Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Dad gets probation for blackening daughter's eye; what happened to this girl's mother? (Fowlerville, Michigan)

Once again, we have a news article about a child abuse case that tiptoes around a father with a history of domestic violence and his custodial status.

Dad GARY TODD YERMAN, at minimum, pushed this girl around when she refused to go with him willingly and that the girl had witnessed him abusing her mother. (Hmm. Wonder if a family court called this "parental alienation.")

And yet despite all that, Dad still has child access. In fact, it sounds like Dad had full custody, as there is no additional mention of the girl's mother, though there is subsequent mention of a step.

So what happened to his girl's mother? How did this abusive father secure access if not full custody? Who was responsible? Not a word on that.


Dad gets probation for blackening daughter's eye

Mar. 3, 2014

Written by Lisa Roose-Church
Daily Press & Argus

A Fowlerville teen told a judge Thursday that despite her father giving her a black eye, she still loves him and hopes he “gets the help he needs,” rather than blame her.

The girl’s statements came during a sentencing hearing for her father, Gary Todd Yerman, who was sentenced to two years of probation for third-degree child abuse. If Yerman, who was also sentenced to two days already served in the Livingston County Jail, successfully completes probation, his conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor of fourth-degree child abuse.

“I don’t want terror in your children’s heart,” Livingston County Circuit Judge Michael P. Hatty warned the defendant.

To the daughter, Hatty said: “You won’t be hit again.”

Yerman’s 15-year-old daughter earlier testified that she and her father argued at his Cohoctah Township home in September 2012 after her stepmother accused her of stealing a belt. On cross-examination, the teen admitted that she told some friends she had been kicked in the face during cheerleading practice because she did not want Child Protective Services involved.

On Thursday, Yerman’s daughter spoke fast as she painted a picture of a father who verbally and emotionally abused her as she grew up. She described her father pushing her down in the sixth grade because she didn’t want to go with him and witnessing her father’s abuse of her mother.

“He hit me for calling his wife a liar,” the daughter said. “As far back as I can remember, my dad has always had a hot temper. Growing up, he was very verbally and emotionally abusive.

“I’m not a perfect child, nor have I ever claimed to be. However, I’m not a terrible child with behavioral issues as his family has portrayed me out to be,” she said.

Yerman, who did not speak in court, initially pleaded no contest to the charge, then withdrew that plea and re-entered it, which his daughter said was a sign he still refused to accept responsibility for abusing her.

Assistant Prosecutor Betsy Geyer Sedore told the court that the daughter’s statements are indicative of most abuse victims: “They blame themselves,” she said.

Defense attorney William McCririe asked Hatty to order one year of probation because his client has been on bond since the case was initially brought, essentially serving a probation period. He also talked about his client’s desire to have his daughter back in his life.

“For the last year-and-a-half ... my client has had no contact with his daughter,” McCririe said. “It’s ripping his heart out. ... He so desperately misses his family as a result of this; he misses his children.”