Society

Arkansas Father Allegedly Abused Disabled Son By Exposing Him To Porn

| by Khier Casino

An Arkansas appellate court judge ruled that a father abused his disabled, 15-year-old son by forcing him to view pornography, overturning a lower court ruling.

According to Courthouse News Service, the Arkansas State Police Crimes against Children Division launched an investigation in February 2010, when the Department of Human Services got an anonymous tip that the autistic boy was being abused by his father, and forced to watch porn videos three different times.

There was no evidence of sexual abuse, but investigators determined the father, known only as “R.F.” in court documents, made his son watch porn and suggested he should be placed on the state’s Child Mistreatment Registry.

R.F. challenged this determination, but an administrative law judge found the agency had enough evidence to back up claims that the boy was exposed to pornography when he was 7 or 8 years old, while confined to a wheel chair.

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R.F. appealed to the state circuit court, which reversed the administrative law judge's decision due to lack of supported substantial evidence.

The DHS also appealed, and upon review of the case, Judge Phillip Whiteaker decided for the agency.

R.F. contended that the decision to place him on the registry was based on allegations his ex-wife made when they were going through a divorce, a time when she "held a grudge against him." The allegations have since been recanted by his ex-wife, R.F. said.

However, Judge Whiteaker found the father’s facts were falsified.

"While W.F. [as the ex-wife is identified in court documents] did express her desire that the matter be dropped by DHS, she fell far short from recanting her testimony," the judge wrote. "Rather, she clearly testified that R.F. forced R.R.F. [their son] to watch pornographic videos."

Whiteaker continued: "The ALJ found W.F. to be credible. The ALJ concluded that R.F. showed a video, which was purely sexual in nature with no identifiable story line or serious literary value, to R.R.F. when he was seven or eight years and was wheelchair bound and could not leave of his own volition.

"We find that substantial evidence supports the agency decision and that the appellant has failed to demonstrate that the proof before the administrative tribunal was so nearly undisputed that fair-minded persons could not reach its conclusion. Additional, these findings, as stated by the ALJ, fall squarely under the definition of sexual abuse under the child-maltreatment statute."

Under Arkansas statute, sexual abuse means the forced watching of pornography or live sexual activity by a person 18 years of age of younger.