As reported by Cathy Coggin in real-time wire feed starting on the second day of trial. Cathy Coggin is a reporter with WREG.com News Channel 3 which ran this transcript throughout the trial. The weekend session are missing because Ms. Coggin was unavailable.
Diane Chunn, the Director of Mid-South Christian Services is on the stand being questioned by David Siegel, Mr. He's attorney.
11: Chunn tells the court she contacted an attorney because she was concerned she might have a conflict of interest. But the attorney she contacted was the same attorney who represented the Bakers. He told her he didn't think she had a conflict of interest.
11: Chunn testifies that she gave the Bakers attorney the case files without a subpoena. The judge takes a 15 minute recess.
11:24 a.m. Mr. He's attorney, David Siegel tells News Channel 3 during the break that he thinks it is a conflict of interest that Mid-South Christian Services was the agency that counseled the Hes' and also supervised the adoption. He also questions whether or not the Hes' were counseled about what abandonment meant. He doesn't think anyone told them that four months of paying no support or visiting the child would cause them to lose their parental rights.
Court is back in session and Chunn is still testifying. Chunn says its a typical practice for birth parents to visit with their children once a week while they are in foster care. Ms. Holmes, the attorney for the guardian asks Chunn if she discussed the effects of long term foster care with the Hes'.
Attorney Siegel questions the witness about her expertise in attachment issues with children. Siegel is arguing Chunn doesn't have the qualifications to be considered an expert on this issue and shouldn't be allowed to discuss how long term foster care affects children.
Holmes asks Chunn if she's ever had a problem with attachment issues. Chunn says no, . Chunn says foster families are usually not adoptive. Chunn says a home study had already been done on the Bakers. That includes criminal history checks. Chunn says the Hes' came t, o them. She said a friend had recommended their agency to the Hes'. Chunn says she got a phone call from Sara Cloud with juvenile court and she was surprised the Hes' had contacted juvenile c, ourt. Chunn said she discussed the detrimental affects of putting the child in long term state care. Chunn said the Hes' selected the Baker's from several profiles. She said it was important to the Hes' that the family they selected be financially stable.
Chunn says during her conversations with the Hes' she understood that Mrs. He didn't understand everything, but there were moments when she seemed to understand. Chunn based that on her facial expressions. Chunn said most of her conversations were with Mr. He because of the language barrier with Mrs. He.
Chunn says he, r agency does not solicit pregnant women to put their children up for adoption. She says typically they do counseling for birth parents before they move to adoption. Chunn said the Hes' did not feel financially or emotionally equipped to be able to parent their child. Chunn said she told the Hes' about WIC and other state and city services that could help them.
11:58 a.m. Chunn says she was aware of the sexual assault charge against Mr. He and Mr. He wanted her to write a letter to the University of Memphis saying he was working with her to place his child in adoption. Chunn said she had a conversation with Mr. He where he was questioning whether or not he was the father of the child because Mr. He said the child didn't look fully Chinese.
12: Chunn reads several other notes from her conversations with Mr. He. At one point he was ready for the adoption to take place, but wanted to keep guardianship rights. Another time the Hes' wanted their child back.
12: Chunn says the Hes' eventually agreed to give temporary custody of their child to the Bakers. Chunn said at one point she met with only Casey He rather than Jack He, because that was customary.
Chunn says birth records are not sealed, but adoption records are sealed. Chunn says the Bakers had fostered many children before but had never applied with her agency to adopt.
Chunn told the court that the Hes' initially came to her while Casey He was pregnant concerning their options. She says she was asked to write a letter to someone with the University at Mr. He's request.
Chunn says Mr. He told her that because their child had a difficult birth there was a Chinese superstition that this child was not ideal. Chunn says He told her that if she let Casey have regular visits with this child she would be okay with the adoption after she got pregnant with another child.
Siegel asks how many times Chunn actually spoke directly with Casey He. Chunn says only once. Chunn says Casey He was present at 12 of the other meetings but her conversations were primarily with Mr. He. Chunn says an interpreter was only present twice. Chunn says she knew Casey He didn't speak English.
Chunn says this case was different because they were dealing with long term foster care and that is why she consulted an attorney about a conflict of interest. Chunn is asked about the rules concerning foster parents receiving money from birth parents. Chunn said , there is no written rule against the Bakers taking money from the Hes' but the Bakers were being paid by her agency while the child was in foster care.
Gordon asks how many times she has worked with a Chinese birth mother and Chunn says its very rare. She says the Hes' were the first Chinese birth parents she had worked with. Chunn said the only, time she met alone with Casey He with a translator was before the birth of her child. Chunn said she felt like Mr. He was in favor of adoption at that time, but after she met with Casey He she felt a lot of uncertainty about whether Casey wanted the adoption. Chunn is dismissed and Parrish plans to call Mr. Weaver (the attorney who performed the adoption) but the judge recesses for 45 minutes for lunch.
Court is back in session and Mr. Parrish calls Kevin Weaver to the stand. Weaver was the Baker's attorney in the adoption petition. Weaver is also the attorney for Mid-South Christian Services. He testifies that 75 to 85% of his practice involves adoptions and has worked with most of the adoption agencies in the area.
Weaver talks about his first meeting with the Bakers in June of 1999. He testified he was contacted by Mrs. Chunn to meet with the Bakers and the Hes about custody of the child. Weaver says it's not uncommon for him to meet with birth parents to discuss the legalities of adoption.
2: Weaver says it's not uncommon for him to represent one of the parties in the adoption even though he ha, s discussed the legalities of adoption with everyone involved. When they come in for counseling, he says he is not representing anyone.
Weaver says on his first meeting, Casey He was not present. At that time he explained there needed to be a legal document concerning guardianship of the child. He recommended a temporary custody order.
Weaver says sometime after
they met with him, they went to juvenile court for a temporary custody order.
Then he said he next met with the Bakers about a year later concerning
adoption. Weaver said in June of 2000 he went to a hearing on the Bakers
behalf. During that hearing Weaver said there was some discussion about the
possibility of the child going back to
Weaver says he represented the Bakers again when the Bakers received another petition from the Hes' to change the temporary custody order. Weaver said at that time the Bakers were ready to adopt and he explained that it was hard to terminate someone parental rights. On the positive side, Weaver said it brought finality to the situation.
Weaver says he was not representing the Bakers in the meeting in May of 2000. He said that meeting was made at Mrs. Chunn's request and he was paid by Mid-South Christian Services.
Weaver says during that meeting in May of 2000 he did not discuss abandonment with Mr. He.
Weaver says at the last hearing when the adoption petition was filed, Mrs. He was very upset. Weaver said during that hearing in juvenile court Mrs. He said something about the Bakers being abusive to her little girl.
3: Weaver says when biological parents give up their rights to a non relative, the child loses the most. Weaver says he doesn't understand what a permanent custody order means, and he has dealt with lots of adoption cases. Weaver says anytime someone gives up any parental rights, it always carries a risk.
3: Mr. Weaver is dismissed and Mr. Parrish rests his case. M, r. Siegel calls Mr. He as his first witness. Mr. He asks for an interpreter and Siegel asks the judge for a moment to confer with his client. The judge calls a 10 minute recess.
The attorneys disappear from the courtroom, presumably to meet with the judge. Mr. He's request for an interpreter is inconsistent because he hasn't asked for one before and didn't have one during his deposition.
The attorneys file back in the courtroom. Mr. He puts his arm around his wife and rubs her shoulder. It's the first show of affection between the couple that this reporter has seen in the courtroom.
4: Court is back in session. Mr. Siegel , doesn't call Mr. He. Instead, he calls Sara Cloud to the stand. Ms. Cloud is employed by juvenile court. She was a probation counselor in June of 1999. Cloud says she first met the Hes in 1999. She said she met them in juvenile court. Cloud says Jack and Casey came to my office explaining they were not financially able to take care, of their child at that time and they mentioned they had been in contact with Mid-South Christian Services. Cloud said she called Ms. Chunn and Ms. Chunn explained they initially planned to put the baby up for adoption but then decided to place the child in temporary foster care. Cloud said at no time during that meeting did they mention adoption. Cloud says Chunn told her the Bakers were interested in private adoption. Cloud says the Hes said they were interested in a temporary arrangement. She says she remembers talking to Casey He and she made it very clear she only wanted a temporary arrangement.
