The mother of the child whose genitals were reported to have been twisted by his father’s girlfriend said she is upset that Child Protective Services did not take action on numerous earlier complaints.
In an interview with her lawyer present Thursday, Angela Schumacher said CPS officials told her that marks on her two children’s bodies reflected “different parenting styles” and that Schumacher needed to check her anxiety.
Schumacher said she, other relatives and elementary school officials made reports to CPS over the last couple of years about the well-being of her children, now ages 5 and 9.
After spending time with their father and his girlfriend, the children would return home to Schumacher with marks and bruises on their bodies, Schumacher said. The youngest was made to stand against a wall naked with his arms held up when he wet the bed, she said.
“I’ve been going through this, reporting then nothing, nothing, nothing,” Schumacher said. “(I’m) so frustrated with the system.”
She said she was worried about Hollie Budka, the girlfriend of her ex-husband, who was not supposed to be alone with the children, according to a divorce agreement by both parents.
Budka, 47, is being held in the Douglas County Jail on $30,000 bail on a felony charge of intentional child abuse.
Schumacher’s 5-year-old child told police officers on Jan. 29 that Budka had twisted his genitals because he wet the bed. The boy had a mark on his neck, bruising on his leg and a red and bruised penis, a prosecutor said in court Wednesday.
“She needs to go to jail,” Schumacher said. “I just hope justice is served.”
Schumacher’s attorney, Chris Perrone, said the boy is doing well but continues to go to counseling.
“The fact that it took a child to get injured in the manner that this child got injured for someone to finally believe her is kind of a double-edged sword,” Perrone said. “Obviously she’s happy that people believe her now, and she’s hoping the system will step in to protect her children, but she’s very upset that it (had) to get to this level for them to believe that there is abuse and it’s happening.”
Schumacher said the CPS worker she is working with now is very good and said the agency is “stepping up.”
Jennifer Brantley, a spokeswoman for the division of children and family services of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, said she could not comment about specific cases.
“We make every effort to assist people,” Brantley said. “Confidentiality laws prevent us from releasing information regarding complaints and investigations of child abuse or neglect.”
The father of the two children declined to comment Thursday.
Schumacher said her sons are relieved that they don’t have to see Budka anymore.
”I tell them what (Budka) did is very mean, this treatment is not acceptable,” Schumacher said. “I tell them they never should have had to go through this in the first place. That Hollie’s never going to hurt them again.”
Budka faces a maximum of three years in prison if convicted.