6th Amendment: Right to Face Your Accuser. Well… Not Always.

One thing I recall from my high school days is the Bill of Rights. You know, the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Being the supreme law of the land, all state and local governments must operate within this framework. Otherwise it’s a violation of a citizen’s Constitutional rights. Oh, but there are ways to sidestep these rights. It’s when government agencies shield the true accuser and they act on their behalf. 

The 6th Amendment guarantees the right to face your accuser (in criminal proceedings). Keep this in mind as I share a personal example of why this is not as cut-and-dry as it was intended when written.

My son, Ryan, is in a comatose-like state from a brutal beating. I care for him every second of every day. Yesterday morning I received a call from a number I didn’t recognize. I let it roll over to voicemail, but checked it immediately. It was from Social Services. They needed to talk with me but gave no reason. Clearly, this can’t be good so I call them back within minutes.

Yep. It’s not good. It seems an anonymous snail-mail letter came into their office about Ryan’s femur fracture he suffered during physical therapy. They want to see me about this. Will tomorrow work?, they ask. I ask them if it’s possible to meet that afternoon but it’s not. Okay, we’re on for tomorrow (which is today).

I have no problem with Social Services. They are doing their job. I do have a problem with two things: 1) Someone is trying to cause trouble or is completely ignorant, and 2) I don’t get to “face my accuser” (yes, I know, nothing is criminal, but I’ll get to that later).

What possible motivation would someone have for reporting? Let’s start with ignorance as a possibility. Do they not know how many doctors, therapists, nurses, and various other “mandated reporters” visit Ryan regularly. Specific to the femur fracture, he was in therapy… under the professional supervision of a therapist (who, by the way, is a mandated reporter). I suspect if anyone official even had a suspicious inkling of abuse or neglect we would have heard about it from the EMTs or doctors. They are obligated to report it within 48 hours, I believe. So, my guess is it’s just someone trying to cause trouble… like we don’t have enough! Perhaps it’s even from people associated (directly or indirectly) in the lawsuit filed on Ryan’s behalf.

Here’s the kicker, this trouble-maker is protected behind a curtain of legislative obscurity. Apparently, anyone can freely make accusations about whomever they want and not be held accountable. No one is exempt! This is just not right. This is also where the 6th Amendment fails, because Social Services would assume the role of the accuser (and not the real accuser). Heck, I’d even be okay with never knowing who reported this if I were actually guilty or negligent. That’s fair enough. But, I strongly believe I should be granted knowledge of who this person is when the outcome is “unfounded”.  I’m being harassed or unfairly accused, for goodness sakes! Why am I denied recourse? I marvel at how many protections where put in place for Ryan’s attackers (Austin Vantrease and Jonathan May), yet in this case the innocent get butkus. What can stop this from happening again… and again… and again. Nothing.

Nothing, that is, except for self-protection. Clearly it’s not enough that Ryan is in pristine physical condition, so I will now install a continuous video and audio surveillance feed on Ryan (at least when not in the presence of a mandated reporter). This will be recorded and saved. Sure, I can’t stop a person from baseless accusations, but I can certainly minimize the stress on me and the unnecessary strain on the government’s resources. Think about it, they are checking up on me when they could be on a real neglect or abuse case.

This accuser is impacting me, Ryan, the local government, and a person who is in actual need. This is so wrong. Oh, and nice try… but it seems you failed.

Comments

  1. Irish Emma says

    Well of course they failed, anyone who knows you or is actively reading your blog would know that the reason Ryan is where he is today is because of you Ken. Whoever reported you ought to be ashamed of themself for wasting the valuable time of Social Services, they should also bear in mind while your case was being investigated someone who actaully needs them was left waiting.

