A Louisiana judge who gained international notoriety for ordering a woman to give up custody of her daughter to her alleged rapist and then pay child support is again facing widespread criticism in another child custody case.
Judge Jeffrey Cashe ordered a 7-year-old girl to attend unsupervised visits with her mother at a home where she alleged two men had sexually abused her, and her father Brett Schliegelmeyer said the Department of Children and Family Services shared his confusion and concern, reported WBRZ-TV.
"I was asked why was I sending my daughter back in that home where the abuse happened before," said Schliegelmeyer, whose daughter has a different last name. "I said I was being forced by Judge Jefferey Cashe under a judgment he ordered to go there three weekends per month with unsupervised visitation."
Two brothers, Rodney Magee and Patch Magee, have been arrested in the case, which remains pending, and Schliegelmeyer doesn't understand why the judge would send her back to the home where the abuse took place.
"She said they were messing with her down there, grabbing her, messing with her and it's just been an ongoing thing," Schliegelmeyer said. "It's heartbreaking that my child would be put back in that situation. It's aggravating and upset me at first. I cried. My child is looking at me as her father to protect her, and I have to tell her she has to go back to that situation where she was harmed and hurt."
Schliegelmeyer's attorney said he doesn't understand the judge's reasoning in this case.
"It should be noted that the court initially ordered supervised custodial period for the mother but later grant the mother unsupervised custodial time and allowed the mother to take the child back where the alleged assaults occurred, i.e. home," said attorney Rodney Erdey. "I am very concerned over this child's health, safety and well-being, as well as how our judicial system will truly protect this child, presently and in the future."
Cashe made news around the world over the summer when he awarded custody of a teenage girl to a man accused of fathering the child when he raped a 16-year-old in 2006, when he was 30.
"When my daughter was five years old, he found out about her, and once he found out about her, he pursued custody and wanted to take her away from me," said the mother Crysta Abelseth. "They granted him 50/50 custody despite the fact that [the child] was caused by rape."
Cashe awarded custody to John Barnes after a DNA test showed he was almost certainly the father, over allegations that Abelseth had given the girl a cell phone, and ordered her to pay child support.
However, the judge reversed his decision and revoked custody following public outcry.