Wendy Titelman wrote the book, “Let My Children Go!”
She tells the story of a corrupt jury-less family court that used parental alienation to force her children to live with their sexual abuser, their father.
There is no jury in family court. That is the problem.
But Wendy broke the law and fled with her children – like fugitive slaves. In the end, she had only the jury to protect her.
She would have been imprisoned if it were up to the government alone. Because they wanted Wendy imprisoned, the government indicted Wendy and brought her case to an impartial jury of 12 who saw the system for what it was.
Parental Alienation custody cases in family courts go like this:
- Children disclose details of their father’s abuse.
- Mothers – with no history of abusive or neglectful behavior – report the alleged abuse to authorities.
- Evidence of abuse is presented and substantiated.
- The children are removed from the mother’s custody and placed with the father, the alleged abuser.
Shut Up About Abuse
The jury-less family court system has gotten so bad that lawyers tell mothers whose children are abused: “You must never mention the word abuse, whether the children are abused or not, because if you do, you will never see your children again.”
Two Girls Disclose Abuse
Amanda and Jessica said their father, Andrew Titelman, molested them.
They told Lynn Brentnall, Ph.D., who reported the alleged abuse to the Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFACS).
Amanda told her pediatrician, Dr. Stephen King, that her father was rubbing her in the vaginal area. He also reported the alleged abuse to DFACS.
DFACS Social Worker Julie Hall interviewed and taped Amanda disclosing that her father abused her.
Diane Pearce, Ph.D., reported to DFACS that the children told her their father dressed up like a girl with a wig, dress, nail polish, and makeup. Amanda told her, “Daddy’s bottom looks like he has a dragon’s tail in the front.”
DFACS Social Worker Martin Inman interviewed the children. They disclosed their father dressed up like a girl in a purple dress and makeup. Inman met Andrew at home and saw no evidence of a purple dress anywhere. If there was no purple dress, she concluded there was no abuse.
He dismissed the claims.
Attorney J. Diane Woods was the court-appointed guardian ad litem [GAL] for Amanda and Jessica in the divorce and custody case. She knew parental alienation when she smelled it. It had the smell of fresh-earned money.
Court-appointed psychologist, H. Elizabeth King, Ph.D., said there was no abuse of Amanda and Jessica. It was “Parental Alienation Syndrome” and “False Memory.”
She and the GAL recommended the father get custody of the children.
Judge James Bodiford
Cobb County Georgia Superior Court Judge James Bodiford agreed and gave temporary custody of the girls to Andrew in an emergency hearing. He also put Wendy on supervised visitation.
Joyce Saye, a supervisor with A-Plus Services, reported Amanda said her father “touches us wrongly.”
Amanda told another supervisor with A-Plus, Karyn Covington, that her father “tickles me in my privates… at night – a lot.”
County Superior Court Judge Jon Bo Wood Walker presided over the final custody hearing and awarded Andrew full custody.
Fleeing the State
The abuse continued, and one day Wendy fled with the girls to Mississippi. There, they saw Donald Matherne, Ph.D.
He later testified that Amanda and Jessica pointed to the genital area on a drawing and indicated their father touched them there.
Jessica said her father touched her under her clothing when she was in bed. Amanda said her father enters her bed at night and touches her under her clothing.
She said, “He took his hand and put it under my jammies and he rubbed me on my pee-pee hole.”
Dr. Matherne asked Jessica if she shared this with anyone else. She told him she told [court-appointed therapist] Dr. King.
Both children said the court-appointed therapist changed the subject when they tried to tell her about their father’s molestation.
Arrest and Trial
Kennesaw Georgia Police Department Detective Craig Chandler sought the arrest of Wendy Titelman and secured a warrant for her arrest through the FBI under fictitious charges.
The girls were taken back to their abuser. Wendy was brought back to stand trial in Georgia.
Richard Ducote and Michael Hirsch represented Wendy.
Cobb County Superior Court Judge Robert Flournoy, III, presided.
