WATERLOO - Three adopted brothers have pleaded to a series of charges alleging they sexually abused other adopted children in the Cedar Falls home where they lived.
Kyle Edward Lim Swarbrick, 22, and Channon Matthew Swarbrick, 25, each pleaded guilty to three counts of third-degree sexual abuse in court Friday.
Brother Zachary Douglas Jun Swarbrick, 23, pleaded to five counts of third-degree sexual abuse.
In some cases, the abuse spanned more than five years.
The three had been charged with second-degree sex abuse but agreed to plead to the lesser third-degree charges as part of a deal to avoid trial and harsher punishment.
The second-degree crime is a Class B felony that carries 25 years in prison. Third degree, a Class C, is punishable by 10 years behind bars.
Sentencing will be at a later date.
As part of the agreement, Assistant County Attorney Linda Fangman said the state will ask the court to send the three to prison in concurrent sentences, so they will serve up to 10 years.
The defense can argue for lesser sentences.
The brothers answered a series of "yes" and "no" questions at Friday's hearing but otherwise remained mostly quiet.
Defense attorneys Delmer Werner, Carter Stevens and Dean Olson noted their clients didn't use force during the crimes.
Werner, who is representing Kyle, said the sex acts were with people who were too young to be able to consent.
It was a "matter of age, not force," said Olson, who is representing Channon.
The Swarbrick family had adopted more than two dozen children from Asia, South America and the United States since the 1970s, and at least a dozen were usually living in the home at any given time.
In April 2004, the Iowa Department of Human Services and Cedar Falls police removed seven children in connection with the sexual abuse investigation and allowed seven others to stay.
Charges were filed against the brothers in February.
Kyle's charges stem from incidents that happened between 1993 and 1996. Channon's were between 1992 and 1996, and Zachary's spanned 1994 to 2001, according to information released during Friday's proceedings.
Because some of the crimes were alleged to have happened while the three were minors, their cases were transferred to juvenile court and than returned to adult court.
Contact Jeff Reinitz at (319) 291-1578 or email@example.com.