Siegel asks Ms. Cloud to read part of the petition for custody. The Hes hold hands as they watch the proceedings. Cloud says there was no reference to child support in the petition for custody. After the petition, Cloud says she saw the Hes at juvenile court several times afterwards. Cloud said they were concerned about visitation because at some time the Bakers stopped allowing them to visit their child and they wanted their child back.
Cloud tells the court she would have filed a different type of petition- a dependence petition if the parents we, re not willing or able to take care of the child. She says the custody petition was filed for the Hes because they were willing to take care of their child, but not financially able.
Cloud says they put "guardianship" in the wording of a custody petition when the persons taking custody will be providing medical insurance for the child.
Cloud says Casey He was tearful while signing the custody petition. Larry Parrish, the attorney for the Bakers is questioning Ms. Cloud. Cloud says she saw the Hes at least five times afterwards and they indicated they wanted their child back. Cloud said she told them what steps they needed to take to get the child back.
The attorneys are trying to establish if Ms. Cloud knew the legal ramifications of "guardianship" in the custody petition. The judge has clamped down on all the movement in the courtroom and has ordered the bailiffs to not let anyone back in the courtroom who leaves, until a recess or break is called. It, 9;s believed Ms. Cloud is testifying out of order while the court tries to secure another interpreter for Mr. He. Cloud says she does not believe the Hes understood their child would be taken until she was 18 years of age.
5: Cloud says they did not put anything in the custody petition about child support or about visitation. Cloud says she remembers the Bakers verbally promised to let the Hes visit their child. Within a few months, Cloud says Mr. He began calling her and complaining they were not being allowed to see their child.
David Siegel, the attorney for Mr. He is calling witnesses. Siegel calls Candice Brown to the stand.
Sarah Cloud finished her testimony earlier in the evening. She said Mrs. She said it was her recollection that Mrs. He believed the arrangement with the Bakers was supposed to be temporary.
The cultural expert said it is not uncommon for a Chinese couple to give up a baby to another relative to take care. He said it is also not uncommon for the couple to then ask for the child back years later.
EVENING UPDATE: A Chinese cultural expert took the stand late Thursday night. He was called by the Hes' attorneys. The Bakers' attorney objected, trying to keep the expert from taking the stand. The judge decided to allow his testimony.
The following is Thursdays testimony:
A specialist on Chinese
culture takes the stand this morning as the Chinese custody case goes into day
five. John Copper is a professor at
10: Copper talks about the one
child policy in
Copper says the Hes would be allowed to keep their children if they go back
Copper says he has written
eight books on Chinese culture and considers himself an expert on human rights
10:37 a.m. Holmes asks Dr. Copper if the
Chinese think a child is less than perfect if they have a difficult birth. He
says no. Last night during testimony he said divorce was discouraged in
Copper says there is a double
Holmes talks about population
The attorney for the guardian, Ms. Holmes is treating Copper as a hostile witness. Sometimes interrupting his answers, sometimes raising her voice. Her questioned has resulted in several objections from the Hes' attorneys.
11:13 a.m. Judge Childers calls a ten minute recess.
Court is back in session. Copper says he has a great deal of respect for some of the early Chinese teachings. Holmes asks Copper if he has filed bankruptcy. Siegal objects and the Judge allows the question. Copper says he did file bankruptcy. Holmes has Copper read from the bankruptcy proceedings where the court says Copper was a difficult witness and had a brain injury in 2001 causing him not to remember some incidents.
, Copper says he is appealing some current sanctions against him. The Judge says in light of these new findings he would like to review this witnesses entire testimony.
, Parrish asks Copper about the bankruptcy proceedings and how they affect his credibility in this case. The Judge in the bankruptcy proceedings brought up serious allegations about Coppers credibility.
12: Copper is dismissed and Mr. Siegel calls Mr. He to the stand. The Judge looks at the clock and calls a 45 minute lunch , recess. Court is adjourned until .
The attorneys are starting to file back in the courtroom. One camera sits in the back left-hand corner of the courtroom. Judge Childers allowed the media inside, but space is limited. Supporters of the Hes wear yellow ribbons on their lapels. There are many Chinese spectators, , including a writer with the only national Chinese Newspaper. There is also a representative present from the Korean government. Shao-Qiang (Jack) He is supposed to be called to the witness stand when court reconvenes.
1:, Court is back in session. Mr. Siegel calls Mr. He to the stand. He is sworn in. He says his son Andy is three years old and his daughter Avita is about 17 months old. There is no interpreter present for Mr. He. Siegel presents acknowledgement o, f paternity papers to the court.
He says he is 39 years old and
taught English in
He said he was a tenured
college professor in
He says when, he found out his wife was pregnant, he was making about $1050 per month. He worked 20 hours a week as a research assistant for the University. He, said he felt at that time that his financial situation was very good, compared with other students. He said his wife worked at a Chinese restaurant while she was pregnant as a part time waitress.
In October of 1998 a student
who He says he was not very well acquainted with asked him to help her with her
studies. So He said he helped her, and then He said she tried to borrow some money
from him and he refused her. About six days later, He says she made a complaint
with the University about a sexual assault. He says before the University conducted
an investigation, they terminated his teaching assistantship. From that day on,
he said his scholarship was terminated. He says the woman claimed the incident
Around Thanksgiving in 1998, He says he went shopping with his wife and they saw the woman who accused him with two men. One of the men punched him and his wife tried to stop them. He says his wife was kicked in the ankle and fell and immediately she started having vaginal bleeding. He says she was seven months pregnant at the time. He took his wife to St. Francis hospital. He says he didn't know his accuser very well, he later learned she was married and living with another man who was also married. He says when his wife was injured he had no income.
He said he was arrested on the sexual assault charges in April of 1999. He said at that time he was working part time watching the men's dorm from to and was making minimum wage. Altogether he and his wife only made about $600 to $700 a month.
Mr. He said he didn't know
what to do so he went to juvenile court for help. He says in Chinese culture,
court is trust-worthy. He says businesses will cheat you, but court in
He said they needed some help. He said Sara Cloud from juvenile court told him to go to Mid-South Christian Services. He said the due date for his child was February of 1999, but because of the assault the child was born early in January of 1999. He said he was at the hospital when his daughter was born. He says Diane Chunn also came to the hospital, but his wife Casey refused to meet with her. He said at that time he and his wife were not interested in adoption anymore.
He said he met with Mid-South Christian Services in February of 1999 for the arrangement of short term foster care. He said that was the most terrible time of his life. He said he was a full time student at the time and had no income. He said his wife Casey also had zero income. He said they did not have health insurance for their child, and they thought for the benefit of the child she could stay with the Bakers and He said Mr. Baker said he would provide insurance for the child.
Siegel asks for the exhibit
that shows the initial arrangement for the child. It is called t, he Interim
care agreement and consent form. It is dated February of 1999, and there is a
second one dated March of 1999. He says retaining their parental rights was
more important than his life, because his child is more important than his
life. He said the Baker, s were supposed to keep the child for three months. He
said he had a very good impression of the Bakers at that time. He says in
Under the circumstances at the
time, He said he thought it was in the best interests of the child to send her
2: Mr. He said he talked with Mr.
Baker about the passport and he and his wife had decided to send their child
, p.m. He says Ms. Chunn with Mid-South Christian Services could not handle long term foster care so Ms. Chunn arranged a meeting with , a lawyer to give them legal advise. He says he did not understand the difference between the terms guardian, ship, adoption and custody because they are very confusing, even for some Americans. He says he didn't understand 'parental rights'. He said he thought he was getting legal advice concerning getting insurance , for his child.
He says after the conference
with Mr. Weaver they went to juvenile , court because
Ms. Chunn notified them to go on
He says even though his wife was assured this was only temporary that his wife was very emotional on that day. He said Mr. Baker told him they could come visit once or twice a week. He said he didn't know the , visitation should be written down. After June 4th, He said he and his wife visited once a week and each time they brought their camera, toys, food and some clothing to their child. He said there was some cultural significance to some of the things. He said in particular they brought a necklace that had Chinese significance to protect their child. He said their child was very comfortable with them and she liked to play with his glasses and pull his ear. He said his wife was very excited at each visit. Mrs. Baker earlier testified that Mr. He brought the , child a necklace that he claimed was very valuable, but Baker said "It looked like it came out of a bubble gum machine."
