Stepfathers discussion with 10 year old stepdaughter - FamilyEducation
Stepfathers discussion with 10 year old stepdaughter
07/18/2010 at 20:42 PM

I taped a phone discussion between a 10 year old girl and her stepfather while she was at her dad's house. The stepfather is trying to persuade the 10 year old girl to attend a camp for a week where she will learn about the human body and be going nude around others. She doesn't know if she wants to go and he is telling her she needs to go, because she needs to get used to going around their house naked. He's even breathing heavy.

What do I do? I don't know if the recording is legal? But I am extremely worried about the girl.

This needs to be reported to child abuse authorities.

Before you report this to any authority you better make sure you do not live in a two party permission state. If you come forward with this you may possibly open yourself to criminal charges, as well as giving this stepfather grounds to bring suit against you. First step is to know your local laws concerning recording phone calls. From what you have described there is nothing illegal that he has done. The "evidence" you have, as you have described it, is worthless. If you find that one party permission is allowable in your state, you may bring the recording to his attention and see if he backs off, but I doubt it. Best bet, communicate with him via email. Tell him that the girl is nervous about going and should not be forced to go. See what his response is. If he is adamant, ask him about why she needs to get comfortable going around their house naked. Don’t get me wrong here, I am in no way on his side, while reading your post all sorts of alarms and whistles went off, but you need to do this tactfully, and within the guidelines of the law. The worst case scenario is that all attention is diverted from him, and directed at you for breaking federal/state wire tapping laws. Good luck.

Where is the bio-mom in the picture?

I have googled and found that my state is a one party consent state. So, my question is can the father tape his children's calls legally as their custodian? The bio-mom, read the program for the day to day activities to the girl and then put the stepdad on the phone and he was the one who asked her if she wanted to go and proceeded to tell her all the reasons she needed go. Including: animals don't wear clothes, why should people; she needed to learn to be comfortable being nude so she could join him and the bio-mom in going nude around the house; if she went to camp for a week it would get her away from her bio-dad (who has equal custody and is a great man); skinny dipping is fun and all daily swimming at the camp was done in the nude; clothes are uncomfortable and she doesn't need to wear them, etc. Discussions with the bio-mom and stepdad is not an option. They will discuss nothing with the bio-dad, including pickup times ect., always passing the messages thru the 2 girls. When the bio-dad calls to try to discuss these things with the adults, he is told that they have nothing to do with anything, it involves the girls (10 and 13)and they are to discuss arrangements (for vacations, pickups, etc.,)with their dad. Then they hang up. The bio-mom and bio-dad are to discuss everything and both have to agree to everything regarding the girls. Problem is, he never knows what is going on. The girls are not allowed to tell the bio-dad anything that their mother tells them not to. It is a very sad and stressful situation....these girls are 10 and 13...

I'd get a lawyer on this one. A good family law specialist who would know what to do about 1 sending to camp (any camp) without both parents' consent 2 nudity of an unrelated adult in a home with minors.

Thanks, the dad and I are torn up emotionally by all of this... I've called several law offices in the past hour, they've taken my name and number and say that someone will call back...

if i was in this position wether there was a law or not i would rather report it before the girl is exploited or abused its better to be safe than sorry. you must of had cause for concern for you to feel the need to record it in the first place. tell the girls parents/carers about it and maybe suggest not letting her speak or see the stepfather until this is investigated also talk the the girl about what is acceptablt and what is not in terms of nudity etc and encourage her to tell someone if anything happens she is uncomfortable with. my stepdaughter was living with her mum where domestic violance was occuring and drug and alcohol abuse so although she is only 7 my partner gave her a mobile with free calls to him on so she could call him if anything ever happened. me personally would not allow my child to go to a camp where everybody is walking around nakered even if it is to learn about the human body i am well aware of the human body and i was as a child i did not need to walk around nakered to learn this

Ok, this is a sad situation. First of all if dad has equal custody and everything is suppose to be discussed between the parents concerning the girls, I would first of all send a certified letter to them. Make sure you get a receipt. In the letter I would quote the parenting plan, and make a strong objection regarding this camp. I would also make it known to them that they are placing the children in the middle. That you have made several attempts to contact them to discuss several issues regarding the children but each attempt has been met with resistance. The children should not be the messengers for the parents; this is for the adults to work out, not the kids. On this, I would most definitely contact an attorney and see what remedies under the law are available to you to prevent this child from being sent to this camp. Just a suggestion, but has a background check ever been done on the stepfather? As for the recording, this is a tough area and it would be best for you to pose this question to an attorney who understands your state laws. I would love to give you all the info you need, but do not want to give you advice that could harm you. Please keep us up to date.

In the state where I live, anyone knowing that a child is possibly being exploited and does not inform authorities can be prosecuted. Even if that were not the case it is the moral duty of every person to protect children from any potential harm. This situation clearly sounds like child exploitation. Do you want it on your conscience that you did nothing in order not to be possibly prosecuted? The protection of this child needs to be put first! Get a lawyer if need be and act now!

