"The Custody Police"
Child Caseworkers Silence an 'Abused' Girls Voice

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By Joseph Snook
Investigative Reporter

Christi Maclaren (mother)

Medford, OR - In Oct. of 2015, a four-year-old girl was taken from her mother, Christi MacLaren, and placed in Sean Lenzo's custody - the girl's father. This happened after Department of Human Services (DHS) Caseworker Cori McGovern alleged that the mother had mentally abused the young girl, after the mother reported she was told by her daughter that the young girl had been abused by her father.

All it took was confiscation of the father's digital equipment and a "passed" a lie detector test eliminating sex abuse allegations before DHS Caseworker McGovern switched gears and labeled the mother an abuser of her own child. Only three questions were asked of the father to determine his culpability. All three questions were provided by the child caseworker, according to testimony. Keep in mind, polygraph tests are inadmissible in court, yet they are relied upon heavily by government. The child had reportedly made allegations of abuse against her father that initially seemed sexual in nature, but could also have been described as abuse without sexual intent. Abuse without sexual intent was never explored before the child was taken from her mother according to testimony.

Nonetheless, Christi has struggled to maintain, spending over one year seeing professionals in her attempt to get her daughter back from an alleged "abuser" who was given full custody by an "abusive child caseworker." Christi sought and passed two mental health exams, concluding that she, "is a satisfactory parent." Suddenly, the caseworker's claims were shut down by professionals who have the ability to diagnose, unlike the caseworker who had a one month training course before she started ruining families, wrongfully. (1) (2)


Over one year later, on January 19, 2017, Christi MacLaren and Sean Lenzo's first day of trial to establish custody of their now six-year-old daughter ended before many witnesses could testify - several of whom were experts who had only good things to say about the mother. Instead of setting trial for the necessary amount of time, Judge Grensky maintained there would only be a one day trial, which did not happen. The problem with not scheduling trial properly was that the case wasn't able to be continued until several weeks later on Feb. 2, 2017. Because of the lengthy gap between dates, Judge Grensky's actions showed that he didn't remember necessary information, when he asked on multiple occasions, "who is Gabe" (child's step-father), after having previously heard testimony from him.

Just prior to the second day of trial, another DHS investigation against the biological father, Sean Lenzo was initiated by Senator Alan Olsen after having met with several people concerned about this case. All allegations were of abuse, not sexual in nature. Again, these forms of abuse were never previously explored according to testimony.

Multiple people, including the Father, and DHS Caseworkers Matthew Brody and Cori McGovern, who were involved in the first investigation, testified that they were aware of the "new case" against Lenzo. Lenzo himself testified that the case would go nowhere, which mirrored the testimony of DHS's McGovern. Keep in mind that the child was approached multiple times by a new team of investigators, but she was unwilling to disclose information because she is reported to fear going back home to her father after the interviews. There have been allegations that the child was told by her father that, "he would hurt her mother" if the daughter says anything to authorities.

It is no secret that the daughter desperately wants to live with her mother as multiple experts have testified to this fact. This child is very smart for her age, which was also testified to by multiple witnesses during the first two days of trial.

Cori McGovern (DHS)

During the second day of trial, Judge Grensky called the DHS Casworkers the "custody police." Matthew Brody denied that claim, although Cori McGovern previously made it very clear - she is just that. She's testified that if the mother receives unsupervised visits with her daughter, that she would seek to open a new case - threatening to take the child into DHS's custody, regardless of how the Judge rules.

The experts, child advocates, and caseworkers were finally able to conclude their testimony on the second day of trial, yet there were important witnesses (maternal grandparents and mother) who still had not testified. The only option for the court was to schedule a third day of trial.

DHS hit with $3.5 million lawsuit for failing to protect girl
--Oregon Live (another case involving Cori McGovern)

As the second day of trial concluded, Judge Grensky chastised the attorney's on the record and demanded the final day of trial would follow the very next day. He told them he did not care what was on their schedule - they would clear it and be in court the following morning. The next day came with a big surprise to all - Judge Grensky canceled.

The maternal grandparents attorney and the mothers attorney were reportedly able to clear their schedule so that the trial could conclude in a timely manner. The father's attorney, Jamie Hazlett, reportedly was not available until May of 2017 - nearly three months later!

Pushing the case further out, Judge Grensky allowed an emergency status hearing for Feb. 21, 2017, another nineteen days later, just to establish a date for the last day of trial.

This case has now dragged on for a nearly a year-and-a-half in Judge Grensky's court. The three day trial could stretch into four months if the biological fathers' attorney has her way with Judge Grensky.

sean lenzo
Sean Lenzo (biological father)

Is this not an egregious abuse of authority? One thing is certain; as of the date of this article, this young child still resides with the very person she initially told others she did not want to be with - the very person who she has accused of abuse, multiple times.

Why wouldn't DHS at the very least remove this child from the father and put her in a neutral, safe place to allow her the time she needs to come forward and support or deny the serious allegations?

Here's how to help Christi: email this article to your contacts and post it on Facebook. Also, Christi's attorney fees are increasing. If you could give just $5, that would be a huge help - please help bring her daughter home! Every cent counts. Click here to help.

If you're able, you can show up at court to support her - Christi had about 15 supporters at the last hearing. The next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 21st at 1:30 pm @ the Jackson Co. Courthouse.

Editor’s Note: In this case the Department of Human Services, acting on numerous complaints at the state level, finally took the Medford, Oregon DHS Office off this case and instructed the Klamath Falls, Oregon Office to open a new investigation. The new caseworker has reportedly tried to speak with this young “abused” girl on more than one occasion with no disclosure. Why would they expect anything else?

Insanity might be the right word! To expect a child to disclose any type of abuse after she has named the abuser and described his abuse to numerous people, including professionals, and then finds herself placed back into the custody of the very person who allegedly abused her repeatedly is indeed insanity.


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