Saturday, January 30, 2016

FLORIDA: Boy spite-circumcised, has leukaemia, father keeps mother away

It's official: he's cut. Ah well, only 13 years till he can sue...

the Sun-Sentinal (Florida)
December 15, 2015

Boy at center of circumcision fight has acute leukemia; mom seeks visits

by Marc Freeman
The 5-year-old Palm Beach County boy whose parents' battle over circumcision was followed around the world now is in a fight for his life.

The child was diagnosed with acute leukemia last month — apparently soon after he was finally circumcised as his father long wished, according to developments revealed for the first time in court on Tuesday.

But the mother, Heather Hironimus — who was jailed for nine days in May until she consented to the circumcision — asked the court to let her see her boy as he undergoes chemotherapy treatments. The boy's father, Dennis Nebus, has had temporary full custody since mid-May, after Hironimus hid with the boy for almost three months in a Broward domestic violence shelter.

Nebus wants Circuit Judge Jessica Ticktin to bar Hironimus from any visits because of claims she "willfully" violated a prior court order by posting on social media about the child — in his case the leukemia diagnosis — in Facebook posts that apparently were distributed on the Internet by anti-circumcision activists.

"She has shown total disregard for this child," argued May L. Cain, attorney for Nebus, further blasting Hironimus and her attorney for their decision to "feed the press" by announcing in recent court pleadings the circumcision has happened.

"You know that all of the things that have gone on in this case and in the pleadings have been picked up by the media," Cain told Hironimus while asking her questions Tuesday. "You were on the front page of the Sun Sentinel, right? You didn't think that putting out there that your child was circumcised is a private matter that should have been private for him? Do you think that the world has the right to know that he's been circumcised?" [But the ownership of his genitals was not a private matter that should have been private for him?]
Brian M. Moskowitz, the West Boynton mom's lawyer, told the judge that because the boy has been circumcised there is no longer a reason for the court to keep her from the child because she would have no reason to kidnap him.

"The issue of circumcision has been removed, and that was the underlying basis for the order" giving Nebus, of Boca Raton, custody, Moskowitz said. "The circumstances have changed."

The attorney also said the child's medical crisis is even more reason for the court to allow her access to the boy.

"This is when the child needs both parents more than ever," Moskowitz said. The 31-year-old mother has seen the child only one time — in his hospital room on Nov. 10 after Nebus, 48, told her about the boy's condition — since her arrest in May.

The child is now in remission and living with Nebus, but still has chemotherapy treatments ahead to ensure the boy has a good chance of being cured, according to Dr. Carmen Ballestas, his pediatric oncologist.

Ticktin said she would consider the positions of both sides before issuing her ruling on the mother's request for visitation rights "as soon as I can."

In September, before the diagnosis, Hironimus was granted permission for supervised visits with the child at a neutral site, a Delray Beach family center, with a plan for an off-duty cop watching at her expense. But the visits never happened because of continued quarrels among the parents over details about the meetings, such as Nebus insisting she not accompany the boy into a bathroom.

Then, in early November, Hironimus was suddenly summoned to the hospital for her long-awaited reunion with her son — just not as she ever envisioned. She spent 3-1/2 hours in the hospital room with him, playing together with his toys and watching the movie "Finding Nemo."

After she told the boy she would be back the next day, "He had a big smile on his face," she said. But when Hironimus returned to the hospital she said she was met by security guards preventing her from coming to the room.

Hironimus testified that she only posted online about the boy's diagnosis so her family and friends could pray for him. She said she's no longer in direct contact with the circumcision opposition groups that supported her after she decided to fight the procedure she agreed to in a 2012 parenting plan.

"We have a mother here who consistently does not follow the rules," Cain told the judge. [We have a mother here who consistently puts her son's welfare ahead of "rules" unconscionably imposed by a control-freak father through a compliant court.]

Hironimus still remains bound by the conditions of a pretrial intervention agreement that resolved her criminal case in July. Hironimus was not required to plead guilty, but she admitted "responsibility for interfering with a lawful custody order."

She's required to undergo a mental health evaluation [but Nebus isn't?] and finish all recommended treatment; submit to random drug testing; and check in with a probation officer once a month.

The State Attorney's Office will drop the felony count in the summer if Hironimus successfully meets the requirements, including the completion of a four-hour parenting course. If she fails, she could once again face prosecution and a maximum punishment of five years in prison for a conviction.

Earlier story

1 comment:

  1. This tragic story has so many layers of evil it's breath-taking. That this happens in the US is all that more alarming.