I am the unmarried father of a beautiful and intelligent little girl that means the world to me. I have had 3 out of 7 days custody of my daughter since soon after birth. The mother is a practicing mental health therapist in our county and lives 15 minutes away. She has worked for a mental health services agency that has ties to our local Bucks County Children & Youth office.
My now 5 year old daughter appeared with unexplained and suspicious bruises and marks for quite some time. These escalated to a black eye, chipped front tooth, bruises on her lower spine, burn mark on her toes, and severe bruising on her foot. My daughter began to accuse her mother of hitting her when she didn't behave and to accuse her mother's boyfriend of inappropriate sexual contact. The abuse included a point where my daughter complained of vaginal burning and itching whereby I took her to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia where she was found to have vaginitis and gave a statement to the social worker asking for help in stopping the boyfriend from hurting her body when he touched her that way.
I was approached by police officers from her township that were investigating Mother for illegal drug consumption and distribution. I had never met or heard of these police officers and they requested information to assist with their investigation. They also made me aware of the various calls they had received from their neighbors regarding concern for the safety and well being of my little girl. Despite their 9 month investigation, they could not catch Mother in the act of consuming or distributing drugs despite the collaboration of their confidential informant whom confirmed their concerns and allegations by stating that he had consumed, sold to, and purchased from her illegal drugs. These officers had enough cause for concern to gain approval for a 9 month long investigation.
I filed for a protection from abuse to protect my little girl from the physical, sexual, and emotional abuse she was being subjected to 4 days a week when in the custody of her Mother. Judge Diane Gibbons presided at the Court Hearings and requested that I also file for a change in custody.
During the hearings, Judge Gibbons allowed opposing counsel to remain despite the invoices and witnesses introduced that proved opposing counsel, Judith Algeo Esq., had meetings (over 2.5 hours) and consultations with one of my key forensic experts and had consulted with me prior to the hearings. This conflict of interest should have precluded attorney Judith Algeo from remaining on the case.
During the hearings three expert witnesses and a police officer testified conclusively against Mother:
Dr. Monty Weinstein (PSY.D, M.P.A., D.A.PA., N.C.P) – one of the top two forensic psychologists and family therapy experts in the country testified conclusively that my little girl was the victim of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Dr. Weinstein testified having had over 3 years of observations of me with my daughter. This is unprecedented access. Dr. Weinstein also testified how Bucks County Children & Youth refused to meet with him, refused to read his notes, refused to want to learn of his conclusions despite them not having experts of equal experience and accreditation.
Ms. Janet Totten (RN, CLNC, FN) – registered nurse, certified legal nurse consultant, and forensic nurse, testified conclusively that the patterns of bruises on the legs, burn mark on her toes, severe bruising of her foot, and other photographs were indeed highly indicative and conclusive in her opinion of child abuse and neglect. Ms. Totten has close to 20 years experience working in Tier 1 trauma and abuse centers. She also testified to the refusal by Bucks County Children and Youth to meet with her, review her notes, or study her medical conclusions despite them not having a medical professional of equal experience or credentials on their staff.
Ms. Erin Stewart, MSW, SSW – social worker experienced with abuse cases testified of her observations of my daughter and her interpretation of how Mother conveys our child’s complaints of being told she is hated, is stupid, and is made to cry by her boyfriend as being playful banter.
During the hearings, Judge Gibbons openly mocked and ridiculed my ethnicity (I am Latino), argued/yelled/screamed at forensic experts that testified conclusively that my little girl is the victim of abuse, and police officer testifying about his allegations concerning Mother's involvement with illegal drugs - it was my parental rights that were suspended and then terminated leaving me as a visitor in my child's life with access to see her only 4 hours a week in contrast to the 3 days a week I had been with my child since soon after birth. This was done by Judge Diane Gibbons without a single allegation by Mother against me, without a single witness presented by her or her attorney, without anyone at all to refute the photos/reports/testimony of the experts that depicted the everlasting harm done to my child. During her testimony, Mother had her chance to make any and all allegations - she made none!! During Mother's testimony, which lasted approximately 35 minutes, Judge Gibbons interfered with the cross examination, stopped her from answering certain questions, answered others on her behalf, and would motion with her hand to prevent her from continuing to provide testimony. No witnesses were presented, no allegations of abuse were made by Mother during her testimony, and no experts were presented to refute the expert testimony already on the record against Mother.
One year later, several reports of suspected child abuse have been filed by the Custody Supervising Monitors that sit with my little girl and me when we meet twice a week for a two hour dinner visit. These monitors are mandated reporters of abuse, are parents themselves, and are there only on behalf of the court order and in support of the child. The response from Judge Gibbons and attorney Judith Algeo has been to file to have them fired and reduce my limited time with my child to less than half so that the reports of abuse stop.
These Custody Monitors have noted, documented, and asked the Court to do something about the continued pleas for help from my little girl.
While this case was on Appeal at PA Superior Court, Judge Gibbons issued an order that I pay Mother's legal fees while openly discussing with attorney Judith Algeo that this may preclude me from filing appeals and seeking protection or exercising my legal rights to protect my child in the court system. Judge Gibbons has denied my request for a hearing to examine how the fees were calculated and a hearing to cross examine Judith Algeo to understand how she could file at first for $1,000 in fees, then ask for $15,000 during the hearing, then submit a memorandum for $50,000, and finally be awarded over $60,000 in fees.
I am a multiple US Congressional Award winner, do not have any convictions, no DUIs, have a spotless record with the law, live in an upstanding community, and sit of the Boards of Directors of several non-profit organizations (some of which serve children of abuse). Yet I can’t protect my own child when faced with such abuse of Judicial privilege, blatant discrimination, and overtly ignoring a little girl has been and continues to be abused.
Please stop the cover-up of abuse of my little girl. Please stop the egregious abuse of power, blatant ethnic/blatant discrimination, flagrant violations of US Constitutional rights, the termination of parental rights without any allegations or testimony and in contrast to the many experts and police that testified, and gross misconduct by Judge Diane Gibbons enabled by attorney Judith Algeo, Esq.
Send a message to our legislature to impeach Judge Diane Gibbons.
Michael Orozco started this petition with a single signature, and now has 213 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.