IN RE: EMMALEE O., ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jan 27, 2015

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Alan O., pro se appellant.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and, Mary Byrd Ferrara, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

Patti Jane Lay, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Trisha O.

Judge(s): SWINEY

This appeal concerns an allegation of child sexual abuse against a parent. The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”) filed a petition in the Juvenile Court for Knox County (“the Juvenile Court”) against Alan O. (“Father”) alleging that he had sexually abused his then three year old daughter Emmalee O. (“the Child”). The Child had disclosed that Father had “poked” and “rubbed” her vagina. For his part, Father asserted that he touched the Child’s vaginal area only as part of his normal parenting duties, and that he never touched her in an inappropriate manner. After a trial, the Juvenile Court found that the Child was a victim of severe child abuse by Father. The case was appealed to the Circuit Court for Knox County (“the Trial Court”). After a new trial, the Trial Court found that the Child was a victim of severe child abuse by Father. Father appeals to this Court. We hold, inter alia, that the evidence rises to the level of clear and convincing sufficient to establish severe child abuse. We affirm the judgment of the Trial Court in its entirety.