Anchorage Woman Charged with Abuse of Foster, Adopted Children

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

A 50-year-old Anchorage woman, Anya James, is in custody charged with the abuse of her adopted and foster children.  James appeared in Alaska Superior Court Wednesday after her arrest Tuesday. James has been charged with 10 counts of kidnapping, because she confined the children, and six counts of first degree assault.

Anchorage Police Department spokeswoman Anita Shell says the children were physically and emotionally abused.

According to the police, James had adopted six children and had an as yet undetermined number of foster children in her care.   In October of last year, detectives operating on a tip began investigating James.  Four children were removed from James’ home at that time.

Shell says James received $750,000 in state adoption subsidies between 2000 and 2010.  James is living in the affluent Anchorage Hillside neighborhood in a home valued at $560,000. James home schooled the children and limited their outside contact. James is being held on $100,000 bail and is prohibited from contacting her adopted children or any children under age 16.

Police believe that James may have adopted other children before 2000, and are asking the public’s help in gaining information about James’ activities.

Shell says that Anya James lived in Eagle River prior to moving to the hillside in 2001.

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