knee.
In July, police learned that both children had spoken during an interview with a case worker of experiencing abuse.
Peterman’s daughter told the case worker that her dad smoked meth and watched porn with her.
The son told a case worker he saw his dad “hunching” his sister and “hunching” meant having sex. The son said his father did things to his sister that he saw in porn videos.
Peterman had been addicted to Oxycodone before using methamphetamine, a witness told investigators.
The daughter shared more about what happened to her in a forensic interview on July 12, describing sexual abuse that she said happened when she was 8 years old.
She said she snorted meth, and helped her dad make it in the back room of the house and kitchen.
Court records show that police interviewed a final victim before forwarding the case to prosecutors: Peterman’s 19-year-old daughter.
The 19-year-old said that, as a child, most days her father placed her in bed with him and touched her sexually. Sometimes he would touch her in the shower.
The daughter told officers that later, as a teenager, her father bought her alcohol, marijuana and codine. She said he smacked her head and face hard enough to leave bruises and bloody noses.
The abuse, she said, started when she was 4-years-old.