The Judge calls a ten minute recess to give the other attorneys an opportunity to view some photographs that Mr. Siegel is entering into evidence. ,
Earlier in the trial, Mrs. Baker testified that she has tol, d the little girl nothing about this contested adoption hearing. The Judge has ordered her name and likeness are not to be used in the media and before the recess, the judge reminded the media that the child's name and image are not to be shown.
Mr. Siegel says he expects the questioning of Mr. He to continue until 6 or 7 tonight. Siegel says they expect to continue court tomorrow, be off on Sunday and continue Monday morning.
3: Court is back in session. Mr. Siegel hands him a box full of pictures. He says all of the pictures show him, his wife and their child at each stage of her life. He says most of the pictures are of his daughter. He says he was, shocked when he learned that Mrs. Baker was keeping a journal. He says he was fired from his job as night dorm supervisor at the University after he was arrested on the sexual assault charges. He says the visits to his daughter continued every week during 1999. He says the sexual assault charge against him was dismissed in November of 1998. He says he tried to get his scholarship reinstated by the University and he was denied. He says the hearing with the University was postponed until September of 1999. He says the hearing was conducted without him having a legal advisor, but he said the lady who filed the complaint against him had a legal advisor. He says the University suspended him for one year. He says after the hearing he lost his immigration, status. He says from November of 1999 to April of 2000 his relationship with the Bakers got gradually worse. He says around November of 1999 he had a conversation with Mr. Baker and he wanted his child back. , He said he appreciated Mr. Bakers help with their child and we want to pay you back. He says Mr. Baker said he did not want his money and Mr. Baker, told him he couldn't have his child back. He says Mr. Baker told him, not to talk to Mrs. Baker about this because he was afraid Mrs. Baker might have a miscarriage. He says after this conversation he did not feel very comfortable and after that he and his wife would not eat or drink anything offered by the Bakers during their visits. He says he was scared by Mr. Bakers warning.
He says the sexual assault
case against him was reopened in April of 1999. He says there were several
reasons why they sent their son to
In May of 2000, Mr. He said they filed a petition to g, et their firstborn child back from the Bakers. He says Mr. Baker was very threatening and very intimidating to him when he talked to him about getting their child back. He says Judge Claudia Holcomb was present at that petition hearing and Mr. Weaver represented the Bakers. He said there was no interpreter and the hearing lasted about ten minutes. He says the Judge asked him two or three questions. One was about his financial situation, one was about his criminal charges. ,
He says at that hearing his wife wanted to speak and the Judge didn't let her, and the Judge dismissed the case. He says after the June 2000 juvenile court hearing they continued their visits to their daughter every week, but they were strained.
He says on
He said on their childĄ¯s second birthday they made an appointment with the Bakers to take their daughter to a studio to get their picture taken together and when they got to the Bakers house, t, he Bakers would not let them take their child and the police were called. He said the Bakers said the girl was sick and needed to go to the doctor. Mr. , He says if she needed to go to the doctor why didn't they call them so they could reschedule the picture. Mr. He says it is very special in Chinese culture to take a picture of the , whole family in a studio and this was a special event for them. After that day, Mr. He said he dared not go back to the Bakers home because he was afraid. He said the conversation with the police officers was very scary.
Mr. He says he was told that he could be shot for trespassing if he returned to the Bakers home. He says he was told he had to be invited to come visit. He says he wanted to see his daughter, but he was facing deportation, had criminal charges against hi, m , and did not know the law here and he was afraid. For most of Mr. He's testimony, Mr. Baker has been looking down, reading some documents.
Mr. He says around February 15th of 2001 he wrote a letter and sent it juvenile court and to the media. He said he got no response from juvenile court. He said he went to juvenile court two or three times. In April of 2001, Mr. He and his wife went to juvenile court and talked to Candice Brown. He says another petition was filed to get custody of their daughter back.
Mr. He says on June 6, 2001 the second petition they filed came before Judge Horn. He says Judge Horn was about to return the child to us that day, but the hearing was postponed because the Bakers attorney was not there. He says they were very sad. The hearing was rescheduled for June 22nd. He says there was a big surprise, he says the Bakers said the case was moved to Chancery court. He says his heart was broken and his wife was very sad.
4: Siegel tells the Judge that the Guardian Ad Litem has made an issue of child support and Siegel says the Hes have paid in excess of $15,000 to the court for child support.
Mr. He said he was ordered by a previous judge to pay $15,000. They were given one week to pay the money. Mr. He said they couldn't get the money that fast, but they were able to get it over some time. He said a no contact order was issued against him in February of 2002. The no contact order didn't allow the Hes to see their daughter.
4:20 p.m. Mr. He said their son was in
China for two years, and it took about one week for him to readjust to the
family. Mr. He said he asked his family to record his life away and his family
sent a DV, D to him. He says his wife is a wonderful mother. He says he is a
good father, a caring father, an educated father. He says the next time he saw
his daughter was
Mr. He said he did not know he could lose his parental rights by not paying child supp, ort and he did not know he could lose his parental rights by not visiting the child. He says if he knew that he would have begged the Bakers to let them see her. Attorney Parrish objects.
Mr. He says he has wanted hi, s, daughter back for four years. He says they have always been asking for her back.
Mr. Parrish asks Mr. He about the psychologist hired by the Guardian of the child. Ms. Mullins is the guardian. Mr. He says Dr. Goldstein has been using his wifeĄ¯s inability to speak English against them to hold up the case in court. Mr. He says Goldstein is a friend of Ms. Mullins and is part of the co-conspiracy against him.
Mr. He says Ms. Mullins will be brought to justice by the legal system. He says Ms. Mullins has been conspiring against him and his wife and been a contributor to keeping his child away from him.
Mr. He seems very agitated by Mr. Parrish's line of questioning. Mr. He says the February 7t, h hearing is a very important document - a historic document that must be shown to the whole world to document this conspiracy.
Parrish asks Mr. He if his attorney Dennis Sossaman told him to lie about his income and make it higher so he could get custody. Mr. He said Mr. Sossaman did not tell him to lie.
Mr. He says he did lie about his income at his deposition. Mr. He said nobody's perfect, "I made a mistake." Mr. He said he was baptized and was a Christian.
5: Mr. He tells Mr. Parrish that Mr. Parrish is lying. The Judge pounds the gavel and orders the people of the court not to laugh. Mr. He says Mr. Parrish did not file his deposition so the judge could not have read it. Mr. Parrish tells Mr. He his deposition was very hard to take.
5: Mr. He tells Mr. Parrish that he became a part of the conspiracy against him when he took the Bakers case. He says he thought a Guardian Ad Litem was supposed to be neutral. He says Ms. Mullins obviously is on the side of the Bakers and that's why she is part of the conspiracy against him and his wife to take his child away from them.
Parrish asks He why he asked for an interpreter yesterday. Mr. He says he asked for an interpreter because that is his right.
Testimony is over for the day. Both sides are expected back in court on Saturday. Outside of court Jack He tells News Channel 3 Mr. Parrish called him a liar because that is the only way he can make a case. Casey and Jack He say they are tired, but they appreciate their day in court.
Jerry Baker tells us he fears the outcome if his family loses the case. "Now we've got a little girl that's five years old. She's been in our home since she was three weeks old. They want to take her and strap her in a car seat, send her home, to people she doesn't have any clue who they are," says Mr. Baker.
Both sides are expected back in court on Saturday. A public relations person for the judge says the trial could last through Monday.
By Brian Kuebler
Both sides continued to argue legal specifics in the custody case. Saturday, biological father Jack He took the stand and finished answering questions in his cross examination. Sunday, Mrs. He took the stand.
The Bakers' attorneys tried to make a point of how the He's petitioned to get their American born daughter back shortly after they received a deportation notice from the INS.
A Chinese interpreter took the stand on Saturday. Dr. Kenny Yau was the interpreter when the Hes originally set up a foster home for their daughter.
Most of his testimony was spent on defining the word 'temporary' and whether or not the Hes understood what they were signing.
Two psychologists testified on behalf of the Hes. Both doctors agreed that this child should remain in contact with her biological parents.
By Brian Kuebler
Mr. Gordon, the attorney for Mrs. He calls his first witness this morning. Her name is Mailun Chiang. She is an Interpreter. She speaks Mandarin and English and will interpret for Mrs. He. The attorneys are questioning whether or not she is impartial in the case. She is approved and begins interpreting. Mr. Gordon submits a couple of supporting documents to the Judge and rests his case. Next, the Guardian Ad Litem - Ms. Holmes will call witnesses. She calls John Walt to the stand. He is an attorney.
