DECEMBER 2000 PRINT EDITION
father has been separated from his son because "insiders" in the
Middlesex County Probate and Family Court in Cambridge are friends and
associates of his ex-wife's new husband, a father has charged.
has also been deliberate manipulation of court files and hearing tapes, his
attorney says. This and other irregularities have kept the father from his son
for six years without any evidentiary hearing ever having taken place.
a result, the boy has developed serious problems and was eventually turned over
to DSS by the mother and her new husband.
father believes that what happened to him could only be possible because the
system is run by people who adhere to a feminist ideology which automatically
assumes men are violent and dangerous. The wrongdoers include Chief Justice
Sheila McGovern, the father states.
Supreme Court Justice will hear the father's petition for intervention in the
case this month.
attorney added, "In addition, the court granted many restraining orders
against the father without any legal grounds to do so, and sometimes without any
testimony from the complainant.
these things are illegal and mock justice. If a court can engage in this kind of
behavior and get away with it, can anyone with a case in the Commonwealth
believe he will get fair and impartial justice?"
McGovern said in a ruling this August that some of the tapes have been destroyed
even though the law forbids their destruction if any matter is pending or
subject to appeal. Some of the tapes which were destroyed were those which were
the most altered.
Violence Expert' Involved
became involved with the father's ex-wife in 1989. The father was divorced in
1986 after a two-year custody battle. He was awarded joint physical custody of
1994 the ex-wife and her husband, Douglas, obtained the first of a series of
restraining orders against him under false pretenses, the father claims. He says
Douglas was able to use his influence in the courts and with his fellow social
workers to falsely brand the father as a past abuser in order to separate him
from his son. However, the father is able to point to evidence from the divorce
in 1986 where the mother admitted under oath that her alleged injuries were
perpetrated by her former boyfriend, Gabriel Garcia, not by the father.
says that Douglas used his influence to manipulate the court files, edit hearing
tapes, generate damning evaluations against him, prejudice judges and lawyers
against him and maliciously prosecute him.
also says his ex-wife and her social worker husband poisoned his relationship
with his son.
says they did this by creating a cult-like atmosphere around the boy by
separating him from the truth and repeatedly telling him his father is a
dangerous man. He said the boy answered questions of judges and evaluators with
social worker sounding phrases not consistent with a child's speech patterns.
Had Influence in Courts
regularly train counselors, probation officers, judges, court personnel, police,
shelter workers, and others," said Douglas in the document. "I do this
nationally and internationally. I am experienced in four models of batterer
says he helped establish court-ordered treatment standards for offenders in
Massachusetts and helped establish police standards for handling domestic
violence cases. He also says he co-founded and was the co-director of
"Common Purpose, Inc.," a program for alleged
father says incredible roadblocks have appeared at every turn in his quest to be
reunited with his son. This indicates to him that somebody has been pulling
strings who knows his case intimately and is well connected in the domestic
example, several documents favorable to him have disappeared from the file, the
father says. One of these, according to court records, was a report which was
later "found" in Douglas' home with a portion redacted which the
father says had contained exculpatory information from a doctor. The incomplete
report "found" by the ex-wife was then officially docketed into his
father has also been haunted by a 1994 report by a lawyer who was appointed by
the court to advise it on the best interests of the child. The report from the
lawyer, Lisa Steckler, included recommendations from two social workers for
treatment of the father. The social workers were friends and associates of
Douglas who had never met nor interviewed the father. MassNews spoke with both
of the social workers and their admissions seriously discredit the report.
father even says he has been physically assaulted. He claims he was dragged from
his car in July 1996 and assaulted by two men who appeared to be police officers
by the shoes they wore and the car they drove. He says the men threatened him to
stay away from court if he wanted to see his son again. A Malden Hospital
Emergency Room report confirms he was assaulted and cut. Massachusetts News also
checked with the Malden Police who were unable to locate a report of the
particular incident, he says, occurred just three days after the couple sought
unsuccessfully in District Court to have him jailed for violating his
restraining order after his son contacted him. The father had an exception on
his Restraining Order allowing the son to contact him, court documents show. The
case was dismissed.
