Maine’s HHS Child Protection Staff are Trafficking Children
My two-year-old daughter, Mila, has been trafficked by Maine’s Health and Human Services (HHS) employees.
Mila is now ten-years-old. She has not seen me, her mother, or even heard my voice since she was four-years-old. HHS staff intervened, over and over, to protect my daughter’s abuser and not my daughter.
During the first two-years of HHS involvement, I did not record the many meetings and phone calls. It never occurred to me I needed to do so. I assumed Maine government employees would uphold the law and protect my daughter when she was confirmed for rape by her father. How wrong I was.
Unless you have had the misfortune of coming in contact with Maine’s HHS Child Protection Service (CPS), it is impossible to understand how rude, cruel, dishonest, incompetent and corrupt these government employees are.
Thankfully, I was advised to start recording the calls and meetings with HHS as they trafficked my daughter. You may hear, for yourself, how my two-year-old daughter confirmed for rape and other abuse by her father and I, her mother, have been treated by Maine’s HHS employees.
Listen to just a few of the calls and meetings, as I was passed from one corrupt government employee to another, trying in vain to get someone to do their job and uphold the law. Trying to get child protection staff to actually protect a child. My child. My daughter. She was only two-years-old. Imagine.
The evidence of crimes committed against my daughter by her father and his lawyer — Michael Waxman and Maine’s HHS staff are extensive. I share here just a few documented reports of abuse. These occurred AFTER Mila was confirmed for rape by her father by the medical examiners (Spurwink) HHS hired to conduct the sex abuse investigation. Maine HHS employees, along with Judge Moskowitz, ignored confirmed sex abuse and forced me to traffic my daughter, every weekend for two-years, to her father and his lawyer Michael Waxman.
Yes, the lawyer was spending weekends with my 2-year-old daughter. He fought hard and dirty to maintain his access to my daughter. And then he took her, with the very active assistance of Maine HHS employees, when she was 4-years-old. I have not seen her since. During those first two years, my daughter continued to be abused by her father and his lawyer and I continue to report the abuse to HHS Maine.
(1) Blunt Force Trauma to my 4-year-old Daughter’s Head
My daughter’s father hit my daughter, Mila, on the forehead with a metal pan.
This was documented by an emergency room (ER) report and confirmed by Dr. Eli Newberger of Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Newberger issued a sworn affidavit to HHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew. Dr. Newberger explained, directly, to Mayhew during a call what the ER report confirmed and why my daughter was a critical risk.
Mary Mayhew, currently running as a candidate for governor of Maine, did nothing to protect my daughter. I logged many calls about this abuse. From the top of HHS to the bottom — no one protected my daughter. Everyone violated the law. Everyone committed child endangerment and obstruction of justice. Starting with Mary Mayhew.
Alicia Cummings, a (now former) Child Protection staffer for 10 years is currently a Probation Officer in Portland, Maine.
Alicia Cummings should be in jail for child endangerment and obstruction of justice, not in charge of recently released inmates.
Alicia Cummings was the CPS staff who ignored: (1) an emergency room report documenting a contusion, (2) one of the top medical doctors in the country, from Harvard’s Medical School, confirmation and explanation of the ER report, (3) my daughter’s own statement about how her father hit her in the head with a pan and (4) a retired State Trooper’s sworn statement and description as a witness to the contusion.
Alicia Cummings, as you can hear on these audio files, filed an official HHS report saying it was “a birthmark.” When Cummings filed a false report claiming a contusion to the head of a 4-year-old girl was a “birthmark” and refused to protect my daughter, she was being paid on a federally funded program called Community Partnership for Protecting Children. Therefore, all her actions on my daughter’s case come under federal oversight.
Here is my daughter, Mila, explaining to me what happened to her. She does not know I am recording her. She has already told me what happened. When we returned to the car, she in her car-seat in the back and me driving, I turned on a small tape recorder in my lap and asked her to explain again what had happen to her head.
Here are the calls with Alicia Cummings
Here are just a few of the many calls with HHS Commissioner Mayhew’s personal assistant Kathy Vielleux. These all indicate Mary Mayhew was informed, directly, about every aspect of how her staff was violating the law and how my daughter was not being protected.
Here is my call with Amanda Hollander, child protection case worker. Amanda is the daughter of another (now) former senior HHS staff Lucky Hollander. Lucky Hollander, apparently, has emails from Maine’s AG Janet Mills (also running for governor) ordering HHS to “not protect” my daughter “no matter what happened to her.” Lucky Hollander’s husband is Toby Hollander. He is head of Maine’s Guardian-ad-Litems (GALs) who are widely documented to be working closely with Maine’s HHS and family courts to traffic children. Both Lucky and her husband also work for Hopeful Links an unregulated program placing unaccompanied minors with “guardians and safe housing.” In other words — another position of power over vulnerable children that can easily be trafficked to pedophiles.
