A young couple in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, was shocked to learn that they were being targeted with a series of false child abuse accusations by a Child Protective Services (CPS) worker.
Corey Chaney, 25, and April Rodgers, 23, said the trouble began when a police officer showed up to their home around 10 p.m. on April 1 following a report that the couple engaged in a drunken fight while holding their baby.
“We asked if it was an April Fool’s joke,” Chaney told The Courier-Journal. “Then we realized it was serious.”
The calls continued, with incidents being falsely reported at different times of the night on various occasions between April 1 and May 23. During another call, Chaney was falsely accused of being violent and high on methamphetamine, Police State USA reported. He was also falsely accused of slamming his baby into a wall.
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It was later discovered that the person behind the terrifying accusations was Beth Bond, 37 — a woman who lived in the apartment below the couple’s, along with her fiance.
Bond, who worked as a social worker with the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and fiance Joseph Applegate, 42, reportedly made the anonymous calls to the state's abuse hotline, court documents reveal. Though police were told the calls were a result of a "verbal dispute" between the two couples, both Chaney and Rodgers have denied that a dispute took place.
As a result of the false accusations, the couple was forced to undergo drug tests and repeated visits from social workers — even signing “prevention plans” that were designed to prevent further abuse, despite the falsity of the claims.
“It took over our lives,” Chaney said. They ultimately decided to relocate their family in order to avoid encounters with their accusers.
“It took every single dime we had,” Rodgers said of the move.
Bond and Applegate were each charged with six counts of complicity to call in false reports.
Photo credit: courier-journal.com, WikiCommons