The bio-dad saw 2 lawyers today. One lawyer listened to the tape and was shocked and appalled. Said he had never come across something of this sort before. The other lawyer wouldn't even listen to tape, because by listening, she would be committing a crime. According to both lawyers, the tapes can not be used and I can be prosecuted for taping the conversation. Both lawyers said they can only do something after the fact "no crime yet". The girl has to attend this camp before anything can be done. And even at that point, there is only a violation of the parenting plan by not also obtaining the bio-fathers permission beforehand. Yes, the behavior of both girls has changed drastically in the last 6 months. The 13 yr old had a doctors appt today and her doctor said she is severely depressed and needs immediate counseling. Her bio-father agrees and is waiting on the appt date and referral from the family physician. Neither lawyer felt the bio-dad could go to court and get full custody of the girls. He can only file contempt of court charges against the bio-mom for the parenting plan violations, upon which she can be fined as the max punishment. He is heart-broken. He can do nothing else..... Oh, we are in West Virginia and our laws need changed!!!!

Diane, that news is just sickening. I had several lawyers tell me I couldn’t win custody. I just kept meeting with lawyers until I found one that said he could. If the doctor is saying that the 13 year old is depressed, one could maybe make an argument that forcing her to attend the camp could cause additional, and undue psychological harm. I would get her in to a therapist right away. As a last resort, if mom feels that she can go against the parenting plan, I would be there at the camp the day she checks in. I would also tell her that if she does not want to take her clothes off, she does not have to do so. I would also have several changes of clothes packed for her because I’m sure they will not bring any for her. These are just my ideas of what I may do in a similar situation; I am in no way instructing you or your husband to go against the court order. If I ever did go against the court order, I would be sure to have as much info as I could to explain to the court why I did so. A report from a psychologist would be the first place I would start.

Thanks everyone for your input. You gave me the push I needed to pursue this. I have read each and every response. The dad is devastated about all of this. His brother has offered to pay for a private detective to try and get more "acceptable evidence" He's seriously thinking about this. He's definitely getting the older girl into therapy. I've been suggesting this for a while now, but when the girl's doctor mentioned it today, he really listened to her. So, I am very pleased about the therapy finally becoming a reality. SnglDad, Being a dad, I have a question for you? The mother is severely alienating the girls from their dad. It's to the point, they don't speak to him when they are here. He only get's a nod or a shaking of the head from the girls when they finally decide to answer a question from him and they each hide in their closets. He's a soft spoken, kind-hearted dad and he's in soooooo much pain, how can I help him?

I can understand how dad must be hurt by his daughter’s actions, but their actions, and their lack of interacting is just the surface. From the sounds of it, these girls are dealing with an overbearing stepfather, and a mother who sounds as if she will go along with whatever stepdad says. Both of these children are under an enormous amount of stress. For now, dad needs to redirect that hurt in to anger. He should be angry that his children are growing up in such a stressful situation. He should be angry that this mother would undermine her own children’s sense of security as a way to get back at dad. He should be angry that someone, who is not a parent, is attempting to send his children off to a place that he would never allow them to go if it were his decision. He should be angry that so much of their childhood is being taken from them. These girls need an advocate, that’s dad. These girls being sent to this camp, is being done outside the provisions of the parenting plan. If they are sent, an attorney needs to subpoena all admission paperwork. Dad needs to take mom to court and have her explain to the court why she made the unilateral decision to go against the courts determination. One brick will not build a wall, but many bricks can. One contempt charge will not change custody, but several may. The attorneys told dad that he could not get custody, I say find another attorney. If the mother is going against the determination of the court, she needs to tell the judge why she did not feel that his order was worth adhering to. And that is the way a court needs to hear it. This is not mom going against dad; instead this is mom going against the court. As for dad, sure he is hurt, but right now his daughters are hurting even more. I think that the counseling will help get past the surface and delve in to the reasons why the kids are acting in such a way. At that time dad can ask what he needs to do to support them, and to help them heal from whatever it may be. Once the kids are beginning to do better, which I hope is sooner than later, dad will come around too. As parents the worst pain we can ever feel, is the pain of our children. I hope the tone of this letter does not come across as being rude. My intention is not to blame or attack, just to light a small fire.

where i am from if the children are at an age where they understand things (teenagers) and it is taken to court then the children would be given the chance to express their opinions on things and where they want to live this would then be taken into consideration. if you are at a point where you feel there is nothing more you can do then all you can do is talk to your daughters about things ask how they feel and do they have any worries or things there not happy with and advise them on what is approprite and what is not, make them aware they can turn to you if they ever need support and never to keep things secret that way if anything did ever happen with regards to the stepdad ( i hope to god that nothing happens) then they would come to you staight away and you could then stop it happening again.

Well I used to run a daycare and the rules on issues of abuse are: If u do not report any instance that you suspect you can be found guilty if the parent is ever found out. Once you have information it is your responsibity to take care of it. An unfortuanly if you tell the mother she will probably not do anything about it, most cases I have dealt with the mothers stay with the abuser.