Walt says Mr. He was charged
with attempted rape at the
Catherine Story is called to
the witness stand. She is a project associate and professor with the
Story says the University has a code of conduct for students. Under that code, students may choose from three different types of hearings. Story said at first Mr. He chose a full hearing on the charges, then he chose a hearing before the social discipline committee.
Story says the first time she met Mrs. He was when she came to the University with her husband. Story says she met Mrs. He again at a second meeting. During that meeting, Story says Mrs. He got very upset and called her names, like "racist devil" and said Story was an evil woman. Story said she was concerned because Mrs. He was so upset and Mrs. He was pregnant at the time. She said Mrs. He was so upset that she called a counselor to come to her office to try to settle her down. Story said she was crying loudly, holding her breath, and it was very disturbing. Story said the counselor was not able to calm her down and they couldn't reach Mr. He so they called the police department to take her home. Story said Mrs. He was screaming so loudly that she couldn't met with her other student appointments, so she called an ambulance to take her away.
Story said after the hearing on the sexual assault charge, Mr. He was placed on trespass status and couldn't come on campus. Story said also during the time of his suspension he could not have access to his transcripts, and could not get documents like his diploma. Story said Mrs. He also had an hysterical episode in the President's office.
Story goes through the University documents on the stand. They deal with Mr. He's immigration status, his transcripts, his graduate student work files, and the hearing on the sexual misconduct charge.
11: Story reads the list of sanctions that the University committee imposed on Mr. He. They were: suspension from the University for a period of about a year through 2000; an order that Mr. He must receive counseling for sexual abuse; and an order that no degree shall be conferred while suspended. Story says her office did not receive any information that Mr. He received any counseling.
11: Story says an attorney can be present at the University hearing. Story says at the social discipline hearing, witnesses can be called.
11: Story reads a letter from Mr.
He written to a Mr. Richie at the University. The
letter is dated
Story says she appeared and testified at Mr. He's criminal trial. Story says she recused herself from testifying at the social discipline committee hearing for the University.
Story says she investigated the charges and was never able to find an eyewitness who saw Mr. He and his accuser together. She said the accuser came to her six days after the alleged sexual assault happened. Story says the woman showed her bruises, but she didn't take pictures of them. Story said her office had no other evidence other than the statement from the accuser, phone records, and testimony from the woman's male roommate.
Story said the alleged assault occurred in October of 1998. Attorney Siegel says the charges were dismissed in November. Story says she called Mr. He to her office because she was concerned that he lived in the same apartment complex as his accuser. Story said Mrs. He came along and while she was talking to Mr. He, Mrs. He got upset. Story said the address was wrong on Mr. He's driver's license so it was a mistake, but Mrs. He came back later that day and that was when she got upset and Story called the police and an ambulance.
Story said she knew Mr. He faced deportation and she knew he had been fired from his teaching assistantship and she knew his wife was pregnant.
Story says the bruises she saw were on the alleged victims front thighs. She says whether or not the University investigated was at her discretion. So she says, she could have dropped the case against Mr. He. Story says the alleged victim was living with a colleague of the alleged victim's husband at the time. Story says the alleged victim was an International student and so she didn't think it was out of the ordinary for the alleged victim to be living with another man who wasn't her husband.
The Judge calls a 45 minute recess for lunch.
1: Mullins says she was appointed to be guardian in July of 2001. Holmes says she has received a considerable amount of criticism for not recommending visitation so the Hes could see the child. Mullins says she didn't believe with an adoption petition pending and she didn't think it was in the child's best interests.
Mullins talks about a book she
has read that concerns her about what would happen to the child if she is taken
1:24 p.m. Mullins says she consulted a psychologist about the effect of removing the child from the Bakers home, the loss of losing her biological parents, and the loss of her cultural heritage. Mullins says that's why she consulted Dr. Goldstein.
Mullins says she made some visits to the Bakers home and the child is kind of shy. She says the girl understands she looks different from the Bakers other children. Mullins says the Bakers have taken her to at least one Chinese New Year celebration and she says there should be some sensitivity to this child's cultural heritage.
Mullins testifies that she recommended a psychological evaluation of the adults also be made. Mullins says she wanted Dr. Goldstein to do the evaluations and he said he needed some help from a Chinese psychologist - specifically one who spoke Mandarin. Mullins says Dr. Goldstein tried to find someone, and couldn't.
Mullins says Dr. Goldstein did an evaluation of the Hes but did not do an evaluation of the Bakers.
Mullins says she made visits
to both the Bakers and the Hes' homes several times.
Mullins says she has never seen the Hes' son. Mullins
says she felt the Hes' mislead her about their son
1:50 p.m. Mullins says she believes Mr. He was in favor of adoption before the child was born and for a few months after the child was born, but Mrs. He was not. Mullins says there was a legal issue about whether or not the Hes' were married, and Mullins says Mr. He questioned whether or not the child was his right after she was born. Mullins says she asked Mr. He if he wanted a DNA test done.
Mullins says the girl is a beautiful child. She says she first met her when she was two and a half. Mullins says at their first meeting she asked the child to draw her a picture. Holmes introduces some of the child's drawings. Mullins says the child relates very closely with one of the Bakers children who is close to her age.
2: Judge Childers has ruled that the child's name and image are not to be used in the media. Holmes introduces into evidence some pictures of the child at a Chinese New Year celebration and a Christmas card. Mullins says the child is in good health and says she does very well in school.
2: Mullins says the child is very particular. Mullins says the child is perfectly at home with the Bakers. She says the child views the Bakers as her mother and father, and the Bakers children as her brothers and sisters.
Mullins says the attachment that this child formed with the Bakers' was a normal need that they have met. Mullins reports have been submitted into evidence. Siegel begins questioning Mullins. Siegel asks Mullins why she hasn't made an effort to meet the Hes' other children. Mullins says she has seen the Hes' daughter at depositions and other things like that.
Mullins says at her visit to the Hes' apartment, Mrs. He was attentive to their other daughter, but she did not make mention of that in her report. Siegel asks Mullins if it's important to document what kind of parents the Hes' are. Mullins says it is to some extent, but she didn't put everything in her report.
Mullins says she recommended Dr. David Goldstein for the evaluations of the adults and says the Dr. did not evaluate the childĄ¯s attachment to the Hes. Siegel enters letters that Mullins wrote about the attachment issue into evidence. A date was set up so Dr. Goldstein could observe the Hes' with the child. Mullins says it was very clear to her that the child was attached to the Bakers. Mullins says she had been the guardian for two years. Mullins said she didn't schedule visits for the Hes' with their child because she was afraid of setting the child up for a loss. When she was appointed Guardian Ad Litem, the child had not seen the Hes' for six months. She did not set up visits for the child with the Hes' for two years. Mullins says the childĄ¯s primary attachment was with the Bakers. Mullins says she didn't schedule visits for the Hes', but if they get custody she recommends a gradual reattachment.
3: Mullins testifies there was no court order for visitation. Mullins says she didn't sign a no contact order, and testifies she doesn't know how that no contact order was issued. Siegel asks why Mullins doesn't know and why that wasn't important to her. Mullins testifies she really doesn't know the answer to that. But she said earlier that the Hes' had not visited their child for six months before she was appointed guardian, so she didn't want the child to have any further loss.
The Judge called a ten minute recess. Holmes is still expected to call Dr. Goldstein to the stand and has some other witnesses. Court is expected to continue until 10 or tonight and continue into tomorrow. After Holmes rests, the Judge is expected to give the attorneys a couple of weeks for their closing arguments. Then, he must rule within 30 days.
Court is back in session. Mullins is being questioned about her contacts with Dr. Goldstein. She is questioned about her visits to the Bakers home and the Hes' home. Siegel asks her about the DNA testing. Mullins says she was visiting the Hes' home when they were supposed to be tested on the paternity of the child. She says the person who was supposed to administer the test didn't show up. Mullins says if Mr. He hadn't had any doubt about the child's paternity, she wouldn't have ordered the test. The DNA test proved Mr. He was the biological father of the child.
