Monday, January 25, 2010

Dastardly Dads: The TRUTH about Abuse: Media misses.


Dastardly Dads Blog The TRUTH about Abuse Hat tip to Silverside for her diligence in sifting through the media misses.


Fathers Rights folks blame moms for child abuse. WRONG! Sexual abuse, shaken baby syndrome, and other forms of violent child abuse are dominated by dads, stepdads, and caretaker boyfriends (60 - 90%). And as more dads are providing child care (either because mom is working and can't find other care, or because dads are increasingly getting unsupervised visitation/custody through the family courts), more dads are are being found guilty of basic child abuse and neglect. Who'd a thunk it?



Dad sentenced in attempted murder of wife, stabbing of teenage daughter (Beckley, West Virginia)

Dad RONALD KEITH LEGG has been sentenced to 5-25 years in prison for the attempted murder of his wife and the stabbing of his then 13-year-old daughter.

Notice how much pubic support this sh** gets for his actions, though. Over 100 letters? Disgusting. Do you think that if a mother had taken a knife to her husband and son (before fleeing the scene and engaging in a standoff with the local police) that she'd have been described as "a very fine woman" and a "gentle person" who didn't need to be in jail? No freaking way.
Published: January 22, 2010 10:59 pm
Man sentenced
By Michelle James
Register-Herald Reporter
Emotions ran high Friday as two victims and the defendant’s mother addressed Raleigh County Circuit Court during a sentencing hearing for Ronald Keith Legg.
Legg, 53, of Beckley, was sentenced to five to 25 years in prison for the 2007 attempted murder of his then-wife Sherry Legg and the stabbing of his teenage daughter.
Sherry Legg and daughter Hannah, who was 13 at the time of the incident, spoke to the court, asking that Ronald Legg be punished for his actions, which left both of them emotionally and physically scarred.
“Why?” she asked her ex-husband. “I don’t feel I deserved to die. I don’t feel like he had a right to play God that night and take my life.”
She recalled hearing Hannah, who was stabbed in the abdomen while trying to stop her father’s attack, pleading, ‘Mommy, please don’t die.’”
An emotional Hannah told Judge H.L. Kirkpatrick her father needed to pay for trying to take away “the most important person in my life.”
“I didn’t think she was going to make it,” she said.
Sherry Legg, who was stabbed four times in the chest and temple, said she did die that night and visited the “most beautiful place” before she was revived.
“I hope God can forgive him for what he has done,” she said of Ronald Legg, adding he “destroyed” their family. “Maybe in time I will (forgive) ... right now I can’t.”
Ronald Legg, who said he did not remember stabbing Hannah, apologized for his actions and said he was grateful his ex-wife survived the attack.
“(I’m glad) the Lord protected her (and) the girls will have her,” he said, adding he would never harm anyone again.
Lula Legg, Ronald’s mother, told the court her son is a “very fine man” and a “gentle person” who she did not feel needed to be incarcerated.
Prosecutor Kristen Keller disagreed, however, asking for the maximum sentence for Legg, who fled the scene and was arrested several days later following a standoff with State Police.
“He did not stick around long enough to see whether he had succeeded (in murder),” Keller said, adding Legg did not stay to check on his injured daughter, either. “He fled ... What cowardice.”
Public defender Joseph Noggy argued his client had no criminal record prior to the incident and was unlikely to re-offend.
“(My client) is not asking the court to just sweep this under the rug and let it go,” he said, asking for concurrent sentencing as opposed to consecutive. “This is out of character for him.”
Although Kirkpatrick said he received more than 100 letters in support of Legg, he added Legg’s “appalling” behavior could not be excused.
Kirkpatrick sentenced Legg to consecutive terms of three to 15 years for attempted first-degree murder, one to five years for unlawful wounding and one to five years for felony child abuse causing bodily injury.
A one-year sentence for domestic battery will run concurrently.
Additionally, upon release, Legg must register with the child abuse registry for 10 years.
Legg’s plea agreement included a lifetime restraining order barring him from ever again having contact with Sherry Legg or their children.

