A Texas mother was arrested after allegedly filing five years of false child abuse and neglect reports against her child’s father.
Maria "Angie" Resio of Houston, Texas, was arrested in early February in Cameron County on felony counts of making false reports to Child Protective Services regarding abuse, sexual abuse and neglect.
Court documents state that Resio filed 10 reports over five years, although caseworkers did not find any evidence her daughter had been abused. Court records also note Resio was also verbally hostile towards CPS employees, reported KTRK.
"People can get very aggressive in litigation and make false claims," Lauren Waddell, a family law attorney, told KTRK. "Some people use that as a tool in litigation to gain the upper hand."
In April 2015, Resio sent KTRK a video of a man serving her court documents while her daughter is playing at a park. Resio is heard screaming as she tries to stop him from taking the child.
In the email sent to KTRK, she said she had an appointment for an evaluation from CPS that day. According to court papers, that report was not verified.
"It's devastating," Waddell continued. "It's very detrimental to the case for one, but it could be devastating to that particular parent socially, financially. They could possibly lose their job, lose their child, temporarily or forever."
According to The Child Welfare Information Gateway, about 30 states enforce penalties of civil child protection laws when someone intentionally or willingly reports fabricated incidents of child abuse or neglect.
"I'm glad that the [district attorney] and prosecutor are taking steps to prosecute these situations. I think it's very important," said Waddell.
On the Dreamin’ Demon message board, several members were furious with Resio after reading about the case, as false reports have the potential to cause lont-term effects.
“You're putting another person's entire life under scrutiny, you're [expletive] with the kids, you're taking valuable resources away from victims who really REALLY need it, and to top it all off, you're adding more fodder to the whole 'CPS complaints are all false' believing members of the public,” wrote member DamagedGoods.