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Ethical Treatment for All Youth

Email: etay@ethicaltreatment.org

About the author


Our grandson had just turned fourteen when he was arrested and charged with child molestation. This happened on November 14th, 2002. He was involved with a group of kids, mostly around the same age, who were voluntarily performing various sex acts. Two of the girls in the group were a few years younger. One girl was the oldest of the group. There was never any accusation of force or intimidation.

The prosecutor drummed up a long list of charges and offered a plea agreement on two counts of child molestation. He encouraged the parents to accept the plea and said the boy would probably be put on probation since he had not been in trouble before.

After several weeks in juvenile detention, Judge Carol Orbison sent our grandson to live with us while psychological evaluations were being done. He had one that was ordered by the court and we paid for two additional ones. Each therapist recommended their own program for juvenile sex offenders. One was from Resolute, an inpatient institution and the other two were outpatient programs. Our grandson stayed with us for three months. He was seeing a therapist chosen by his parents, doing well in school and following all the rules of his probation.

On April 3, 2003, we appeared before Marion County Juvenile Court Judge, Julie Cartmel. She ordered him to be placed in Resolute for a 45-day evaluation.

Two months later we again appeared before Judge Cartmel. Lisa Machado, Administrator/CEO recommended treatment at their facility. During the weeks he was at Resolute, the two “victims” became about thirty-five “victims” with hundreds of incidents that Resolute claimed he had committed. He supposedly had sexually touched his mother hundreds of times since age five. Both my daughter and I wonder why she was not charged as a child molester if she had allowed this to happen. According to the report, at age seven, he had also touched his dead great-grandmother on the breast as she lay in her casket. The list of offenses was ludicrous, but accepted as truth by the court.

My grandson was given a polygraph at Resolute that lasted for several hours. He told us that polygrapher, Bonnie Harrison, assured him that everything was confidential. He went to the next group therapy session and found that his “confidential” answers were the topic of discussion for the day. His parents were told of his answers and a report was given to the court.

I presented testimony that Lisa Machado had done my grandson’s Diagnostic & Evaluation although she was not qualified to do so. She is not a licensed therapist. At that time we could only confirm one licensed therapist at Resolute and he was in no way overseeing those who were not licensed and especially not the Administrator/CEO, who was his boss. Judge Cartmel chose to ignore our evidence and ordered our grandson back to Resolute for treatment.

After this court appearance, all family visitation and phone calls were stopped. Within a few days he was sent back to juvenile detention, the reason being that “Mom was a barrier to treatment.”

The next judge in our case was Judge James Payne. My grandson was next sent to Gibault in Terre Haute, IN. All therapy records from Resolute were sent to Gibault. I believe this to be a direct violation of HIPPA Law and it caused great damage. The therapist assigned to him refused to begin the court ordered family therapy and would not even have a phone conversation with the mother.

Our attorney argued at every hearing that this boy would do fine in outpatient therapy, but it was never considered by the court. In hindsight, I realize that outpatient therapy is just as damaging to these boys because it is the same program used in inpatient facilities. The only difference would have been that he would have had more family support while going through it.

His living conditions at Gibault were better. They have many more activities for the boys such as swimming, fishing, camping, etc. The sex offender therapy program was the same and at a rate of about $300 per day, paid for by Medicaid, they naturally wanted to keep him as long as possible. About nine months later he was kicked out of Gibault. They cited various reasons, but I believe the main one was that they knew we were trying to get media attention. In other words, this boy was a hot potato.

My grandson’s next home was The Children’s Campus in Mishawaka. We believe the records from previous institutions went with him, but have not been able to prove it. The therapy was the same. A psychiatrist diagnosed him as bipolar and he was put on a high dose of Lithium. He had headaches, stomach problems, tremors in his hands and his legs bounced constantly.

He had been at Mishawaka for two months when Judge Payne sent him to our home to complete his therapy with the therapist he was seeing while living with us at the beginning of this ordeal. He could not go home until the therapist reported that he would not be a danger to his younger sibling.

In February, 2004, he was finally released from probation, but continues to live with us until the end of the school year in May. This journey has cost my grandson 2 ˝ years of his life. He is now in therapy to undo the damage done by juvenile sex offender treatment. He is not bipolar and is being weaned off Lithium. His self-esteem has been greatly damaged. He is slow to trust adults. He lives every day with the knowledge that any allegation by a girl, true or false, could send him back to the halls of horror.

That is not the end of the story.

My family is horrified by what is happening to boys in this country. They are taught by television, movies, music, and advertising that sex anywhere, any time, with anybody is okay. Girls are willing partners, but they are viewed as victims and seldom arrested. It doesn’t matter that they may have been older and may have actually initiated whatever happened in the first place.

Juvenile sex offender treatment teaches boys that they are child molesters and always will be. They are worthless. These boys learn to trust no one. In some states they are put on a sex offender registry so the state can make sure they continue to pay for being young.

Our family is working with an organization called FACES to bring about changes in the law so that other boys will not go through the horrors that my grandson did. It is a long and difficult journey, but we will not give up. Feel free to contact me.

Janet Boeldt
Indianapolis, Indiana
Submitted March 2005