Judge Sarah Cooper

Read Full-Text Decision

ACS filed petitions against respondent father alleging he sexually abused and neglected daughter RD by committing sex offenses against her. It also alleged that based on father’s abuse of RD his other children were derivatively abused and neglected. Father moved for dismissal. It was alleged that in Oct. 2016 when RD was 10 years old, father began sexually abusing her after she came out of the shower that was in the basement where father resided. RD’s complaint was corroborated by her twin brother and other siblings, whom she told. The court credited RD’s testimony, and found the abuse corroborated by a Child Protective Specialist’s testimony, while finding father’s denial of the abuse incredible. Also, it found school psychologist Dr. Nathan’s behavior in confronting RD “outrageous…and indicative of her strong bias” in father’s favor, noting RD’s distrust of Nathan was warranted. Nathan’s “creditability determination regarding the child was given no weight,” but her testimony bolstered RD’s case as despite being confronted on three separate occasions with the possibility of father’s deportation based on the allegations, RD never recanted her claims. The court found ACS established father sexually abused RD and the other children were derivatively neglected as a result of such abuse.