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5974753 tn?1379619227

Report of Child Abuse to Authorities with No Charges Filed???

Hi.  I wrote before the end of August under the relationship forum about dating someone (which ended) who is on call 24/7 and has guardianship of a 13 yo boy, although he is no blood relation, a step-grandfather, and for five years he has not been providing a stable homelife for this child in that he gets calls and can be gone from 2 to 12 hours at a stretch, overnight at times. All I can say is there has been so much neglect over the years and it is sad.

Well, this teen and I have been going swimming, mini golf at fun center, etc., fishing at lakes and at the ocean, beach trips.  Labor Day Weekend he opned up to me and said he was being physically abused by this man.  Recently had been struck with a fist to the head and when he fell landed on a rail and injuried his eye.  Thank God I had a photo I took of him days after the incident.  He originally told me it was a skateboard injury.  On Tuesday following the long weekend I contacted the school district and the principal of the middle school sat him down and he opened right up to her about abuse and neglect.  Writing this brings tears and goosebumps, sadness for his situation.  I knew he was in a bad home w/o proper supervision and care.  Just being in their house was enough to verify my concerns.  So what happened was the school is mandated by law to report the abuse to the authorities.  I was noted on the report as the one who advised them first of the situation.  

By the way, when the man becomes angry has been slamming him up against walls, pinching, pulling hair, slapping.  Basically acting like a bully.  The boy told me he wants to run away. He said the man takes work out on him.  He yelled so many times at his mother (who lives out of state) when she called that she doesn't any more.  He doesn't even know her last name.  He's told me that he has been locked out of the house before.  When the man wants to go out on dates he takes him to his uncle/uncle's house (who are under age 30 and have no children) but they are out at the bar weekend nights and have to be given a ride home since they are too drunk to drive or walk home and could be cited.  I could go on and on.

Now here is the problem.

He is a tow truck driver and manager of the local tow company who handles big rigs and semis being hauled off the freeways and highways and this is a dangerous job that involves the CHP when accidents occur and at weigh stations for the trucks that are over capacity.  The local officers and sheriffs know him personally and work with him.  There is no local police department and so the sheriffs are investigating things.  It is a small town and let me tell you, they protect their own.  I truly believe this man is going to get off the hook for battery/child abuse.  A social worker is also investigating the situation but I too have my doubts with that as he's been skating by with no oversight for five years and this county is more lax than others, in my opinion, of what is acceptable behavior.

So with that said, has anyone encountered a situation where someone was let off and not charged when the child has admitted to the abuse?  Does anyone have any comments on the crisis I am going through right now?

It has only been one week and I am stressing somewhat, thinking of so many things I know to be wrong with what has and could possibly go wrong.  I carry pepper spray around as I do not know if this person would retaliate, although unlikely since that would mean more charges, etc.  

Lastly, I have informed the sheriffs involved that if he is not charged I am going to take this to the next level, that he has gotten off for moving traffic violations in the past due to his position and I anticipate them overlooking this too and just giving a warning.  Not good for the child going forward.  Ughh!
13 Responses
Avatar universal
Has child protective services paid them a visit yet?
973741 tn?1342346373
There is a different between criminal charges and child protective services getting involved.  They WILL act is they suspect abuse.  I'm glad you have the picture to add to the case.  Certainly, people are able to work the system and not be charged with crimes they've committed.  But child protective services generally does act if they see signs of abuse and neglect.  His work log might help.  However, at 13, he may make the case that he is fine on his own.  But none the less, that is proof of hours he is away leaving the boy alone.  the school being involved is a good thing.  They will now also monitor the situation.  

sadly, marks show but emotional battering doesn't.  

But you've done what you can.  You've done more than many would.  so, rest knowing you've tried to help this boy.  Now it is in the hands of those in charged of protecting him legally.  peace
Avatar universal
If there are no bruises on the child at the time (your photo will hopefully count if you can tell for sure it is the boy beyond a shadow of the doubt), there is no evidence of abuse and it becomes he said-she said.  They also will check the home to make sure there is food, that basic needs are being met, and that it is not a dangerous environment (i.e., too filthy to be fit for living, exposed wiring, etc.).  

