by Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com Staff
The nightmare facing the Headley family just keeps getting worse. In a horrifying new development, William and Danielle Headley learned Friday that their oldest son, age 11, was raped at the group home where Child Protective Services placed the 4 Headley boys after medically kidnapping them.
See the original story here:
According to a police report from the Columbia South Carolina Police Department, the sexual assault may have occurred during late October of last year. A police report was not filed until 4 months later, on Feb. 29, 2016. Even then, the parents were not notified until Friday, March 4.
William and Danielle had noticed that their son Conner’s demeanor has been “off” lately during their limited visitation (just 30 minutes per week for Danielle with the oldest 3 boys, and 1 hour for William. Jack, age 4, only gets 30 minutes per week with his dad, but is forbidden to see his mother.) The Headleys describe Conner as being quiet, not active or playful lately, and he “constantly glances at the social workers” before saying anything to his parents, as if he is looking for permission to speak.
As Health Impact News has reported, Conner experienced sexual abuse last year in which boys at the Epworth Children’s Home in Columbia, South Carolina, forced the autistic child to expose himself to them under threat of being beaten up.
The children’s DSS attorney Katheryn Gooch reportedly told the parents that this was a “normal friendly gesture” by the older boys in the group home, and that it was “no big deal.” She said that this was normal teenage boy behavior.
Neither the family nor their attorney agreed with that assessment. After the family learned about that incident, and after Jack went missing for several hours while in state custody, their attorney, Donald Smith, filed for an emergency hearing on October 27. At that time, the attorney expressed concern that the state needed to act to return the boys before anything more serious happened.
South Carolina Medically Kidnapped 4 Year Old Went Missing From Foster Care, Found After Police Search
That request fell on deaf ears, and something much more serious has allegedly now happened after the state’s failure to act on behalf of the children they were supposed to be “protecting.”
According to the police report, an older boy at the Epworth Children’s Home forced the 11 year old into a bathroom stall, where he told him he would beat him up if he did not bend over. The perpetrator then sodomized his victim.
Though he was initially afraid to report the incident, he told 2 workers at the home about the rape, and that it hurt him. The workers reported it to the case manager, who subsequently emailed the party who reported the incident to police on Feb. 29. Staff reportedly took Conner to the Emergency Room on March 3, 2016. If the incident occurred, as suspected, in late October, why did it take the staff so long to report the crime against one of their charges, for whom they are responsible? Why was he not taken to the hospital right away?
Are children in foster care not important enough to the child protective system that crimes against them go unreported? The same kind of delay in reporting a rape also happened with Missouri resident Isaiah Rider, who was raped while in Illinois CPS custody. See:
Reportedly, the perpetrator has now been moved to a different cottage at the group home from his victim, but Conner still is forced to attend the same school as the person who harmed him, and they are still in the same facility.
Their mother, Danielle, is heartbroken. She told Health Impact News:
They take kids away from me to “protect” them, but the kids have been abused over and over, and now the worst thing besides death has happened. What is it going to take for them to wake up and realize that they are abusing my kids? Will it take one of them winding up dead for them to realize that they never should have taken them?
Nothing like this ever happened to the Headley children in their parents’ custody.
Group Foster Home Earns $34K for Each Foster Child
Though the Headleys were notified of the attack against their son on Friday, there were no actions taken to remove him or his brothers from the group home, which profits handsomely from each child that is in the facility.
In 2014, the latest year for which there is a financial report on the home’s website, the home took in over $6 million, and housed 181 children. This breaks down to an average of $34,521.54 per child per year. Because there are 4 children in the home from the Headley family, this adds up to $138,086.14 for Epworth Children’s Home. Is this why it took so long for them to report the rape and risk losing that revenue for the Headley children?
Family Attorney: Greenville Memorial Hospital and Child Abuse Specialist Dr. Nancy Henderson are the Real Abusers
Health Impact News reached out to the family’s attorney, Donald Smith of Anderson, South Carolina. On Monday (3/7/2016), he intends to file for another emergency hearing for the boys to be returned home to their family. He points out that Greenville Memorial Hospital and their Child Abuse Specialist, Dr. Nancy Henderson, are the ones who have truly abused the Headley boys, first by Greenville physicians beginning surgery on Jack Headley before he was fully sedated, then by attempting to deflect blame for their own actions onto the Headleys, and finally by accusing the parents of abuse, resulting in Child Protective Services taking children from parents who simply wanted better medical care for their son.
