Victoria teen won’t be forced to live with mother in Connecticut

Court decision looked at factors such as alleged sexual and family abuse, bullying in school

A B.C. judge has dismissed a petition to have a teenage girl returned to her mother in Connecticut, after concerns about alleged sexual abuse.

The 15-year-old girl, who is only referred to by her initials A.B. in a Supreme Court of British Columbia decision, had been living in the United States since her birth in 2002. In 2009 the mother was granted sole legal custody of the girl and her brother — the parties’ other child, although the parents were never married and the father has never lived in Connecticut.

Each summer the children would spent approximately six weeks in British Columbia, but last summer the girl refused to leave and is now attending school near Victoria.

The mother filed a motion to have the child returned, but the father opposed the application arguing their daughter is old enough to decide which parent to live with.

In Justice Butler’s decision, she noted A.B. had significant stresses in her life, including alleged sexual abuse by a cousin who is four years older. According to the court’s decision, this began when she was nine years old, but the girl did not tell her mother until the end of grade 8 (June 2016) and then told her father later that year.

The abuse was never brought to the attention of Connecticut police or children’s services, with A.B. telling the court her mother and maternal grandparents instructed her not to tell anyone because they didn’t want to get the cousin in trouble, which the mother denies and says police were not told because the daughter did not want to report it.

Justice Butler found this troublesome in his decision stating, “It would be somewhat unusual to allow a 13‑year‑old daughter to decide whether or not sexual abuse should be reported to authorities. However, it appears that the petitioner (mother) and her family did not report the sexual abuse. I conclude that the family dynamics in Connecticut surrounding the disclosure of the sexual abuse by the cousin were very disturbing to A.B.”

Other issues brought up about the girl’s life in Connecticut involved bullying at school due to her sexuality and family abuse at the hands of her mother’s partner.

In his ruling, the court found the daughter to be able to make her own decisions and Justice Butler dismissed the mother’s petition to have her daughter returned to Connecticut.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unrelated occupancy limits creating divisions in Saanich

Gordon Head Residents’ Association wants to see conditions to hold landlords accountable

Oak Bay cyclist runner-up in Spanish stage race

Adam de Vos on podium amongst World Tour best in Spain

Saanich Police respond to petition for new police agency on Lindsay Buziak murder case

Petition asks Public Safety Minister to to help find justice for slain realtor

Greater Victoria has Canada’s sixth-highest ‘moving penalty’

Disparity between vacant/occupied units incentivizes renovictions and reduces mobility, researcher says

Oak Bay council looks to whittle down tax increase from 8.05 per cent

Draft financial plan continues hyper-focus on replacing aging infrastructure

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

RCMP clarifies stance on removing officers from Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C.

Police say will remove officers only if hereditary chiefs keep road open to pipeline workers

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Suspect at large after stealing seaplane before crashing into another in Vancouver

Police responded to the incident at 3:30 a.m. on Friday at Vancouver Harbour

PHOTOS: 2020 BC Winter Games kick off in Fort St. John

More than 1,000 of B.C.’s best athletes will be competing over the next three days

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

Most Read