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Most scams, such as sub-prime mortgages and email scams, victimize adults. But custody scams victimize children. When government fails to protect children it throws open the doors to private contractors—lawyers and clinicians—who enrich themselves at the expense of children. (More about this child and the mother who tried to protect her appears below.)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

When judges don't believe the violence

A massive new study out of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services claims a decline in abuse of children. Is it true? Or is it just that authorities do not believe mothers and children who report domestic violence?

Deadly consequences: Judges rejected mom's bid for restraining order

by Beatriz Valenzuela
2010-02-03 17:48:43
http://www.vvdailypress.com/news/order-17122-bid-rejected.html

VICTORVILLE • A woman whose ex-boyfriend murdered their infant son and then killed himself had sought a restraining order from two San Bernardino County judges only days before the murder-suicide, according to court records (click here to view records) obtained by the Daily Press.

Katie Tagle petitioned two San Bernardino County court judges for a restraining order only days before her former boyfriend, Stephen Garcia, killed himself and their 9-month-old son, Wyatt. Both requests were denied — in spite of Tagle telling a local judge that Garcia had threatened to kill their son.

“My suspicion is you’re lying,” Judge Robert Lemkau said, according to transcripts from a Jan. 21 hearing in Victorville court, “but I’m keeping the custody orders in full force and effect.”

Wyatt was then turned over to Garcia that day. Both Garcia and the child were found dead 10 days later on a Twin Peaks dirt road, after Garcia took Wyatt during a court-ordered visitation.

“Having that restraining order really could’ve helped this situation and possibly may have swayed a judge to grant supervised visitations,” said Anita Gomez, case manager for A Better Way Domestic Violence Shelter.

Lemkau, who couldn’t be reached for comment, denied to make permanent a temporary restraining order signed by another judge — who at first denied Tagle’s original restraining order request.

Family members said when Tagle went in front of Judge David Mazurek in a Joshua Tree courtroom on Jan. 12, Mazurek denied the permanent restraining order despite the 23-year-old reporting Garcia had recently been abusive to her.


Beatriz E. Valenzuela may be reached at (760) 951-6276 or at BValenzuela@VVDailyPress.com.

Blog Archive

About the mother and child pictured at the top

On February 21, 1992, Rhode Island Family Court's Chief Judge Jeremiah Jeremiah gave this two-year-old to the sole custody and possession of her father despite his history of domestic violence and failure to pay child support. The father, a police officer, brought false charges against his ex-wife, first saying she was a drug addict. (Twenty-two random tests proved she was not.) Then he had her arrested for bank fraud, then for filing a false report, then for sexual abuse, then for kidnapping. None of his charges stuck.

The child remained with her father and stepmother until 2003, when, at 14, she finally realized that her mother had not been a drug addict. The teenager persuaded Judge Stephen Capineri to let her return to her mother. There she began working on the painful issues of lifelong coercion and deception--a tangled knot of guilt and rage. Most painful has been her father’s continuing refusal to let her visit two dearly loved half-sisters, whom she has not seen since 2003.

She is one of countless children in Rhode Island subjected to severe emotional and physical trauma by Family Court when it helps abusive parents to maintain control over their families after divorce. When she turned 18 in 2007, she gave the Parenting Project permission to publish her picture on behalf of all children who have been held hostage by Rhode Island custody scams.

We are using this blog to provide links to stories that will help concerned people, including government officials, become aware of this form of child abuse and legal abuse. We must work together to improve the courts' ability to recognize the signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in victims of domestic abuse who are trying to protect their children.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are looking for the story of the removal of "Molly and Sara," please visit http://LittleHostages.blogspot.com


About the Author and the Cause

Parenting Project is a volunteer community service begun in 1996 at Mathewson Street United Methodist Church, Providence, RI, to focus on the needs of children at risk in Family Court custody cases. Our goal is to make Rhode Island's child protective system more effective, transparent, and accountable.

The Parenting Project coordinator, Anne Grant, a retired minister and former executive director of Rhode Island's largest shelter for battered women and their children, researches and writes about official actions that endanger children and the parents who try to protect them. She wrote a chapter on Rhode Island in Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody: Legal Strategies and Policy Issues, ed. Mo Therese Hannah, PhD, and Barry Goldstein, JD (Civic Research Institute, 2010).

Comments and corrections on anything written here may be sent in an email with no attachments to parentingproject@verizon.net

Find out more about the crisis in custody courts here:

www.centerforjudicialexcellence.org/PhotoExhibit.htm
www.child-justice.org
www.leadershipcouncil.org
www.evawintl.org provides forensic resources to end violence against women

about domestic violence in hague custody cases:
www.haguedv.org

more about domestic violence in law enforcement:
http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/



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