Due to his age, I'm not sure how they will view him being left alone.  I've never seen the person I type for ask someone for work logs or anything, so I don't know if they will bring it into it.  I'm assuming local laws may come into play.  Abuse would be enough to bring the teen into the Court's protection, if the social worker can get enough evidence to prove his case beyond a shadow of a doubt.  

In California, CPS works on a local level, sticking to those in their counties, with overlap only if a client moves in the middle of services being offered.  I'm not sure what your next step will need to be if they cannot make a case unless you can prove there is something serious being overlooked.

To answer your question, yes, the school is a mandated reporter, so if they see bruises and do not report suspicions, they aren't doing their job.
973741 tn?1342346373
In my state there is a law about leaving kids overnight.  I believe the age is actually 17 and up until that time, it is against the law to leave kids for 24 hours.  His work log would be telling on that one.  
5974753 tn?1379619227
Thank you all for your remarks.
Yes, the county is involved and he was seen by a social worker who handles abuse/neglect matters, albeit a week after the primary incident of physical abuse.
In the State of California there is not age set for leaving a child at home.  I find that odd since you cannot leave children unattended in a car, which is a felony charge as far as I know, though I realize this is in case of heat stroke, etc.
I had not thought of the work log.  Thanks. That is a very good indication of work hours and not being available to care for a dependant.  He has had custody of him for 5 years acting alon, and so that goes back many years of neglect.
My concern is that they do not file criminal charges for the assault and battery due to the fact this man is "one of their own" and even if not law enforcement they all work together as a team and thus tend to protect one another.  When I was growing up child abuse was not handled by social services as it is today.  If the case worker is on top of things would surely hope there will be improvement in this boy's life.
At the time the teen was interviewed by the sheriff and social worker, the signs of injury were mimimal as a week had past and children heal pretty fast.  The photo I have shows three places of injury on the face and head.  Again, thank God for that.  
So here's a new question.
If law enforecement does not file a criminal charge would you pursue it to the next level, that is take it to either Internal Affairs and file a complaint or go to the commander of the substation involved?
973741 tn?1342346373
Hm.  I don't know if I'd go to the managers.  I do hear what you are saying---  you are afraid nothing will come of this and the boy will be in the same or worse situation.  But dear, you've done all anyone can do.  You can only trust the system now.  Yes, you can check in with the school and voice your concerns.  You can keep in contact with the boy.  Tell him to document and he can go to those meant to protect him if there are more occasions of physical abuse.  

I'm surprised at the laws.  I would check about time frames in terms of how long a parent or guardian can be gone.  Over night is the cut off in my state.  They may be old enough to stay home alone but not old enough to be home alone overnight.  So, double check that.

but I'm not sure what will happen to this boy.  Any other family he can live with?  

