This piece was submitted to our 100K STORIES PROJECT by an anonymous writer.
Maine – Family Rights – Summary of events – trying to protect my child from abuse by his father.
7/3/13 Child reports sexual abuse by father to mother.
7/7/13 Father makes false police report that mother is ‘erratic’ around issues regarding ‘custody battle’.
7/8/13 Mother, knowing PD is inept, consults a lawyer re: appropriate action – make an appointment for forensic evaluation at Spurwink – make appointment with pediatrician – file a protection order in district court.
7/9/13 Father comes to mothers house to ‘talk’ to child. Mother immediately calls police for assistance. Police do not respond. Mother places 2 subsequent calls pleading for protection. Eventually, after father left bruises on child's legs while threatening him into silence, police arrive and report Mother must provide child to father the next day, per custody order. PD return claiming they are aware of a “bench warrant” for unpaid parking tickets, and arrest mother, and release her on $1000.00 bail (mother had already appeared and paid fines). Mother, unable to protect her children, still in fear, consults with an attorney. Attorney advises mother to call police and ask for a criminal trespass. Mother calls PD for criminal trespass, and Officer gets on the phone and tells mother she must appear at station to discuss ‘what’s going on”. Upon arrival at station, mother is taken into interrogation room and officer challenges mothers report, and demands child be interrogated at station regarding report. Mother refuses to expose child to untrained, unprofessional police. Officer accuses mother of lying as a custody strategy. Mother reports upcoming appointment for forensic evaluation at Spurwink; and refusal to subject child to multiple interviews. Instead of following legal procedure, PD failed to inform DA of report of sexual abuse to a minor. On FOIA, police deny existence of report of investigation, as well as fail to produce video of interrogation of mother trying to report child abuse. Police call CPS and report ‘investigation’ of mothers report, and finding unfounded allegations. Police report to CPS of upcoming evaluation at Spurwink. Police and CPS report to Spurwink ‘investigation’ and allegations are an unfounded result of a ‘custody battle’. Spurwink, unbeknownst to mother, cancels originally scheduled forensic evaluation; and conducts a biased, inappropriate ‘psychosocial evaluation’ with threats of disclosure of report to father and court, to both mother and child, interviewed separately. Spurwink interviewer reports to mother ‘no findings’ prior to policy driven ‘peer review’ of assessment mandatory prior to releasing findings. Upon review of the audio of the childs interview, it is obvious that he feels threatened, yet despite the objection of the clinician, child reports abuse, which is disregarded, and misrepresented in report “Psychosocial Evaluation”. Which reports findings as “Based on the information provided by Ms. (mother) and Dept. of Health and Human services, (child) has made no specific statements of abuse.” This is in direct opposition of previous paragraph that states “(child) made statements regarding three adults, and three children who had put ‘hurting hands’ on him. (Child) reported his father also put ‘hurting hands’ on him. If it was truly CPS/PD position that child victims reports were unfounded, and cancelled the medical examination and forensic interview; why force the child to endure the process if the intention was to discredit report. This was an abusive, unnecessary interview which caused trauma to child victim. Mother refused the threatening and coercive tactics CPS social worker used to gain access to child for interview. Mother maintained objection to child being subjected to multiple interviews. No information or support was provided to this terrified family. Instead CPS/PD used fear and force to justify their erroneous, presumptive opinion.
7/10/13 Mother obtains Protection from abuse order PA- 13-xx Judge denies simultaneous ex-parté motion from father.
7/11/13 Fathers attorney files to dismiss Protection order. CPS Social Worker provides testimony to support alleged abuser in dismissal of PFA order.
7/18/13 Hearing on dismissal of PA- 13-xx: Attorneys agreed at mediation to dismiss PA 13-xx in lieu of modifying custody granting mother sole custody, with no contact with father. Fathers attorney presented this agreement with the stipulation that a GAL be appointed to ‘create a contact schedule’. Absent objection from her counsel, mother agrees to this, with the belief that the child will be protected. This action, modifying custody, changed the case from a Protection from Abuse case, to a custody case. The appointment of a GAL, negated parents rights to care control and concern of their children, and allowed an attorney with no experience with children to decide “best interest of the child” Immediately following his proposed agreement, fathers attorney filed an objection to previously agreed upon motion to modify, as well as a competing motion to modify asking for sole custody to the alleged abuser, and limited contact with mother. Upon initial phone contact with GAL, mother recognized that GAL had represented her in a prior matter against opposing counsel in this case. There was an obvious conflict. The GAL appointed also had no training or experience with children. After reviewing information provided by CPS and PD; GAL sought to re-introduce contact immediately. Mother sought recusal of GAL which was dismissed when GAL ‘ didn’t remember’.
