Archive for Thursday, June 21, 2012

Illinois mother in local abuse case says she was just as much a victim as the children

June 21, 2012

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An attorney for a suburban Chicago woman accused in a Lawrence child abuse case after her children were found bound and blindfolded implicated her client’s husband on Thursday as the culprit in the case.

Deborah and Adolfo Gomez both face charges in the case after they were arrested at a west Lawrence Walmart last week.

“We submit the evidence in the case will show that Ms. Gomez is just as much a victim in this case as her children,” defense attorney Angela Keck said as she asked for a bond reduction for her client from $50,000 to $15,000.

Keck also said Deborah Gomez had no knowledge and did not participate in the mistreatment of her two children, ages 5 and 7, who were bound by their hands and feet near the family’s vehicle. Police arrested Deborah Gomez inside the store and Adolfo Gomez in the parking lot, where he was with the children.

“She did everything she could to protect her children,” Keck said. “He appeared to be in a complete break with reality.”

Assistant District Attorney James McCabria said prosecutors did not agree with Keck’s bond request.

District Judge Paula Martin declined to reduce her bond Thursday until she hears evidence at a preliminary hearing at a later date.

Adolfo and Deborah Gomez are charged with two counts of child abuse each after the two children were found with their hands and feet bound. They also face five charges each of aggravated child endangerment against the two children found bound and their three older children who were in the vehicle, ages 12, 13 and 15. Adolfo Gomez also faces a count of felony obstruction because he’s accused of resisting officers, who used a Taser to apprehend him.

Police said the family was traveling from Illinois to Arizona when their Chevrolet Suburban broke down on Interstate 70. They had been in the Walmart parking lot for two days before the incident with police.

Police have said extended family members who saw nationwide media coverage of the event have contacted them about the children, who have been taken into protective custody.

Adolfo Gomez is undergoing a mental health evaluation because at a hearing next Tuesday Martin will decide whether he is competent to represent himself in the case after he made the request earlier this week. The couple are also due again in court next Thursday.

Martin on Thursday also ordered McCabria to tell law enforcement to preserve the vehicle as evidence after Keck said it had been placed at a tow lot and was preparing to be sold.

Comments

otto 2 years, 10 months ago

So she had gone into the Wal Mart to call the police herself? I am now understanding.

otto 2 years, 10 months ago

I hope you get as much or more time in the clink than your husband for not protecting your children.

otto 2 years, 10 months ago

And sometimes women abuse their children.

DillonBarnes 2 years, 10 months ago

This new comment system confuses and angers me, I DON"T LIKE CHANGE!

Hey! We can edit, cool!

Steve Jacob 2 years, 10 months ago

The blame the man defense works well in court, I'd go with that.

Topple 2 years, 10 months ago

You really think he's willing to treat his kids like that, but not his wife?

Kate Rogge 2 years, 10 months ago

I think men who abuse children are afraid of adults. He may have abused his wife, or she may be content that he's abusing the kids and not her.

jaycat 2 years, 10 months ago

Hey otto, don't judge. Just saying, until you have been in an abuseive relationship, don't judge. It's much easier setting on the out side saying I would done this. Maybe she thought once they got to AZ she would be able to get help, who knows.

Linda Endicott 2 years, 10 months ago

You obviously have never been in an abusive relationship...it's not that easy to just leave...

parrothead8 2 years, 10 months ago

I don't understand...why do people have the right to judge someone who stays in an abusive relationship? That seems irrational and unkind. Staying with an abuser IN NO WAY means that one approves of his/her behavior. Your statements show a serious lack of understanding of anyone's circumstances other than your own.

otto 2 years, 10 months ago

I will try to understand what you are saying, I will. Someone does this to my daughter and ....

hatfieldream 2 years, 10 months ago

I could have sworn in the original article posted about this incident they reported that the mother was found inside Wal-Mart purchasing a baseball bat, duct tape and a tarp. I hope that isn't true, but if it is she is lying through her teeth. However, I guess it is possible she was going to use those things on the husband.

Whoa, also why would they be preparing to sell the vehicle at the tow lot? That seems very strange...

Katara 2 years, 10 months ago

The original article did not say that. One of the posters said that she had heard from another person in WalMart that she was purchasing those things.