Cobb County Assistant District Attorney Francey Hakes was the prosecutor.
It was clear Wendy broke the law. She faced five years in prison for abduction.
Hakes said, “Wendy Titelman has decided that she wants justice when she deserves none.” She compared her to Timothy McVeigh and said she was a “vigilante.”
The jury did not buy it.
Jury foreperson Bryan Wilson wrote to the judge in the custody case, and District Attorney who charged Wendy.
Dear Honorable Judge Bodiford and Mr. Pat Head:
My name is Bryan Wilson, and I recently served as a juror on a trial (April 23-27, 2001) in the Cobb County Superior Court of Georgia.
Several members of the jury have requested that I write a letter summarizing our thoughts and concerns pertaining to the case we heard; State of Georgia v. Wendy Titelman. To understand why this case even made it to trial was a question each of us had to ask while we were deliberating on Friday.
We were perplexed as to why our State would pursue such a case so diligently when there were obvious errors in the indictment and credible reports indicating sexual and emotional abuse to two small children and the prosecution of the mother who sought to protect them from harm’s way.
We, the jury, felt that the “State of Georgia” did, in fact, neglect to protect these children and furthermore, did not have the children’s best interests at heart. It appeared they wished to cover up blatant missteps by an agency (DFACS) that appears to have made several errors in judgment…
I sincerely hope that action can be taken to correct these situations in the future. Not only will this save the State of Georgia the expense of prosecuting such flimsy cases but will also serve to better protect the ones who need it most, the CHILDREN of our State….
The charge of “Fleeing Justice.”
Based on the evidence presented, we, the jury, were unanimous in agreeing with and supporting Ms. Titelman in her beliefs that there was probable cause to protect her children. The evidence gave strong indications the children were being sexually molested by their father.
Ms. Hakes, the Assistant Prosecutor, in her closing statements, called Ms. Titelman a “zealot” like Timothy McVeigh for wanting to take the law into her own hands and protect her children.
I believe the majority of us on the jury have children. It was also unanimous that had we felt there was reason to believe our children were being abused or neglected in any way and when seeking help, found the State (who is supposed to protect our children) unwilling to review the evidence in an unbiased light, would have reacted in similar ways. [Ed, note: This is classic jury nullification.]
“Taking the law into her own hands.”
We, the jury, saw Ms. Titelman as someone desperately trying to use the legal system in Georgia to its fullest extent to protect her children, but to no avail. Then, when discovering more evidence of abuse, was left with no choice but to apply to the State of Mississippi for help. [Ed note: Classic jury nullification.]
Although Ms. Hakes painted Ms. Titelman as a manipulator and extremist, we felt that she was justified in using whatever means necessary to protect her children. [Ed Note: Classic jury nullification – Jury realized Wendy broke Georgia law but obeyed a higher law — protecting her children.]
Ms. Hakes said over and over during her cross-examinations, “the State of Georgia knows best how to protect its children.”
We are not so sure after sitting on the jury and seeing firsthand the types of “guardians” and “counselors” that the State of Georgia appoints to protect our most precious resources and future taxpayers. Dr. King [children’s therapist] admitted under oath the children told her they were being abused.
Why then do the children remain in the custody of the accused when the State does not appear to have proved otherwise?
“Does Not Deserve Justice!”
We, the jury, were horrified when Ms. Hakes told us in her closing statements that Ms. Titelman didn’t deserve justice.
What does that mean?
Doesn’t everyone deserve justice, and aren’t we all innocent until proven guilty?
For the Assistant Prosecutor to openly say that a citizen doesn’t deserve justice is an outrage and an insult to our justice system.
The court-appointed Guardians and Counselors were not credible and did all they could not to disclose real findings or intentions.
[The GAL] Ms. Woods defied a State of Mississippi court order (within 24 hours) to protect the children from their father until additional hearings could take place and certain evidence be reviewed.
