Reporting Laura Cole
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A father faced a judge Tuesday for allegedly beating and binding his mentally disabled daughter, and it’s not the first time he’s been in trouble for putting her in danger.
“It’s one more kid who has been hurt in Sacramento County,” said Ed Howard of Children’s Advocacy Institute.
Next month Brett Holdaway goes to trial on child endangerment charges for allegedly leaving his 16-year-old daughter in what officers called a filthy home last year.
Child Protective Services took his daughter away; but, according to neighbors, she was reunited with her father a few months ago. Children advocacy experts say it never should have happened.
“The idea that a child was returned to the custody of the dad who was accused so severely of abusing and neglecting her, it’s preposterous,” said Howard.
CPS says it cannot talk about the specifics of a case but told CBS13 it is possible for a parent to regain custody of a child even with an ongoing criminal case.
“So what I can tell you that with the utmost sincerity is that safety for our agency is paramount. It is one of our key priorities; it always has been,” said Michelle Callejas, CPS.
According to CPS, it’s up to a judge to decide whether the child goes back to their parents.
“Once they come into our care and custody, we have to get the judges permission to reunify the child with their family after presenting all the information,” said Callejas.
Holdaway did not enter a plea in court Tuesday. He was appointed an attorney and will be back in court later this week.