Petition Closed
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives and 3 others

Deny Child Custody to Convicted Child Abusers In Memory of Christian Choate

Christian Choate was a boy who would have had a chance to live if only the justice system had not handed him over KNOWINGLY to an excessively abusive father.

Christian was a boy who was continually beaten, abused, denied food & water and locked in a dog cage by his father & stepmother over the course of 6 years. The only outlet Christian had for his years of suffering in loneliness were his written accounts of wondering when anyone was going to come check on him or give him food & water, about how he could hear children playing outside while he was locked in his cage, how he wanted to be loved by his family, & how he wanted to die because nobody loved him. His father finally beat him to the point of death & then buried his son in cement, teilling anyone who questioned Christian's whereabouts that he had run away. Christian's body was discovered two years later.

The outrageous problem with this even more outrageous & horrendous story is that this whole situation should never have happened to begin with. In 2003, Christian's parents divorced and his father Riley Choate was given custody of him and his sister, DESPITE the fact that Riley had a well-known history of allegations for domestic violence and was convicted of child abuse since 1999. Additionally, neighbors repeatedly reported suspicions of child abuse in Riley's home to the Indiana Department of Child Services for almost 10 YEARS, and yet no action was taken.

So what kind of a law supposedly dedicated to justice allows child custody to a man convicted of child abuse? We create this petition to protest against such an unjust lawmaking custody decision, and to appeal to the legislature to enact a law that takes into account a record of domestic violence and abuse allegations when deciding custody, and to deny custody to anyone with such a continual history, so that no child has to live and suffer through such a horrifying reality when it could have been avoided. So please sign and thank you very much!

-Sadia Reza

Letter to
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
Indiana State House
and 1 other
Indiana State Senate
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Indiana State Legislature.

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Enact law denying child custody to anyone convicted of or with a history of domestic violence or abuse allegations.

I would like to ask you to please take a moment to read the story of a boy named Christian, who would have had a chance to live if only the justice system had not handed him over KNOWINGLY to an abusive father.

When he was 7, Christian's father Riley Choate was given custody of him and his sister, DESPITE the fact that Riley had a well-known history of domestic violence and was convicted of child abuse since 1999. Additionally, neighbors repeatedly reported suspicions of child abuse in Riley's home to the Indiana Department of Child Services for almost 10 years, and yet no action was taken. Since being given custody to his father, Christian was continually beaten, abused, and locked in a dog cage over the course of 6 years, often wondering when someone was going to feed him or check up on him, and writing about how he could hear children playing outside while he was locked in his cage, and how he just wanted to be liked by his family. He was finally beaten so severely by that same family, that he died at the age of 13. His father buried him & told anyone who asked that Christian had run away. His body was discovered two years later.

The most outrageous problem with this outrageous story is that this whole situation should never have happened to begin with, if only Christian had not been handed by the court directly to his eventual murderer.

Therefore, I ask you, what kind of a law supposedly dedicated to justice allows child custody to a man convicted of child abuse? We appeal to the legislature to enact a law to take into account a record of domestic violence or abuse allegations when deciding custody, and to deny custody to anyone with such a record, so that no child has to live and suffer through such a horrifying reality when it could have been avoided.

We hope you understand the severity of this matter and do your utmost to prevent such a tragedy from occurring again. Thank you very much.

Sincerely,