8/6/13 CPS sends letter stating report to CPS ‘did not rise to the level’ of investigation. With support of CPS, GAL insisted on forcing child victim to visit abuser.
8/12/13 Fathers attorney files an ex parté motion for sole custody, supported by an affidavit by CPS social worker in support of the alleged abuser.
8/19/13 Hearing on visits with alleged abuser. Mother provides letter from pediatrician regarding child’s disclosures of abuse by father. Pediatrician verbally tells attorney Trey disclosed abuse by father. Pediatrician later recants, and denies this happened. Father presents testimony from CPS in support of child having contact with abuser. GAL appoints abusers brother ’supervisor’, and first two meetings be in public.
8/25/13 Child returns from first unsupervised visit with visible injury and reports of abuse by father. Mother and Maternal Grandmother take child to MMC for injury. MMC refuses to do a rape kit, and denies presence of injury, threatens mother with psychiatric care. A pediatric specialist is brought in, and (child) provides a detailed disclosure which is reported to police and CPS. Dr. Ricci is consulted and directs MMC doctors to refer victim to his office for follow-up. Police refuse to investigate report, or advise DA per law. Mother, MGM, attorney and paralegal attempt to make appointment for follow up with Ricci.
9/3/13 Over a week later, child is subjected to yet another unnecessary examination (medical) by Ricci, which should have taken place at original appointment for Forensic evaluation. Examination was not to validate, but to dismiss valid reports by child. Childs testimony to Dr. Ricci, “I haven’t seen my father in a while”, was excluded from report, as well as time lapse between injury and exam. Mother shows Ricci photos of injury consistent with child sexual abuse, which he disregards, and directs mother to submit to police.
9/17/13 Report by child's counselor, Monique Simone MSW, LCSW to CPS reporting disclosures of sexual abuse by father.
9/19/13 Temporary hearing – judge excludes testimony from expert witness (Monique Simone) and 40 page report proving abuse to child by father. Judge allows P.I. to testify that he followed father to a bar and watched him drink beer for three hours, then drive home. Father is on parole for negligent homicide, and has strict ‘no drinking’ conditions of parole. Probation, supervised for NH by Maine, refuses to enforce probation conditions. Attorney, P.I. and mother report violation to probation officer, Dennis Clark, who refuses to take action. Judge orders temporary sole custody to father, with supervised visits with mother, absent explanation. After mother kept child safe since 8/25/13 assault, GAL and PD leave hearing early, and remove child from school and force him into the custody of his named abuser. GAL fails to arrange visits with mother, and tells mother to arrange visits through father. Father is dropping child off to mother three/four days/ week with fresh injury. Child begs mother for protection from abuse/isolation. Mother makes reports to CPS, which are ignored.
11/7/13 Child arrives at mothers with significant injury reported by child as abuse from father. Mother takes child to Portsmouth Hospital where ER Dr. confirms child reported abuse by father. Dr. reports “gross sexual assault” to YPD and CPS. Both fail to take action to protect the child victim. Mother seeks protection/assistance from Androscoggin CAC, and is denied based on full schedule. Mother returns home, desperately seeking protection for her child. Abuser, with CPS support, files a protection order for child v. mother. Police/CPS/ abusers attorney continue to perpetuate original unsubstantiated position that abuse does not exist. On prompting of CPS, PD forcefully entered mothers home without a warrant, used excessive force on mother, arrests and removes her; and takes child victim with no shoes or car seat to hospital for another frivolous examination, and interrogation by detectives. Victims brother was left alone at home, PD refused to have the brothers together for support. Child recanted his report of abuse, as his father was present at hospital. Child is released to father, and CPS open investigation into reports that mother is abusing child by seeking treatment.