Posted by silverside at 8:51 PM 0 comments

Labels: DV, West Virginia

Sentence delayed for dad accused of killing 5-month-old daughter, family dog (Erie, Pennsylvania)

Dad VINCENT DAVIS just can't seem to stick to one story. First he pleads to killing his 5-month-old daughter and the family dog, then he didn't do it. Then he sort of did it. I'm thinking...he did it. Only prison isn't looking like a very amusing prospect. That's why we're seeing the sudden development of the mental illness excuse here too.

Sentence postponed for Erie man accused of killing baby, dog
Sentencing in killing delayed
When he pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and cruelty to animals in September, Erie resident Vincent Davis admitted to killing his 5-month-old daughter and the family dog in February.
When he wrote to his sentencing judge in November, Davis, a 25-year-old with psychiatric problems, changed his position.
He said he did not kill his daughter.
And on Friday, when he stood before Erie County Judge William R. Cunningham, waiting to be sentenced, Davis offered yet another version of events.
He acknowledged that he was responsible for the death of his daughter, Savonnia Davis, but he said he never intended to kill her. He said he was shaking her while she was crying, but she slipped out of his hands and hit her head on the floor.
"I didn't do it," Vincent Davis told Cunningham.
After listening to the conflicting statements and reviewing Davis' mental health, Cunningham adjourned the sentencing hearing and indefinitely postponed it.
Cunningham did not provide a reason for his decision -- he had a clerk make the announcement after he left the courtroom -- but Davis' behavior at the aborted hearing appeared to give Cunningham pause.
Davis was returned to the Erie County Prison, where he is being held without bond. His court-appointed lawyer, John Moore, declined to comment, as did District Attorney Jack Daneri.
Friday's events were in some ways to be expected. Davis in August backed out of a plea before Cunningham after Davis balked at admitting he killed the dog, Marley, a Jack Russell terrier.
Davis then pleaded guilty in September, but only after Cunningham went through a lengthy process to make sure Davis knew what he was doing in entering the plea.
"It happened," Davis said at that hearing. "It is on me."
Davis with the plea admitted he killed his daughter and the dog on Feb. 24 at 211 E. 30th St., where Davis' daughter and her mother lived.
Davis faces a maximum sentence of 45 years in state prison. He was supposed to be sentenced in November, but Cunningham postponed that hearing to Friday so the judge could review a psychiatric evaluation.
Davis suffers from a schizoaffective disorder, which includes delusional thoughts and mood problems, according to court records. He also has a history of abusing alcohol and using marijuana.
Under the state sentencing guidelines, Davis' recommended sentence with the guilty plea would be nine to 18 years in state prison. If Davis were to withdraw his plea and be convicted at trial, the sentence could be longer.
Davis' mother, Twanda Davis, talked to her crying son during a break in Friday's hearing.
"We don't hate you," she said. "We all love you."
She said afterward she plans to visit her son in prison Tuesday and urge him to stick with the guilty plea so Cunningham can sentence him.
"It is the right thing to do," Twanda Davis said.

Posted by silverside at 8:42 PM 0 comments

Labels: child death, drugs/alcohol, mental illness, murder,Pennsylvania, schizophrenia

Violent dad jailed after whipping 12-year-old daughter to death (Sichuan Province, China)

Dad LIU KANG has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for the beating death of his 12-year-old daughter. He was divorced from the girl's mother, and obviously had some ongoing visitation/custody rights (and in fact APPEARS to have been custodial) despite a KNOWN history of family violence and a previous assault conviction. This poor girl had tried to leave this home on other occasions, only to be returned by the police.
Violent dad jailed after whipping girl to death
Sun, Jan 24, 2010
China Daily/Asia News Network
A migrant worker from Sichuan province who beat his 12-year-old daughter to death last year was sentenced to 10 years in jail, Tongzhou district court ruled Thursday.
Liu Kang, 43, beat his daughter to death for suspicion of theft on July 25 at their rented apartment in the district, the Mirror Evening News reported.
At about 9:30 am, Liu said he discovered that his daughter Liu Lin, a child with his ex-wife, had stolen from a neighbor.
Liu was said to have slapped his daughter repeatedly in the face until she tried to escape the flat. He then tied the girl to a ladder and whipped her with a 1-m-long rubber pipe.
The court heard that between each strike he asked Liu Lin to confess, but she would not.
The girl finally admitted the theft at 11 am and was released from the ladder. After giving her some water, Liu placed her on a sofa and went out to buy some medicine.
He reportedly returned at 12:30 pm to find the girl unconscious. He carried her to a hospital and she died 40 minutes later.
"I did not intend to beat my daughter to death," Liu told the court Thursday, according to the Mirror Evening News.
He claimed his daughter had lied frequently and left home several times. Police always brought her home, but theft was a common issue.
Prosecutors told the court they knew Liu regretted killing his daughter, but the brutality was unforgivable, according to the newspaper.
Liu came to Beijing in the 1980s from Nanchong, Sichuan province. He has run several businesses including interior decoration, cold drink sales, and a restaurant in the city.
His former wife was his school classmate. They had two daughters, but separated in 2000 and divorced in 2008.
A couple of months after the divorce he married a second woman from his hometown. When they returned to Beijing, his elder daughter, Liu Jie, left home.
Liu Kang's brother, Liu Zhi, said his brother was very violent and had beaten everybody in their family, including their father.

