Frank Hatley was in a Georgia jail for more than a year for failure to pay alleged "child support" even though a DNA test nine years ago plus a second one this year proved that he is not the father. The Aug. 21, 2001, court order, signed by Judge Dane Perkins, acknowledged that Hatley is not the father but nevertheless ordered him to continue paying and never told him he could have a court-appointed lawyer if he could not afford one.
Hatley subsequently paid the government (not the mom or child) thousands of dollars in "child support," and after he was laid off from his job unloading charcoal grills from shipping containers and reduced to living in his car, he continued making payments out of his unemployment benefits.
But he didn't pay enough to satisfy the avaricious child-support bureaucrats, so Perkins ruled Hatley in contempt and sent him to jail without any jury trial. With the help of a Legal Services lawyer, he has now been relieved from future assessments and released from jail, but (because of the Bradley Amendment) the government is demanding that Hatley continue paying at the rate of $250 a month until he pays off the $16,398 debt the government claims he accumulated earlier (even though the court then knew he was not the father).
This system is morally and constitutionally wrong, yet all the authorities say the court orders were lawful.
Another type of feminist indignity is the use in divorce cases of false allegations of child sexual abuse in order to gain child custody and the financial windfall that goes with it. Former Vancouver, Wa., police officer Ray Spencer has spent nearly 20 years in prison after being convicted of molesting his two children who are now adults and say it never happened.
The son, who was 9 years old at the time, was questioned, alone, for months until he said he had been abused in order to get the detective to leave him alone. The daughter, who was then age 5, said she talked to the detective after he gave her ice cream.
There were many other violations of due process in Spencer's trial, such as prosecutors withholding medical exams that showed no evidence of abuse and his court-appointed lawyer failing to prepare a defense, but the judge nevertheless sentenced Spencer to two life terms in prison plus 14 years. Spencer was five times denied parole because he refused to admit guilt, a customary parole practice that is maliciously designed to save face for prosecutors who prosecute innocent men.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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