A video of guardian ad litems conspiring to cover-up child sexual abuse caused 31 Missouri judges to recuse themselves from a family court case. In the video, guardian ad litems (GAL’s), social workers, and lawyers discuss intentionally not reporting child sexual abuse of children that they were supposed to be looking out for and representing in the courts. The children’s sister who was also sexually abused had already committed suicide because none of the people working her case would help her and she just couldn’t see a way out of the Hell that they were living.
At a Joint House and Senate Committee meeting on child abuse and neglect in Jeff City, Missouri on 11/16/21, Evita Tolu, a lawyer for the family testified on behalf of Mikaela and Sara Haynes. Mikaela took her own life to save her sister Sara after her father, Charles Michael Haynes had already pleaded guilty to molesting her stepsister, Melissa Hogg.
Jennifer R. Williams: Ms. Tolu says that the court-appointed guardian ad litem, Jennifer R. Williams arrogantly advocated for Charles Michael Haynes to stay out of prison. Charles Haynes is the man the children say repeatedly raped them. In the video, Evita Tolu asked for support to save Missouri children from sexual abuse, suicide, emotional abuse, and mutilation.
The Missouri Department of Family Services placed Mikaela Haynes with Charles Michael Haynes even after she had told them that he repeatably sexually abused her and her sisters and that she was afraid. It ended for her when she took her own life, but not for her sisters.
The family’s lawyer says that “even after Charles Michael Haynes was arrested for molesting Mikaela’s sister Melissa Hogg in 2013, he continued to molest them, and accused their mother, Cindy Randolph of educational neglect. The children were taken into state custody and appointed a guardian ad litem, attorney Jennifer Williams in May of 2016. Williams testified in court that Cindy made up the sexual abuse allegations and said that Haynes should have access to his two biological daughters. The girls were placed with the molester’s 90-year-old mother. She was blind, deaf, and heavily medicated using painkillers and insomnia meds. Charles Michael Haynes was arrested for molesting his stepdaughter, and finally went to prison in December 2018”, said Evita Tolu.
The hospital failed Mikaela too. “Cindy took her daughter to the hospital for self-mutilation. At the hospital, Michaela told everyone what was happening at her grandmother’s house. Williams, the court-appointed guardian seized the children from Cindy and put them in foster care. Williams then testified that the already convicted child sodomizer should be placed on probation instead of going to prison,” Tolu advocates for the children.
Cindy Randolph, the mother says “the GAL, Jennifer Williams threatened the eldest daughter with being taken away from their mother if they testified”. Then Cindy found out that Williams was taking money from Charles Haynes. Cindy says, “the children’s court-appointed attorney was representing the deviant convicted child pedophile who molested the oldest sister, Michaela’s second sister Melissa, and then he molested Michaela herself and now there is one child left and guess what she is going to be molested unless we do something about it”.
Evita Tolu goes on to address immunity clauses in the judicial system that protect workers such as Jennifer Williams from being held accountable for what happened to the children under her watch. “There is no reason this person needs immunity. We need to protect our children and not enrich those who represent them,” Tolu said. She went on to say, “I drafted the law that removes immunity from guardians ad litems. There is no reason why a Missouri licensed attorney should not be held accountable for the way that attorney represents a child. I need all the help I can get for this case.
Brian Dunlop, another guardian ad litem for Austin Arseneau is accused of intentionally not reporting child sexual abuse so that it would not be addressed in court proceedings, of refusing to allow his client’s therapist to testify, and he is accused of not allowing Arseneau to receive counseling while he was living with the child rapist.
Elaine Pudlowski, another GAL is being sued by multiple parties in St. Louis County 21st Judicial Circuit. Lawsuits filed in the 21st Judicial Circuit Court of St. Louis claim that the guardian ad litem (GAL) Elaine Pudlowski, psychologist Dr. James Reid, and therapist Jennifer Webbe VanLuven, conspired to diagnose a child with a fraudulent mental disorder. A leaked email from Judge Michael Burton and a leaked Zoom call with almost forty guardian ad litems conspiring to help Pudlowski led to Burton resigning in August.
The lawsuit was dismissed. An appeal was filed that argues, “Judicial immunity for court professionals exists not for the protection or benefit of a malicious court professional, but for the benefit of the public, and it is not limitless.” She further argues that according to the law the allegations of overbilling and violating court orders and professional standards do not meet the requirements for judicial immunity.
There are other lawsuits against the same court professionals. Apparently, Missouri legislators know that there is a problem with the Missouri Court but they have not taken any action for accountability to add integrity back to the court.
A mother is suing Elaine Pudlowski, Frankel Rubin, Klein, Payne and Pudlowski, P.C., James D. Reid, James D. Reid PhD, LLC, Brian Dunlop and Dunlop and McCarter for violation of 42 U.S.C and injunctive relief. According to the complaint, the guardian ad litem, Frankel was Pudlowski’s employer and is responsible for her conduct.
Devon Arseneau alleges that “Pudlowski acted outside the scope of her licensure, expertise, and terms of her court appointment by misrepresenting her qualifications to the court. Devon Arseneau alleges Pudlowski has no training in the following: mental health issues; alcohol or drug addiction; medicine; trauma, domestic violence; sexual abuse of children; or childhood and adolescent development, yet determined and represented to the court that the child was not at risk”.
Reid admitted to falsifying elements of a report, but the reports continue to be handed out to certain professionals per the court order.
Minding Hearts is building advocacy and peer support groups in each state. The groups are created to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for those that might not otherwise be heard. We are here for encouragement, education, and support. We cannot give legal advice, but we can try and direct you in the right direction with your case. Links to legal services are listed with their states. Please share and let’s grow our groups. We are here to support families and develop resources that maintain family integrity. We look forward to your support. If you would rather become active by donating, then visit the donation page.