In October, 2016 my daughter went to School at Ponca Hills Elementary in Omaha. She was sad, which is not her usual, outgoing and popular, go getter, type self. Her teacher asked her what was wrong, since this was unusual for her.
She Said "mommy and Daddy were fighting this morning and it Scared me.."
CPS was called, the police were called, my wife and I were at our separate jobs, WE were not called.
Our daughter was taken out of school by CPS in a police car and taken to a place called Project Harmony, to be interviewed about possible abuse. After 4 hours, and only after i got off work to go pick her up from school did i find out from the school principal that i needed to call a number at The Omaha Police station.
Upon making the call, I was transferred to a detective in SVU who wanted to talk to me.. He said I needed to come to the Police Station. I tried t find out what was going on. No one would tell me or my wife what was going on.
After finding out that my daughter was "fine".. they said they would come talk to us.
This is where the nightmare starts.
The police showed up in plain unmarked cars and said that Rylee had said some things that concerned them and that she was being held in "protective custody" until the matter could be resolved.
The SVU Police detectives took me into custody, took my wife as well, but not in custody, down to the police station to "interview us."
They never told us why, but during the course of the interview this "detective" Daniel Flynn, of the Omaha SVU, kept asking questions and implying that I, Rylee's Father, had committed some form of sexual assault upon my own daughter.
I completely lost my temper, I told him that he was lucky we were in a police station and that the room was locked or if he had said or implied these things on the street or in public, I would have beaten him to a bloody pulp.
Words cannot describe my horror and shock at these allegations.
Despite my vehement denials and corroborating testimony from both a forensic pediatric physician, that my daughter showed no physical or psychological signs of abuse and my wife also stating that Rylee and I were like 2 peas in a pod and that Rylee had never said or indicated by any behaviour that she was being abused in any way, AND the video of the "interview from project harmony", where my own daughter denied ANYONE ever touching her inappropriately, ELEVEN separate times, at home or at school or anywhere for that matter, I was arrested and charged with TWO separate counts of third degree felony sexual assault on my own daughter.
My devastation and shock was so complete that I was placed in suicide watch in the Douglas County Corrections Facility for three day, "for my own safety".
Long story short .. after hiring an attorney and getting a judge to look at all the evidence and my daughters own testimony under the guidance and authority of a juvenile court judge, ALL charges were dropped and my case was sealed by the District court in June of 2017. Basically, my case was thrown out because there was both no evidence and the SVU officer, Daniel Flynn, committed what is essentially perjury by distorting and "embellishing" his interpretation of my interview to get a Police Captain to sign off on the arrest warrant.
This fiasco cost me 56 days in the county jail, where I was threatened, urinated on, and otherwise abused by other inmates because I was "charged" with child abuse.
There is no lower criminal in the jail system, than an abuser of children, NONE. No proof or conviction is needed, just the allegation alone gets you labeled a "CHOMO" and the games begin.
A long time friend and man who should be nominated for sainthood, Paul Joseph Chereck, of Omaha, managed to bail me out of jail, after a bail reduction hearing was held to reduce my original bail from $1 Million dollars to $250,000 thousand dollars.
Mr Chereck came up with the 10%, or $25,000 dollars to get me out of jail on December 20th, 2016.
He forfeited 10% of that, after the case was closed, that's how bail works.
He also helped my wife relocate to a townhome, because CPS told my wife that she could never have or would be allowed visitation with our daughter, if she stayed in the family home, because that was the sight of the "nonexistent" trauma.
Unfortunately, My having charges dismissed and sealed, did not end the juvenile courts involvement.
I had lost my job, due to being arrested, my wife was on disability due to some medical issues with hernia mesh and back injuries.
I was forced, by court order, while the juvenile court was making up its mind, to live as a boarder in MR. Chereck's house, while my wife had separate residence that was "court approved " for home visitation, supervised, with our daughter.
This became very expensive, legal fees, two mortgages, (partially offset by renting out the family home, but those tenants trashed it.. a whole other story..), court ordered therapy, two seperate psychosexual evaluations on me,( both of which determined I was not a risk to any child and was unlikely to ever be one.)
The costs for attorneys and doctors and counselors was paid mostly by Mr Chereck and by myself, working where and when I could, under tremendous stress.
In the end, a company called PromiseShip, under the umbrella of multiple companies operating at the behest of Lutheran Family Services, and a Family Permanency "Specialist" named Katheryn Caniglia and an LFS child therapist working for Rylee's "best interest", testified that both my wife and I did not understand the "gravity" of the "trauma" we had caused our daughter and that therefore our Rights as Parents, should be terminated.
Despite testimony from my psychologist, my wifes psychologist, and my Daughters express desire to "come back home", our rights as parents to have any involvement with our daughter were terminated By Judge Elizabeth Crnkovich, of the Juvenile court of Douglas county Nebraska, on June 11th, 2019.
My wife and I are, of course, filing an appeal to the federal appellate court.
I personally have not been allowed to see, talk to, or have any pictures of my daughter, in almost three years, save one 40 minute "reunification preparation session" in june of 2018, with Rylee's therapist Kimberly Massara, of LFS, myself and Rylee present in a conference room at her offices in Bellevue, Nebraska.
During that brief visit, I was criticised for picking up my daughter, giving her a kiss and hug and for brushing her hair out of her eyes, while we played a silly game of mcdonalds happy meal battleship, rather than just talk like father and daughter.
I am financially broke, I have a difficult time keeping a job because I have to work on a third shift, so I can always be "free" to go to court, at whatever whim of the calender the judges decide to hold hearings. Mr chereck has a second mortgage on his home and works as a Home Instead, caregiver to senior citizens to supplement his Social security income.
The man is 79 years old.
I am ashamed of myself for doing this to my friend and I take Klonopin and Prozac to treat the PTSD, Anxiety and Massive depression that this has all caused me.
My daughter Just turned 8, May 20th, 2019 and my wife just turned 46, May 23rd, 2019.
I am about to turn 62 in july of 2019. We met 16 years ago, got married 14 years ago.
I made the conscious decision, at age 48 to give my wife her only child, the only grandchild for her side of the Smith/ Cline Family tree. it took until 2011 for that feat to be accomplished, due to some female medical issues my wife had with her reproductive organs. We sorted it out and had our beautiful daughter on May 20th 2011.
It was a very easy and difficult decision to make knowing I would have to live to age 72 to even see my daughter graduate from high school.
Easy, because I love my wife and her family and no family tree deserves to end with a whimper. Hard, because I knew I was going to have to struggle with keeping myself as healthy as possible for as long as possible and try to pass on as much love and knowledge and wisdom and family history as possible, before I passed away.
WE were forced, by circumstance, as an attempt to keep our daughter from being permanently adopted to random strangers in Nebraska, to get divorced, on may 25th 2019, in the hope that by me being removed, so to speak, from the "family dynamic" that the court would allow my wife to keep her only child.
That did not happen, nor did Judge Crnkovich, care
I did not care and I do not care what happens to me. in the end , i want my wife and daughter to be happy and together
I want my daughter to be kept in her blood family, with all her cousins, aunts and uncles, the one grandmother she has left.. ( who unfortunately has early alzheimer's symptoms and may never see her youngest granddaughter ever again, Grandma is 83, good physically for that age, but declining, inevitably)
this crap has been going on for almost three years, no crimes were ever committed, now charges were plead or bargained off the table, my wife and I did everything we were asked by the court as far as counseling, therapy, psychiatry, classes, parenting classes, you name it and we STILL lost our daughter.
Please help Rylee... I do this for her.
We both love her and have missed out on three years of her life, and counting.