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Horrific Case Emphasizes Danger of Unchecked Child Abuse

Posted on in DCFS

Lombard family law attorneysThe Chicago Tribune recently published a story about child abuse that is so extreme, it is stomach-turning. A couple in southern California was found to have been keeping their thirteen children secluded in their home under horrific conditions. The siblings were found by police to be extremely malnourished and thin. Their skin was pale and looked as though the children had spent little time outside.

A “Private School”

The diminutive stature of the children led investigators to believe they were all under age 18 at first. Investigators were shocked to find that the children ranged in ages from 2 to 29. The religious parents of the 13 victims were holding the children prison in their own home. They called their home a private school and their children its pupils. The father was the principal of the school. Because no state agency regulates private schools in California, the state did not realize the atrocities that were happening inside the home.

The thirteen siblings were kept in filthy conditions and some were found shackled with chains and padlocks. The children’s aunt explains, "They weren't allowed to watch TV. They weren't allowed to have friends over — the normal things that kids do.” Neighbors told investigators that they rarely saw children coming and going from the house and that the parents kept to themselves. The terrifying situation only came to light after a 17-year-old daughter jumped out a window and called 911. Dr. Donald Kirby, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Ohio's Cleveland Clinic, said that the siblings have a long road of physical and emotional recovery ahead of them. The parents are now in custody facing charges of torture and child endangerment. Their bail has been set at $9 million.

Allegations of Child Abuse Can Seriously Affect Parental Rights

This is an extreme example of something that sadly goes on behind closed doors all over the country. If you are considering divorcing your spouse with whom you have children, you should know that child abuse accusations are taken extremely seriously by the courts and can greatly affect your case. However, if you worry that your spouse is being abusive to your children, do not hesitate to seek help and remove them from the situation. A divorce attorney can help you with the process of securing protective custody of your children.

If you have questions about how domestic abuse could impact your child custody case, contact a Lombard family law attorney. Call 630-426-0196 for a confidential consultation.



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