Mullins is asked to read a letter in court that her attorney wrote to Mr. Siegel and Mr. Gordon (the attorneys for the Hes'). Siegel asks why this letter was written, and Mullins says this trial was originally scheduled for September of 2003, but was delayed when Ms. Holmes husband became ill. Mullins says at the time, there were two doctors who insisted the child have visits with the Hes'. Mullins says the letter was written to try to get more input from these doctors.
4: Mullins is asked if she would consider letting the Hes' have more visits with their child after the assessment with Dr. Goldstein. She says she was willing to talk about it at that point. Mullins says her concern was whether visits with the birth parents would be damaging to the child. In earlier testimony it was brought out that the Hes' made some 80 visits to their child before the police were called and they were ordered off the Bakers property in 2001.
4: Mullins says she believed the child forging a new relationship with the birth parents would be harmful, but she wanted to hear what these other doctors had to say about it.
Mullins testifies that Mr. Gordon wanted her to schedule visits for the Hes' with the child. Mullins says she couldn't advocate for that.
The Judge calls a ten minute recess.
Still to be called are Dr.
David Goldstein, a clinical psychologist from
5: Court is back in session and Ms. Mullins is still on the stand. Mr. He's attorney is questioning her about some letters she wrote concerning the case.
5: Siegel calls the courts attention to letters he and Attorney Gordon wrote to Ms. Mullins requesting visitation. He also goes over a letter with her response to those requests where she said the issue would have to be decided by the courts.
5: Siegel also enters checks that the Hes' wrote the Bakers for child support into evidence. Those checks were never cashed.
Mullins is asked whether she thinks the Bakers are financially able to support the child. He cited the $300,000 they owe to their attorney, Larry Parrish. Mullins testifies she thinks the Bakers are setting up a payment plan, and she doesn't think it's a problem.
Mullins addresses 'the
Wal-Mart incident'. The Bakers allege the Hes' ran
into them at Wal-Mart on or about
Mullins is dismissed and Stephanie Johnson is called to the stand. She is an assistant District Attorney General. She testifies she had contact with the Hes' in regard to Mr. He's criminal sexual assault case. The attorneys for the Hes' object to her being called as a witness. The Judge says he will allow her testimony and rule on their objection after he hears her testimony. Johnson says a few incidents stand out in her mind regarding Mrs. He.
Holmes says she is trying to
impeach the testimony of Mrs. He. Johnson says the first incident happened
Johnson said there were also some unusual events regarding Mr. He. Johnson says the preliminary hearing tape was damaged or blank, so it was Mr. He's right to another preliminary hearing. When they held the new preliminary hearing, they discovered Mr. He had a copy of the preliminary hearing tape. Johnson said this resulted in a long delay before the trial. Another unusual event Johnson described was in pre-trial motions before the trial and during the proceedings one day, Mr. He said he could not come back. When he didn't come back, a bond was issued for him to appear. Siegel asks the witness if she was the prosecutor who lost her case to Mr. He. Johnson admitted she was. No one had any further questions, and Ms. Johnson was dismissed.
Kim Mullins, the Guardian Ad Litem is back on the stand being questioned by Larry Parrish - the Bakers attorney. Mullins says Mr. Gordon wanted her to advocate for visitation. She says the Bakers were against it and wouldn't allow it without a court order. Mullins says she was against visitation, and no one convinced her otherwise. Parrish says there is some concern about the Hes' releasing the childĄ¯s photo to the media and questions if that is against the Judge's court order.
6: Mullins says she saw the news report where Mrs. He was talking about her visit with her child in Dr. GoldsteinĄ¯s office. Mullins says the subject of what happened at that meeting with Dr. Goldstein was discussed on the television report.
Mullins says she was concerned about the passport that the Hes' secured for the child. Mullins says the court ordered that the child's passport be surrendered and she recalls some outbursts in court on the part of the Hes' about giving up her passport.
Mullins explains the reasons and incidents surrounding why Mr. Sossaman quit representing the Hes'. It regarded the Hes' surrendering their child's passport to the court. Mrs. He wouldn't give the passport up, so the court found them in contempt. Then Mr. Sossaman was allowed to withdraw from representing the Hes. Mullins says that's when Mr. Siegel began representing the Hes' and the first thing Siegel brought up was visitation.
Gordon begins questioning Mullins about a court date in October of 2001, because there is no transcript of that proceeding. At that time a DNA test was ordered, and there was some question about the Hes' ability to pay. Mullins says at that meeting, they discussed the child's psychological evaluation and whether the adults should be evaluated. Mullins also needed some information on the status of the Hes' marriage and there was some talk about the child's passport.
Mullins says they also discussed the media coverage of the case and she was concerned about it becoming a media circus.
Mullins says this is the first time she has served as Guardian Ad Litem concerning an adoption. Mullins says she doesn't think the 80 or so visits the Hes' made to their child over the first months of her life wasn't enough quantity of time for what a child needs to form an attachment.
7:01 p.m. Mullins testifies that she doesn't think the child had an attachment with the Hes' when she became Guardian, and so she doesn't think that she has hurt the Hes' chances of reattaching by withholding their visitation.
7: Mullins says her definition of what a Guardian Ad Litem is - is a responsible adult who is an advocate for the best interests of the child.
7: Gordon asks Mullins if she thinks that the some 80 visits (an hour a week) for the first two years of the child's life were diligent visits. Mullins says she can't answer Mr. Gordon's question.
Mullins says she contacted the child's doctor to verify that she was sick when the Hes' came to take the child for a family photo, and there was documentation from the doctors office.
Mullins is dismissed and the Judge calls a quick dinner break.
Court is back in session and Dr. David Goldstein takes the stand.
Goldstein explains to the court that he was perfectly willing to evaluate the child, but was concerned about the expense and the special needs of evaluating the adults in the case. He was concerned mainly about the cross cultural issues in evaluating the Hes.
Goldstein first met with the Bakers to take some background information when the child was three years old. Then he met with the child just to get her acclimated to his office. Then he met with her again the next day.
Goldstein says he administered the Conner's test to evaluate her as well as a questionnaire that he has developed. He testifies the Conner's tries to measure various aspects of the childĄ¯s behavior.
Goldstein says his conclusions were that the child was functioning well in all areas, was developmentally on target or advanced, and she seemed to be thriving in the situation she was in. Goldstein says he was also able to assess her temperament, even though it tends to change as children develop. He said she seemed to be a bit compulsive, very orderly, and seemed to thrive on routine.
Goldstein says he met with the Hes' on several occasions. Holmes asks Goldstein if he reached any conclusions on the behavior of the Hes and the Bakers and he said he did not, because he didn't evaluate them. Goldstein testifies that you cannot predict how an individual is going to respond to a situation like this - where she could be taken out of the Bakers home - but he says research would indicate that children, adolescents and adults who experience loss are more at risk to develop problems. Goldstein says loss poses risks of psychological problems later in life.
Goldstein talks about the transcultural and transracial problems that could arise. He testifies that most of the transracial children want to know more about their biological parents when they reach adolescence.
Goldstein says the psychological parents of this child are the Bakers. Goldstein says he had concerns that in the short term, there would likely be a significant grief reaction being removed from the Bakers. Goldstein said in the short term he feels the child would suffer severe grief and separation anxiety with the possibility of developing a depressive disorder. Then he says there is a risk of long term psychological damage - because there is so much development that takes place in the first three years of life.
9: Goldstein explains how you can tell if a child is well attached. He says they may wander to play or get something, but they always come back to the primary attachment figure. Goldstein testifies that the attachment is not substitutional. He says the caregivers protect them, and that attachment comes to be internalized so the child can take it with them. Goldstein says if that attachment is terminated before it has fully formed that there are risks. He says he is not for one side or the other, he is just expressing how he feels about a childĄ¯s primary attachment.
9: Holmes asks Goldstein how he feels about the way Dr. Chiang administered the MMPI on the Hes. Goldstein reads the standards for the MMPI and he says the fact that the Hes' took the test together and the fact that at times one of them left the room makes it very questionable.
Goldstein says Mr. He sent a complaint about him to a colleague and that colleague sent the complaint to a state review board. Goldstein says he has copies of those emails and in them, Mr. He claims he contributed to preventing him from visiting with his daughter.
Goldstein says it was great that they videotaped the Hes' visit with the child in his office. He said at first they encouraged the child to approach the Hes, then they watched her interact.