It's very sad.  You've done really all you can.  hope the system in place protects the boy.  peace
5974753 tn?1379619227
Specialmom
Yesterday I made the choice to let go and as you say trust the system as imperfect as it is to improve this boy's life so that he doesn't fall through the cracks and become a statistic.  I want to be in communication with him to find out how he is yet also afraid of this man and retaliation and feel in limbo. In fact today I gave been grieving shedding tears right now. Life can get so messed up to where it is overwhelming   Am sure the feeling of sadness will subside. Will try to keep faith. Checked again a d Calif does not have strict rules for leaving a child at home alone. However if a child is injured while away could face charges for child endangerment. Crazy huh?!  
Will update later as to any progress or lack thereof. Blessings to you <3
3060903 tn?1398568723
Well, I think it's wonderful that you've taken this child under your wing? Is there any chance that you could take him in? Just wondering if he's being supported by you, and this comes to a head, whether this could be a win win option for you and the child? Stranger things have happened.
973741 tn?1342346373
You've really tried stillsingle and I so appreciate that.  Peace to you and please have peace in your heart.  You're a good egg.  Take care and I'll say a special prayer for this boy and you as well.  
5974753 tn?1379619227
Hello and thank you so much for writing.
Have considered options for hoping this boy. From the outset of report of abuse and neglect told social worker I would jump through hoops to help him. I have a one-bedroom house/cabin so knowing guidelines for child care etc, that I don't meet guidelines to be Able to take him in. At this point though he has stopped communicating with me. It's a lot for a young teen to go through an investigation and I am really just an outsider. not family. The guardian is probably not in the slightest degree amenable to my being involved in this child's life. They have been existing in a broken lifestyle for 5 years and no doubt think its normal but just breaks your heart. I have been trying to keep faith in the 'system. ' but knew from outset this man may never be charged due to interactions with law enforcement on daily basis. 3 weeks have oassed and nothing has occurred in that regard. If you or I want to bring charges for assault n battery we could but this teen at 13 is at mercy of an adult system that may or may not look out for his best interest do I remain disolusioned. Wish could be more optimistic. Friends n family that I have discussed this with say have done all I can and to not push it any further. Part of me knows to let go but the nurturing side of me says he needs an advocate  recently Iost my sister who was only 55 due to liver failure as over 30 years ago had a bad blood transfusion n got hepatitis c and wanted to help her and prayed yet alas nothing could be done at the end to save her n you see suffering etc. life can be rough a d thus boy has had it rough. In some way or another we are all dealing with some trying circumstance or would like to have it better. Perhaps this is a lesson about how things ca
N be messed up but have got to make the most out if it and look for the good.  This boy does have some kind of home and abuse not constant. Just don't see him thriving rather just getting by and it is so very unfortunate! !!  
I am writing in the ealy morning hours on my iPhone while laying in bed so please forgive any typos.
Best to you all!  It does really help me to have this forum and support/advice to work things through emotionally and logically.
5974753 tn?1379619227
Hello and thank you so much for writing.
Have considered options for hoping this boy. From the outset of report of abuse and neglect told social worker I would jump through hoops to help him. I have a one-bedroom house/cabin so knowing guidelines for child care etc, that I don't meet guidelines to be Able to take him in. At this point though he has stopped communicating with me. It's a lot for a young teen to go through an investigation and I am really just an outsider. not family. The guardian is probably not in the slightest degree amenable to my being involved in this child's life. They have been existing in a broken lifestyle for 5 years and no doubt think its normal but just breaks your heart. I have been trying to keep faith in the 'system. ' but knew from outset this man may never be charged due to interactions with law enforcement on daily basis. 3 weeks have oassed and nothing has occurred in that regard. If you or I want to bring charges for assault n battery we could but this teen at 13 is at mercy of an adult system that may or may not look out for his best interest do I remain disolusioned. Wish could be more optimistic. Friends n family that I have discussed this with say have done all I can and to not push it any further. Part of me knows to let go but the nurturing side of me says he needs an advocate  recently Iost my sister who was only 55 due to liver failure as over 30 years ago had a bad blood transfusion n got hepatitis c and wanted to help her and prayed yet alas nothing could be done at the end to save her n you see suffering etc. life can be rough a d thus boy has had it rough. In some way or another we are all dealing with some trying circumstance or would like to have it better. Perhaps this is a lesson about how things ca
N be messed up but have got to make the most out if it and look for the good.  This boy does have some kind of home and abuse not constant. Just don't see him thriving rather just getting by and it is so very unfortunate! !!  
I am writing in the ealy morning hours on my iPhone while laying in bed so please forgive any typos.
Best to you all!  It does really help me to have this forum and support/advice to work things through emotionally and logically.
3060903 tn?1398568723
Yeah honey, it sounds like you've done all you can, and just to let you know, how important it would have been for me to have even one person stand up and say, "this is wrong"......i think it would have changed my course in life....and i think your involvement will stay with him, in his darkest hours.....you've done a wonderful thing for him letting him know that other people DO CARE about what happens behind closed doors. He'll know where you are and he'll come to you, if he needs to.
So sorry about your sister. I'm sure she watches over you now, and always will. Rest easy that you have not let either of these souls down, and you are in their hearts for a lifetime.
5974753 tn?1379619227
Nighthawk61 ~~~
You are a loving and caring person.
You've helped me to see more clearly.
I do care for this boy and what becomes of him.
Seems that he hasn't had anyone rooting for him, standing up for him saying, as you did, "This is wrong!"  So he continued to slide by.  He has been sliding by in school as well.  He has not had the opportunity for self-growth as other children in our culture do and his world view is a very narrow one.  

