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Child custody battle sours with allegations of sexual abuse

The previous post looked at the report of a divorced couple whose legal battle has been going on for more than six years. It is clear that things can become unmanageable, especially when emotions and tensions are high. But child custody disputes can also get out of hand.

One child custody dispute resulted in a father falsely accused of sexual abuse and a mother potentially facing a life sentence in prison.

Back in 2009, the mother accused the child's father of sexual abuse. She claimed that their child had injuries that were consistent with sexual abuse. Police were notified and the father was arrested; the mother also took out a protective order against the father.

But an investigation revealed that there was no evidence to substantiate the allegations; there was no male DNA. The father was never officially charged and the case against him was dropped. But the father was suspicious and told police that he thought the mother had actually committed the abuse in order influence the outcome of their custody dispute.

Investigators approached the woman about the new allegations. She reportedly told the police that she had in fact tried to make it look like the father was sexually abusing the child. She also admitted to causing the injuries.

She was then arrested and charged with sexual abuse of a child and for giving false statements to police. In addition to facing a life in prison, she has also been ordered to stay away from her daughter and her ex-husband.

The County Prosecutor involved in the case said that this situation is uncommon. The case serves to show how child custody disputes can affect the children involved.

Source: Daily Herald online, "Police: woman abuses daughter, blames father to gain custody," Jim Dalrymple, 09 April 2011

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