Siegel begins questioning the witness. Goldstein testifies he was aware of the no contact order. The Judge takes a ten minute recess.
Siegel asks Goldstein about his notes, specifically about a dream the little girl had that Mrs. Baker relayed to him. In the dream, the child said her mother got in a truck and left her. Mrs. Baker rests her head on her husbands shoulder. Mr. He has been very attentively listening to the testimony today and taking notes.
Goldstein is asked if he thinks new attachments can be formed. He says yes. He's asked what it would take to form new attachments. Dr. Goldstein says it depends on the age of the individual. He says the factors would be different for a five year old than they would be for an adolescent. Goldstein testifies he met with the Bakers approximately 12 times. He says he met with the Hes six times.
9:51 p.m. Siegel goes over all the times he asked Dr. Goldstein about visitation and each time Goldstein didn't have an opinion either for it or against it. Goldstein says he has no opinion on custody. Mr. Gordon begins questioning the witness.
9:52 p.m. Gordon asks the witness what is the single most significant psychological event in this child's life to date and Dr. Goldstein says that is outside the scope of his evaluation.
Goldstein says children think differently than adults and so you have to take that into consideration when you assess them. He testifies that a child could form a primary attachment to a nanny if that nanny were the primary caregiver and was around the child all the time.
10: Goldstein says his own clinical experience has been that adopted children become very interested in their natural or birth parents when they reach adolescence.
Before Parrish can question the witness, the Judge adjourns for the evening. Court will resume at 9 in the morning.
Court is back in session and Larry Parrish is questioning Dr. David Goldstein. Parrish enters some emails from Mr. He to Dr. Goldstein into evidence. Goldstein says the child is very attached to not only the Bakers, but also one of their children and Goldstein says losing this attachment may be very psychologically damaging to this child.
The contested custody case involving a 5-year-old Chinese girl resumes this morning at in a Downtown Memphis courtroom.
More witnesses will testify today, one day
after two key witnesses took the stand in favor of the
Last night clinical psychologist David Goldstein, who has spent time with both the Baker's and the He family, testified that a child can form a strong attachment to their primary caregiver, especially if they're around them for an extended period time.
Dr. Goldstein did say that new attachments can be formed such as in the event that the girl was returned to her biological family, the He's, but said the age of the child is very important.
Jerry Baker, the girl's American father, says the girl is a little Chinese-American child who doesn't know anything other than that she's a part of the Baker family.
The testimony that grabbed the attention of most people in the courtroom yesterday came from court-appointed guardian Kim Mullins. Mullins testified that the girl should remain with her American family of five years.
Now neither set of parents is showing any sign of ending their fight for custody of the little girl. Several more witnesses are still expected to take the stand in this case. Once testimony ends, attorneys will have up to two weeks to prepare their closing arguments. At that point the judge will have 30 days to determine who gets custody.
Siegel moves to strike Dr. GoldsteinĄ¯s testimony on the grounds Dr. Goldstein hasn't done enough research into the attachment the child may have to the Hes'. Judge Childers overrules the objection.
9:40 a.m. Goldstein says if you took all the Hes' visits to their child - 80 visits lasting an hour to two hours - they wouldn't add up to the hours in one week. Goldstein says the child may have formed a relationship with the Hes' but it's not the same as a primary attachment.
9:57 a.m. Goldstein says he's not making any statement about custody, he says children need to be primarily attached to someone... and if that is severed there will most likely be psychological damage. He tells the court that it can be devastating if a child is insecure about their attachment.
Parrish brings up an email that was sent to Dr. Goldstein from Dr. Dan Murphy. Siegel objects to the email as hearsay, the Judge overrules the objection. Dr. Goldstein says Dr. Murphy called him before sending the email and told Goldstein it came from Mr. He and he was forwarding it to him.
Goldstein talks about the meeting he arranged to see how the child interacted with the Hes'. He says he told the Hes not to bring any of their other children and denied their request to take any pictures at the meeting. Goldstein says he wanted to measure the childĄ¯s attachment to the Hes' not to any other family members and that's why he requested they not bring their other daughter. Goldstein said when they brought her to the meeting it was very distracting to him and it complicated matters. Goldstein said that meeting was a highly emotional meeting and he didn't insist on the Hes' other child being removed because he didn't want to upset the child. Goldstein says he saw the Hes relate what happened at that meeting to the news media. Goldstein says on TV, Mr. He said the child asked why she was abandoned and he doesn't believe the child used that language. Parrish has a videotape of the media coverage that he plays for the court.
The videotape shows a report from News Channel 3 with reporter Jamey Tucker. In that report the childĄ¯s likeness and name were used. Then a report from Channel 24 is shown. Reporter Jeni DiPrizio interviews Mrs. He and Mr. He about their meeting with the child for the first time in two years. In the report, DiPrizio mentions a possible conflict of interest with Attorney Mr. Weaver counseling the Hes and then representing the Bakers. Then the tape shows another report from News Channel 3's Jamey Tucker where Mr. He is interviewed and pictures of the child and her name are used. Then another report from Channel 24 is shown. All these reports are from last year when the trial was delayed because of Ms. Holmes husbands illness. After the tape is shown, Goldstein says he stands to be corrected - that Mr. He did not say the child asked why she was abandoned - rather Mr. He indicated he thought that was what the child was thinking. Goldstein reads the Judge's court order that the meeting in Dr. GoldsteinĄ¯s office was not to be discussed with the media. The Judge calls a ten minute recess.
The Judge is expected to set March 23 and 24th for closing arguments.
Court is back in session. Parrish continues showing videotapes. This one is a videotape of the visit in Goldstein's office. In the tape, the child is on the floor playing and the Bakers are sitting on a couch. Goldstein says this was just a few minutes before the child met the Hes. On the tape, Goldstein tells the child that she is going to meet the mommy and daddy who brought her here. The Bakers go across the room and Goldstein tells the child the Hes are about to come in. The child goes to sit with Mrs. Baker. Goldstein testifies that this is a normal reaction of proximity seeking on the part of the child. The Hes come into the room and the girl goes to the Bakers. Goldstein says this is an example of the child touching base with the attachment figure. In the tape, Goldstein explains to the child that the Hes are there to see them. They have their other child with them and have some presents, but the child is not going to them. Goldstein says the Bakers are trying to encourage the child to go to the Hes. The Hes ask the child to come and see her sister. The girl is holding on to Mrs. Baker. Goldstein suggests they take a look at the presents the Hes
brought. On the stand, Goldstein says the anxiety level was high in the room. He said he could see the anguish on Mrs. He's face and he wanted to encourage a little bit of contact by looking at the material things they brought. The Hes then bring out some pictures to show the child. Goldstein said that was not something he suggested. The doctor and the Hes continue to try to get the child to come to them. The Hes put their other child on the floor and begin to open presents for her. Goldstein says the gifts may serve as reinforcers for contact. Mrs. He begins to cry in the courtroom. She also appears to be shedding some tears in the video. The Hes try to offer the child some food in the video. The child asks about the little girl. Mr. He holds up some food and asks the child if she remembers this food that they used to bring to her. He shows the child a picture. Goldstein says Mr. He is trying to actively engage the child. The child gets out of Mrs. Bakers lap and begins looking at the pictures. Goldstein says there was a time during the interview when the child hid behind Mrs. Bakers chair, and other times when the child held onto Mrs. Baker but 15 minutes into the interview she begins to move around the room. The Bakers encourage the child to go and eat the pears that the Hes brought. Goldstein says the other child was trying to eat the crayons they brought. Goldstein says the child wouldn't take it from the Hes, but began to eat it after Mrs. Baker offered it to her. The second time they offer a pear, the child takes it from Mr. He. Goldstein says that validates the comfort level, but again he says she brought it over to Mrs. Baker - her primary attachment figure. Mr. He offers her more food, that she takes from him but she continues to go back to Mrs. Baker. Then the child starts taking the food from Mrs. He and returns to Mrs. Baker. Mr. He asks the child if she can teach their other daughter how to walk. Mrs. Baker encourages the child to show the Hes a picture of her sister. Goldstein says it's all proximity seeking behavior.
The Judge is expected to set March 23 and 24th for closing arguments.
After a while Goldstein says he encouraged the Bakers to leave the room so he could observe the child alone with the Hes. The child is given a doll and more presents. She goes to get the gifts from the Hes and then comes back to Mrs. Baker.