Ms. King (a supposed expert) interrogated the children for two and one-half hours without taking any notes, or tapes, etc. She then appeared to try and cover up the disclosure of the sexual abuse to the court when asked in direct questioning.
Therefore, we found that there were several disclosures [by the children] of sexual abuse but little evidence at all of recantations.
Ms. [Lorita] Whitaker [another court-appointed therapist for Amanda and Jessica] went so far as to say the children were “abducted!” This accusation further alienated the jury by displaying such blatant bias against the mother, Ms. Titelman.
“Paid Expert Witnesses.”
Ms. Hakes was very careful to point out numerous times that the defense had hired “expert” witnesses who were paid for their services. Where is this wrong? …
Ms. Hakes gets paid. The state-appointed guardians and counselors get paid, the judge and court employees get paid, so why did she feel this was such a big deal?
Ms. Hakes tried to make it a huge deal by claiming the defense had “hired guns.”
The State’s witnesses were pathetic in our opinion. They were … overtly biased. At one point, Ms. King, when asked a direct question about the children confiding to her that they had been abused by their father, turns to the judge and says, “I don’t want to answer that; they may get mad at me.”
Would the State really get “mad” if she told the truth under oath?
In conclusion, the jury collectively… agreed that the children were in all likelihood being sexually abused by their father.
Also, the custody and well-being of these minor children should be a major concern to Cobb County. A new group of unbiased experts needs to re-evaluate this case…
I feel that this jury has served justice, and that the State’s mishandling of this case has cost the taxpayers of Cobb County, Georgia a lot of money.
Regards, Bryan Wilson, Foreperson
In these excellent words of foreperson Wilson, you can glean the reason for having a jury in family court.
They did not buy the GAL’s –and the other court-appointed actors’ – bullshit. They did not have to. They did not have to worry about the next case or getting reelected or reappointed as judges do.
Judge Bodiford was so angry at this letter that he said the jurors should lose their homes and automobiles for writing it.
Judge Howell tried the same tact with Edward Bushnell, the jury foreman in the William Penn [the future founder of Pennsylvania] case in England.
Bushnell voted to acquit, even though Penn broke the law – by preaching an unapproved religion – the Quaker – and gathering a group together – in violation of the law against public assembly.
Judge Howell wanted to imprison Bushnell for not voting guilty, since Penn was guilty. He did preach Quakerism.
But the people were unwilling to imprison a juror for voting his conscience, and they might have imprisoned the judge himself – and poor Judge Starling had to let Bushnell go. And this historic jury decision established freedom of religion and freedom of assembly – and made it clear that a jury cannot be punished for its verdict.
It changed the history of the world.
No, they don’t teach this in school anymore, but the jury, which gave us so many freedoms that the founders called the jury “the palladium of liberty.”
Jury-less is Justice-less
Now, somehow, the nation set up jury-less family courts in an unconstitutional way.
Wendy Titelman defied the jury-less family court and fled with her kids to another state to save them from a father who molested them.
The State would have kept them with the father, and had there been no jury, Wendy would have gone to jail for years.
So here is why Jefferson said the jury is more important than voting – the only anchor to hold a government to the principles of its constitution.
There are good and bad laws, and time gives a perspective that only some see when the laws are first made. But in a constitutional republic, only a unanimous jury can imprison anyone.
If we keep juries out of family court and allow judges to decide what happens to kids – judges who are cozy with lawyers and friendly with therapists and others who make money off kids’ suffering – there will be an endless train of grief for kids while mercenaries profit.
But let the people, like Edward Bushnell or Bryan Wilson, get in and Wendy Titelman will go free. The father won’t wear his purple dress with his dragon tail waving, and the GAL won’t rake in money for herself and all the therapists she cozies with.
Though the government ignored – and even condoned – sexual abuse in the Titleman case, it didn’t sit right with the 12, the glorious 12 – one for each hour of the day, each month of the year, and each sign in the heavens – who as the founders knew are there to protect our own freedom – for they are us – the jury.