This letter was sent to Governor Kasich by Attorney David Engler requesting that the Governor become involved and take action in the case where Trumbull County Children Services Bureau failed to provide adequate supervision with the result being an infant was raped in their offices. The State’s investigation has shown that Trumbull County Children Services Bureau actually went all the way back to October 2010 in filling out visitation forms AFTER the rape of the infant, forms which are designed to be completed at the times of visitation, not months/years later! For many people this seems like tampering with evidence or worse.
By Attorney David Engler
Honorable Governor Kasich:
Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania recently said of the Penn State sex abuse scandal that: “When it comes to the safety of our children there can be no margin for error. There can be no hesitancy to act.” These words carry meaning to the scandal in Trumbull County, Ohio where an infant was sexually molested by her own parents during a “supervised” visitation at Children Services’ own offices during this past summer. The sex act was filmed by the father. It is alleged to be around 6 to 7 minutes long. I represent the maternal grandmother who upon discovering the evidence on September 28, 2011 immediately went to the police even though her own daughter was involved. The Governor of Pennsylvania forced the termination of a legendary coach and the University President. Others were either fired or resigned. He did this 5 days from the release of the indictment. In Trumbull County it has been 8 weeks and all the CSB workers are still on the job. After much pressing, the County Prosecutor referred the criminal investigation to BCI. But no one asked those directly involved to stay away from the crime scene or limit their access to records.
Your Department of Job and Family Services issued a report released in part on November 16th, signed by Jennifer Justice, Acting Deputy Director of the Office of Families and Children. I had warned shortly after the crime was discovered that the employees be removed less they have access to records that could cover up the potential crime of child endangering. Make no mistake that in this case there is a Jerry Sandusky. The parents have allegedly committed this horrific crime. And like Penn State, there is an institution that would like this matter to go away. TCCSB literally entered the visitation log records in October 2011 ( after learning of the crime) going back to November 2010. This was a finding of the review. The federal government requires records of the visitation to be contemporaneous. TCCSB back filled after they were notified of the crime. So there was no accurate time stamping of the records regarding the date the molestation took place. This is a violation of Ohio Administrative Code and Federal Law. 42 USC 674(a)(3)(C) There were no cameras in the room. There was no case worker present. No reasonable child placement agency would define this as supervised.
Please understand that CSB knew before this event that the father was a sex offender and that the mother would do whatever any man asked her to do. TCCSB had handled the previous cases. Yet CSB believes that the abuse was unforeseeable. 90% of all abuse upon children is caused by relatives or people known to the child. It was completely foreseeable. What is unforeseeable is that a children service agency licensed by the State would either allow this visitation or not actually understand what the word supervised visitation means.
The Director of CSB believes your State’s report is an exoneration. It is a remarkable spin that is sickening. Unfortunately an employee of ODJFS referred to the sexual molestation of a 13 month old little girl as “a slip-up”. I would like to see him explain that to the little girl when she gets older. ODJFS seeks only an anemic action plan. Please Governor, ask for your department to strip away the bureaucratic nonsense language and ask why an agency that phonies up its basic reporting requirements under state and federal guidelines, fails to understand the danger of allowing a previous adjudicated sex offender to visit with an infant and does not train it’s staff…is allowed to continue to operate.
I believe you will be sickened at the thick legalese used in the November 16,2011 report to cover up the sexual molestation of a 13 month old at the Agency’s actual offices.
State law allows you to withhold funding from the agency and/or come in and run it while it is in non-compliance. O.R.C. 5101.24.
On behalf of the victim, a 13 month infant, I am asking that you immediately seek a state take over of the agency and remove the Director and any other person involved in this “slip-up.” I believe you should also let Benjamin Johnson, JFS spokesman as quoted in the November 19, 2011 Youngstown Vindicator know that when referring to the assault of an infant, it is best not to call it a “slip-up”. Your agency discovered that TCCSB made up records dating back 11 months after a crime was committed. We will never know the veracity of these records. We know there were no cameras. We know that TCCSB failed to understand the “risk factor” of a sex offender. This all came out in the report.
It is a continuing victimization of this little girl for Director Nick Verosky to claim the State’s report is helpful and shows they took correct actions or simply need to address technical issues.
There can be no margin for error when it comes to the safety of our children. There can be no hesitancy to act.
David L. Engler
Attorney for Maternal Grandmother of Abused Infant
Cc: Michael Corbett, ODJFS
Barbara Manuel, ODJFS
Mike DeWine, Attorney General.