(2) Ten Times the Legal Limit of Methamphetamine in my 3-Year-Old Daughter’s Urine
My daughter’s father was arrested and charged for shoplifting children’s cough syrup with my daughter. My daughter was not sick at the time.
Polly Campbell, HHS Maine’s Director of the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Program, told me that a date-rape panel was needed because pedophiles routinely drugged children when they raped them — often with cough syrup.
My doctor would not open her office on a Sunday for a urine sample from my daughter immediately after her father returned Mila to me.
So RN Polly Campbell agreed to be the chain of custody. As is standard procedure in all hospitals and doctor’s offices, RN Campbell handed me the plastic cup and I took it into the bathroom with Mila and caught a urine sample as my daughter urinated into the toilet.
The date-rape panel turned up ten-times the legal reporting limit of methamphetamine in my 3-year-old child. Although this was reported to Child Protection, no action was taken.
The test results were given to one of the top pediatric toxicologists in the country, Dr. Carl Baum, at Yale’s Children Hospital. Dr. Baum’s sworn affidavit was provided to HHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew. Dr. Baum explained directly in a call to Mayhew what this evidence meant for my daughter and why Mila needed to be protected. Mary Mayhew took no action.
Let me repeat that. Mary Mayhew took no action. None.
Rebecca Austin was the child protection caseworker assigned to the case. She lied, committing obstruction of justice and child endangerment.
Rebecca Austin reported she could take no action to protect my daughter because Dr. Carl Baum “retracted” his sworn testimony when she interviewed him and said the urine result for my daughter was meaningless.
We contacted Dr. Carl Baum and asked if this was true. Dr. Baum was outraged. He emailed and called HHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew to inform her that her Child Protection staff had lied.
Dr. Baum also contacted Governor LePage via Micki Mullen, the governor’s personal assistant. Nothing was done to protect my daughter.
Rebecca Austin should be in jail for obstruction of justice and child endangerment. Instead, Austin was promoted to Child Protection Supervisor in Biddeford, Maine after her involvement in trafficking my daughter.
Here are the calls with Rebecca Austin
Mark Dalton, Rebecca Austin’s supervisor at the time. Mark Dalton was promoted after trafficking my daughter from a supervisor in York County, Maine to Associate Director of Child Welfare for Maine. He is now a Child Welfare Specialist with HHS in Boston, Massachusetts.
Here are my calls with Mark Dalton. Is this a man who should be in charge of child welfare?
Here is a recorded meeting with Mark Dalton, my attorney at the time — Judy Potter, Therese Cahill-Lowe (now former) Director of the Office of Child and Family Services and Assistant Attorney General Janice Stuver.
Mark Dalton, says, in this meeting that evidence of a child’s sexual abuse is meaningless. He says, very clearly, the only thing that matters is what HHS says. If HHS says a child has not been abuse, then a child has not been abuse. The evidence be damned.
My daughter had also drawn this picture and explained to me her father and Michael Waxman sniffed a black rock that made them bad.
Here is Mila explaining the picture she drew to me. The recorder is hidden and she does not know she is being recorded.
Despite all of evidence both of my daughter’s abuse and crimes committed by Maine government employees, my daughter was not protected and no one has yet been held accountable.
(3) Long, Red Abrasion on my 3-Year-Old Daughter’s Bikini-Line
One of the times my daughter came back from spending a weekend with her father and his lawyer she had a long, very red and irritated abrasion along her bikini-line.
It was a shocking injury and a strange one. How does a 3-year-old girl have a long, painful abrasion in a neat line along her bikini-line?
Mila told me and the emergency rooms doctors her father had “rubbed” and “punched” a cardboard box along her labia majora while she was watching a children’s cartoon called Blue’s Clues.
I will not post the ER photos of this injury because people find the photographs shocking and graphic.
Marie Kelly was the caseworker assigned to this report of abuse. You can listen to my calls with Marie Kelly. First she lies about what the ER report says. Then she admits she had not read the ER report. Then she says, yes I can review my HHS files and schedules a time for me to review the files together. However, yet again, with no explanation, the meeting is cancelled. Marie Kelly tells me she is not allowed to let me review my own HHS file— even though this is my legal right.
Calls with Marie Kelly
Again, my daughter was not protected and no one at HHS has been held accountable.
(4) SANE Nurse Angie DelVecchio
Nearly every weekend that my daughter spent, from the age of 2-years-old until 4-years-old when she was illegally withheld from me, she was reporting abuse and there was often physical evidence of the abuse she reported.
Mila reported this abuse to SANE nurse Angie DelVecchio. This is one of the several reports that were submitted to HHS until Director of Child Welfare, Daniel Despard, apparently threatened and witness-tampered Angie DelVecchio and falsified her reports.