We have shared good/fun times but also serious talks on subjects that hopefully have brought more awareness to him and a desire to become a person of integrity as he has been around a role model which doesn't exhibit much in that regard.  

Good news!

Yesterday spoke with the deputy tasked to do the investigation and the matter has been referred to the District Attorney for further investigation and the woman who is handling the Dept. of Human Services side is still in the process of obtaining info and checking in on the situation.  So in time, with the collection of evidence, etc., the guardian may be charged with abuse and would imagine neglect if they do it right.  

Sure hope the mother, who's out of state, is contacted and can petition for custody as she did back in 2008.  Amazing thing is the biological grandmother died in spring of '08 and an attorney was still representing the grandmother, along with the grandfather, in '09.  The court granted continued guardianship, but you have to wonder if the court knew that the grandmother had died and now this nonbiological grandfather (no children of his own) who has a job that is not conducive to childrearing would be the sole caregiver of the child, then 8 years old at the time.  So (sorry to repeat if said already) it's been five years of limited supervision and care for a child who is now a young teen and beginning to go through some rebellion as children of that age do to test the limits.  In this case the home environment is such that he will start getting into trouble and possibly go down a destructive path.  

I know how that can be when no one seems to be watching or caring what you do.  Came from a large family and we ended up moving a lot in my teen years, overseas and to Alaska and back to CA several times.  My parents both worked and once in a while my dad would lose his cool, explode and hit someone out of anger.  At some point as a teenager I began to feel lost, was always a shy child, and started to gravitate to others who were doing setback type of behavior by smoking pot, drinking alchohol, cutting classes, smoking cigarettes, losing interest in school and feeling like a failure, didn't know what I was good at, pretty much dragging along feeling hopeless.  This lead to making more poor choices as my life went along.  Thank God for my two sons who are wonderful men and doing well on their own.  We are close and I am so blessed to have them in my life.  :)  

Having children gave me a great sense of purpose and the rewards reaped watching them grow through all stages of their life has been an honor and continous joy for me.  Abusive behavior towards any child is difficult for me to comprehend on a deep level, though I know intellectually there are reasons (not excuses) why others take things out on another.

There are reasons, I have no doubt, I crossed paths with this troubled boy, who will in short order be turning into a young man.  Hopefully I can still be a part of his life and he mine.  At this point, though, we haven't been communicating, though a few texts have passed bewteen us, but given the fact his grandfather knows I am involved in this "process" seems logical to conclude that an order has been given to have nothing to do with me.

So time will tell.  Pray that those entrusted with making decisions regarding the fate of this individual will see him for who he is now, what he's been through, and what the road would look like for him if he continues down this same path w/o a proper caregiver.  Pray that his mother attempts to regain custody.  Today I will drive to the (great) aunt/uncle's house some 60 miles away to have a talk with them and hopefully they will contact the mom.  Do not know at this point if they are in the loop since I do not have their phone number but I've met them and know where they live.

Signing off for now.  Best to you.
PS:  Writing my thoughts out in this forum is healing/therapeutic.
We all need a sounding board once in a while and even going through the exercise of presenting thoughts on a trying issue helps to bring order and peace, especially knowing someone is there on the other side listening who may sound back or chime in, weigh in on the situation.  Hope to help others more doing likewise on subjects I have gained some experience in.
A BIG thank you to all who help those going through difficult times.  This is a wonderful forum and I'm grateful. :)
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