Arkansas State Representative Justin Harris and his wife Martha stand by their decision to “re-home” their two adopted daughters to Eric Cameron Francis, who allegedly raped one of the girls last year.
The Harrises, who have three biological sons, adopted the 6-year-old and 3-year-old through the Arkansas Department of Human Services on March 6, 2013.
However, six months later, when Harris felt that the girls were violent and posed danger to the rest the family, he decided to send them to live with Francis – his former employee who was arrested last April on charges of sexually assaulting the 6-year-old.
“Francis pleaded guilty in November and is serving two 20-year sentences in an Arkansas prison and will not be eligible for release until Aug. 2, 2027, according to the state Department of Correction,” USA Today reported.
While the politician and his wife maintain they gave away the girls because of their emotional instability and violent behavior toward their sons, babysitters for the family claim Harris and Martha re-homed the girls [referred to by the pseudonyms "Mary" and "Annie"] because they believed they were “possessed by demons.” According to the Arkansas Times:
“Chelsey Goldsborough, who regularly babysat for the Harrises, said Mary was kept isolated from Annie and from the rest of the family. She was often confined for hours to her room, where she was monitored by a video camera. The reason: The Harrises believed the girls were possessed by demons and could communicate telepathically, Goldsborough said. Harris and his wife once hired specialists to perform an ‘exorcism’ on the two sisters while she waited outside the house with the boys, she said.”
Another source close to the family corroborated Goldsborough’s account, saying that Marsha regularly spoke of the demons she believed were living inside the adopted girls.
“They consider it to be spiritual warfare,” the anonymous source said. “I’m a Christian, and I have these beliefs, but this was completely beyond anything I’ve ever seen or heard about.”
The girls’ former foster parents, who have now legally adopted them – after the girls were yanked from Francis' home in 2014 – dispute the Harrises' claims of violent behavior.
The new family says the girls are “happy, healthy children who have gone through things no child should ever have to endure,” adding they “are both extremely protective toward each other and love each other with all their hearts.”