  2. Colleen says

    NO WAY – someone did not really do that?? Are you kidding me?? You were being kind by calling this dimwit a faceless bastard, ignoramus and trouble maker. I can’t tell you how appalled I am to hear this and I don’t even know you. I do know, that as a parent, you have seen to it that Ryan gets nothing but the best in care,nutrition,and everything else associated with his health and well being. I’m so sorry that people feel the need to worsen the pain you already feel for your Son. For anyone to think that you would intentionally hurt Ryan is absurd. I have no words. I’m just in shock. I don’t know how you go on sometimes, this has really hurt me to hear someone would say this about you or anyone associated with Ryan. Kick it to the curb and don’t give this ass any more relevance.

  3. Molly says

    Wow, that is unbelievable. I certainly didn’t see that coming. I’m sorry that all of your self sacrifice for the past 2 years is resulting in something as insulting as this. Hopefully social services will see this letter for what it is, full of lies, and the meeting will be short and uneventful. There are so many children and vulnerable adults that are truly being abused that it is so sad that time and money has to be wasted on this. How vile and disgusting can a person be to bring up accusations against you? Oh…wait…Austin Vantrease and Jon Mays…extremely vile and disgusting, so this accuser is their kind of person.
    Ken you are a wonderful father, husband and caregiver. You are surrounded by your kind of people: caring, compassionate, loving and giving. We are here praying for you and thinking of you. Know that these haters are far out numbered by your supporters!

  4. Kathy says

    This is such a shame. Whoever reported you should be ashamed! I could see this afternoon’s meeting, though, as being the beginning of a cordial relationship with Social Services, where you and Ryan are known and understood. I’m glad you already have such a good record of documenting your care–the more documentation, the better. You guys look great on camera! :-) I am confident that within the first minute of the interview, Social Services will be as impressed with you as we are.

  5. Angela Frisby says

    Anyone who knows you personally or even stops by and randomly clicks through this site would know, with out a doubt, that you consistenly provide top tier care to your son. It is MORE than obvious that you love him unconditionally and would do anything to keep him from harm. Whoever reported you to social services needs the integrity of their moral fiber checked, and probably their IQ. Don’t ever let someone as disgusting as they are get you down!!!

  6. Vicky says

    Good grief! There is so much I could write, but I won’t. Just know my heart, my mind, and my spirit cry out for you all. Social Services will see who you are, what you do to care for your son and I am going to believe that it will turn out as a major positive, rather than a negative.

  7. Susie says

    Unbelievable. What a waste of money and how dare someone take these valuable resources away from someone who truly needs them. Considering Ryan went straight to the hospital it is obvious that the ambulance, ER staff, surgery teams, or ICU teams would have done something if they felt he was neglected. But no, they sent Ryan home right out of ICU; seems they had a lot of confidence in his care. This was clearly an attempt to provide Ken with more pain. What a worthless person you are. Hey coward, stand up and tell us why you did it.

  8. John Maletta says

    Ken, I’m sure that you know that more of this kind of junk will happen as you continue your civil suit with these punks in Delaware. Who really knows if they are responsible for this one, but keep yourself above the ugliness and continue to represent Ryan with the love that you have always shown him — and know that we’ve always got your back, my friend!

  9. Jo says

    Good grief! I can’t help but wonder what Noname expects to accomplish — prove that you are incapable of being Ryan’s caretaker, cause trouble for you, or drum up work for Social Services (like they don’t have enough already!). The last time I checked my law books, the burden proof lies with the accuser. Is Noname expecting SS to prove something here, and if so, what is it?
    Fess up, Noname! Come out of the darkness and into the light. Clear your conscience; you’ll feel better!
    We are in disbelief!! We think we smell a trouble-maker, so hold on –there may be more!

  10. Scott says

    I’ve been steadily following along, but haven’t posted recently until now. This just totally irks me that someone could report you to Social Services and you not be able to know who it was. The other thing that irks me is that Soc. Services did not bother to research Ryan’s name just to see what came up. If they had, then they most likely would not have even bothered to call you. They would familiarize themselves with your situation and realize there was no mistreatment at all. Hopefully the case worker that shows up will be of the friendly sort (especially after seeing the situation and all you do) and divulge more information to you……or at least what state it was mailed in from ! That would be a clue in itself. As hurdles go, this is a low one though, because once Soc. Ser. sees the true picture, then this won’t happen again.

