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In re K Children

Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawaii

November 29, 2013

IN THE INTEREST OF K CHILDREN

NOT FOR PUBLICATION IN WEST'S HAWAII REPORTS AND PACIFIC REPORTER

APPEAL FROM THE FAMILY COURT OF THE THIRD CIRCUIT (FC-NOS. 10-0050; 10-0051; 10-0052; and 10-0053)

Mirtha Oliveros (Oliveros Law, LLLC) For Appellant.

Audrey L. Whitehurst Mary Anne Magnier Deputy Attorneys General for Appellee.

Nakamura, Chief Judge, and Foley and Fujise, JJ.

SUMMARY DISPOSITION ORDER

In this Child Protective Act case, Father-Appellant (Father) appeals from the "Order RE: Chapter 587A, H.R.S., as Amended, " (Custody Order) entered by the Family Court of the Third Circuit (Family Court).[1]The Custody Order awarded the Department of Human Services (DHS) foster custody over Father's three biological children, DK, TK, and KK (collectively, "Children"), finding that "[c]ontinuation in the family home would be contrary to the immediate welfare and best interests of the children[.]" In a separate order, not subject to this appeal, the Family Court ordered the continued foster custody of Father's three older step-children, RF, JF, and JA (.collectively, "Step-Children"). Children and Step-Children were removed from Father's custody after the DHS learned of allegations by RF that Father had been sexually abusing her.

On appeal, Father argues that the Family Court erred in: (1) denying his request to produce RF to testify at the custody hearing; and (2) relying on Father's refusal to comply with its order that he undergo a psychosexual evaluation in awarding foster custody over Children to the DHS. We affirm.

I.

A.

The DHS was contacted after officials at RF's school learned that RF had disclosed to a friend that Father had been sexually abusing her. RF's mother had left the family home several years earlier after alleged physical abuse inflicted by Father and Father's mother. When initially questioned by school officials and a police detective, RF denied the alleged sexual abuse. However, short time later, RF reported that she had been pressured by Father's mother and the girlfriend (Girlfriend) of Father's brother (Brother 1) to deny being abused, and RF asked for another interview. Brother 1 and Girlfriend lived in the same dwelling unit as Father.

The subsequent interview was conducted by a DHS social worker. At this interview, RF reported that Father began sexually abusing her about a month after her mother moved from the family home, when RF was eleven years old. Father would come into RF's bedroom and touch her vaginal area over her clothes, and later, he began touching RF under her clothing. Within two months, the abuse progressed to sexual intercourse and continued for years, with the last incident occurring a couple months before RF was removed from Father's custody. A year before RF was removed, she had informed Girlfriend and Father's mother about the abuse, but the abuse continued.

About a month after RF was removed from Father's custody, Brother 1 boarded a bus RF was taking to school. Brother 1 told RF that she was the only one who could "fix all of this" and bring the family back together. They got off the bus and met with Girlfriend, who told RF that Father would go to jail for 25 years and that Girlfriend and Father's mother would also go to jail because they knew about the abuse and did nothing about it. RF also reported being hit, choked, and slammed against a wall while living in Father's household.

JA, one of the Step-Children, reported that he had been sexually abused by another of Father's brothers (Brother 2). JA reported the abuse to adult members of Father's family, but they told him not to say anything to anyone else. When JA told Girlfriend about the abuse, she slammed him against a wall. Children reported that they had received "dirty lickings" from adults other than Father in the family. Two of the Children also engaged in sexualized behaviors while in foster custody.

Father denied sexually abusing RF. Girlfriend denied that RF disclosed any sexual abuse to her, and Girlfriend denied that she has ...


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