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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.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

In Memory of Anthony, Austin and Athena Castillo

by Eileen King, Executive Director, Child Justice, Inc. 

Congratulations to Cheryl C. Kagan (D) who won the Maryland Primary Election for District 17, defeating Del. Luiz Simmons (D) who was also running for Sen. Jennie Forehand's seat.  

Karmic Justice has been served.

Local Marylanders may remember that on February 25, 2010, before the Md. House Judiciary Committee, Del. Simmons "re-tried" Dr. Amy Castillo's credibility after she testified in support of a bill that proposed changing the burden of proof from "clear and convincing" to "preponderance of the evidence".  

I was stunned and horrified that anyone would try to destroy the credibility of a mother whose fears were absolutely justified and who had suffered the unimaginable loss of her three children.

This material gives you an idea of why this was a very important primary race for Maryland's victims of domestic violence/child abuse and for the state laws that protect them. 

Here is Dr. Amy Castillo's testimony on Feb. 25, 2010:

You can watch Del. Simmons' questioning here:

The Washington Post Editorial Board wrote about HB 700's death here:

My March 13, 2010 Op Ed in the Washington Post: 

Del. Simmon's justification for his behavior as well as his characterization of advocates as "zealots": 

You can hear Del. Simmons attempt to justify his position here: 

Another good article from the Ms. Magazine blog:

And don't forget this blog:

There's more of course...but as I said above, this material gives you an idea of why this was a very important primary race for Maryland's victims of domestic violence and child abuse and the laws that protect them. 

Eileen King
Executive Director
Child Justice, Inc. 
301-283-1762 cell
Ignorance Is This Campaign 

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: