Mom Wins Custody Battle Against Alleged Molester - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Mom Wins Custody Battle Against Alleged Molester

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The mother walked out of the closed courtroom pale, wide-eyed and speechless.

Then her attorney, Patricia Barry, raised her arms and yelled, "we won!" Friends and supporters cheered in joy and disbelief.  As the news set in, they hugged and cried -- some sobbing.

The stakes couldn't have been higher in this case.   Both of the children allege the father abused them ... the younger child, then 3, alleged a brutal sexual molestation. 

If the mother had lost, the courts would have forced her to hand her youngest to his alleged molester.

She had promised him she would protect him.

So when her supporters  -- most of whom face the same dilemma --  heard the news, they cheered.  

"You don't understand. This never happens," one parent explained.  "The courts hand kids over to (alleged) molesters every day."

But not today.

At least not in the courtroom of Commissioner Debra Losnick whose ruling ended the mother's three-year battle.

The mother had called Fox 11 back in October, desperate and out of options. She told us the court was about to give custody to the father.

She had just seen Fox 11's report on another case, a runaway teenager named Damon.  Damon was in hiding from a father he says molested him -- and a court system that had ordered back to his custody. 

When we looked into this mother's case, it seemed hard to believe.  

She said investigators, therapists and social workers repeatedly recommended that she be given full custody; dad should only have supervised visits.    But the court gave the father shared custody, no supervision.  

Twice more, social workers urged the mother be awarded full custody dad only be allowed monitored visits with his kids.  But the court refused to act.

Last November, the court indicated it was ready to hand down a decision.

But when the mother showed up with a new attorney -- a crusading civil rights attorney, Ms. Barry -- and Fox 11 asked to cover the case.

Suddenly the case opened up again.   Four months of testimony followed.

On the final day, supporters braced themselves.  The mother said her kids were so nervous, she had to be confident. "I took my son by the shoulders and shook him," she said.  "It's going to be fine. You have to have faith."

He believed his mom, and his faith was well placed.

Commissioner Losnick granted his mother full custody.

On the phone afterward you could hear the boys, "I love you mom ... come home now."

The mother asked us to thank Damon -- who is still in hiding -- for his bravery.  She says without his courage, she wonders where she and her children would be today.

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