Liu had previously been convicted of assault in 1994 and sentenced to two years in jail.

Posted by silverside at 8:26 PM 0 comments

Labels: child custody, child death, child murder, China, custodial father,custody/visitation

Dad found guilty in shaking death of 3-month-old daughter (Scottsbluff, Nebraska)

Same old standard story here. Dad JOHN CHAVEZ was "caretaking" while the mother was working. He got "frustrated" because the baby was crying and shook her. The baby developed breathing problems from the brain damage and died.

This baby was only 3-months old. When are we going to establish decent maternity leaves for moms in this country? When are we going to stop assuming that (unemployed or underemployed) daddies make good caretakers? They don't!

Dad found guilty in baby's death
SCOTTSBLUFF — A jury deliberated for six hours before convicting a Scottsbluff father in the shaking death of his 3-month-old daughter.
John Chavez, 36, was found guilty last week of committing intentional child abuse resulting in death in the April 20 death of Aubrey Chavez.
Tammy Rood, the mother of the baby girl, said that she was pleased with the verdict and that “justice was served for Aubrey.”
In closing arguments, prosecutor and Assistant Attorney General Doug Warner said Chavez had been acting frustrated with the child's crying on April 19 and 20.
Rood testified that the child was fine when she left for work. She believed the child to be sleeping when she returned about an hour and a half later. She contacted 911 when she discovered the baby looked pale. She testified she picked the baby up and discovered Aubrey wasn't breathing.
Although Chavez admitted to police that he had shaken the child “once, maybe twice,” Warner said her injuries weren't consistent with a gentle shake.
“This child was forcibly grabbed, forcibly shaken, forcibly squeezed … and her breathing stopped,” Warner said.
In closing statements, defense attorney Richard DeForge said the prosecution had not proven that Chavez had caused the infant's injuries. He placed blame on the mother, saying that she had been alone with the child for more than an hour before the 911 call.
A sentencing date has not been set, but Chavez faces up to life in prison. The minimum sentence on the child abuse charge is 20 years in prison.
— World-Herald News Service

Posted by silverside at 8:01 PM 0 comments

Labels: child death, crying baby, Nebraska, shaken baby

Two sisters rejoice at dad's murder conviction (Murfreesboro, Tennessee)

Convicted murderer, serial child rapist and molester--dad MAC RAY MACFARLANE is an early but strong contender for Dastardly Dad of the Year.

