Thursday, July 29, 2010

Report Child Abuse and Neglect, Dammit!


AZCentral reports on the arrest of a child molesting father and two pastors who knew about the abuse and failed ot report the abuse.  This is Arizona Republic reporter Krystal Klei's story:

"A father was arrested on suspicion of molesting his two daughters, and two of the family's pastors were arrested on suspicion of failing to report the accusations to authorities, according to the Phoenix Police Department.

The father was booked in connection with one count of sexual abuse, two counts of child molestation, and eleven counts of sexual conduct with a minor on July 9, Phoenix police spokesman Detective James Holmes said in a written statement. The Arizona Republic is not releasing the father's name to protect the identities of the victims. The man was arrested after his then 16-year-old daughter told a neighbor that she had been molested by her father for several years, Holmes said.

According to police, when the neighbor confronted the father about the accusations, he apparently admitted his involvement. The father also told the neighbor he knew what he was doing was wrong.  Following the confrontation, Phoenix Police officers were flagged down, Holmes said. The girl was with the neighbor when she talked to the officers, he added.

During an interview with Phoenix Police Child Crime detectives, the girl told officers of at least one instance of sexual intercourse, several instances of sexual contact over nearly a five year range, and of the molestation of her older sister by her father, Holmes said. He added that she told officers the molestation lead to her older sister moving out when she turned 18 years old.

According to police, the father admitted to sexually abusing both his daughters when questioned and was then arrested. The older daughter, now 19, told her two pastors, Daniel and Laura McCluskey, about the alleged abuse in 2008 at Church of the Word [check their website with pics of the pastors] on the 8000 block of West Camelback Road, but they did not report the accusations to police, according to Holmes.

Instead, the pastors met with the older daughter and the father. During the meeting, according to police, the father said he snuck into his daughter's room at night to touch her. The pastors suggested the girl forgive her father, because he was repentant, Holmes added. The pastors told the girl to restore her relationship with her father.

According to police, the father stopped sexually abusing his older daughter after meeting, but continued to sexually abuse his younger daughter.  Under Arizona Revised Statue, the pastors were arrested for their failure to report the abuse. The Statue states the pastors had the duty to report to Child Protective Services and/or law enforcement.

The pastors were arrested on Tuesday in connection with one count each of failure to report sexual abuse, Holmes said."
________________________
A decade or more ago I represented a family, the Greens (not their real name)--who's daughter, Erin (not her real name,) was digitally raped by her grandfather while riding on his lap on the tractor at the family farm.  Erin was treated at the local hospital and she reported her rape to the resident child psychiatrist.  The doctor claimed Grandpa's crime was possibly "inadvertent" and family members begged the psychiatrist to not report the crime. The doctor did not report the crime.

Turns out grandfather raped every child in the Green family and others.  Even after this report by brave little Erin Green.

OurState criminal laws mandated reporting "suspicions of child abuse," nonetheless no legal consequences for the psychiatrist, or medical facility resulted.  The civil lawsuit I brought against the psychiatrist, and the hospital were dismissed and the dismissals were upheld by the OurState appellate and Supreme Court. 

Things have changed since that time.  I'm glad I was a lawyer long enough to beat on these doors.

Report suspicions of child abuse.  Do it. 

2 comments:

  1. There is no good reason not to report child abuse. NO GOOD REASON!

    ReplyDelete
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