Now, the unthinkable has happened, because of the actions of Greenville Hospital, Dr. Henderson, and CPS.
Here is the attorney’s statement to Health Impact News:
On June 19, 2015, William Headley decided that he had had enough. His youngest son had been coming to the Greenville Hospital System to treat a variety of ailments for two years. Unfortunately, the diagnostic tests and treatment had done nothing for his son, but provide for frustration, and even pain. Starting a surgery, prior to the anesthesia taking effect, was simply too much.
He demanded to see the C.E.O. of the hospital to have his and his wife’s questions answered. The hierarchy at the hospital scrambled to meet his demand-without meeting his demand. The many doctors that had treated him (futilely), had a roundtable discussion with the Headleys. They had one objective-appeasing the Headleys.
The physicians had used the little boy as a guinea pig. They even referred to him as the “subject.” He had MRIs. He had CT-scans. He had a spinal tap. He had been prescribed valium (at 3 years of age). They had put a G-Tube in his stomach. They followed that up with a GJ-Tube. The latter was the occasion in which their little boy was not fully sedated when the operation had begun.
Greenville Hospital System, and its loyal (or fearful) staff, recognized the potential liability from such a reckless act. In order to protect themselves against the determined Headleys, they decided to use their own incompetence against the Headleys. On June 19, 2015, GHS used the Headleys’ alarm as a call to action. On June 19, 2015, GHS assigned their own employee, Dr. Nancy Henderson to investigate the Headleys for alleged Medical Child Abuse. This term replaced the previous term for a caretaker who injures a child for their own psychological benefit, Munchausen’s by Proxy. The destruction of the Headley family had begun.
Dr. Nancy Henderson began scouring Master Headley’s medical records. She sought anything that would tend to illustrate that Ms. Headley was somehow purposefully hurting her child. Dr. Henderson, who was not his treating physician, and not been approved by the Headleys to do anything with their child, was illegally reviewing records based on the fact that she did not have an executed HIPAA allowing her to do so. She could not find that the mother was doing anything other than bringing her child to the Emergency Room, frequently.
Danielle Headley had previously given birth to three relatively healthy boys. She was a stay-at-home mom. She was content with being a doting mother. She had the ongoing help from her mother with the process of mothering the boys. There was always someone with Danielle when she took the child to the hospital. The Headleys lived in Spartanburg and, since they had been referred to GHS for the pediatric care it was understood that it could offer, it was thirty (30) miles to the hospital. Thus, he was getting upwards of forty-five (45) minutes to an hour of travel with a third party, before he was seen by a physician. As a rule, his health difficulties had ceased by the time he was seen. Dr. Henderson needed to find something with which to justify a claim of Medical Child Abuse.
Dr. Nancy Henderson, who had previously used the Medical Child Abuse as an explanation to justify her claim of parental child abuse, did the same against Danielle Headley. Dr. Henderson is simply a medical doctor. She is not a psychiatrist. She is not a psychologist. She had never met Danielle Headley. She had never seen any of Ms. Headley’s medical records, let alone mental health records, which did not exist because she had not been treated for mental health issues. Despite not having any formal education in a psychological field, not having any practice experience in a psychological field, and never having met with Ms. Headley, Dr. Henderson made a psychological diagnosis of a complex mental illness regarding Ms. Headley.
Dr. Henderson diagnosed Ms. Headley with Munchausen’s by Proxy. She contacted her friend (and loyal supporter) at the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Department. She told her that Ms. Headley suffered from the aforementioned psychological malady. “Dr. Henderson states that she feels after reviewing medical records and in the discussion with multiple medical providers that there is strong concern for medical child abuse (often termed Munchausen by proxy).” (Search Warrant, July 9, 2015). According to Dr. Henderson, “Medical child abuse is when a child is either having symptoms either fabricated or exaggerated or induced that’s causing tests and procedures to be done which potentially or in reality can cause harm to the child.” (Henderson Deposition, 11/16/15, p.53, 14-8).
Dr. Henderson’s “strong concern” means that she didn’t know what (if anything) the mother was doing. Therefore, she made it about the child. “I think a lot of times the lay term people understand is Munchausen by proxy, but in the child abuse world we call it medical child abuse. And this is a diagnosis for XXX, not mom, medical child abuse. XXX has got the medical child abuse? Yes, sir.” (Id., p. 54, 7-13).
