Kokomo couple arrested in abuse, neglect case

·2 min read

Sep. 8—A Kokomo couple was arrested earlier this week for what police are calling their connection to the reported physical and sexual abuse of their four children.

James Phillips, 43, is now facing two charges of child molestation, both Level 4 felonies; two charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, both Level 5 felonies; a single charge of sexual battery, a Level 6 felony; and a single charge of neglect of a dependent, also a Level 6 felony; for his alleged role in the case, per court records.

His wife, 33-year-old Darcie Phillips, is facing a Level 6 felony charge of neglect of a dependent.

Their charges stem from an investigation that reportedly began earlier this year by the Howard County Child Services Department, according to court records, in which the agency received a 310-page report detailing several allegations of abuse that reportedly took place within the Phillips' household.

The ages of the four children connected to the investigation have not been publicly disclosed, but court documents note that they have all been removed from the home and placed into foster care.

Court records also indicate that authorities separately interviewed each of the children in regard to the allegations, and the children reportedly told investigators that James and Darcie both abused Xanex and marijuana and that their father also brought cocaine and methamphetamine into the house at least once.

During her interview with authorities, the oldest daughter also reportedly stated that her parents forced her brother and her to smoke marijuana on several occasions, per the probable cause affidavit.

Investigators also asked the oldest daughter what happened when her parents would discipline them, and she reportedly stated that her father would "whoop them," make them "exercise for hours" or have them "stand in a corner," the affidavit stated.

The girl also told authorities that James had allegedly touched her in a sexual manner on at least 30 occasions, beginning when she was about 13 years of age.

During interviews with the other three children, investigators were also reportedly told that James Phillips was "like a zombie" when he abused Xanex and that when the children were disciplined, they allegedly would have to get on their knees, put their hands behind their heads and sit in that position for multiple hours, court records indicated.

The Phillips are both currently being held at the Howard County Jail.

According to online records, James is being held on a $35,000 cash bond only while Darcie is being held on a $10,000 cash bond, with 10%.

They both have a pretrial conference slated for 9 a.m. Nov. 16 inside Howard Circuit Court.