Friday, April 10, 2015

OH - Lorain attorney who worked as court-appointed child advocate charged with downloading child porn

The real issue is that this Guardian ad litem (GAL) is a court appointed officer. Someone who is backed backed by the court system. What does it say for the court system if it is endorsing this person. What kind of damage did this person do. Awhile ago we heard of a case where the GAL told a parent that he was going to have a weekend sleepover with her son. Mind you the GAL was in his late 50s and the child was 8 at the time. The mother fought in court and was coerced into allowing the sleepover to happen. The first time I heard this story my skin crawled and the thought which entered my mind is child porn.  Did it happen? In light of this case maybe it did. The fact of the matter is that our courts who we trust and entrust with our children's lives are ill prepared to deal with issues like the story we have here about a GAL.

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A fixture of Lorain County Domestic Relations Court who often worked with children in divorce and delinquency cases is facing a federal child pornography charge.

James Paterson, 49, admitted to an FBI agent in a March 30 interview that he had between 500 and 1,000 images and 200 videos of child pornography on his computer, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday. He also admitted to posting comments on websites where he claimed he was a pedophile and sexually abused children, though he also said he never abused any children.

Paterson, who lives in Lorain, was also a member of a website where users can download child porn. A search on his computer found images of children -- some less than a year old -- being sexually abused, the complaint says.

Paterson worked as a guardian ad litem -- a position appointed by a judge in custody, divorce and juvenile cases to advocate on behalf of a child. He started taking cases in February 2013, according to Jody Barilla, Lorain County Domestic Relations Court's administrator.

He represented 21 children between then and Tuesday, Barilla said, and judges removed him from four pending cases once they received word of the criminal case against him.

She said he passed a background check conducted by the local court.

At the time of his arrest, Paterson also had a law practice based out of his house.

Full story:

If you are involved in a divorce/ custody do not take for granted that the Guardian ad litem is pure as the driven snow.

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