“Jonathan and Sarah Adleta’s children were doomed to a life of perverse cruelty before they were even born.
Jonathan Adleta, a former Marine officer, dreamed of the day he could have “daddy-daughter sex.” After Sarah Adleta became pregnant with a daughter, he said he would marry her only if she agreed to let him carry out that desire. When the couple had a son, Sarah Adleta was expected to have sexual encounters with him.
In an Orlando federal courtroom this week, prosecutors and witnesses described, in disturbing and graphic detail, the heinous exploitation and abuse the couple’s toddlers endured at the hands of their parents — even after they divorced.
Jonathan Adleta lived his dream until March, when the FBI received a tip that his 29-year-old former wife was communicating with a North Carolina man who was arrested on charges of having sex with a child.
That’s when federal authorities began unraveling a cross-country web of sexual abuse that culminated in convictions for both parents — and could land 25-year-old Jonathan Adleta in prison for life.
Sarah Adleta, a University of Central Florida student, pleaded guilty in May to two charges of sexual exploitation of a minor. She faces 15 to 30 years in federal prison and will be sentenced next month. On Thursday, jurors found Jonathan Adleta guilty of two child-sex charges. He’ll be sentenced in December and faces 10 years to life in prison.
The charges against him stem from abuse that occurred in December, when Sarah Adleta and the couple’s two children traveled to his home in Oklahoma so he could have sexual contact with his daughter.
But to tell the Adletas’ story, prosecutors had to take jurors to the beginning.
In opening statements, Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Gable characterized Adleta as a father who had a “sexual appetite” for his own daughter.
Sarah Adleta testified that when she began dating Jonathan in 2008 — she was living with her family in Oviedo and he in an apartment in the Goldenrod area — he began showing her stories about fathers and daughters having sex, to gauge her interest in the possibility.
Their daughter was born in March 2009, and Sarah Adleta became pregnant with their son not long after.
Sarah Adleta, who testified for several hours this week wearing Orange County Jail garb, said she initially struggled with the concept and thought Jonathan Adleta would lose interest in it.
But she loved him, needed his financial security and said she would do whatever it took to not lose him, she told jurors.
Gable told jurors the couple made sex with their children “part of their parenting plan.”
They married in 2010.
The marine was deployed to Afghanistan, and when he returned, the family moved to California, where he was stationed. There, his ex-wife said, he had more sexual contact with the children.”
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