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When is too far? Boy age 6, playing doctor, slapped with sexualy assault case (local story)

Posted by on Nov. 18, 2011 at 9:03 AM
  • 11 Replies

Three young children caught playing doctor last year have unintentionally landed themselves, their families and some Grant County officials in a federal civil rights case sure to raise questions and outrage.

The parents of a 6-year-old boy who faced charges of first-degree sexual assault have sued Grant County officials who investigated and filed the juvenile petition. The charges came after a 5-year-old girl's mother suspected that play had gone too far.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Madison, contends that officials violated the civil rights of the boy and his parents, and seeks damages and an injunction against Grant County District Attorney Lisa Riniker. The suit also names a sheriff's deputy and social worker as defendants. None of them could be reached for comment late Thursday.

The plaintiffs are identified only as D, who is now 7, and his parents as Jennifer and Kurt D.

According to the lawsuit, in the fall of last year the boy was playing with the girl and her 5-year-old brother when the mother arrived. The children said they had been playing doctor. Their mother told investigators she suspected D had put his finger in the girl's anus.

The lawsuit states that prior to the play date, D had medical conditions that required rectal examinations.

Riniker wound up accusing D of first-degree sexual assault, as part of a juvenile court petition for protective services filed last November.

In the spring, according to a report in the Wisconsin State Journal, which was granted access to the juvenile records, a judge declined to dismiss the petitions, which a criminal attorney for the boy called "crazy." The report stated that the girl said that D had only touched the outside of her buttocks.

The boy's parents said they provided evidence their son did not act out with other children and had gotten appropriate services. The girl's parents told the paper that they tried to work things out privately but that D's parents did not provide that opportunity.

The new federal lawsuit contends the whole investigation was biased because the girl's father is a "well-known political figure in Grant County," and her aunt a regional social services supervisor. It claims now-retired Grant County Sheriff's Sgt. James Kopp "waged a relentless campaign to discredit and embarrass and humiliate 6-year-old D," and that the entire process was unreasonable and unconscionable.

More recently, Riniker has tried to coerce D's parents into signing a consent decree by implying she will seek to remove the couple's children from their custody, the suit says.

The plaintiffs contend the guardian appointed in the case thinks they are fit parents.

The lawsuit says the boy, who had ADHD, now also suffers from anxiety, depression, vomiting, crying and lack of sleep because of the investigation and prosecution.

The boy's mother did decline to let him be interviewed without an attorney present but says in the lawsuit that the boy denies the acts that would constitute first-degree sexual assault. That led to implications from social worker Jan Moravits that the parents were witness tampering, according to the lawsuit.

Christopher Cooper, an Illinois attorney representing D and his parents, said his clients oppose any kind of consent agreement because they believe it implies some guilt or responsibility for a wrongful act that the 6-year-old boy could not have understood.

by on Nov. 18, 2011 at 9:03 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Nov. 18, 2011 at 9:08 AM

Oh my goodness. Way, way too far. And the girl's parents tried to "work things out privately"? I'm not understanding- work out what? Even the little girl said that the boy only touched her butt, NOT her anus.

by Dori on Nov. 18, 2011 at 9:10 AM
Way too far...
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by on Nov. 18, 2011 at 9:11 AM
3 moms liked this
Um... Where was the accusing mother while these children were playing doctor!?? I think if the boy really had done what he's being accused of, the little girl would've have told the truth. At least I know my 4 yr old would tell me. Geez, they're little kids. Kids are curious and that's why you don't leave them alone. They're too young to understand what they're doing.
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by on Nov. 18, 2011 at 9:14 AM

Hope they win...

by on Nov. 18, 2011 at 9:16 AM
I agree this is way too far. I absolutely hate when people use their positions to bully others. Where were the parents when this was happening?
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by on Nov. 18, 2011 at 12:24 PM


by on Nov. 18, 2011 at 12:33 PM
1 mom liked this

It is a sad wolrd we live in. The BOY is/was only 6 YEARS OLD, what the hell is wrong with people! Both children should have had a talking to about what happened, that touching others in that was is not ok! But this has gone way TOO FAR! They are CHILDREN! He is a CHILD not a criminal. 

by on Nov. 18, 2011 at 10:09 PM

Quoting Punkie74:

Hope they win...

I agree

by Member on Nov. 18, 2011 at 11:25 PM

OMG!    What do the girls parents expect to get from all this?  What the Hell is the point? 

by on Nov. 18, 2011 at 11:26 PM

That is absolutely insane.

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