  11. vivian says

    Hi Ken,
    This happened to me once and I found out it came from the nursing company I hired and was unhappy with so I stopped using them. In retaliation they reported me as a possible threat to my child. Unbelievable! I had Social Services and the police at my house. The stress was so much, mostly because I couldn’t believe someone would do this. Anyway, the next day the Social Worker called and said my daughter was so lucky to have me as a mother and told me I was doing an exceptional job. I am sure this will be the same outcome for you. I am sorry you have to go through this, but it will soon pass. Hang in there. I believe they do have to tell you who reported it. They told me.

  12. Kyne says

    I know of someone that was reported for child neglect. When social services was called they were told due to backlog that the case would not be investigated for at least 2 weeks! So, most likely whomever reported you, did so a while ago. Are you certain the hospital was not required to report the incident? I will also tell you that usually “crap” like this is done by someone close to the situation and a person you would not suspect. Just sayin” My neighbor was also reported for peppering her sons tongue for saying a cuss word. She figured it out later it was her (now ex) best friend as that was the only person Dani told about her son.

  13. Paula says

    Hello Ken,

    Knowing how much you love Ryan, the extraordinary sacrifices your whole family has made to help him recover, the endless amount of time you spend searching for doctors, nurses, therapists, anyone who can help Ryan, the fact that you spend all day every day caring for him in all ways possible — and this is what you get.

    Why must good people be made to suffer? Why are false accusations that could be so damaging allowed to be made when there is no proof of any wrongdoing? I don’t understand.

    This world is a frightening place at times. It’s not enough that a young man went to a Dairy Mart to get a midnight snack, engaged in banter about the World Series and then was pummeled until his brain was so damaged it swelled and he was left for dead. It’s not enough that your daughter had to see her brother barely alive and missed most of her senior year so she could travel to another state to see him. It’s not enough that Ryan’s mother had to see her son have part of his skull removed, and then be told he might never regain consciousness. It’s not enough that your life has been robbed of every bit of normalcy since November 7, 2009. No, someone had to add to your pain by making false assumptions and false accusations.

    For all the time, effort, energy, caring and love you give Ryan, someone does this to you. What are your rights? Is legal help necessary though you have done nothing wrong?

    To the person who made this false accusation…

    The Bible is very clear about the wickedness of making false accusations, but Proverbs sums it up:

    “With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor, but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.”

    It also talks about the kind of warfare we face on this earth —

    “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

    I am so sad. But…we are here standing with you and your family Ken. Today, tomorrow, always.

    Love, prayers, and hugs, Ken.

    I am so sorry some cruel soul has added to your family’s pain like this.

    Paula

  14. Pam GrahamGeorge says

    OK Now I am beyond frustrated. As if the day-to-day challenges aren’t enough. God Bless you Ken. Crap like this tests my faith sometimes — but I choose to stick to my faith. Faith that God has a plan for you, Ryan and your family. I especially pray for a miracle and real relief to come your way. HUGS. ….still here.

  15. Gail Doyle says

    Ken, Cannot believe to think there is someone who did this. Where is their heart and mind to do such an horrendous thing? The care you and Sue give Ryan is beyond reproach. They should at least tell YOU why they did this and apologize for causing so much more stress to your family,but if it has to do with Civil suit, they’re as spineless as those who hurt Ryan… Always here and keep up the wonderful work to help Ryan heal
    Love Gail