Two sisters rejoice at father's conviction
Two ex-wives implicate husband in murder
Two witnesses testify McFarlane admitted murder
By: Lisa Marchesoni
Posted: Sunday, January 24, 2010 1:45 pm
EDITOR’S NOTE: Contents of this story may offend some readers.
Two sisters rejoiced when they witnessed their biological father convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison last Wednesday.
A Rutherford County jury convicted Mac Ray MacFarlane and sentenced him to life in prison for killing co-worker Gene Stump in 1982. During the investigation, sheriff’s Cold Case Detective Lt. Bill Sharp and Detective Sgt. Dan Goodwin discovered MacFarlane fathered the two sisters.
The sisters accused MacFarlane of raping their mothers at age 15 in 1978 in Dickson and Hickman counties. They said they were the products of the rapes, born three months apart.
The sisters accused their father of raping them respectively at age 13 and 15 in Dickson and Hickman counties. Because they were believed sex abuse victims, they will be identified only as Nichole, now 32, and Lynn, now 31. Their father was never charged with raping their mothers or them.
“His excuse for rape was to make sure he was part of my life forever – as if his DNA wasn’t enough,” Nichole said bitterly.
When Lynn asked him why, he replied, “I wanted to make you part of me forever.”
Lynn said she and Nichole attended the trial to show support for the district attorney’s office prosecuting her father and to get closure for themselves.
“He deserves to die in prison,” Lynn said. “We want people to know he was on trial for murder. Murder is just one of the many things. We’re using this for closure for the things he did to us.”
Murder investigation
As part of their investigation, Detectives Sharp and Goodwin learned about the sisters and contacted them to determine if they had any information about Stump’s murder. Instead, the detectives heard from the daughters and four other children allegations about McFarlin molesting them.
Both sisters said Goodwin listened to them and battled to get McFarlin charged with raping his daughters.
“He has been convicted of child sex crimes in New York State,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin and Sharp checked with prosecutors but learned it was too late to file charges for the sisters’ cases.
“I absolutely believe them,” Goodwin said with conviction in his voice.
Assistant District Attorney Paul Newman said McFarlin could have been prosecuted for the sex crimes only until the victims turned 19.
Luke Evans, their father’s attorney in the murder trial, said he learned about the women through the detectives’ investigation.
“To my knowledge, they are not the daughters of Mr. MacFarlane,” Evans said, calling their information an “unsubstantiated claim. Mr. MacFarlane would adamantly deny anything like that every occurred. No allegations were ever made when this supposedly took place.”
Evans suggested murder trials “tend to draw out people seeking attention for their 15 minutes of fame.”
Several people claimed MacFarlane did something to them years and years ago.
“If these people were so traumatized by him, no fresh complaints were made,” Evans noted. “That needs to be considered.”
But Lynn said a court ordered McFarlin to take a blood test after she was born showing he was the father and he admitted he was her father when she was 18. He offered to sign her birth certificate. He signed a document in 1996-97 stating he was her birth father and she was entitled to his Social Security benefits.
Early life
Lynn’s mother, who attended the trial with her, met Randy McFarlin when she was 15 and he was 18 at a community club in Dickson County. McFarlin changed his name after Stump’s murder. Lynn’s mother accused McFarlin of raping her, resulting in Lynn’s birth.
Nichole’s mother’s family knew McFarlin from church in Hickman County. When her mother was 15, she accused McFarlin of raping her, resulting in Nichole’s birth three months before Lynn.
As children, their mother and grandparents raised both Nichole and Lynn. They didn’t know the circumstances of their conception and longed to know their father.
At age 13, Lynn learned her father and his wife, Donna, had sons who played baseball. She went to the ball field and met him. She began visiting the family on weekends.
During one weekend, Lynn said her father took her to a bar and allowed her to drink. They went to the parking lot where he raped her inside his car when she was 13. A couple stopped to check on her but McFarlin told them she was drunk and they went on.
Because of the family ties, McFarlin’s mother, Reba, wanted visitation with Nichole. Her grandparents allowed her to visit as long as Donna was home. Sometimes the sisters visited together.
Nichole recalled one time when Donna wasn’t home, her father slipped drugs to them and started having sex with Lynn. Nichole tried to stop him “but I couldn’t get to her. I remember lying on the floor trying to reach her.”
“I was trying to get him off (of her),” Lynn said, adding they didn’t willingly participate in the sex acts.
Lynn didn’t tell anybody because she feared her maternal grandfather would kill him and she would lose her grandfather, who was also the only father figure she had. After age 14, Lynn never spent time with McFarlin again.
An angry Nichole described McFarlin as a “flipping con man. You wanted him to be your friend. If he didn’t, your life was a living hell.”
After McFarlin and his first wife, Donna, divorced, the sisters visited when Nichole was 14. They went to a bar and “he got smashed.” Nichole had to drive them home.
She blocked out something that happened with him and refused to go back to visit.
Later, Nichole asked her mother and grandparents what happened. They didn’t know.
“I said I never wanted to go back,” she recalled. “I’m probably better off not knowing.”
Seven years later, McFarlin called her to tell her she had a baby sister. She hung up on him.
After coming out of an abusive relationship at age 19, Nichole agreed to move in with her father and his third wife, Ellen, in May of 1998. On the surface, she was part of a perfect, welcoming family.
Later in the fall, he began using crack cocaine with her, a habit lasting for the next three years. She remembers him taking her income tax check and using the whole check to buy crack cocaine one weekend.
When Ellen was gone one weekend, he again raped her. After that, she put Ellen’s youngest son in the bed with her in hopes he would leave her alone.
“It happened numerous times after that,” Nichole said.
At age 21, she decided to move out.
The sisters lost touch with each other from about age 15 to 20.
Getting closure
Both sisters credited the jury for their ability to realize McFarlin was guilty.
Nichole said she and her family and her sister and her family, along with the Stump family, can heal – and “for all the families who have been on his path of destruction. He is finally getting what he deserves.”
When the jury gave its guilty verdict against MacFarlane, Nichole felt the weight of the world slip off her shoulders. Now she doesn’t have to worry about what her father might do to other children.
Lynn agreed.
“He deserves to die in prison,” Lynn said.
Both sisters have successful careers with good bosses who allowed them to witness the trial. Lynn is married and has one child. Nichole is divorced with one child. Because of their experiences, they have protected their daughters against sexual predators.
They realize their father is not in prison for what he did to them.
Nichole said with a life sentence, she doesn’t have to look over her shoulder to worry about him anymore. Lynn doesn’t have to worry about the chance he’ll ever meet her daughter.
“We’re good and we’re going to get better,” Lynn said.
“The path of destruction stops here,” Nichole vowed. “I won’t ever spit on his grave.”
Then she smiles briefly. “Maybe I will. I can see the healing beginning now.”

