October 2005

Demanding Accountability



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Court sanctioned

By Ron Lee
Investigative Reporter

Tim Grant loves his daughter and desperately wants to be a part of her life. He wants to provide her a stable healthy environment in which she can flourish as a person, but to date he has been denied all rights by his ex-wife and the courts. Having faced lies and withheld evidence during a custody hearing in 2003, Grant lost his parental custody status of his daughter Jessica to his ex-wife Cathy Knott. Grant was, however, awarded visitation and was set-up on a court appointed schedule.

Since the ruling in 2003 Grant has seen little of his now nine-year-old daughter. Jessica has been constantly moved around the country by her mother with no way of contact, the only exception being a solitary cell phone number which is rarely answered when Grant calls, and is monitored by Knott when he is allowed to speak with his daughter.

Visitation has been denied by Knott on so many occassions that Grant filed contempt charges in 2004 citing Knott's continued violation of the court appointed schedule, and the lack of any contact information for Jessica's physical whereabouts.

Grant's contempt filing was quashed in a "back room deal" between Grant's then attorney, Terry McLaughlin, his ex-wife's attorney, Joseph Penna, and Polk County, OR Judge Horner where all of Grant's evidence was dismissed. The ruling left Grant legally powerless to enact his court appointed right of visitation with his daughter and Jessica has now been taken by Knott to Anchor Point, Alaska. Grant has been denied a physical address of residence and even where, if anywhere, Jessica is attending school.

In a statement, received by the US~Observer from Grant, he outlines the history of his case, "I met Cathy Knott in 1994 and we were married in 1995. Cathy already had two boys from a previous marriage (Josh and Daniel). Jessica, our beautiful daughter, was born in 1996."

He went on to say that shortly after Jessica was born Knott demanded that she be named as a joint owner of the Grant Family Ranch, something Grant had informed her prior to their marriage couldn't happen. That according to the terms of the ancestral will the property could only be passed down to Grant and his brother's heirs. According to Grant she became furious and broke into his private office and inventoried its contents.

"When we had first met Cathy had told me that she was divorced and that her ex-husband was an abusive, violent man, but throughout our time together I learned that she in fact had not been divorced when we first became involved and that what she had told me about her ex-husband wasn't true. I also learned that she suffered from manic depression, and at one point attempted suicide. She randomly displayed fits of explosive anger and at one point ripped a mounted hunting trophy from the wall smashing it to the floor. Because of all this we went to many marriage counselors over the years, but to no avail." he recalled.

According to Grant, Knott secretly sent their daughter Jessica to see a child psychologist by the name of Dr. Bryce Downey in Corvallis, OR for a period of several years and Grant feels that it was done in preparation for a planned future divorce and custody battle.

Grant cites a trend by Knott to capitalize on situations by making false assertions. At one point Knott's oldest son Josh assaulted Grant by hitting him in the face and threatening him with a knife. Grant stated, "Somehow I was able to get the knife away from him as Cathy ran screaming into the room threatening to get even with me if I called the police." He continued, "In an attempt to diffuse the whole situation I took the two younger children, Daniel and Jessica, to the lake for a few hours. I later learned that Cathy took Josh to the hospital with a contrived story that I had attacked him. Later, I approached Cathy about getting Josh the emotional help that he seemed to need and she seemed open to the suggestion. Feeling better about the situation I left to do some grocery shopping and when I returned I found that Cathy was gone with all of the children. She had left a note that stated that I was the one who needed help. She didn't tell me where she was going. I thought about calling the police, but didn't, thinking it would only make matters worse. They didn't come home for several days."

On September 11, 2001 Grant rushed home to be with his family, stopping by to pick up Jessica from school but she was not there and he was informed that she hadn't been there for several days. Rushing home in a panic he found Knott packing the car and it seemed clear to him that she intended to leave with the children once again. Once in the house Josh accosted Grant and a conflict ensued. "The worst thing I did that day was lose my temper, and this I regret very much." Grant says.

Knott had called the police and Grant was arrested and taken to jail. By the time he was released Knott had changed all of the locks on their property, thrown out the caretakers, bad-mouthed Grant saying that he had sexually assaulted Josh, and started to empty the house. For Grant that was the last straw and he filed for divorce.

Begging and pleading, Knott offered to work everything out and Grant, loving his family, agreed. As soon as his petition was dropped, Cathy Knott filed for divorce in Polk County, not even the county of their residence, but the county of a sympathetic judge, William Horner.

Knott hired Joseph Penna from Monmouth, Oregon to represent her during the divorce and custody proceedings. During the proceedings, Jessica's child psychologist, Downey, who had never met Grant, was called as an expert witness testifying that Grant was an unfit parent.

"Joseph Penna badgered my family and friends on the witness stand. He dredged up everyone he could find with whom I had ever had any disagreement. He pulled up all the stops in his efforts to make me out as a deranged monster." Grant recalled.

"The lies told in court and the withholding of my evidence showing Cathy having knowledge of her son Josh and hired assistant Aaron Webb viewing child and adult pornography while our daughter Jessica was present was amazing. I had signed confessions from both stating they had done this! My evidence showed that my daughter was in danger when in the care of her mother." Grant said.

Judge Horner ordered Grant to pay more than $40,000.00 to Knott, and awarded her with custody of Jessica.

Soon thereafter Knott moved with Jessica to Little Rock, Arkansas where Jessica missed a great deal of time in school with unexplained absences. Even though the court ordered that Grant should receive all information regarding the whereabouts of his daughter he never received any more than a phone number which is sporadically answered. He's even had the police called to harass him when he has gotten a chance to see his daughter.

But, with Knott now having taken Jessica to Alaska, and the court dismissing its own previously appointed "schedule" it is unclear if Grant will ever get to be that integral part in his daughters life that he longs to be.

In closing Grant said, "I think any parent who loves their child would be as concerned as I am. I am asking anyone who can help me ... Please. Even if you think that you probably can't make a difference ...call, write, pray, anything."

Editor's Note: Should you have information regarding the exact whereabouts of Jessica Grant or Cathy Knott, please contact the US~Observer at 541-474-7885. We believe that they are near Anchor Point, Alaska and that Jessica is not attending school.

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