WASHINGTON — A federal indictment was handed down against a former Vermilion County couple accusing them of kidnapping.
The grand jury, meeting in the Central District of Illinois, handed down the indictment against Nicole Eason, 37, and Calvin Eason, 36, formerly of Danville and Westville. They were arrested in Tuscon, Ariz., on April 3 and remain in federal custody.
The couple is charged on counts of kidnapping and transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity with a minor, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The couple is accused of participating in an online adoption discussion board in 2006 and 2007. Officials indicate the Easons used false information to bring a female child into their home — then on Chandler Street in Danville — through a process referred to as private re-homing.
Re-homing, the release indicated, is often associated with failed adoptions when an adoptive family places an adopted child in another home because the family can no longer care for the child.
The indictment further alleges that Nicole and Calvin Eason kidnapped a second minor in the same manner in 2008.
In an affidavit filed with the case, a special agent with the FBI indicated that a girl, now 16 years old, told her parent in February that she was sexually abused by the Easons while in their custody for several weeks in March 2007 — around the time of her 8th birthday.
Names of the parties involved in the case were not listed in the affidavit.
The affidavit indicates the girl said in a February interview with officials that she was made to watch pornography and that both Nicole and Calvin Eason forced inappropriate sexual acts on her. She was slapped and hit if she resisted, according to the affidavit.
The adoptive parents said they turned over the girl because the “Easons seemed like nice people,” according to the affidavit. The adoptive parents became concerned when the girl told them that Calvin Eason bathed her and took action after a woman who monitored adoption scams alerted them to false information the Easons provided and that Nicole Eason had a criminal record.
The girl did not disclose any statements of abuse when she — along with a re-homed boy also in the home — was taken from the Eason residence, the affidavit indicated.
The girl has resided with a custodial parent since March 2007. The boy, who ended up in foster care until he was 18, did not disclose any sexual abuse at the hands of the Easons during a 2014 interview with officials.
He did indicate that the girl told him the Easons took sexually explicit pictures or possibly videos of her while they lived there.
The affidavit indicates as recently as April, the Easons were on another social networking site with a photo of a boy between 5-7 years old sleeping on a couch.
The woman who monitored adoption scams told an FBI special agent that the Easons “knew what desperate parents wanted to hear” and “grabbed up the most vulnerable children,” according to the affidavit.