Arlan Dean Kaufman & Linda Joyce Kaufman
Date of birth
- Arlan Kaufman: Oct. 17, 1936
- Linda Kaufman: Apr. 9, 1943
Arlan ran the Kaufman House Residential Treatment Center in Newton, Kansas along with his wife, Linda. In 2005, they were convicted of enslaving its residents, forcing them to work naked and perform sex acts, and illegally billing their families and the federal government for therapy. Arlan was accused of forcing residents to masturbate, fondle each other and shave each other’s genitals, often while he videotaped them. According to testimony, both Arlan and Linda used a stun gun on the genitals of at least one resident.
Arlan was found guilty of all 31 conspiracy, involuntary servitude and fraud charges the couple faced. Linda was found guilty of 30 of the charges. Arlan, a former licensed clinical social worker, was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Linda, a former registered nurse, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after a federal judge acknowledged the original 7 year sentence was too short.
In spite of the massive amount of evidence and testimony against him, Arlan did not show remorse for his actions. He spoke for three hours before he was sentenced, rehashing much of his trial testimony and exposing details about his patients’ sex lives. The District Court judge told Arlan, “You are an arrogant individual, you don’t recognize what you have done is wrong. You see yourself as a victim of some massive conspiracy.” The judge also called Arlan a hypocrite for apologizing to his victims in his statement and then going into details about their sex lives.
Several Mennonite churches circulated petitions and sent dozens of letters to the court seeking leniency for the Kaufmans. The judge dismissed the petitions and letters saying they showed an insufficient grasp of the case, and that they blamed the media for damaging the Kaufmans’ reputations.
In 2012, Arlan appealed his conviction to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A three-judge panel not only disagreed with Arlan’s claims of ineffective counsel, but also noted that the evidence against him was overwhelming.
Church-related positions held
- Arlan founded the Bethel College social work program in 1971
- Arlan was a professor at Bethel College, 1971-1978
- Arlan and Linda operated the Kaufman House Residential Treatment Center in Newton, incorporated in 1980
- Arlan and Linda were members of Faith Mennonite Church in Newton, Kansas
- Arlan: Incarcerated at Seagoville Federal Correctional Institution, Seagoville, Texas; projected release date: Nov. 26, 2031
- Linda: Granted early “compassionate release” from Carswell Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas on March 3, 2016. Current location unknown.
- “Kansas couple sentenced for abusing group-home residents,” Mennonite World Review, Jan. 30, 2006
- “Owners Convicted in Kan. Enslavement Trial,” Washington Post, Nov. 7, 2005
- “Kaufman sentenced to 15 years in prison in ‘nude therapy’ case,” Newton Kansan, Nov. 24, 2009
- “Court Rebuffs Appeal In Kansas Nude Servitude Case,” WIBW, June 20, 2012