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Archive for Thursday, August 16, 2012

Judge schedules separate trials for Illinois couple accused of blindfolding, binding children outside Walmart

August 16, 2012

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A Douglas County judge Thursday scheduled separate trials for two Illinois parents accused of tying up and blindfolding two of their children, ages 5 and 7, outside a west Lawrence Walmart in June.

District Judge Paula Martin scheduled an Oct. 22 trial for Deborah Gomez, 44, and another trial Nov. 5 for Adolfo Gomez, 52, after both defendants pleaded not guilty.

Martin said the trials would need separate jury pools.

Prosecutors accuse the couple of using inhumane corporal punishment to tie up the two younger children. They face two counts of felony child abuse each. A shopper at Walmart, 550 Congressional Dr., saw a child blindfolded and bound near the vehicle and called police on June 13 because she believed it could be a possible child abduction. The couple and their five children had stopped at Walmart when their Chevy Suburban broke down near Lawrence. The family was traveling from Northlake, Ill.,

Lawrence police testified at a preliminary hearing earlier this week that one of the couple's children and Adolfo Gomez said in interviews the younger children were tied up and blindfolded because they believed the kids were possessed by demons.

Adolfo Gomez had told police the two younger children were acting out towards the older children in the vehicle during Bible studies.

Police also said the family members had sold their belongings and were driving to Arizona because the parents believed demons were in their home in suburban Chicago and that the world was ending.

Officers also said the 7-year-old girl indicated she asked to be tied up, while the boy said Adolfo Gomez told him not to remove his bindings.

Prosecutors also allege the children's health could have been in danger because of the conditions inside the vehicle including trash, rotting food and bottles of urine. They each face five misdemeanor counts of child endangerment. Adolfo Gomez is also charged with one count of felony obstruction after officers used a Taser to subdue him.

Angela Keck, a defense attorney for Deborah Gomez, said Thursday her client might ask for a later trial date depending on a pending psychological evaluation and furher information from a private investigator in the case.

Comments

lawrenceguy40 2 years, 4 months ago

This prosecution is proceeding for only two reasons - the couple are fundamentalist Christians and Mr Gomez challenged the ego of an lpd officer.

Folks commenting here are horrified that Mrs Gomez purchased a tarp and a baseball bat. They were heading west and didn't have the money to stay in fancy hotels, probably after being robbed of their jobs and earnings by barry o. I went camping every summer with my family when the kids were young and two of the items we never failed to take were a tarp and a baseball bat! Maybe they disciplined their children more harshly than the liberals in Lawrence, who all have unruly, spoiled kids that I wouldn't allow in my house. But many older folks reading here will remember having their mouths taped shut for uttering what they hoped was a final smart comment. This is a prosecution of their beliefs, not of their actions. If they had done exactly the same but had claimed to be followers of Islam, they would have been congratulated, given help with their truck and waved off by a party of do-gooders from the city.

If anyone has ever had the misfortune to deal with lpd, you will fully understand how the second charges against Mr Gomez came about. lpd trains its officers to be demeaning and confrontational. You will only get respect out of the lpd if you are a former insider or you have a steady supply of KU tickets.

Claire Williams 2 years, 4 months ago

I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, BUT:

I am not going to pretend to know what they planned to do with the tarp and the baseball bat, but other testimony from the parents themselves indicated they planned to perform an "exorcism" on the two youngest children. What that might have involved is unknown, and doesn't really have bearing on what they've been charged with.

At the very least, these children were in unfit living conditions, with inadequate access to food, water, or sanitation. That is a clear-cut case for child endangerment charges, and doesn't have anything to do with their beliefs.

Regardless of their beliefs, if you are fighting with officers while they are trying to cuff you, you're going to get slapped with a resisting arrest or obstruction charge.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 4 months ago

Lawrenceguy40, your dislike and/or distrust of the Lawrence police has clouded your judgement. Even if you had a bad experience with them or even if you've had multiple bad experiences with them, that does not mean that every confrontation between police and public is the fault of the police.

Delta_D 2 years, 4 months ago

lawrenceguy, Are you serious ? There is no reason ever to bind and blindfold your child. I remember having masking tape put on my mouth for smarting off, but what they did is beyond that. Do you blindfold and bind your children when they step out of line? Where do you draw the line between abuse and discipline ? This is about the mistreatment of children. I for one hope the never get those children back. I sincerely hope you do not wind up on the jury and excuse their actions.

asixbury 2 years, 4 months ago

Lawrenceguy, you're totally off-base and obviously didn't read the article above, or any other on this case. They left their home in Chicago because they thought their house was haunted by demons. They bound their kids because they thought they were possessed by demons. The father got tased because he resisted arrest. In fact, according to one of the articles, he was preaching his craziness and refused to leave the suv, then continued resisting officers once they got him out. The LPD were totally within reason with the force they used on this crazy man. It has absolutely nothing to do with them being fundamentalist Christians, so get off your soapbox.

oldbaldguy 2 years, 4 months ago

these folks had the kids removed from their custody in Illinois and got them back by working a reintegration plan. look at their photos, they are both shy a six-pack. pity those kids and hope they don't go back to them.

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