Goldstein says he doesn't think the child has an independent recollection of the Hes without the photographs. On the video, the Hes are showing the child pictures of her when she was young. At this point on the video, Goldstein says the child have left her primary base (Mrs. Baker) and is spending more time close to the Hes. But Goldstein says she is now closer to her secondary base which is Mr. Baker. The Bakers leave and Goldstein says there is separation protest as the child hugs Mrs. Baker and doesn't want her to leave the room. After the Bakers leave, the child goes back to the Hes to look at more pictures. Mr. He asks her to sit with them and she sits in between them. Goldstein says that the child was only being compliant with the directive from Mr. He to sit with them. Goldstein says it's difficult to determine if a relationship is being re-stimulated because of all the reinforcement going on.
Mr. He encourages the child to grab his glasses and she does. He asks the child if she remembers that she always grabbed his glasses when they visited her before and the child nods that she does. But on the stand, Dr. Goldstein says these are attempts to instill memory and a lot of directive behavior but says he doesn't think the child remembers.
On the tape, Mr. He hugs the child and she kisses the Hes. Goldstein is asked if this is a show of affection, and he says it is not. Goldstein says there is a distinctive difference - he says he thinks Mr. He is holding onto the child rather than the child holding on to them.
Goldstein points out that Mr. He repeatedly asks the child "Are you missing me?, are you missing me?" Mr. He tells the child they will come back to visit in one week. Mrs. He holds the child and then they have the child hug their younger daughter and she gives the younger daughter a kiss.
Goldstein also mentions that when the Hes leave there is no separation protest on the part of the child. Parrish stops the tape and continues questioning Goldstein.
12: Parrish asks Goldstein if the child remains with the Bakers and was allowed to visit with the Hes, could he do an evaluation. Goldstein says he doesn't know if he would be comfortable doing an evaluation like that. He recommends a team with a Chinese and American component for the evaluation. Parrish concludes his questions and the witness is dismissed. Holmes says she has one more witness to call - Mr. Parrish and she requests a lunch break. The Judge asks Mr. Siegel how many rebuttal witnesses he plans to call two rebuttal witnesses. The Judge recesses until
Some of the attorneys seem optimistic that the hearing will wrap up today. Court is back in session. Ms. Holmes calls Larry Parrish to the stand. He represents the Bakers in this hearing. Holmes asks Parrish to identify the no contact order. Parrish says at the hearing on February 7th of 2001 that Mr. Sossaman (the Hes attorney) said he had a conflict of interest and Judge D.J. Alissandratos ordered him to only represent Mr. He. Parrish says right after the hearing, Sossaman was no longer their attorney so neither one of the Hes' had legal representation. At that time Parrish says there were concerns about the passport, and they were afraid the Hes' might try to take the child out of the country. Parrish says right after the hearing Chancellor Alissandratos told him to draft him an order for no contact and bring it to him tomorrow. Parrish says he drafted an order and didn't have to get an attorneys signature for the Hes because they didn't have an attorney. Parrish says he went back to court the next morning and Judge Alissandratos said the Guardian Ad Litem also wanted this done and the Judge added a line to the order that this was done at the request of the GAL. Parrish says that was how the no contact order came to be.
Siegel objects to Mr. Parrish testifying and the Judge takes a recess to look over the arguments.
Siegel withdraws his objection
to Parrish's testimony. Parrish testifies the no contact order was signed
Parrish says he doesn't recall whether Sossaman heard Judge Alissandratos ask him to draft the no contact order. Parrish said he was only acting on the Judge's instructions to draft the no contact order. Siegel asks Mr. Parrish if there was any testimony in the February 7th hearing that would have led to the no contact order. Parrish looks through the transcript from February 7th and says there is not. Parrish says the Chancellor wrote in the no contact order that the Guardian Ad Litem recommended the order. However, Siegel says the Guardian Ad Litem did not recommend no contact in her report and he asks Parrish to look over her report and tell him exactly what she recommended. Parrish looks over the Guardians report and reads the part that says the Hes are interested in visiting with the child and she recommends if the visits are allowed that they take place at a neutral location and last no longer than an hour or an hour and a half at a time.
Siegel asks Parrish how the Bakers became the guardian of the child. Parrish says the Bakers became guardians because of an adoption statute. Parrish says because the Bakers were filing for adoption and because they had physical custody of the child, they were granted guardianship. Siegel reads where the statute says there is an exception when an intervening petition has been filed.
2: Holmes asks that the transcript from the February 7th hearing be marked as an exhibit and Parrish is dismissed as a witness in this hearing so he can continue in his capacity as counsel for the Bakers.
2: Holmes rests her case. Parrish has no rebuttal. Siegel is called on for rebuttal and calls Dr. John Hutson to the stand. Hutson is a clinical psychologist.
Hutson says he has reviewed Dr. Goldstein's reports and his deposition. Siegel asks Dr. Hutson his opinion on whether or not Dr. Goldstein complied with the original order of the court to evaluate all parties in the matter. Dr. Hutson says Goldstein did not comply with that order because he did not evaluate all the parties. Hutson says Goldstein was supposed to evaluate the psychological effect on the child in both cases of staying with the Bakers or going back with the Hes. Dr. Hutson said Goldstein did not address any of those issues appropriately.
Hutson says despite what Goldstein said, it is his opinion there has been psychological trauma to this child. Dr. Hutson says that trauma is the removal of the child from her birth parents. Hutson says in his practice he sees far more adoptee than unadopted individuals. He says that suggests to him that there are problems that are inherited from the birth parents and the trauma of separation. Dr. Hutson says according to Dr. GoldsteinĄ¯s notes the child has a possible speech impediment, shyness, and difficulty adapting around strangers.
Dr. Hutson says Goldstein took the relationships she had with both sets of parents on face value with no investigation and that's not an evaluation. Hutson says there was no attempt to evaluate the adopting parents (the Bakers). Hutson says before you can do an attachment evaluation you have to have a history, you have to investigate what kind of relationship the child had with the Hes before it was interrupted so you can see if there is reattachment, and that wasn't done.
Dr. Hutson also criticizes Goldstein for not taking a medical history of the birth parents. He testifies that is crucial to an adoptive evaluation. Hutson also criticizes Goldstein for not interviewing the Baker children and for not delving into her relationships with them.
2:35 p.m. Dr. Hutson refers to several research articles that were cited by Goldstein and he says these articles are not applicable to this case because they were cases where the birth parents were deceased, or drug addicts, or abusive or unfit in some other way. So Hutson says these articles don't apply to this situation because the Hes' are fit, present, and want to get their child back.
Dr. Hutson talks about the video of the Hes meeting with the child in GoldsteinĄ¯s office. Hutson says Goldstein should not have put limitations on the Hes during the meeting. He says he would have brought all the family - all the Bakers kids too. He also says he would have interviewed both the Hes and the Bakers before and after the meeting and during the meeting he would have tried to not intervene.
Hutson talks about Dr. Chang's evaluation of the Hes. Hutson says he believes it was properly administered. Parrish begins questioning Hutson. Hutson says he did not believe the Hes bringing their other child to the meeting in Dr. GoldsteinĄ¯s office was a distraction.
Hutson says he is uncomfortable with the word attachment. Hutson also testifies he is concerned about Dr. GoldsteinĄ¯s handling of this case. Hutson says there are standards about how you do things as psychologists and in regard to child issues they must be done in the best interests of the child. Hutson says he is appalled by what has been done is this case and thinks the child has been damaged. He adds he agreed to do this case pro bono.
3: Hutson says the injury to the child was she was denied contact with her birth parents and Dr. Goldstein was a party to that.
3: Parrish criticizes Hutson for mentioning a study that he just learned of today. Dr. Hutson says he believes that study has some relevance to this particular case because it deals with the issue of persons of Asian descent being adopted. Hutson says he thinks the legal definition of abandonment in this courtroom (four months without visitation) is different from the common interpretation of abandonment.
Parrish asks Hutson if a blood relationship is broken off is that a trauma to a two year old child. Dr. Hutson says yes. Hutson says this child will always wonder why the birth parents let her go. All along, Hutson says they (Mullins and Goldstein) have been afraid of this childĄ¯s emotions. Hutson says there is another term in psychology called projection. Then Parrish asks Hutson if he doesn't like Ms. Mullins. Hutson says he misjudged Ms. Mullins - he says he thought the Guardian prevented the Hes from seeing the child when in fact it was the judge who issued the no contact order. Hutson says in some cases he has supported no contact.. but not in this case.