Posted by silverside at 7:50 PM 0 comments

Labels: child murder, drugs/alcohol, sexual abuse, Tennessee

Dad beats mom, 10-year-old son to death, then shoots self (Lebanon, Missouri)

It appears that dad TODD JOHNSON beat his wife and 10-year-old son to death, and then shot himself to death in his car at a separate location. An 8-year-old, for some unexplained reason, was not physically harmed. The blathering neighbors can only say how "great" everybody was. And you know this--how? Doesn't seem to me that somebody who beats two members of his family to death is that "great" at all . Get a freaking clue. I'm sure these morons had NO IDEA what really went on in that family, especially behind closed doors. The morons never do.

Father in Double Homicide Died from Gunshot Wound
Jennifer Denman
Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 @04:50pm CST
(Lebanon, MO) -- The man whose wife and child were found murdered Friday in Lebanon appears to have died from a gunshot wound.
That's according to autopsies completed Saturday in Springfield.
Laclede County Sheriff Richard Wrinkle says 10-year-old Blake Johnson and his mother, 40-year-old Sheila Johnson, died from blunt and sharp force trauma to the head and neck.
The two were found dead in separate rooms inside their Lebanon home in the 19000 block of Goldenwood Lane Friday.
The sheriff says a relative got a message and alerted police to check on the well being of the people at the home around 7:00 a.m. Friday.
When a family friend arrived at the house, an eight-year-old answered the door. That child is now in protective services.
The sheriff asked the public to help find the father, Todd Johnson, whose vehicle was found at 3:30 p.m. in a quarry about a mile from Lebanon.
His body was inside the vehicle, which was submerged in about six feet of water.
Family members had to identify the body by scars and marks due to the wreckage.
Following Saturday's autopsy, Sheriff Wrinkle says Todd Johnon's death is consistent to suicidal intentions. However, he says there's a need for further investigation before a final determination can be made.
On Friday, both elementary schools where those children attended were put on preventative lock down by the district as a precautionary measure.
Neighbors say they're shocked. They say the family was great and everyone only had nice things to say to me about them.
"They were a great family," says Tony Lucas, a family friend. "You know they cared. It's hard to believe what happened, because they loved their kids, they loved each other."
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to this family because it's very devastating and obviously our staff and students are taking it very difficulty," says Superintendent Duane Widhalm.
Blake Johnson was a fifth grader at Boswell Elementary School. The Johnson family is well known in the community.
Todd managers four Sonics in the area. Corporate decided to close those business Friday.