Tally Houk 2 years, 10 months ago

That is what I keep telling myself. Why in the world would she be in Walmart buying those items if they weren't planning on doing something terrible to those poor kids. I think they should interview the older kids at some point and see what they have to say. I'm sure they know the truth.

conlawgrad 2 years, 10 months ago

Although I would love to prosecute these people, it would be a headache dealing with them and their attorneys! This is going to be an ongoing circus. Lucky Mr. McCabria!

whats_going_on 2 years, 10 months ago

I've heard from two different people now that she was in Walmart buying some pretty questionable items. Doesn't sound like she "knew nothing." Also...why would they have items to tie the kids up in the car anyway?

Stuart Evans 2 years, 10 months ago

you don't have bungie straps or zip ties in your car? shoelaces maybe? you can tie someones hands with a variety of items. questionable purchases: someone said duct tape and a tarp; sounds like the kind of thing you might want if you're fixing something or need quick shade. I don't know about the baseball bat, maybe parking lot protection from intruders? things that seem odd to one, might have very practical purposes. Also, the questionable items are just hearsay to me, so it could have been spraypaint and toilet paper for all I know.

Liberty275 2 years, 10 months ago

You made a shade out of zip ties? Pretty clever!

whats_going_on 2 years, 10 months ago

And numerous sources have concluded that they just sold off all of their belongings because it's "the end of the world"

That sounds very sane. Victim, my arse. Maybe she didn't physically have anything to do with tying them up...but theres no way she's innocent.

kolisach 2 years, 10 months ago

well, since it is Judge Martin, the couple will probably get off without any penalty - to her, children are willing participants in crimes committed against them.

HootyWho 2 years, 10 months ago

Hey Otto,, chances are IF it ever happens to your daughter, she isn't about to tell you,,,Its all about secrets. Most people would never suspect the abuser of abuse, cause most of the time they are nice, even wonderful to those that are stronger than them, or those who can fight back against them. They tell you they will kill you if you tell, they say they will kill your family especially if you let your family in on the secret. At first you still love them, by the time they beat all the love out of you, your too frightened of them to do anything, cause you know what they can and will do I know it happened to me i got out of a 20 yr marriage 15 yrs ago,,,just got my self respect back about about 6 yrs ago,,so don't judge her, or me either cause you don't know

otto 2 years, 10 months ago

My intentions are not to judge you or her, if the facts are as they appear to me, what she did is illegal. I am glad you have your life on track.

paulveer 2 years, 10 months ago

Good start, otto. Please continue to open your heart and mind.

DillonBarnes 2 years, 10 months ago

That will be a very hard case for her to make. If there is a criminal history of her being abusive of her children, there is no chance. Abusive relationships can be very powerful, but good luck convincing 12 jurors that she is free of any guilt.

pace 2 years, 10 months ago

The kids seem to be safer. Thanks to the woman who called in, and thanks to the police for acting promptly. The lawyers statements mean little, they present an argument, I will wait for some facts.

Liberty275 2 years, 10 months ago

She will have her day in court. Innocent until proven guilty.

friendlyjhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

Staying in an abusive relationship means that the person is getting some kind of benefit, attention or perk from the relationship. If you aren't willing to walk away and save yourself and your children whether it means starting out without much in the way of possessions you are just as responsible as the other abusive person in the relationship. Have been in an abusive relationship and have come to know that by maintaining that relationship I was as much as fault as my abuser. This woman by her silence was as guilty as her husband. If they could understand the concept of the end of the world they could understand that they weren't taking care of their children or each other correctly. I am glad Judge Martin is hearing this case. She is a firm, nononsense judge who will deal with these people strictly and fairly.

madameX 2 years, 10 months ago

With all due respect, no, you were not just as much at fault as your abuser. That's like saying that the person who leaves their door unlocked is as much at fault as the person who robs them. Every situation is unique, and maybe you did make a conscious choice to stay because you were getting some kind of perk, but that's not always the case, and anyway the other person involved is the one who actually committed the abuse. That's way worse.

sleepy33 2 years, 10 months ago

You cannot make a categorical statement like your first sentence. Like madameX says, every case is different. Many women who are in an abusive relationship are intentionally isolated by their abusers, to the point where they are alienated from friends and family and feel they have no system of support. Frequently, their abusers control the bank account, so they have no funds to provide a means of escape. Many times, their abuser convinces them that he will find them, no matter where they go. Many abusers have the ability to be very charming when they want to be, and are able to convince those in authority that nothing is going on. Blaming the victim is no way to help end domestic abuse.

friendlyjhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

A kidnap victim is different then a male/female in an abusive familial type of relationship. I would also never consider those children as responsible for their abuse. I do consider the adults (age only in consideration for that word) as equally responsible for their situation. Nor is a rape victim responsible because of the way they dress. Don't think Sandusky's victims were responsible either but do believe his wife was not as blameless as she wants to appear. There are all kinds of victims in this world.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 10 months ago

Given that this couple (including the mother) had substantiated run ins with the IL social services department re: neglect, my tongue is flopping in my cheek like a dying flounder. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/ill-agency-parents-accused-of-tying-up-kids-in-walmart-parking-lot-had-history-of-neglect/2012/06/19/gJQAhjEZoV_story.html

notajayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

"The case was closed in April, and the children were allowed to remain with the family. The children would have been removed if social workers believed they were in danger, Marlowe said."

A "validated" claim merely means whatever was reported to them was found to be true. The fact the case was closed after only four months, with the children being allowed to remain in the home, means whatever they found to be true did not present a risk to the children's welfare.

teller 2 years, 10 months ago

Not so sure I'm quick to agree with the statement "whatever they found to be true did not present a risk to the children's welfare." Being a foster parent myself, I watch children on a constant basis be returned to homes downright unfit to be returned to. And I do have all the facts in those cases to make those judgements. You see stuff like this all the time. This is just a fine example of how the system fails children every day. It's extremely sad and a difficult battle to win.

notajayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

Again: These children were never even removed from the home. And when is the last time, in your experience, that social services closed a case in only four months?

notajayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

Also, it is not accurate to say "this couple (including the mother) had substantiated run ins with the IL social services department ". The story says "opened a case on the FAMILY" [emphasis added], it could have been solely related to something the father did or didn't do.

sleepy33 2 years, 10 months ago

It also opened the case for neglect, not abuse, which the article differentiates.

paulveer 2 years, 10 months ago

I suggest you look up "tongue-in-cheek" before using it (or a play on it) again.

FlintHawk 2 years, 10 months ago

One can only hope. Now that we have a "Like" button, can we have a Sarcasm Meter as well?

50YearResident 2 years, 10 months ago

Can we really edit here now? Yes! I did it. Now I won't have any excuse for errors in spelling. Now we just need a delete post button for those times we wish we hadn't posted a comment.

Sunny Parker 2 years, 10 months ago

So she wants sympathy? Any woman that allows a man to abuse her children deserves to be sitting in jail.

Benthic 2 years, 10 months ago

Fortunately Wal-Mart has video cameras of the parking lot as well as the entry doors to the store. Hopefully they can compare the time she walked away from the van to the time she entered the store. Could the children have been bound and blindfolded in the time it took her to walk into the store? Or maybe the van and the children are in view of the camera to determine what condition they were in as she walked away.

DillonBarnes 2 years, 10 months ago

This is what her attorney said, I'd be curious what she actually says. If it really was a abusive coercive relationship, she probably would have still been defending the husband.

pace 2 years, 10 months ago

I would wonder if she had periods of being tied up, blind folded and gagged? I use to sit on reviews of child abuse cases, Some of the social workers know policy and that is all they have been allowed and some are satisfied with even less than that. A caring case worker is usually ran out of KS SRS. That culture is sad. We have to care about child abuse, we have to insist. Rigid mindless case management often ends in death and torture of some child. The public has to call in, and call in again. if the response is lackluster, call it in again and ask for a supervisor. When I called in a case, the person on the phone tried to say I couldn't report it if I didn't have proof. That is called lying. The child was eventually rescued from a life of hell. If you suspect child abuse, call it in, and if it doesn't get respectful attention, call it in again, and if nada happens, call the governor. It is his job. I don't think Kansan's are ready for such anarchy such weak state services that we don't have the will for the police to drag abusers away from children.

ironhead80 2 years, 10 months ago

Forget about the woman being a victim, everyone knows the battered woman syndrome. What about the man and the way he was probably raised being abused and molested as a child, no one there to show him how to be a man . Yes, this man seems a real bad guy and he will get what he deserves. Both of these parents no matter that they were abused as kids or adults, they still have the responsibilty to protect and provide a quality and loving home for there children, if not will be hearing about these kids abusing and molesting kids. DGAF!

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