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State v. Mr. P (DMC No. 13376)

FELONY CHILD ABUSE NOT CHARGED – State v. Mr. P (DMC No. 13376) (Phoenix Police Department DR No. 2012-02271258): Mr. P had a 5 year old daughter who was at school when a teacher noticed a bruise on her ear. When the child was questioned, she stated “my daddy spanked me”. The school then called the Police Department.  When Mr.  P arrived at school he was contacted by an Officer of the Phoenix Police Department and he was questioned. He denied noticing any bruising prior to the school day or causing any injury to his daughter.

 

CPS were called and they began an investigation for Child Abuse per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-3623. After both Police contact and the CPS contact, Mr. P (who had just graduated from Law School) contacted our office. Once our services were retained, I met with the Pre Charge team and we decided (1) to have Mr. P take a polygraph, (2) we would be with him when he was interviewed by CPS, (3) we would contact the Detective and then later send him a letter with the polygraph results. 5 days after we were retained, we sat down with the CPS interviewer and his Supervisor we explained to the CPS investigators that the 5 year old had previously gotten in trouble for stealing gum from the Principal’s purse. The theft was previously documented by the school. We then also explained to them that the child admitted that she was mad at her father after she got in trouble for stealing the gum. The real story as to her injury was she fell off the monkey bars and blamed her father due to her anger. Ultimately, no parenting plan or sanctions were put into place by CPS.

 

Approximately 1 week after the CPS meeting, we spoke with the Detective. He stated that the daughter’s allegations were that Mr. P had slapped her, pulled her hair and spanked her. We explained the situation that she had made the story up, and we also informed him that we had met with CPS and they were taking no action. He then requested to speak with Mr. P’s wife in order to receive confirmation of the daughter’s story.

 

Shortly thereafter, we contacted the polygrapher and explained the situation. We crafted the 3 questions would be asked of Mr. P at the exam, and he went in and took the polygraph (which he passed). We then sent a letter with a copy of the results to the Detective. The Detective then reviewed all the evidence and stated “there is no evidence to support a charge of Child Abuse at this time. This report will be closed.” After another contact with the Officer, he filed a supplemental DR stating “This case has been previously closed, and will remain closed.”

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