Posted by silverside at 7:15 PM 0 comments

Labels: child death, Missouri, murder, murder-suicide

Grandparents sue after granddaughter's beating death at hands of custodial father, girlfriend (Coffeyville, Kansas)

This is an example of what happens when the "rights" of an abusive/neglectful parent--in this case dad RANDY COONS--are valued over the rights of the children to consistent, loving care. After the custodial mother died from a sudden illness, the grandparents took the children into their home. The mother had already separated from the father, and the grandparents had taken an active role in raising the children while she attended college. Within days, daddy swept in and took the kids away to live with him and his meth-addicted girlfriend. The grandparents got weekend visitation. Almost immediately, there were signs that the children were being abused. Of course, the authorities ignored the grandparents' pleas. And then their worst fears came true: Withing six months, Daddy's meth-addicted girlfriend had beaten the little girl to death.
Posted on Sun, Jan. 24, 2010
Coffeyville couple sues SRS worker after granddaughter's beating death
The Wichita Eagle
A family's lawsuit accuses a state social worker of gross negligence, saying she failed to protect a 23-month-old Coffeyville girl beaten to death by her father's meth-addicted girlfriend.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court Tuesday, accuses SRS social worker Linda Gillen of not taking steps to remove Brooklyn Coons and her brother from a dangerous household after the maternal grandparents repeatedly raised concerns about injuries to Brooklyn.
The lawsuit — brought by Brooklyn's maternal grandparents, Larry and Mary Crosetto — contends Gillen "failed to act to protect their grandchildren because of a pre-existing grudge." The grudge involved actions the Crosettos took years earlier in their adoption of Brooklyn's mother, Angela Crosetto Coons, the lawsuit says.
Brooklyn's death is a case of a social worker who remained determined to keep children with a parent even when it put the children at serious risk, the lawsuit contends. Other agencies that could have protected Brooklyn deferred to SRS because they thought the social worker was taking steps to monitor the girl, it says.
In an interview, Larry Crosetto said Gillen, a licensed social worker with the Coffeyville office of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS), "was aware there was a situation in that home. She didn't investigate and find out what the situation was.
"What we hope to do is get SRS to act in these situations ... and prevent it from happening to another family," Crosetto said.
SRS won't comment because of the pending litigation, spokeswoman Michelle Ponce said Friday.
Gillen remains employed as an SRS social worker, Ponce said.
Gillen could not be reached for comment.
The litigation is filed in federal court because of the argument that Brooklyn and her survivors were denied their constitutional rights by the state, said Randy Rathbun, a Wichita lawyer and former U.S. attorney for Kansas who is representing the Crosettos in their lawsuit.
The Kansas Attorney General's Office prosecuted the girlfriend in Brooklyn's death, which occurred on Jan. 20, 2008. The girlfriend later married Brooklyn's father. On Dec. 30, 2009, a judge sentenced Melissa Wells Coons to life in prison for the murder of Brooklyn.
The same day the judge sentenced Melissa Coons, Brooklyn's father, Randy Coons, was charged with aggravated child endangerment, said Ashley Anstaett, spokeswoman for the Attorney General's Office.
The lawsuit against Gillen seeks more than $75,000 in damages.
The first loss
The Crosettos had dealt with a tragic loss less than six months before their granddaughter's murder. On Aug. 9, 2007, Brooklyn's mother, Angela Coons, died of a sudden illness at a Wichita hospital. She was 24.
Angela Coons had moved her small children — Brooklyn and son Christian, now 7 — to be with her in Wichita just weeks before she died, Larry Crosetto said. Angela Coons was working in Wichita as a Comcare caseworker.
After their daughter became ill, the Crosettos rushed to Wichita. After she died, they brought their grandchildren back to their Coffeyville home, Crosetto said.
Before Angela Coons moved to Wichita, she had left Randy Coons and moved in with her parents. Because Angela was busy completing her degree at Pittsburg State University, the Crosettos had "practically raised" their grandchildren, Larry Crosetto said.
The weekend after they buried their daughter, their son-in-law, Randy Coons, showed up on their front porch with two Coffeyville police officers and demanded to take the children, Crosetto said. The son-in-law moved the children in with him and his girlfriend, Melissa Wells.

