FROM THE WASHINGTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 72JV-18-438]
HONORABLE STACEY ZIMMERMAN, JUDGE
Tabitha McNulty, Arkansas Public Defender Commission, for
Imbeau, Office of Chief Counsel, for appellee.
Chrestman Group, PLLC, by: Keith L. Chrestman, attorney ad
litem for minor children.
LARRYD. VAUGHT, Judge.
Salinas appeals the Washington County Circuit Court's
adjudication and disposition order finding AF (DOB February
27, 2003), MS1 (DOB June 4, 2009), MS2 (DOB March 31, 2013),
and SN (DOB February 18, 2017)
dependent-neglected. We affirm.
hearing in a family-in-need-of-services case on May 15, 2018,
the circuit court entered an order authorizing the removal of
AF, MS1, and MS2 from Salinas for seventy-two hours based on
allegations that despite being warned repeatedly to properly
supervise her children, MS1 had been sexually abused by a
thirteen-year-old neighbor. The order provided that the
Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) had been recently
providing services to the family based on a separate incident
in 2016 when MS1, seven years old at the time, had been
sexually abused by her eighteen-year-old half brother. The
order further provided that Salinas had failed to provide
ADHD medication to MS1 for two months and did not take MS1 to
inpatient treatment that was recommended for her after the
second instance of sexual abuse.
18, 2018, DHS filed a petition for emergency custody and
dependency-neglect of AF, MS1, and MS2. The affidavit of a
DHS family-service worker attached to the petition stated
that the family had a history with DHS dating back to 2012
that included four unsubstantiated findings (medical neglect;
inadequate food and shelter; educational neglect; and
environmental neglect) and four substantiated findings
(sexual abuse; failure to protect; inadequate supervision and
threat of harm; and educational neglect). The affidavit also
stated that AF, MS1, MS2, and SN had been removed from
Salinas's custody based on her lack of supervision after
MS1 had been sexually abused by a thirteen-year-old neighbor.
It was stated that this was the second time that MS1 had been
sexually abused while in Salinas's custody and that
Salinas had been warned by the circuit court to provide
proper supervision. The affidavit further stated that Salinas
had not given MS1 her ADHD medicine for two months. An ex
parte order for emergency custody was entered that same day.
probable-cause hearing was held on May 22, 2018. The circuit
court found there was probable cause to issue the ex parte
order for emergency custody of AF, MS1, and MS2. A separate
order was entered the same day removing SN from Salinas's
care, authorizing DHS's seventy-two-hour hold on SN, and
finding that probable cause existed to issue the emergency
hold on SN.
July 5, 2018 adjudication hearing, Corporal Patrick Hanby of
the Fayetteville Police Department testified that he
responded to a sex-offense call on April 20, 2018. When he
arrived on the scene, he spoke to the neighbor who made the
report. The neighbor told the officer that she was standing
outside on the balcony of her apartment looking toward the
dumpster when she observed a young teenage male (later
identified as LC) lying on his back with a girl about seven
to nine years old (later identified as MS1) sitting on his
lap having vaginal intercourse. The neighbor said that she
yelled at the children to stop, but they did not. She ran
inside, called the police, ran back outside and downstairs to
where the children were and saw LC's penis in MS1's
mouth. She said that LC's pants were at his ankles and
that MS1 was not wearing pants. The neighbor yelled at the
children again, telling them that she had called the police.
She said the children stood up, put on their pants, and ran
detective with the Fayetteville Police Department, Garrett
Levine, testified that he interviewed LC, who stated that MS1
was sitting on his lap playing a game when a lady yelled at
him. After the interview, Detective Levine arrested the young
man for sexual assault.
McHenry, an investigator with the Crimes Against Children
Division of the Arkansas State Police, testified that he
observed MS1's interview. McHenry stated that MS1 told
the interviewer that she sat on LC's lap, and he
penetrated her vagina with his fingers. MS1 said that LC also
forced his penis into her mouth.
also testified about Salinas's interview. Salinas said
that she had been cleaning her house on the day in question
but also was keeping an eye on MS1 and LC because of
"red flags" she had recently noticed. Salinas said
that the previous day she had found MS1 sitting on LC's
lap and that she told MS1 not to do that because it was
inappropriate. Salinas also said that MS1 was not allowed to
play alone with LC because on another occasion he asked if
MS1 could come to his house to see some paintings, and
Salinas thought that was inappropriate based on their age
difference. Salinas stated that she took her eyes off the
children for no more than eight minutes while she vacuumed,
which she claimed is when the assault occurred. On May 4,
2018, McHenry concluded his investigation with a true finding
of "sexually aggressive behavior." Major Jeff Drew
of the Arkansas State Police testified that because the case
concerned an out-of-home offender, the state police did not
remove MS1 from Salinas's custody.
family-service worker Eugenia Marks testified that AF, MS1,
MS2, and SN should not be returned to Salinas's custody
because she failed to protect them. Marks further testified
that since October 2016 ...