Parrish asks if the Bakers are this childĄ¯s psychological parents. Hutson says yes, he believes they are. He also testifies that there would also be psychological damage to the child if they are removed from the Bakers, but to a lesser extent and will increase with age.
Parrish asks Hutson if he thinks children are always better off with their biological parents and he says no. He says when the biological parents present a danger to the child, the children are not better off.
The Judge calls a 15 minute recess.
4:00 p.m. SiegelĄ¯s next rebuttal witness will be clinical psychologist Dr. John Ciocca. It's expected he will be the last witness called in this hearing. Judge Childers is expected to set closing arguments for March 23rd and 24th and must make a ruling within 30 days of the closing arguments.
4: Dr. Hutson is on the witness stand and Gordon is questioning him. Gordon asks about the additional two and a half years that the child has been separated from her birth parents by the court. Hutson says most people have almost no memory before the age of 4 and limited memory from age , so age is a factor here. Hutson says the child will have greater difficulty recalling the birth parents because of the separation. Hutson says this is such an unusual event that he doesn't know what will happen. Hutson says in the video he didn't see anything inappropriate by the Hes in the tape.
Hutson is being questioned by Ms. Holmes. Hutson says he doubts if he would have become involved in the case if there were not damage to the child. Hutson said he was appalled at what was supposed to be reputable psychological work by Dr. Goldstein. Goldstein is sitting in the courtroom.
Hutson says 10 to 12 percent of the people he's seen in jail don't have families.. in essence have been abandoned. Holmes asks Hutson if it's possible for the child to remember the Hes since she hasn't seen them but once since she was two. Hutson says it's not likely she would remember them.
Hutson is asked if he thinks Dr. Goldstein lied about performing the Conner's test on the child. Hutson says he can't answer that question without speaking with Dr. Goldstein. Hutson says there is no record of the test being given.
Holmes asks Hutson about his criticisms of Dr. GoldsteinĄ¯s evaluation. Hutson runs down the list of problems he found with GoldsteinĄ¯s evaluation of the child and talks about what he thinks Goldstein should have done.
Hutson is asked more about Dr. Chang's evaluation of the Hes. Hutson maintains his stance that he believes the MMPI and evaluation by Dr. Chang was done properly.
5: Holmes enters a letter into testimony written by Dr. Hutson. It is addressed to Mr. Gordon. It advocates visitation between the Hes and their daughter. Hutson says he recommended the Hes' be allowed to take the child for extended periods of time with the supervision of the Guardian Ad Litem and other neutral parties on behalf of the Bakers and the Hes.
Holmes finishes her examination of the witness. Hutson is dismissed and the Judge calls a five minute recess.
Siegel calls his next witness, Dr. John Ciocca. Ciocca will be the final witness in the hearing. However, Ms. Holmes objects to the witness - claiming this will be repetitive. Siegel says his direct examination will only take thirty minutes. The Judge overrules Holmes objection and says he will allow the testimony.
Ciocca is a clinical psychologist and tells the court he became involved in this case at SiegelĄ¯s request. Ciocca says after reviewing GoldsteinĄ¯s evaluation he felt that it was not thorough enough and certain matters had not been investigated. Ciocca says there was no evidence that there was harm to the child by having contact with the Hes. Ciocca says it was important to keep the relationship between all parties alive, so since the question has not been resolved about which relationship will survive it was not right for one of the relationships (with the Hes) to die an untimely death. Ciocca says he wrote a letter advocating the Hes have a birthday visit with the child to begin to re-establish their relationship.
Ciocca says he found that termination of visitation has obvious negative effects on the child. He says visitation between this child and her biological parents was terminated without an assessment of the psychological damage that could cause. Ciocca says he has been recommending visitation between the Hes and the child since January of 2003. Ciocca says Goldstein had no position on visitation and has not addressed the potential psychological damage that could result.
5:48 p.m. Ciocca says no matter what the outcome of this hearing, there is a good chance of appeal so he recommends that visitation be addressed and the court should foster a relationship with the child and the Hes. Ciocca says he was moved by the videotape of the parents meeting with the child and he thinks there is still some life in that relationship. Ciocca says let's get some kind of contact going and reinitiate contact so we can see what we have left here in the midst of this mess.
Ciocca says public policy should apply. He sites the rules of visitation for children who are turned over the Department of Human Services. Holmes objects and the Judge sustains her objection. Ciocca is asked if it's difficult to forge new relationships. Ciocca says its possible to restore relationships with time.
Ciocca is asked about the videotape. Ciocca says he believes Goldstein was under the mistaken impression that he had to make a determination after just one visit. Ciocca said there were good interactions going on, they were positive and he disagrees with Dr. GoldsteinĄ¯s negative assessment of the video. Ciocca says Goldstein was very negative about the Hes' youngest child being there. Ciocca says he was there and Goldstein didn't object to her presence at the time. Ciocca says all this extraordinary emphasis is being placed on this one video and he doesn't think that much significance should be placed on just one interview.
6: Ciocca says this is not a video of a child meeting with strangers, he says the child sat between the Hes' and he was surprised at how well it went.
6: Ciocca is now being questioned by Mr. Parrish and Dr. Goldstein has returned to the courtroom. Ciocca says as a clinician it is his opinion that stopping visitation is only appropriate if it is shown that the continued visitation is harmful to the child.
6: Ciocca says he has had many contacts with Chancellor Alissandratos over the years and he respects his judgment. Alissandratos was the Judge who asked for and signed the no contact order.
Parrish is questioning the witness and asking all kinds of hypothetical questions about adoptions with and without visitation by the biological parents.
Ciocca says he thinks it's important to try to restore relationships. Ciocca says the relationship between the Hes and their child was allowed by the court to die. Ciocca says he hasn't conducted an evaluation and neither has anyone else. Parrish asks Ciocca hypothetically if he still thinks the child should have visitation with the Hes if they lose and there is an appeal. Ciocca says the child should have been in contact with the Hes all along.
6:33 p.m. Ciocca says he also recommends that if the Hes get custody of this child that he advises them to let the Bakers have continued access to visit the child as well.
Parrish has no further questions and Gordon begins questioning the witness. Ciocca is asked to recall the day of the video and it is revealed in court that Mr. Gordon offered to babysit the Hes youngest daughter in the waiting room while the Hes met with the child and Dr. Goldstein did not take him up on his offer.
Gordon concludes his questions and Ms. Holmes begins her questioning. Ciocca says he first met the Hes in February of 2003. Ciocca says he didn't advise the Hes to bring food and photos and gifts to their meeting with the child. He testifies he thinks it was a spontaneous reaction on the Hes part. Ciocca said he took this case on a pro bono basis but was paid $500 by the Foundation set up for the child by the Hes. Ciocca says he was surprised when he got the check because he expected nothing. Ciocca is asked about the evaluation of the Hes by Dr. Chang. Ciocca says life is not perfect when you make psychological evaluations and even though thinks aren't perfect, they (psychologists) do their best.
Holmes concludes her questioning and Dr. Ciocca steps down. Mr. Siegel has no further witnesses. Parrish submits a motion to strike the testimony of Mr. He and Mr. Copper on the basis that they have made false testimony in the past.
6:56 p.m. Holmes tells the Judge she would like to have the opportunity to make a motion later to strike the testimony of Mr. Copper and Dr. Chang.
Judge Childers says he will not hear closing arguments today and wants to give the attorneys time to present them. The Judge also instructs the attorneys to present findings of fact to the court. The Judge says he has 30 days to make a ruling and he says the court wants to make a ruling as quick as possible in any event. The Judge proposes they come back Monday, March 22nd or Tuesday, March 23rd for closing arguments. The Judge is asked to give the attorneys reasonable time to make their closing arguments. The Judge says he has 106 pages of notes he has taken himself. The Judge proposes to give the attorneys an hour each to make their closing arguments. The attorneys agree on Monday, March the 22nd at for closing arguments. The Judge asks if they want any oral argument on the motions, and it is agreed the Judge will rule on the motions without oral argument.
The Judge tells the attorneys he wants to say a quick word of thanks for their conduct. He says they have conducted themselves in an exemplary manner under extremely long hours. Court is adjourned until March 22nd.
The end of testimony.