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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.)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Shame on the judges who fail to look at the evidence of child abuse

About two dozen protestors held signs and wore neon green shirts that read "Shame on you, Judge Goger" and "Shame on you, Judge Lane" as they marched outside the Fulton County Courthouse Monday.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge John Goger came under fire because of a recent order requiring a 10-year-old girl to live with her father, who was twice arrested for abusing her in a recent custody hearing.
CBS Atlanta News is not using the names of the parties to protect the child.
The mother of the girl told CBS Atlanta News reporter Jeff Chirico that she believes the judge did not consider the evidence and was influenced by her ex-husband's attorney.
Criminal charges against the girl's father were dropped for lack of evidence, but according to court records and the mother, five independent assessments supported the girl's story of repeated abuse.
Despite the allegations, the custody evaluator and court-appointed guardian ad litem, recommended the child be placed in the father's home because the mother was subconsciously "re victimizing" the child.
Deb Beacham, executive director of My Advocate Center, a resource group on child custody issues, said this isn't the only case in which a judge has placed a child back with his or her alleged abuser.
She said she believes judges sometimes consider their relationships with attorneys rather than what is in the best interest of the child.
"The judges are loyal to the relationships they have with attorneys and custody experts rather than heeding the evidence of the case and the needs of the children," said Beacham.
According to Beacham, the guardian ad litem in the case of the 10-year-old girl has charged the family $150,000 for his services.
"Why would a guardian ad litem make $150,000 suppressing evidence? Why would a custody evaluator make $65,000 on a case where the evidence is overwhelming?" asked Beacham.
"They don't need to make that kind of money, when they're preventing a child from being protected."
Goger's judicial assistant told CBS Atlanta News that he has no comment.
Protestors also railed Goger's fellow family court judge, Bensonetta Lane, for recent rulings that they said put children in danger and hurt relationships between children and a parent.
One father, who wanted to remain anonymous, said Lane drastically slashed his custodial time given by a judge in another state "to zero. For no reason. I didn't see my children for a whole month."
"It is strictly politics, hidden influence, backroom dealings," said Beacham.
She said she is asking Goger to sit down with the evidence and the experts that did the forensic evaluations. 
"We can't hide evidence. We can't hide damage to children," said Beacham. 
Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Friday, July 5, 2013

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

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

Find out more about the crisis in custody courts here: provides forensic resources to end violence against women

about domestic violence in hague custody cases:

more about domestic violence in law enforcement: