My child is living with a sex offender
I watch the television news shows and I listen to campaign ads. I hear a great deal of arrogant talk and outrage about the epidemic that is sex offenders in this country. We yell. We scream. We wring our hands, but beyond the rhetoric and chatter what is truly being done to protect us and our children. I watch the Bonnie Dumas', Nancy Graces and Bill O'reillys. I watch as I pull my hair out in frustration and the inability to do anything to protect my daughter.
My ex-husband was using pictures of himself and my daughter to meet women on the internet. Who did he meet, Rebecca Robertson (AKA Shaffer, Ryan), a high school Spanish teacher in Hilton Head, South Carolina. After dating her for four months he married her. One month before she married my daughter's father she began an affair with one of her students and one month after she married she brought this boy, a sophomore, and two of his friends into the home of my daughter and gave liquor and cigarettes to two of the boys, while she took the third into the bedroom and had sex with him. This affair went on for months. She was arrested 6 months after the affair began and was convicted a year later. Please bare in mind, this is my daughter's step mother. For her crime she was give an 8 year suspended sentence and three years probation. A little more than a slap on the wrist. She is the person who is brining up my daughter as a stay at home mom. All of this happened during the proceedings of our custody hearing, yet noone involved with the custody evaluation or court was made aware of the crimes that had taken place in my daughter's home. We even asked about the step mother's criminal history. The answer was none. I feel very certain that had the judge been aware that the step mother was arrested and charged with felony sex offense against a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, the outcome of the hearing would have been very different. I did not discover what had really happened until three months after her conviction.
What makes this case all the more difficult is that lies and deceptions go unpunished because my ex-husband is an active duty marine who has changed duty stations four times in the past six years. Every time we move some piece of the story gets lost or misconstrued. Additionally it is not politically correct to change the custody of a deploying military member, furthermore, the sex crimes of women are not viewed as egregious as those committed by men. The last thing the court seems to consider in cases such as these is the best interest of the child. I know that I am not alone in my situation, but I have little or no power to alter the absurd rulings of the court. I can only express my outrage, my anger and my pain. My daughter has essentially been taken from me and given to a criminal to be raised.
The last court to hear this case is that of San Diego, California. Without one shred of evidence the court has accepted the assertions of my daughter's father. The court has accepted here say testimony without evidence and relitigated with prejudice. It refused to accept documented evidence to support my case. It blatantly ignored the laws that are in place to protect our children. The law clearly states repeatedly that sex offenders should not be in a disciplinary or authority position over children. The court has gone so far beyond what is written in the law and what is in the best interest of the child that it is absolutely surreal.
The court is going out of it's way to punish a mother who has been deemed fit and proper for fighting to protect her child. The present ruling states that the step mother, who is a convicted felon for lewd and lascivious acts on a minor, has been admitted to the state of California for the sole purpose of caring for the children in the absence of the children's father, while he is deployed to Iraq. Now what kind of probation laws exist that allow convicted sex offenders to enter a state for the sole purpose of caring for children, especially when there are so may laws in place to keep them away from children. The step mother was convicted only a year ago and now she has been given a label of no risk, only after three months of in state therapy. The judge ordered that she was to submit her psychological testing to the court to verify that she presented no substantial risk to children and was thus fit to supervise in the absence of the father. However, the otherside failed to submit said report, but rather provided an E-mail stating she was no risk. Ironically, the judge accepted said E-mail and thus ruled that the sex offender/step-mother was indeed permitted to keep the children during the father's deployment in lue of the child's biological mother and that the father, who was away at war in Iraq, would be available 24/7 to supervise the sex offender and her care of the children. This is insane and contrary to the law. Additionally, the step mother has been permitted to travel freely back and forth across the country, back to the town of the crime with no supervision. I again I ask, who is protecting our children, who is protecting the victims?
Family Code Section 3030.5
. (a) Upon the motion of one or both parents, or the legal guardian or custodian, or upon the court's own motion, an order granting physical or legal custody of, or unsupervised visitation with, a child may be modified or terminated if either of the following circumstances has occurred since the order was entered, unless the court finds that there is no significant risk to the child and states its reasons in writing or on the record:
(1) The person who has been granted physical or legal custody of, or unsupervised visitation with the child is required, as a result of a felony conviction in which the victim was a minor, to be registered as a sex offender under Section 290 of the Penal Code.
(2) The person who has been granted physical or legal custody of, or unsupervised visitation with, the child resides with another person who is required, as a result of a felony conviction in which the victim was a minor, to be registered as a sex offender under Section 290 of the Penal Code
(b) The fact that a child is permitted unsupervised contact with a person who is required, as a result of a felony conviction in which the victim was a minor, to be registered as a sex offender under Section 290 of the Penal Code, shall be prima facie evidence that the child is at significant risk. When making a determination regarding significant risk to the child, the prima facie evidence shall constitute a presumption affecting the burden of producing evidence. However, this presumption shall not apply if there are factors mitigating against its application, including whether the party seeking custody or visitation is also required, as the result of a felony conviction in which the victim was a minor, to register as a sex offender under Section 290 of the Penal Code.
(c) The court shall not modify an existing custody or visitation order upon the ex parte petition of one party pursuant to this section without providing notice to the other party and an opportunity to be heard. This notice provision applies only when the motion for custody or visitation change is based solely on the fact that the child is allowed unsupervised contact with a person required, as a result of a felony conviction in which the victim was a minor, to register as a sex offender under Section 290 of the Penal Code and does not affect the court's ability to remove a child upon an ex parte motion when there is a showing of immediate harm to the child.
Judge Trapp never reviewed any rationale for why the step mother was deemed no risk, but rather accepted an unsigned, here say E-mail. The mere fact that my daughter is regularly exposed to a felony sex offender on a daily basis, prime fascia, puts her at risk. Although, I am a fit and proper mother and has been deemed as an excellent mother who deserves copious amounts of time with her daughter and is dedicated to the process of raising her daughter, I am only permitted to see her 56 days a year, meanwhile, a convicted felon who raped the child of another has been granted the privilege to raise my child. She is not permitted to teach in a school, or work in a daycare, yet she is allowed to raise my daughter without supervision. When the courts are making these kinds of rulings, and society jests that what this step mother did is not a crime, but rather the stuff of every young boy's fantasy, why do we bother to make such legislation as Jessica's law? Why do we require sex offender to keep out of our parks and schools. Why, I ask, Why. Where is the protection for my daughter? Where is my constitutional right to raise my child? How does our legal system with so little regard deny a child her mother and hand her over to be raised by an absent father and convicted step mother who will more likely than not re offend? How can we bring integrity back to the system. Where is the system of checks and balances? Who is going to assure the law is being enforced and our children not left as prey?