A disturbing recent article out of the New York Times highlights the importance of authorities within the foster care and child services systems to recognize and take action when they see red flags indicating that children could be in danger. Information has come to light that a longtime foster parent and adoptive parent on Long Island has sexually abused multiple children in his care. The foster parent and adoptive father, 59-year-old Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu, is being held on a $500,000 cash bail at the Suffolk County jail in relation to sexual abuse charges involving children in his care, including his own adopted sons.
Foster Parent With Red Flags
Gonzales-Mugaburu has been a long time foster parent, and the earliest allegations of abuse go back to August of 1996. Most disturbingly, the New York City Administration for Children’s Services and a nonprofit agency, SCO Family of Services, continued to place children in his care, in spite of “red flags” they saw for almost twenty years. During that time, 140 boys were placed in his care. Law enforcement officers have already identified at least 10 victims, although three of those cases are beyond the statute of limitations. Additionally, Mr. Gonzales-Mugaburu was also charged with sexual misconduct involving a dog.
Sketchy Relationship With Suffolk County
The first initial complaint against Mr. Gonzales-Mugaburu was in 1998. Although the Suffolk County Child Protective Services quit placing children with him in 2001, there has been no word about the circumstances of that decision. There are still so many unanswered questions in this case, including whether or not this foster parent relied solely on money he received for childcare. At one point, he had up to eight children in his care and got $2,200 to $2,400 per child, per month.
Endangering Children in Foster Care
Children who are placed into foster care should at the absolute minimum be in safe homes where they are not in danger of being sexually molested, physically, mentally, emotionally or verbally abused. When county officials who are charged with protecting these children look the other way when there are clear and repeated red flags, those people need to be held accountable for endangering children. If you or somebody you know has been the victim of sexual abuse or molestation in foster care, contact the skilled team at Alexander Law Group, LLP at 888.777.1776 for a free and confidential case consultation.