  16. Ann H Tearle says

    Actually, maybe this creep/s did you a favor–now Social Services knows about Ryan and the care he receives every moment of every day. Good to have them understanding clearly about Ryan. They really should have researched it better, in this case, as so much info is available to them. Ryan’s situation is an open book for any who wish to know about what has been going on since November 7, 2009. Your own personal 9/11… I believe they have to tell you who reported you–insist on it. Ken, I think your gang of thugs and their minions are messing with you they hope, in ways to thwart your attempts to ‘shut them down.’ Who else would have any motive (except possibly some crazy out there who gets off on this kind of stuff). One comment asked if the hosp did it–there may be some law about certain things, and this whole thing could have been innocent. It would have helped you to know about it, if so. Stay strong and remember, you know what you are about and there is nothing for you to be concerned about with Ryan’s care. Amen. You just keep keepin’ on, Ken–God bless you and Ryan, et al Lots of love, Annie

  17. Nicole says

    We all know how strong you are, Ken. I’m praying you don’t forget! You’re an amazing father who has shown that you can overcome the most difficult hurdles. You got this.
    ALWAYS here,
    Nicole

  18. The Colangelis says

    I feel badly for the person who thinks he/she may be getting away with this. I hope God helps this person change. God bless Ryan.

  19. Keri Dezell says

    Hang on Ken. Hang on. DO NOT LET THIS PERSON distract your mind, your heart or your soul from your otherwise diligent care for your RYAN. My feeling is that the “accuser’s” intent is to do just that. He/She is trying to get to you. IT is my thinking that ANYONE who has ever met you, worked with you while you cared for Ryan and/or read your blog or followed his story, would EVER be able to accuse you of such; therefore, the accuser’s motive is not due to being ignorant but for other reasons. Believing this with all my heart, the accuser is attempting to get to YOU by undermining the loving and meticulous care you provide Ryan by bringing it to Social Services for questioning. DO NOT BUY INTO IT. DO NOT LET THEM WIN. DO NOT GIVE THEM THE CONTROL OVER YOU OR YOUR SON’S CARE. Let the Social worker come and let the Social worker go… I KNOW in my heart when the Social Worker arrives, sees Ryan, talks with you, it will be that simple.

    In the meantime, I hold you in my heart and in my prayers that you remain strong and immune to this evil coward’s attempt to knock you down. Don’t give them an inch.

    With love and in prayer always, forever and until
    Keri, My Frankie and Family

  20. Jim says

    I understand your frustration with the whole social services system. I work within that framework for a living, so I know better than most how frustrating it can be.

    I can clarify a few things for you and your readers though:

    When someone makes a referral, it is simply that – a referral. It is not treated legally as an accusation yet because no legal case is started based on a referral. If social services determines there are reasons to file a legal case, they will file a petition and make accusations, and they are then the accuser – because the accusations in the petition are based on social service investigation, not on the referral itself. And of course you have a right to confront the social services worker(s) who is accusing you of something based on their investigation. The referral is only a starting point for an investigation, and if the investigators want to accuse you of something after investigating, you will have a chance to confront them.

    The confidentiality of identities of people making referrals can be infuriating! Sometimes there is a basis for concern, and sometimes not. But imagine the chilling effect it would have if all people making referrals were made public – because of the nature of these situations, the person making a referral would likely be harrassed or even attacked over the referral. Confidentiality ensures that no one is afraid to tell social services about a problem for fear of retribution toward themselves.

    I’m sure that social services can see you are doing a wonderful job with Ryan, so any referral they investigate will come back as unsubstantiated.

    Try to keep in mind that a little annoyance on your part as part of the bigger picture helps to ensure that the real evil people out there are adequately investigated and charged. Think of it as a sacrifice you are making relative to the whole system to help ensure the safety of others like Ryan who are actually being abused or neglected. No system is perfect, but requiring the ID for those making referrals to be known to everyone involved will cause many instances of abuse or neglect to go unreported.

    I hope you don’t find my comments disrespectful or painful. I just wanted to shed a little light on why the system is the way it is. I agree with you about how imperfect it is and how frustrating it can be, but overall it is designed to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Good luck, and I continue to pray for Ryan and your family.