"Within a week of the kids being put into that home, Brooklyn showed up on a weekend with her lip stitched together," Crosetto said.
A narrative, timeline
The lawsuit provides this timeline:
In the fall of 2007, the Crosettos started seeing bruises on Brooklyn, and their granddaughter received medical treatment twice for suspicious injuries.
"The Crosettos began to get more and more concerned about the bruises on their grandchildren," the lawsuit says.
On Nov. 5, 2007, school officials told Gillen, the SRS social worker, that Christian had bruising that looked suspicious, the lawsuit says.
According to the lawsuit narrative: The next day, Larry Crosetto tried to reach Gillen about the bruising, but got no return call, so he tried to contact her again on Nov. 14, 15 and 16, eventually reaching her on Nov. 20. Gillen said she had interviewed a school official, the children's father, his girlfriend and Christian. Gillen indicated she had been at the girlfriend's home, the lawsuit says.
Gillen said a case had been opened and she would make a recommendation in about 30 days. "She refused to discuss the suspected drug situation in the home," the lawsuit says.
Crosetto said the grandchildren remained with the girlfriend during the week; the grandparents got the children on weekends. They would exchange the children in the front yard of the girlfriend's home. He said he wasn't allowed inside.
He became concerned about the conditions in the house, noticing that the children had rashes that appeared to be from fleas and that they looked "filthy dirty" every Friday night when he or his wife picked them up.
"Sometimes it was hard to tell if it was bruises or dirt," he said.
"I tried everything to find out what was going on inside that house," said Crosetto, a 62-year-old accountant.
He said he began taking pictures to document injuries he saw.
Escalating situation
The situation got worse.
On Dec. 10, 2007, the lawsuit says, Crosetto called Gillen again because the "bruising and marks were beginning to escalate. She told Crosetto to call the police as it was her duty to try to protect the family and keep it together. Larry asked for an appointment to visit about her duty to protect the children."
On Dec. 12, 2007, Crosetto sought help from school officials. "Their position was that SRS had taken control of the situation and it was out of their hands," the lawsuit says.
On Sunday Dec. 23, the Crosettos' doctor noticed bruises on Brooklyn's face while she was at church, and he thought SRS should be notified. The doctor recommended that Larry Crosetto have another doctor examine Brooklyn the next day. On Dec. 24, the second doctor saw the girl, called police and sent a letter to the Coffeyville SRS office asking that "they investigate the situation and get back to him."
Gillen did not respond to the letter, the lawsuit says. But that same day the doctor called police, a Coffeyville police officer took a report from Crosetto in the doctor's office and said he would contact the prosecutor's office when it opened after the holiday, Crosetto said.
"I was under the understanding that the Police Department was trying ... to intervene, that the roadblock was SRS," Crosetto said.
The Crosettos believed Brooklyn was in danger.
"I was scared to death," Crosetto said.
The grandparents met with Gillen at her office on Dec. 28, and Larry Crosetto offered a CD showing Brooklyn's injuries. Gillen refused to accept it, saying it would be a police matter, the lawsuit said.
"The meeting became heated when it became apparent to the Crosettos that the defendant had some animus against them and was not going to do anything to protect the children. Mr. Crosetto made it clear that he was afraid she was not going to do anything until one of his grandchildren was killed."
And then the worst happened. On Jan. 17, 2008 — 20 days after the Crosettos expressed their fears to Gillen — Coffeyville police responded to a 911 call about Brooklyn. She was unresponsive, and she was in the care of Wells. Police saw head trauma and bruises.
Doctors found that Brooklyn's brain was bleeding as a result of her being struck on the head, and she had brain damage from being shaken, the lawsuit says.
The day after the 911 call, it says, police put three other children from the home of Wells and Randy Coons into protective custody because of "deplorable" living conditions and because of the fatal injuries to Brooklyn.
The lawsuit says that the Police Department didn't take more steps to protect Brooklyn and the other children before Jan. 18, 2008, "as it reasonably believed that the defendant was undertaking her statutory obligations to safeguard" the children.
The lawsuit argues that Gillen's "conduct increased the danger to (Brooklyn) from the meth addicted girlfriend."
Read more:

Posted by silverside at 6:53 PM 0 comments

Labels: child custody, child death, custodial dad, custody/visitation,drugs/alcohol, Kansas, murder, shaken baby

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