11/8/13 CPS/GAL interview child in the presence of the abuser regarding reports of abuse. This was yet another unnecessary interview which further traumatized the child victim. CPS refuses to speak to mother regarding investigation, regarding nature of investigation, or potential outcome; or why they repeatedly refused to accept reports of abuse from professionals. Mother calls a meeting with CPS to introduce evidence to support childs report. CPS verbally attack mother for disallowing CPS access to child, and discredit reports from child’s counselor and hospitals, as well as school reports where mandated reporters failed to report childs statements. CPS voraciously denied the abuse exists, despite no proper investigation, or adherence to law or policy. Father files to dismiss the frivolous PFA order after motion to modify requires mother to only be allowed contact with child at a supervised visitation center. Mother objects to dismiss the PFA, in hopes of having a hearing on the frivolous orders. Mothers attorney refuses to object and Protection order is dismissed. GAL ordered child stop seeing current therapist, and transfer to therapist he recommended. (presumably trained to ignore child abuse) Therapist gathered some very disturbing information which she ignored, or was clinically inept to interpret where child again reports abuse through drawings and statements completely ignored by counselor. Counselor was focused on vilifying mother instead of treating patient appropriately. CPS detained and interrogated child victims brother at school and under duress, challenged his report that his brother required protection. This traumatized the victims brother, and was only done to support CPS position by leading questions. CPS made a substantiation of emotional abuse against child by mother, by “seeking treatment for injury from abuse that isn’t substantiated by CPS” and a less severe finding that mother was emotionally harming older child by instilling in him belief that the system is dangerous. GAL files to withdraw from Family Matter, and motions to quash subpoena to appear at hearing.
5/30/14 Father files another frivolous protection order on the advice of PD, and a hearing is set for 6/6/14. Mother files a motion to dismiss and affirmative defense, but no hearing was scheduled on motion to dismiss. Mother is forced to ask attorney to withdraw based on suppression of evidence, and soft representation.
Father has child in complete isolation against court order since 11/7/13. Refuses to accommodate supervised visits, or allow contact with brother or maternal grandmother. Father is found in violation of probation when a report was made to PD that father was drunk with child at store. Probation officer administered first random BAC test, which proved father was drinking. Instead of recalling his parole, probation officer enrolled father in intensive outpatient rehabilitation, which he was still enrolled in at final hearing.
Fathers attorney filed to continue PFA hearing without notice to mother. Judge ordered PFA order be heard at final hearing in family matter. Mother was depending on hearing on abuse order to prove the father was truly the abuser aided by PD/CPS who also subjected the child to abuse/trauma. This would negate final hearing.
Mother appeared at two day trial without counsel, evidence, or witnesses. The trial was conducted in Springvale District Court and mother proved her case by entering testimony, and cross examining opposing counsel witnesses. Father provided no evidence except unfounded claims by CPS/PD for evidence proving his fitness as a father. The child's interests were ignored completely, and the focus was on the persecution of the mother who demanded protection of her child from his father in accordance with law and reason. AG filed motion to quash subpoena for CPS to testify in family matter based on lack of jurisdiction. Judge allowed subpoena.
CPS erroneous substantiation was supported at final hearing by testimony by CPS social worker. Due to preparing to litigate the trial, her fathers death, and pursuit of assistance to protect her child, mother failed to appeal substantiation by CPS within 30 days. The judge heard the case, took it under advisement for 30 20 days, when mother was arrested for sending the abuser a text which was considered a violation of a protection order. Police, again, forcibly entered without warrant, used excessive force on the mother, and took her to jail without opportunity for bail or access to her retained attorney.
The judge issued the Final order in FM 13 – xxx the following day after the mother was incarcerated. At arraignment, Amy Fairfield, lawyer of the day, asked the judge to declare mother a ward of the state. Mother had just submitted a 13 page affidavit in support of her motion for protection order for child against father based on information presented at the trial. (proving competence)Judge denied to commit mother to psychiatric hospital. Amy Fairfield, appointed herself attorney, despite mother having counsel, and went over the original judges order, having another judge order mother “incompetent to stand trial” without evaluation or hearing.
Mother was held without bail, explanation, or counsel for 40 days (first offense misdemeanor) until mother was transported to Riverview Psychiatric Hospital as a ward of the state for 68 days until State Forensic Psychiatrist evaluated mother and deemed her competent with emphasis on mothers intelligence and emotional health despite the circumstances.
Mother was released after opportunity for appeal was exhausted.
The order, composed and written by opposing counsel, reflects absolute bias against the mother, and ignorance of fathers violence, criminal activity, and abuse toward child. The order grants the abuser sole custody, with limited, supervised visits for mother to begin after psychiatric evaluation, and parenting capacity evaluation. Protection order was granted despite no grounds, which made the final order essentially a set-up -to -fail order. The attorneys, GAL, counselors, experts, and the court made excessive amounts of money to violently remove a child from his primary attachment figure and forced child into isolation and continued, and escalating abuse by his alcoholic, violent recidivist father.
