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(Memphis) A horrible family secret is finally brought to light. Four adopted girls say their father raped them multiple times over 12 years, robbing them of a normal childhood.

Opening up your heart and home to adopt a child should lead to the happiest times for everyone involved. George Kohlbacher would know. He’s adopted two boys, “It should be a celebration of a wonderful thing. Every child needs a family.”

However, it was not the case for a Hickory Hill family. It was more like a nightmare for four girls who were adopted.  Recently, they broke their silence of being raped and sexually abused for more than 12 years by the man who adopted them. 

“I don’t know that you can put it in words,” said Kohlbacher. “It’s just a terrible tragedy. No child should ever have to suffer through something like that.”

Kohlbacher is an adoption supervisor with Agape Child and Family Services and is disgusted by the allegations. We can’t reveal the 60-year-old man police say took the girls innocence in order to protect them from any public shame.

The girls now range in age from 16 to 23, but say the abuse started for one of them as early as five.

Even more tragic, their mother walked in and saw how one of them was being sexually abused, but kept silent. She’s now in jail herself for trying to keep one of the girls from reporting the family’s dirty little secret.

“[It] just adds to the tragedy of it all,” said Kohlbacher. “It just takes one person speaking out and I’m glad one of these young girls was brave enough to speak out and start an investigation.”

Kohlbacher says organizations like Agape interview adoptive parents extensively to try and avoid these kinds of tragedies.

“If we only understood the mind of a predator maybe we could stop it so it didn’t happen as much, but unfortunately we can’t,” he said.

But it won’t keep them from at least trying.

This accused rapist has racked up 14 charges that include multiple counts of Rape and Rape of a Child. He is still in jail tonight on a $500,000 bond.