KSL Television in Salt Lake City is reporting the tale of Kevin Peterson, who just last week learned that his now adult-children were recanting their testimony from 1990 that they were sexually abused by their dad. Kevin was in the midst of a nasty divorce and custody battle with his ex-wife and the kids were coached by their mother and stepfather to lie about their father's alleged abuse. Kevin, despite his innocence, served 15 years in the Utah State Prison and while he has now been out for about 5 years, he has been on the State's sex offender registry. Now he is off the registry and has no further sanctions, but he lost 15 years of his life due to parental alienation and false allegations of abuse.
When the reporter asked the State Attorney General's office about the possibility of charges being brought against the mother and stepfather, the Criminal Justice Division Chief Scott Reed "said it was unlikely any action could be taken against the children's mother and stepfather, citing the time that had elapsed from the original false claims."
What a tragic case and one that happens way too often in child custody battles, although perhaps not with this egregious outcome! The good news is that Scott has developed a good relationship with his children and is rebuilding his life. But this whole situation just turns my stomach. I don't know what might have caused the mother and her new husband to take this approach just to win a custody battle, but to coach children to lie in court about their father's behavior is simply inexcusable.
Let us know what you think about this situation by commenting below. I'm not sure what can be done, but I would like to offer our support to Kevin as he rebuilds his life after this horrible situation.
More on non-custodial fathers:
- Making joint custody work
- How fathers can win child custody
- Important financial steps after a divorce
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