As is standard practice by Maine’s HHS employees — he lied. Despard, as Director of Child Welfare, claimed that SANE Nurse Angie DelVecchio didn’t find my daughter “credible” and that was why HHS was ignoring more reports of my daughter’s abuse. I was told Despard was fired for his criminal conduct in my daughter’s case but my daughter was not protected and criminal charges against Despard have not yet been brought. Despard is now Senior Director of “Strategic Consulting” for the Casey Family Fund. If you wish to alert Casey Family Funds to Dan Despard please call 202-467-4441.
Here is my recorded call with SANE Nurse Angie DelVecchio where she denies telling Maine HHS that my daughter was not credible. She repeated over and over that my daughter’s reports of abuse were very credible.
Here is my call with the hospital trying to get my daughter’s final record, the one Dan Despard appears to have falsified.
Despite proving, again, that Maine government employees lied, falsified evidence, engaged in child endangerment, obstruction of justice and witness-tampering, my daughter has not protected and no one at Maine HHS has been held accountable.
(5) There are many more calls, as I was passed from one HHS employee to another.
Here are two more calls. There were many people involved. Every Maine government employee who was involved in my daughter’s trafficking should be investigated, including:
My call with Louise Boisvert, Child Protection Supervisor
My call with John Martins, Child Protection Specialist
(6) Christine (Chris) Smith
Of all the HHS staff who handled my daughter’s case, the last one, Christine (Chris) Smith, was perhaps the worst. At this point, Chris Smith was the eighteenth HHS employee I had been passed to in a two-year period. Here are a few of my calls with Chris Smith. There were many more. She largely ignored my calls as I left one polite voice-mail after another.
Chris Smith Meeting 21 February 2012
The last interaction with Chris Smith was a meeting with her, her supervisor, my lawyer at the time — Judy Potter and retired Maine State Police Sgt. Steve Pickering. After this meeting, HHS again, refused to protect my daughter and, instead, substantiated me for “emotional abuse” of my daughter. At this time my 4-year-old daughter had been illegally withheld from me by her father, his lawyer Michael Waxman and Judge Moskowitz who refused to hold a hearing, in violation of a court-order of joint custody for nearly a year.
In this last HHS meeting, I repeated Michael Waxman told my lawyer, Judy Potter, that Igor Malenko was “not calling the shots” with my daughter. Waxman said he was calling all the “shots” for Mila because he, Waxman, was in “a unique position of control over Igor Malenko.” Judy Potter confirmed in this recorded meeting, several times, this is what Michael Waxman told her. This is child sex trafficking. Of my daughter.
What incentive did Christine Smith and all these Maine government employees have to lie, at every turn, commit child endangerment and obstruction of justice? Did Michael Waxman provide financial incentives? Waxman brags he is worth millions of dollars and vowed to use his family’s fortune (Finard Properties in Boston) to take my daughter from me.
Christine Smith should be federally investigated and held accountable for her role in trafficking my daughter.
(7) Polly Campbell, Director HHS Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Program
Here is a statement that Senior Maine HHS employee, Polly Campbell, wrote and was prepared to go to the press with before she was scared into silence by Michael Waxman, my daughter’s father’s lawyer who “loves” my daughter, spends weekend with her and vowed to take her from me so she could be “loved” by him. Maine HHS Child Protection refused to obtain a protection order preventing Michael Waxman from spending every weekend with my 2-year-old daughter. The protection order I obtained on my own was case-rigged back to the Portland court and dismissed.
Lawyers are not allowed to bring lawsuits to gain advantages in another suits — but that is all that Waxman has done. Anyone who simply attempted to do their job and protect my daughter, Waxman sued or threaten, repeatedly and viciously, to sue. He sued Polly Campbell and that attack scared and silenced her for several years.
After Waxman was not successful in his suits against Polly Campbell, Polly Campbell told people she will not lie. She says stands by this statement she wrote but she will not pro-actively attempt to get a federal investigation because she is still scared. However, she has said, repeatedly, if a federal investigator contacts her she will tell the truth about this statement she wrote about what has been done to my daughter.
Polly Campbell, RN, BS, BA, Director
Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Program
Office of Violence Prevention
Dept. of Health and Human Services
11 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333–0011
______________________Polly Campbell’s Statement __________________
I believe that it is my obligation to report serious concerns that I have as a Registered Nurse, and as a citizen of Maine. Additionally, I am mandated to report, in good faith, child abuse and neglect. I feel ethically and morally bound to do what I can to protect children and others who are being abused.
I no longer feel that I can remain silent with the knowledge that for nearly three years I have seen systems within state government ignore ongoing abuse of Mila Melanko, now 5 years of age. These systems exist to protect all people, and most especially the most vulnerable. They include state and municipal law enforcement, the Department of Health and Human Services/Bureau of Child and Family Services (BCFS), and others. I am sharing my thoughts because, in my opinion, many systems in Maine need to change.