  21. IcanRelate says

    I feel your frustration. I feel my son is being held hostage. His mother is a low-life piece of garbage & that is well documented. His grandmother (mothers side) is two sandwiches short of a picnic. (Please don’t think that statement was made without very good reason) My son is 10. I’ve been fighting his mother, his grandmother & the courts for about 9 of those years trying to keep my son safe from the people who are supposed to protect him.
    His mother has never been capable of caring for herself & if it came down to it there would be no question over custody. She’s adopted, her mother (I think) feels like if her daughter loses custody it’s a direct reflection of the job she did as her mother. The reason I say this is because she has repeatedly made false accusation after false accusation against me ever since my son was born. All unfounded. But still very effective. I’ve never been in a position, financially to protect my son & myself from this kind of thing. I’ve never heard of anything like it. And most people in our world can’t even fathom the idea that a grandmother could be this twisted. I’ve been arrested (charges ALWAYS dropped) multiple times over false allegations. And each one of those “dropped ” charges remains on your record. Its gotten to the point now that I’m basicly homeless & jobless because of it. And worst of all my son’s not getting the love & parenting he dearly needs. He’s the one they’re hurting the most. But her allegations have been made across different townships & in front of different judges and when I tell them she’s lying & does this all the time not one person listens. It’s never – hey there’s no evidence backing up all these claims this woman’s making maybe what this guy is saying is true…..- instead it’s more like – we just haven’t been able to prove it yet, but we’ll get him eventually.
    And now my son is really unhappy but so afraid to show it. I’m calling principals counselors therapists. No one knows how to help me. All the evidence is there if someone just took the time to look.
    At least you know your son is at home safe with you where he wants to be. Where he’s wanted because he’s loved unconditionally. Not to make some psychotic selfish @@!??-)’/’s feel competent or validated or whatever motivates people to do what they do.
    If anyone reads this & can help me put a stop to this please let me know. I’m honestly afraid to identify myself. Because everytime I try to fix this it seems to get worse & I’m left in an even worse position than before

  22. donna says

    I feel for you I myself have a stack of unfounded accusations made by some trouble maker, Yet the harrassment continues I got that dreaded call today myself for bogus claims yet I am expected to let a stranger come into my home and look around and then make a choice if they feel I am a good parent or not. I am looking into what I can do legally to bring this matter to light. Why do we have rights in this country if we dont really have them. No one should have to be put through this unless they are neglectful,but it seems those people dont get hotlined. I feel violated because if I were being charged with a crime I would have the right to face my accuser,but in a way we are because if the report be founded it stays in the registry till the child is 18. Not to mention the embarrassment of having these people show up at your home. I am going to persue this matter to the fullest, Please feel free to contact me I will help if I can or maybe we can get enough people on board maybe are government will be forced to listen we should not have to live in fear of losing our children because some people have nothing better to do.

  23. Jeff says

    This has happend to me too twice before and just happend agin the other day I know that this comes from the school if you disgree with the school expect CPS the next Day

  24. Joe Blow says

    You’ve been paying the state to shield you from being forced to testify to the harm that a marijuana user caused you… and that guy who didn’t wear his seat belt…and…and…every victimless “crime”. You let the state shield you still, to this day, but cry foul when it is applied to you.

    -clap- -clap-

  25. Mimi says

    I understand what your going through apparently this is a Common thing for Social Services to do. I myself am in something similar with several other. I share your frustration and this feeling of being harassed but it seems to boost somebody’s confidence to make things harder for others like you said out of sure ignorance and a faulty reasoning that it is the right thing to do.

  26. Jon says

    I had a similar situation happen with me. I ALMOST told the social worker about the 6th Amendment myself almost said, “This is harrasment, and if you don’t tell me who my accuser is, I WILL place you under a citizens arrest. Get off my property too, or I’ll call the police for trespassing.” The social worker also used deception and baited the trap to get me into the office. I would think this constitutes as LYING! Im sure that would have given them something to think about! But then again, if you know who reported you due to circumstancial evidence, you could turn the tables on them and make their life a living hell by making a report yourself, since social servicces will then protect YOU from them finding out who you are!

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