Bakersfield Judge Leaves Eight Year Old Girl in Danger of Forced Nightly Sex with Convicted Child Molester
On March 27, 2015, Lisa Knight attempted to regain custody of her now eight year old daughter whom she says she found in bed with the convicted child molester who was given custody of the six year old girl by a Oklahoma judge.
Nicolas Elizondo was convicted of molesting his six year old step-daughter prior to being awarded custody of his six year old daughter. Lisa Knight, the mother has no record and is considered to have been a loving, kind and responsible mother. Those who know Lisa and her daughter were shocked at Oklahoma judge's decision.
According to Knight, Elizondo has always had attorneys. Knight has been unable to afford an attorney for herself. Knight came across as highly credible in court and in discussions about the situation. However, it was clear that she was unfamiliar with the legal system and is one of those individuals who is at a distinct disadvantage when representing herself in court. Still, viewers present in the courtroom felt she made her case that the child was at risk of molestation when with Elizondo.
Included in the evidence were medical reports about consistent, continuing urinary tract infections. From the medical reports it appeared that Knight had taken the child to the hospital when she had access to the child but the condition appeared to continue untreated during the times the girl was in the care of Elizondo.
Surprisingly, the main objector to the medical evidence and evidence of molestation was the minor’s counsel, Stephanie Renee Childers. Minor's counsel are usually paid large sums by the parent with the most money and often side with abusers. Ms. Childers regularly conferred with the counsel for the convicted molester but never once conferred with the in pro per protective mom. Observers experienced in child molestation matters commented that almost always the minor's counsel finds no evidence of molestation --- even when health professionals and the police find significant evidence and are ready to press charges against molesters. In those instances, molesters usually get full custody in spite of what they have done to the children under their care.
Knight repeatedly asked the judge for temporary custody for the protection of the child but the judge choose instead to leave the child with convicted child molester. Knight did mention Elizondo's alleged tendency towards molestation as a factor. The allowance of propensity evidence was affirmed in People v Ogle (2010), 185 Cal App 4th 1075. However, Knight's pleas only caused the judge to postpone the case, confirm some visitation rights to the mother, continue the placement of the child with the convicted child molester and refer the matter to the Childers, who seemed to be functioning as a second attorney for the convicted child molester. Knight was in tears after she left the proceedings. She had had hopes of saving her eight year old daughter from a life of child sex and she left believing her daughter was in serious danger.
A couple of news crews were present, along with members of Knight’s church and other observers. The general feeling was that Knight did well but observers expressed fears that Knight's daughter was in continued danger because of the judge's ruling allowing the child to remain with a convicted child molester who was now suspected of also molesting Knight's daughter.
The observers were in agreement on one additional thing. The system is broken and needs to be fixed. They felt that children should be protected and not subjected to conditions where they should be forced to have sex. Some believed the situation in the courtroom would have been much worse for Knight and the child she was trying to protect if not for the presence of the audience and reporters.
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- © by the Justice Gazette, 2015