father believes that his son was enticed to go along with the mother and
stepfather's restraining orders against him because they allowed the boy to live
virtually unsupervised as a young teen. But freedom was too much for a young boy
to handle. There is documented evidence supporting that view.
to court documents, Mass General Hospital's Barbara Beardsley wrote the Probate
Court in September 1995 regarding Douglas and his wife. "I have become
increasingly concerned that [the boy] is not receiving adequate supervision and
is setting his own rules for living to an extent which puts him at considerable
risk. My recommendation is that [the boy's] mother and stepfather need to
institute a plan to regain control of [him]. If an effective plan cannot be
created within a reasonable amount of time, then I will move to involve the
Department of Social Services through a 51A."
Douglas was faced with the embarrassing prospect of having a 51A Report
(suspected child abuse report) lodged against him, he immediately wrote a letter
to Beardsley to tell her that he was already working on the problem, according
to a redacted letter the father obtained from the boy's DSS file.
wrote that he had had numerous contacts with various professionals about the
boy, then detailed for Beardsley his service plan.
The boy not coming home at night.
"CHINS filed at Concord Court on 9/22/95. Court date 13 October 1995.
Contacted Artie Smith at Concord District Court. Situation Dangerous. Notified
Lexington Police. Spoke with Jack Gavin, Waltham District Court. May move to
warrant for his arrest. See warrant."
The boy missing school.
preferred plan was to consult with social workers and give the youngster a
"CORE" evaluation to place him into a Special Ed "PLACE"
The boy trapped in exploitative relationship with 21-year-old woman. Drinking
alcohol with her, possible drug use, possible sexual relationship.
A: Possible placement with DSS...
B: Discovered yesterday that she is on probation. Exploring possibility of
filing charges for contributing to the delinquency of a minor - gray area. Have
October of 1995, DSS worker Ann Panopolis wrote in her report, "[the son]
stated to this worker that he can't stay at home due to parents' emotional and
verbal abuse and requested placement (foster home)."
Concord Probate Court official told DSS that the boy was lying when he said that
Douglas and the mother were abusing him.
the father tells MassNews: "This is so typical. If any other child told DSS
that his mother and stepfather were verbally and emotionally abusing him, DSS
would immediately file a 51A and most likely remove the child from the home. In
this case, even though Mass General Hospital had threatened Douglas and my
ex-wife with a 51A, the social workers at DSS decided that this child was lying.
They knew the son was being victimized in a statutory rape situation and did
nothing about it. He was eventually trapped into becoming a father at
15-years-old. That statement in the DSS report about the son lying was
unsubstantiated, it has no reference to anything that's real."
to the father, his 15-year-old son contacted him in the spring of 1996 to say he
was "caught in a plot and doesn't know how to get out," apparently
referring to bureaucratic steps Douglas began to take to get the son under
father suddenly didn't seem so bad after all to his son. The father had a brief
reunion with him, after the son contacted him, which almost landed the father in
jail. According to him, they had an enjoyable visit. He made the boy a Scottish
stew. They listened to music. The son told him he wanted to work with him as an
assistant in his recording studio to learn the trade.
to the father, his fifteen year old son
said Douglas had him arrested for sleeping in Harvard Square and his probation
officer, Gil Sakakeeny, was a friend of Douglas. The officer always spoke with
Douglas after the officer met the son.
father didn't think much about the name until he went to demand the
McLarnon-Jokisch DSS file. He noticed the only information in there about him
was the damning report from the lawyer appointed by the court, Lisa Steckler,
that included recommendations for treatment of the father by people who never
met him. When he asked DSS where they got the Steckler report, they told him
from Probation Officer Gil Sakakeeny. He suspects the unseen hand of Douglas
worked behind the scenes in that instance and in a similar manner with his
hearing tapes and files.
four clinical evaluations favorable to me were not there," he pointed out
to MassNews, "including the findings of coercion and child abuse by Mass
General against Douglas and my ex-wife."
turned down a request for a personal interview and did not even want to answer
questions over the phone. The mother also refused to comment. Douglas said not
to contact the son for comment either.
To contact Mr. Mc. Clarmon, call 781-324-1989 or write to email@example.com.