Dr. Henderson’s strong concern for the Medical Child Abuse led her to contact the police, as opposed to DSS. She talked to her good friend, Detective Tracy Moss. Tracy Moss mimicked what she was told by Dr. Henderson. A search warrant was obtained as a result. Children are only supposed to be taken when they are in imminent danger. The imminent danger that caused the Dr. Henderson directed police to take the children into custody? The youngest child was suffering from chronic constipation.
July 10, 2015 was the end of life as the Headley family knew it. The children were taken into custody. The youngest was placed with a foster family. The older boys, who had nothing wrong with them, were placed in a foster care facility. The Court forbade the Headley children from seeing anyone in their family for four months. But, the children’s best interests were of the utmost importance.
As I struggled to get discovery, or evidence of any wrong that my clients had done against any of their children, I was met with delays and refusals. When I finally did get discovery from the Department of Social Services in October, I learned that one of the children had been sexually assaulted in August. While the assault was not physical in nature, it was a shot across the bow. I immediately filed for an Emergency Hearing. The children did not need to be prey for children who had become predators in the State’s failed foster care system. “Defendants respectfully request that the children be returned to their home before more traumatic situations occur that leave yet more scarring.” (Defendants’ Motion for an Emergency Hearing, October 27, 2015). The request was summarily dismissed.
On March 4, 2016, I was aghast with what I learned. The child that I had filed the Emergency Hearing for had been raped. When I reviewed the incident report, my disgust grew exponentially. “The original Complainant could not provide an actual time frame within the email, it stated that the incident may have occurred during late October of last year.” Two reportees had reported this incident to the Complainant. DSS and the Court kept the child there, with the aggressor.
This appalling lack of interest in the best interests of the poor children in South Carolina cannot increase. The Court was a mere pawn in Greenville Hospital System’s quest to silence critics of their work. An employee of GHS found child abuse because that was what she was supposed to do. Greenville Hospital System stepped out of the Emergency Room, and into the Courtroom. It is my belief that this action is the epitome of the Abuse of Process. We have learned just how abusive.
I have a sick feeling in my stomach every time that I think of this horrific incident. I struggle to find words to console my clients. I know that there is nothing in this world that matters to me more than my children. The self-control that my clients are exhibiting is phenomenal.
I am also reminded of that boy’s pain, both mental and physical. You can bet that he is not being counseled in any way by the Department. God forbid they admit fault for their criminal negligence. In the first week of law school, I learned a phrase that I have never forgotten. “You can’t un-ring a bell.” The bell that was rung for this child is louder than any bell he will ever hear.
The words of Dr. Nancy Henderson, child abuse specialist, will also never be forgotten. She probably should not have ventured into the courtroom this time. She made the following declarations in her first deposition.
11Q. Does a pediatrician have any
12 obligation to the family?
13A. I think — I can only speak for myself and
14 I think for my patients I think it’s really important
15 for them to try to be as safe and healthy as
17Q. When you describe safe, what does that
19A. That they have the ability to have all the
20 things that they need, some of the basic essentials,
21 a roof over their head, food, clothing. They’re able
22 to get the medical care they need, they’re able to
23 get to school and education. They’re able to thrive
24 in a loving environment and they’re able to be safe.
(Henderson Deposition, 11/16/15, p. 34, 11-24).
Dr. Henderson injected herself into a loving family in an effort to make the children “as safe and healthy as possible.” The term child abuse specialist has taken an entirely different meaning. By allowing Dr. Henderson to abuse these children, the State and its system failed. When will the failure be recognized?
How You Can Help
WHEN will this family’s nightmare end?
The family is understandably quite upset and simply wants to bring their children home so that they can protect them and help them to heal from the trauma that the state of South Carolina has put them through. If the state cannot see its way to send them home, then at least they want the boys to be placed with family members, such as their grandmothers.
Supporters have set up a Facebook group that other supporters are welcome to join called Reunite the Headley Family. The family has also requested prayer.
The Senator for the Headley’s district is Glenn Reese at 864-592-2984. He may be contacted here.
Representative Harold Mitchell Jr. represents their district in Spartanburg at 803-734-6638. He may be contacted here.
Spartanburg County Department Social Services – Danielle Bowles at 864-426-3610. Contact their office here.
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