Friday, December 11, 2015

Lawyer: registered sex offender dad keeping custody is "right decision" (Bakersfield, California)

Remember when the Fathers Rights movement claimed that they were just about loving daddies getting to see their children like mommies do? Remember when concerned mothers and others warned that mandatory joint custody and other schemes to promote father involvement could lead to abuses if domestic violence, child abuse, criminal behavior and the like was minimized or ignored? You remember how those concerns were dismissed as "irrational" or "hysterical"?

Welcome to the brave new world. The FRs and their minions don't just ignore abuse now. They openly flaunt that a custodial dad of an 8-year-old daughter, a dad who is a restistered sex offender, should have sole custody. And how that's a good thing. This is how sick things are now.

Dad is identified as NICHOLAS ELIZONDO.

Lawyer: sex offender dad keeping custody was the right decision

By Adam Herbets, Eyewitness News |Wednesday, December 9th 2015 

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — An attorney representing a registered sex offender says he's happy with the court's ruling to not award custody to the child's mother.

Eyewitness News has been covering the story of Nicholas Elizondo and his ex-wife, Lisa Knight, for about two and a half years. Their 8-year-old daughter has been stuck in the middle of it. Ira Stoker, Elizondo's lawyer, said there is a lot more to the case than just the fact that, yes, his client is a registered sex offender.

"We deal with these issues every day in family law court," he said. "There's nothing really new here."

He went on to say that even though he's never represented a registered sex offender before, Elizondo's criminal record doesn't disqualify him from being the best parent to take care of his daughter.

These are all things that a judge in Oklahoma knew when Elizondo was awarded custody of the young girl in 2013. Stoker did not represent Elizondo in that hearing, but he studied up on the case after Knight filed for an appeal.

"He made that ruling because that was in the best interests of the child," said Stoker. "There was issues revolving (around Knight's) mental state."

Elizondo declined requests for an interview, but he did give one statement after the hearing.

"This proves I'm not a danger to my own daughter," he said.

Stoker thinks the whole thing was blown out of proportion, especially because he knew that Court Commissioner James Compton would not relitigate the original case from 2013. That means Knight would have had to show that there had been a change of circumstances to be awarded sole custody. Knight still believes there should have been enough to get a more favorable ruling.

"There might have been some sexual abuse going on," said Knight. "She won't say. She won't say why she's afraid of him ... I'd do almost anything for her, and I just keep fighting."

Knight pleaded for the opportunity to let her daughter to testify in court, but an attorney representing the minor's best interests said that wouldn't be a good idea.

"(My daughter) would have said that she wanted to live with her mother," said Knight.

The custody arrangements will stay the same. Knight will get to see her daughter three weekends out of the month, because Compton said he thinks the child needs both parents in her life.

Knight isn't convinced. She continues to be afraid of what could be going on at her ex-husband's house.

"He's a sociopath," she said. "It's scary and a lot of parents don't believe that it's happening, but it is."

Stoker said he hopes Knight doesn't try to file another appeal, for her daughter's sake.

"Anything that any loving parent can do with their child, (Elizondo) is allowed to do. He's the father," said Stoker. "He's never gotten angry. He's never even been resentful towards her ... basically she made allegations of anything that she could think of."