The lawyer for parents accused of abusing their 14-year-old adopted daughter and keeping her in a windowless basement room asked Friday that Sedgwick County District Court Judge Patrick Walters close the case to the media.
When someone reported that the adoptive mother of a 14-year-old Sedgwick County girl had hit her with a bat, the Kansas Department for Children and Families found there was not “clear and convincing” evidence that abuse had occurred.
Most states use a “preponderance of evidence” standard in cases of child abuse and neglect. Kansas’ standard to substantiate allegations of abuse and neglect is clear and convincing, a more rigorous and more difficult standard to prove.
The report that prompted police to remove a girl and her siblings from their home in March was allegedly the ninth time in a little more than five years that someone had voiced concerns about the girl. Prosecutors have now found out about eight additional reports of suspected child abuse or neglect.
Less than a month after police took her four children into protective custody, a mother took a weeklong vacation with the man accused of abusing those children and choking her, Sedgwick County District Judge Patrick Walters learned Monday.
In February, Wichita police placed four children in protective custody after prosecutors alleged their mother’s boyfriend was beating them and her. On Friday, lawyers said the mother had made progress, and a Sedgwick County District Court judge said he thought the children could return home soon.
Police put the four children in protective custody Feb. 7 after allegations that the mother’s boyfriend beat her and them. The mother has been attending hearings and undergoing therapy and drug tests since then. A judge on Friday praised her for making progress toward getting her children back.
Child neglect happens every day in the Wichita area. Medical and physical neglect of children made up about 18 percent of all child-in-need-of-care reports to the Kansas Department for Children and Families in state fiscal year 2014, which ended June 30.
More Kansas children are removed from their homes and placed in foster care because of concerns about parents’ drug and alcohol substance abuse than for any other reason, including physical abuse, neglect and sexual abuse, reports from the DCF show.
Police put a 5-month-old baby boy and a 1-year-old child in protective custody in November due to alleged physical abuse. The mother of the child is in the Sedgwick County Jail facing a charge of child abuse.
The parents in the case are scheduled to be in court for a preliminary hearing next week in the criminal case filed against them and next month in a child-in-need-of-care case filed on behalf of four children removed from their home.