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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.)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Why do judges fail to protect children from forced visitation with dangerous parents?

Father, young son found dead in apparent murder-suicide in Greece, NY
CHAD ROBERTS • OVERNIGHT EDITOR • FEBRUARY 13, 2010

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20100213/NEWS01/100213001

GREECE -- Police said a 39-year-old man shot and killed his 7-year-old son and then committed suicide in a house at 491 Island Cottage Road last night.

Chief Todd Baxter of the Greece Police Department said names of the victims have not been released yet, pending identification by the Monroe County Medical Examiner's office.

Baxter said the mother of the child, who was estranged from her husband who lived at 491 Island Cottage, called 911 last evening asking police to check on the welfare of her child.

The house is located directly across Island Cottage Road from the access road leading to the Greece Police Department.

"The wife was responding to the house at the same time we were responding," Baxter said. "She was coming from another location."

When officers arrived at the address at about 7:30, they first checked the exterior of the house, then discovered the grisly scene when they looked inside.

"They peered through one of the windows and they saw an apparent gunshot victim inside the location, in the living room," Baxter said. "They immediately made entry into the house to try and secure that victim. Upon entering the house, the officers found a second victim just inside the back door of the house. That victim was also apparently dead on arrival from a gunshot wound."

Baxter said that the father picked up his son earlier Friday from the mother's residence for a scheduled visitation period. The mother had received an order of protection against her husband on Jan. 25, and at that time, weapons had been cleared from the Island Cottage Road address by police, Baxter said. A second order was issued on Feb. 8.

Baxter said that yesterday evening, the boy's mother became concerned with his welfare after speaking to the boy's father on the phone.

"She called from an area on Ridge Road," Baxter said. "She got worried about her son based on conversations she was having with the male at the house. So she was starting to respond here. While she was responding, she also called 911 and asked us to go check on the welfare of the child. The officers beat her to the scene and were just doing the preliminary check on the exterior of the house when she arrived."

Baxter, who is in his first week as chief of police in Greece after a long career with the Rochester Police Department, said the situation was a difficult one for everybody involved.

"It is very traumatic on the family, the family is extremely distraught, both sides of the family," Baxter said. "The officers are quite upset, the ones that had to go inside and see the child in that condition. It is a very traumatic situation."

Baxter said that the father had left at least one note inside the house that referred to Friday's shootings.

Baxter said the weapon used in the shootings appeared to be a shotgun.

Includes reporting by staff writer Gary McLendon.

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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