(The above video is a press conference from Rep. Justin Harris)
I've covered many horrible stories over the years on C&L and this one is right up there with anything I've seen. How is it possible for a couple to adopt a child or children from a foreign country, get disillusioned after a few months, then write up a bullsh*t receipt and hand the child off to a couple they find through an online ad? It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that the people answering those ads are paedophiles. And in Republican state Rep. Justin Harris's case, a family values candidate, that's just what happened.
Of course he's blaming the DHS for this grisly ordeal and not himself even though he re-gifted a six year old girl to a man who he never screened, but knew peripherally through a Christian school.
And did I mention that he never told the DHS about the rehoming?
On April 4, 2014, a 38-year-old resident of Bella Vista named Eric Cameron Francis was arrested by the Arkansas State Police for the rape of a 6-year-old girl in what the police said was his temporary care. Sexual crimes against children always attract a certain horrified attention, but this particular case earned additional scrutiny because Francis had recently worked as head teacher at a Christian preschool in West Fork owned by state Rep. Justin Harris (R-West Fork) and his wife, Marsha.
What Harris did not publicly disclose last spring, however, is how Francis came into contact with the 6-year-old victim. In prosecutor documents recently obtained by the Arkansas Times, state police investigators and multiple witnesses concur that the child was in fact the legally adopted daughter of Justin and Marsha Harris.
The Harrises had adopted the girl and her 3-year-old sister through the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS). The couple also has three biological sons who are older than the girls. Pictures of the girls appeared on Justin Harris' social media accounts in early 2013 (the images have since been deleted), and Harris announced on Twitter and Facebook on March 6, 2013, that the couple had officially adopted the girls. Because DHS adoptions require an in-home trial period of at least six months prior to papers being signed, the girls likely entered the home no later than September 2012.
And then, something evidently went amiss in the household. For unknown reasons, about six months after the adoption was finalized, the Harrises sent the two girls to live with Eric Francis and his family in Bella Vista.
According to an Arkansas State Police investigative report prepared by Sgt. Kimberly A. Warren dated April 3, 2014, she contacted Crimes Against Children Division Supervisor Terri Ward who advised that "Mr. and Mrs. Harris placed the girls into the care of Eric Francis and his wife Stacy [sic] Francis in October 2013." The report further states that "It was later reported to the Department of Human Services that Mr. and Mrs. Harris had left the children with another family and had basically abandoned them. This incident was reported to the child abuse hotline and the children were interviewed."
Read the entire story here.
Wonkette has been covering this horrific story in depth: Kid-Dumper AR Rep Justin Harris So SO Sorry … That DHS Screwed Him And His Family
I felt like crying as I read this story and the expose on rehoming done by Reuters.
Sometimes people get a cat or a dog and it just doesn't work with the family. And so they find a home for the animal, hopefully one with people who will love and care for it. But apparently some people are doing this with kids too. Reuters did an expose about this a couple of years ago and it's stuck with me ever since. So cruel and heartless. And dangerous for these kids, many of whom are basically "sold" to sexual predators who advertise on the internet.
Even knowing all that it's still jarring to read about these situations like this one featuring a Republican politician by the name of Justin Harris in Arkansas. A Christian schoolteacher in his employ was arrested and convicted of raping a 6 year old girl. Harris was said to be horrified to find this out saying the man's reputation was "pristine"