Sole custody to the father, who has forbidden contact with mother, brother, or maternal family/friends for over three years.
Older child, out of desperation, after attempting to reach his brother’s father countless times over three years, engaged the school to have a visit between brothers after 3-year separation.
Older child invited by (child) to Christmas at the abuser’s home. Brother reported to abuser that he was coming to visit for Christmas. Brother observed child victim is neglected, abused, and forced to stay in a room in immediate proximity to fathers “roommate” who appears to be his ex-cellmate from prison. The brother is terrified for the child as he is aware of the danger involved in the hands of the father.
Mother has since been cleared of false charges police pressed on mother, and all other legal hurdles, yet has been unable to attain assistance despite persistent due diligence to rescue her child from the error of the state departments and the court.
Mother is terrified to take any action in fear of her child’s safety. The abuser has all risk factors for abuse, was convicted of sexually abusing ex-wife child in CA in 90’s; has serious substance abuse issues, and is a violent recidivist who has had several extended incarcerations for various drug and violent offenses. Mother is aware that father will permanently injure or kill child before he allows contact with mother, unless CPS successfully intervenes. CPS is inept at child protection. PD are inept at DV and child abuse. AG represents both departments, rendering mother helpless to rescue her child without appropriate intervention.
Quick look at facts
Child reports abuse, asks mother for protection. Abuser makes false reports, files motions based on perjury, and engages CPS/PD to eliminate mother from child's life.
Child reported abuse to: 1. Mother 2. Spurwink 3. Pediatrician – reported to mothers attorney 4. Hospital (MMC) – reported to PD/CPS 5. Clinician – reported to CPS 6. School- Principal, guidance counselor, teacher
7. Hospital – reported to PD/CPS
Why would all these state agencies fail to acknowledge the abuse of this child victim? Why would CPS deem mother a danger to only one child? Will CPS intervene in valid abuse cases prior to fatality? Is the State more invested in self preservation than a child's safety? Why would CPS substantiate mother in absence of support/hearing, etc?
Failed to protect child or investigate valid reports, despite obvious danger/injury.
Ignored over 40 reports of abuse.
Caused additional harm with unnecessary interviews.
Blamed mother and placed her on child abuse registry for same.
Testified in Family Matter in support of abuser without jurisdiction.
Aligned with PD to bully mother and children trying to get protection from abuse.
Created collateral consequences by labeling mother abuser, causing more unnecessary injury to family as retaliation for trying to stop abuse.
Ignored several reports of child abuse by convicted abuser.
Failed to respond to calls for assistance in a DV matter.
Concealed/destroyed /denied/falsified evidence.
Failed to follow Maine Law by reporting child sexual abuse to DA.
Interrogated child and subjected him to medical exam without parental consent.
Testified as an expert in a field (child sexual abuse) where they have no education, never mind expertise.
Collaborated with CPS in retaliation against mother seeking protection.
Traumatized children with excessive force on mother/ forced entry/warrantless removal.
Malicious prosecution of mother to deflect from department misfeasance.
Interfered with child seeking protection in support of abuser.
Refused admissible evidence of abuse.
Ordered a dangerous custody arrangement with no regard to “child's best interest".
Allowed Maine Attorney w/o experience act as GAL.
Ordered frivolous ex-parté protection orders, then allowed them to be dismissed prior to hearing.
Denied several protection orders filed by mother to protect child from actual abuse.
Received incentives to grant sole custody to ‘ex prisoner as fathers’ which took precedence over a child's life.
Exploited a vulnerable family to extort fees and harmful funding streams.
Injunction was a Protection Order. Court made it into a drawn out, contested custody battle where only one judge heard the case, and held it on a trailing docket. Took the judgement ‘under advisement’ for 20 days.
Used the child’s need for protection to fund the cottage industry around Family Court. Clinicians, Visit Supervisors, attorneys; ALL of whom ignored obvious abuse.
These facts are corroborated by documented evidence and testimony of involved parties. This is not an outstanding story. Sadly, this is how America handles child abuse in 2017. The system in place simply will not protect children. The system consistently hurts more children than it helps.
Change is imminent.