Christopher Ambrose’s Legal Tactics Return His Teenagers to Him Amidst Abuse Allegations
By Richard Luthmann
In a controversial move, Christopher Ambrose, a lawyer known for his history as a disgraced Hollywood plagiarist, effectively used law enforcement and the legal system to reclaim “possession” of his three teenage children: Mia (16), Matthew (16), and Sawyer (13).
The teenagers, who had previously been on the run from their adoptive father due to accusations of serious abuse, are reportedly back under his roof in Madison, Connecticut, in a home brimming with newly installed locks, cameras, and alarm systems.
On Monday, Ambrose acquired two crucial court orders forcing John Laurenzi, a relative from Congers, New York, who had been harboring the teenagers, to stand down.
The first was a Writ of Habeas Corpus issued out of Brooklyn Family Court Monday morning, compelling the Rockland Sheriff and local Clarkstown Police Department to seize the teenagers and deliver them before Judge Keith Cornell, a Judge of the Rockland County Family Court.
The Brooklyn judge who signed the order is not readily identifiable and is not a Supreme Court Justice, a fact of legal significance because cross-county Writs of Habeas Corpus are usually jurisdictionally invalid unless signed by a Supreme Court Justice.
The power of lesser judges ends at city and county lines, a fact probably known to Ambrose, but not readily apparent to rank-and-file police officers.
It does not appear that the Brooklyn order was served, as the Ambrose teenagers did not appear in Rockland Family Court later that day before Judge Cornell.
On Monday afternoon, Judge Cornell issued a Temporary Order of Protection, barring Laurenzi and the teenagers’ mother, Karen Riordan, from having any contact with them in the State of New York.
Ambrose could tell Judge Cornell his side of the story, ex-parte, without Laurenzi, Riordan, or the teenagers having any say.
Once the Temporary Order of Protection was issued, Ambrose and law enforcement met Laurenzi, a martial arts instructor with little legal training, at his home.
Ambrose with police ready to take his children from their safe haven.
Ambrose laid in wait outside Laurenzi’s home while uniformed police officers confronted Laurenzi armed with the newly minted Rockland County order and the spurious Brooklyn order obtained earlier in the day, explicitly directing Sheriff and local police department action.
According to a source, Laurenzi was told he would be arrested if the Ambrose teenagers did not leave his home.
Smacking of the Ambrose teenagers’ encounter with the Mount Pleasant Police Department weeks earlier, the stand-off lasted for several hours.
But this time, Ambrose was able to coax the children into his car.
They were not legally obligated to go with him. But then, Mia, Matthew, and Sawyer had run out of options.
The only safe haven yet available to them may be the Guatemalan embassy. Mia and Matthew, who are dual Guatemalan and American citizens, could apply for refugee status under applicable United Nations conventions and human rights law, prohibiting legally sanctioned sexual molestation and abuse if they reached the Guatemalan soil of the Manhattan Consulate on Park Avenue.
Ambrose’s intense pursuit of his children through law enforcement and the courts began when the teens first escaped his home to find refuge. Their flight from the alleged abuse saw them first turning to their mother, Riordan, during the summer. A restraining order filed by Ambrose and issued by Judge Thomas P. O’Neill declared the mother could not contact her children who lived content and safely with her.
Ambrose followed the teenagers to their maternal grandfather’s Narragansett, Rhode Island home. After several weeks, the pressure applied by Ambrose made that arrangement untenable, with the children going to a family friend in MT Pleasant and then after a police threats there, landed at Laurenzi’s residence in Rockland County last month.
However, Laurenzi’s attempt to protect the Ambrose children proved short-lived. Laurenzi was strategically outplayed by Ambrose, who managed to manipulate the situation, ensuring his children’s return to him.
The teenagers previously voiced concerns about significant abuse in their father’s home, making the latest turn of events even more alarming.
Dr. Bandy X. Lee, MD, is one such professional to whom the Ambrose teenagers made reports. Late last week, Dr. Lee spoke with Mia and made a mandated report of coercive control and abuse against Ambrose with Detective Owens of the Clarkstown, New York police department.
Ambrose had been driving out to Congers two or three times a week to coerce and threaten the children into returning to his Madison, Connecticut home.
Detective Owens confirmed that Westchester CPS opened a case on the Ambrose children based on the Mount Pleasant police incident and took Dr. Lee’s personal complaint against Ambrose based on a threatening letter he sent her earlier.
Because of Ambrose’s ex-parte maneuverings, no judge will hear the other side of the story any time soon, including Ambrose’s history of threats.
Dr. Lee published her concerns on her Medium page. She has since taken the article and Ambrose’s letter down: “This article on the victimization of Karen Riordan and her children has been removed because of the threats of Christopher Ambrose. Family Courts must recognize that threats and intimidation only increase when they enable dangerous perpetrators.”
Ambrose is a dangerous psychopath, according to Dr. Lee’s clinical medical opinion. Using the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, Dr. Lee evaluated Ambrose. Her report was unequivocal.
“A ‘full’ diagnosis of psychopathy—a score above 30—raises many alarms and could be a contraindication to parenting. I have also affixed my score of the twenty items of the PCL-R, along with the final score (which can be prorated in the case of non-incarcerated persons). Mr. Ambrose’s score adds up to 32. This is strongly suggestive that a diagnosis of psychopathy is present and justified—or, at the very least, that disturbing levels of psychopathic features are present.”
Dr. Lee fears what Ambrose is capable of and knows he is “extremely dangerous.”
“I have met individuals more dangerous than Christopher Ambrose in my clinical work. Every single one of them is currently housed in a maximum-security institution.”
Now the three teens are housed in his home.
Richard Luthmann is a writer, editor, and investigative journalist.