Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mom Jailed for Defying Order to Produce 9 Year Old for Visitation with Rapist Father

The New York Daily News reports on the Judge (picture) who reversed herself and freed the mother she ordered jailed after the mother refused to let her 9 year old visit his rapist "father."  This is reporter, William Sherman's story:

Sukhwant Herb, 29, who defied Brooklyn Family Court Judge Robin Sheares' visitation order, was to be released to her lawyer's custody.  Sheares abrupt change of mind came after the Daily News reported on Sunday how Herb was sentenced to 50 days at Rikers Island on June 10 for refusing to send young Seon into the 'horrible, horrific' environment of prison.

High court officials were shocked that Sheares locked Herb up without giving her a chance to post bail, as well as by the judge's comments in court, according to sources. At a June 10 hearing, Sheares ranted, 'Shame, shame, shame, you see how shameful she [Herb] is,' according to a transcript. 'She's gonna get arrested and her kids are not gonna know where she is.'

Last night, the judge said that Herb must appear in court today with her son as a condition of her freedom.

'No bail in a case like this is really shocking,' said Herb's lawyer, Dale Frederick. 'My client has not been charged with a crime, has never been charged with a crime - and even felons get bail,' said.  The case began when Herb, who first agreed to the prison visits last Sept. 15, changed her mind, ignored the order and skipped four court appearances. Seon Jonas, the father of Herb's son, was convicted in 2003 of raping three women in Phoenix - while he and Herb were living in Phoenix - and is serving 27 years in a state prison."
I am pretty sure I related the story of Edith (not her real name) on Bad Lawyer, previously, if not it was one of the most sickening cases I have ever been involved with in my career.  Edith's husband and the "father" of her little girls sexually abused his daughters giving one daughter a venereal disease. 

While evidence that the little girls were sexually abused had been confirmed, and the close male relatives were under suspicion, a domestic relations judge ordered the Mother to produce the daughters for visitation and when she refused jailed her.  The local Sheriff allowed Edith to camp out in his office in relative comfort.  The Sheriff released Edith the next day after we were able to generate publicity for her situation and the Sheriff informed the court that there was no room in the local jail. 

Judges have the capacity for genuine justice which is afterall, judgment and mercy.  Most judges take this command deadly seriously. The Rule of Law and respect for the law are products of judgment and mercy--it sounds like Judge Sheares had this as an epiphany.   

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