At age 2 years, 7 months Mila told me about sexual abuse by her father. I reported this to BCFS and that report, plus similar reports by other health care providers, initiated an investigation by BCFS. Mila was examined medically and forensically at the Spurwink Child Abuse Clinic. The team there recommended only supervised visits between Mila and her father. Despite this recommendation, BCFS closed the case, the judge dismissed the case, and Mila resumed seeing her father, unsupervised. She continued to report sexual abuse to her mother, by her father. In addition, BCFS and the Maine State Police have chosen to ignore:
- a very high dose of methamphetamine in Mila’s urine (tested after her father was summonsed for stealing cough syrup from a supermarket);
- the fact that Mila was with him when he was caught stealing the cough syrup;
- a disclosure about her father “blowing ‘mith’ in my face”;
- a drawing depicting how her father “sniffs rocks”;
- an affidavit from Dr. Karl Baum, Pediatric Toxicologist at Yale-New Haven Medical Center validating the danger to Mila of the high dose of methamphetamine;
- a bruise on Mila’s forehead and a disclosure by Mila that her father hit her in the head with a pan because she was crying;
- an affidavit from Dr. Eli Neuberger, child abuse expert at Boston’s Children’s Hospital expressing concern about this blow to Mila’s head;
Mila has not seen her mother for 10 months because Mila’s father refuses to abide by the court order providing for regular visitation with her mother. And, no system will step in to enforce the court order and do what is right.
All of this seems to mean nothing to the systems because the father’s aggressive lawyer repeatedly threatens law suits and tells everyone that Mila’s mother is crazy — which she is not. This is a classic manipulation strategy to diminish the mother’s and child’s story (blame the victim), and takes attention away from the evidence that the mother is offering. The father has repeatedly lied to everyone involved in this case, yet, he is never held accountable, nor are his stories check out for accuracy. Professionals are scared off by the lawyer and are not protecting the child.
There are many other questionable problems related to Mila’s case involving state officials, but the most pressing is Mila’s health and safety. It is my hope that someone somewhere can step in and stop the endless nightmare that is this child’s life and return her to her mother where she will be safe.
HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson
Daniel Levinson, and his office, recently released a damning report of Maine’s HHS crimes against disabled adults. Highlights from this report include:
(1) Maine HHS either failed or refused to investigate 133 deaths of disabled people, from 2013–2015, under the care of community-based providers.
(2) Maine HHS failed or refused to report suspicious deaths of disabled people to law enforcement as they are legally required.
(3) Maine HHS received 15,897 reports of abuse, neglect, exploitation and sexual abuse of disabled people, 2013–2015, and investigated only 5 percent. Maine HHS is required to investigate all cases.
(4) Maine HHS failed or refused to refer suspected abuse, neglect and exploitation to law enforcement or prosecutors, as they are legally required.
If Inspector General Daniel Levinson conducted a similar investigation of Maine’s Child Protection, the legal violations and non-investigated child abuse reports would greatly eclipse violations against disabled adults.
Here is my call with a special investigator in Daniel Levinson’s Inspector General Officer, asking Inspector Levinson to investigate Maine HHS Child Protection, in particular my daughter’s case, and all other reports of child abuse, exploitation, neglect and sexual abuse.
If you think Inspector General Levinson should investigate Maine HHS Child Protection, please send him at email: Daniel.Levinson@oig.hhs.gov
Open a Federal Investigation of Maine’s Child Protection Staff
There are many more recordings and much more evidence, far too much for one Medium post, of my daughter’s abuse and trafficking and the illegal actions Maine HHS employees have taken against my daughter and me. These few reports of abuse of a child under 4-years-old, my daughter, and the way Maine’s HHS staff handled these reports and treated my daughter and I, presented here, are far more than enough to open a federal investigation.
If Graham Spanier, Penn State’s former president, is held to account and sentenced to jail for failing to take action when he received reports of child sexual abuse, why are Maine’s Health and Human Services staff, paid by our taxes to protect children, allowed to ignore and falsify reports of child abuse? Why are Maine HHS employees allowed to lie about the abuse of children, obstruct justice, witness-tamper and put children, like my daughter, into the sole custody of known abusers?
All of Maine’s HHS employees involved in my daughter’s case, starting with former Commissioner Mary Mayhew, should be investigated, charged and prosecuted for obstruction of justice, failure to report child abuse, endangering the welfare of children and conspiracy to commit child endangerment. If Graham Spanier can be investigated and sent to prison for committing crimes against children, so can Mary Mayhew and all employees under her supervision who engaged in similar crimes against my daughter.
A federal investigation should have been opened long time ago.
Is there a federal prosecutor and a federal investigator who will hold these criminals accountable and protect and return my daughter to me?
Lori Handrahan, Ph.D. can be reached on her website www.LoriHandrahan.com