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Strongsville-based European Adoption Consultants connected to disturbing child abuse case in Texas

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Posted at 4:14 PM, May 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-10 17:05:56-04

Soliciting bribes, falsifying documents and adopting trafficked children, the accusations against European Adoption consultants keep piling up.

Now News 5 has uncovered a disturbing case of child abuse that is not only connected to the agency, but police say involves one of the agency's top employees.

RELATED: FBI executes search warrant for adoption agency in Strongsville

Office raided 

It's been three months since FBI streamed into the European Adoption Consultants headquarters in Strongsville, walking out with box loads of evidence. Our cameras were rolling as agents also searched the founder Margaret Cole's Strongsville home.

Clients are now accusing Cole of leaving them in the dark.

"I'll send them an email or I'll try to call. One of the numbers I have for them has been disconnected," one client told News 5.

MORE: Strongsville adoption agency accused of soliciting bribes, withholding money

Lawsuit filed 

And as the lawsuits against Cole begin to mount, so too do the accusations. One suit was filed in Greenville, South Carolina. It claims Cole and EAC Africa director Debra Parris failed to ensure the orphan status of Ugandan children they placed with couples here in the U.S. They were children, the suit claims, who were classified by U.S. and Ugandan officials as trafficked.

And as we pulled back the curtain on the decades-old agency, we found a connection to a case out of Texas so disturbing, it even affected officers.

A disturbing case

"This is a little higher up the ladder trying to control our emotions," said Denton police officer Shane Kizer

In October of 2016, Denton police arrested John Tufts for using a Barbie doll to cause severe trauma to the private parts of his 5-year-old adopted daughter.

"It did require surgery.  There will be long term, last effects and require surgeries in the future," said Kizer.

According to the warrant, the child told a therapist that daddy was a "bad guy" and "mean." However, the Tufts were not this child's original adoptive parent. News 5 has learned that in 2015 another family adopted the girl and her then 2-year-old sister from Poland.

"That adoption process didn't work out... They decided they didn't want to children anymore they were turned over to this family, the Tufts family" said Kizer.

It was EAC that processed the adoption. And when the original family no longer wanted the girl, Denton police say it took just days for Debra Parris to place the 5-year-old in John Tufts' care. That's because Tufts is Parris' son.

"This type is a pretty strange case...Strange type of injury case" said Kizer.