Unfortunately, the counselor did not report Isabel’s story to Children’s Protective Services, and the judge did not believe it. He believed Larry, who swore that Jane was forcing Isabel to tell lies about him – which fit the judge’s theory that when a child accuses a charming professional man like Larry of sexual abuse, it is seldom true. He believed that such a child is being manipulated by a hostile and malicious mother, and that she is the one that is harming the child. Worst of all, he believed that the only way to “cure” the harm is to isolate the child from the mother and forcibly “unify” the child with the accused father.
So for nearly three years, poor little Isabel lived with Larry, speaking to her mother by phone once a month, silently enduring what he demanded of her, and blaming herself. After all, Larry had warned her not to tell anyone about his “games”, but she had told Jane anyway, and wasn’t that when all the trouble began? Every month she asked her hopeful question, waiting for the day the answer would be, “I’m coming, baby.” And finally, it happened. Jane had found Justice for Children, whose attorneys successfully reunited her with Isabel, at first for weekend visits and finally, with full custody. The judge was voted out of office, the counselor was reprimanded for not reporting Isabel’s outcry of abuse, and Larry no longer has access to his young victim. In fact, he has just recently relinquished his parental rights. In another strange twist to this case, the father’s attorney committed suicide.
Isabel is now 14, and on her way to healing. She has a B+ average and enjoys being on her high school’s lacrosse team. She may never heal completely, but she has a chance at a happy life thanks to Justice for Children and a persistent mom who never gave up on her child.
Nikki’s case is a good example of how an advocate can move a criminal case from sitting dormant on a prosecutor=s desk to a national concern for justice. Nikki had been waiting for almost a year for the sex offender in her case to go to trial – she was raped from the age of 6 to her early teens by her mother’s boyfriend. Then, Nikki was told that the prosecutor was going to accept a plea bargain and the offender would be out on the streets with probation.
After Justice for Children was contacted and became involved, the criminal case took a different direction. When the rural community in which Nikki lived blamed Nikki for speaking out about her molestation (the offender was a “respected” high school teacher,) JFC pushed for a trial pursuing punishment to the fullest extent of the law for the multiple counts of rape committed against her. Because of JFC’s advocacy, the offender was convicted and is now spending 10 years in prison. Nikki also received therapy paid for by JFC. She has become a very successful member of society.
SUCCESS STORY 3
A 15-year-old adopted girl who had been sexually abused by her adoptive father since an early age. When the child’s mother became aware of the abuse, she filed for divorce and reported the case to CPS. CPS investigated and found reason to believe that the child had been sexually abused. The police detective investigating the case believed that the child’s statements represented a strong case for criminal prosecution. Even the child’s attending Psychologist diagnosed the teen as having PTSD, stating that the teen had all the symptoms of a sexually abused child. However, the child’s mother became concerned when the District Attorney’s office declined to present the case to the Grand Jury for prosecution.
JFC was able to reach the Assistant DA, shared additional evidence of the abuse that we had collected, and encouraged the prosecutor to bring the adoptive father to justice. The DA decided to move forward and the adoptive father was indicted. One of our volunteer attorneys worked with the DA’s Office, attended the trial, and represented the mother in the divorce/custody case in the Family court. As a direct result of our advocacy for this child, the adoptive father was convicted and sentenced to prison for aggravated rape, and, the protective mother gained full custody of the girl who is now moving on with her life and is looking forward to college.
SUCCESS STORY 4
JFC became involved with this child when she was 6-years-old. Initially, the Dallas County Family Court Judge placed her in the sole custody of her father whom she reported sexually abused her. In this “Parental Alienation Syndrome” (PAS) case, the court and its appointed experts did not competently evaluate Alison’s outcries but rather blamed her mother for “forcing” her to disclose intimate details of sexual abuse. Tragically, as a result, the child was denied contact with her mother for years. After our involvement, the temporary orders were appealed and JFC agreed to represent Alison’s mother working closely with attorney and child abuse expert, Richard Ducote.
After the original judge (who falsely claimed to be a psychologist and a proud follower of PAS) lost in the fall elections, a new judge was assigned. Our attorney was able to get the original orders overturned. As a direct result of our advocacy, the mother was granted unsupervised visitation with the potential for regaining full custody, depending on the quality of any outcries made by her daughter to her therapist. When JFC originally got involved in this case, the Judge had already decided that her mother would go to jail for years due to her “contemptuous” acts in continuing to force the issue of sexual abuse. Our attorney was also successful in getting a public reprimand against the Licensed Professional Counselor treating this young girl for failing to report sexual abuse.
SUCCESS STORY 5
10-year-old child was suicidal and self-mutilating when her mother and step-father came to JFC when she was 10. Our simple involvement and repeat appearances in court made all the difference. Her sexually abusive father finally terminated his rights by agreement this year, after we convinced the professionals in the case that she had, indeed, been abused and that the father’s narrative of “a vindictive mother fabricating allegations of sexual and emotional abuse for personal” was not credible.