A child custody battle that is playing out in a Stuart, Florida courtroom has international interest. The mother, who is from Brazil, is desperately trying to get her daughter back from her ex-husband who is a registered sex offender. Their 7-year-old girl has been with her father for fourteen months, although there have been allegations that the girl has been molested by her father in the past.
The mother states she did not know her then-husband was a registered sex offender until after they were married and she was pregnant.
According to WPTV.com, there is a Department of Children and Families 2010 report that includes statements from the child indicating that her father had molested her. According to the report, the investigation was closed with “verified findings of sexual abuse.” The father was never charged.
The mom subsequently fled to Texas with their daughter and stayed on the run for nearly three years. Eventually, they were found and the mother was arrested. The father was then given custody. Since that time, the mother has been trying to regain custody, but lack of money has kept her from receiving solid legal representation.
The mother says she is only allowed to see her daughter for a few hours each Saturday, but under supervision. Frustrated by the “system,” the mom started a change.org petition asking the governments of both the United States and Brazil to help her. She also has a Facebook page with over 8,000 Likes to make sure her story reaches as many people as possible.
Martin County Judge Buchanan did not make a decision on the custody dispute in the May hearing because the father’s attorney said he wasn’t provided all of the discovery in the case.
The next hearing is scheduled for July. Loved ones of the family will be watching anxiously from the United States and abroad.