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July 12th, 2011
04:42 PM ET
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Mechi Jackson

    The last four years of Christian's short life were filled with escalating brutality, starvation, and isolation. Christian and his older sister, was awarded to their abusive father; a man who had served prison sentences for felony convictions and had also had child abuse charges substantiated against two other children, who were living in his home. For reasons that no one can fathom his father and stepmother began to target Christian for specific abuses, starvation and withholding fluids, punched, kicked, forced to go naked and wear only a diaper. The last year and a half of Christian’s life was spent locked in a dog cage, his feet and hands chained, and forced to go without clothing. He was allowed to wear a diaper. He was let out, infrequently to perform chores, but then had to immediately return to his confinement.

    This child was truly forgotten by all. Everyone failed Christian.
    1. His pediatrician knew of the abuse; her report states that he told her he was being locked up, consistent weight loss, bruises, depression and anxiety, and soiling his pants. All of these are red flags to medical professionals. She could, and should have, saved him. She did nothing.
    2. He was absent so frequently in school (mostly due to “illness”) that his parents withdrew him from the school system and registered him as “home schooled”. The school was, at this point, no longer legally included in his education or welfare. This was the only chance Christian had to be seen by another adult, who was not part of his abuse. The state of Indiana has minimal home school requirements. There were no educational entries for Christian. No one checked.
    Christian disappeared from the Indiana school system and everyday life. The abuse was easier to hide now.
    3. The child welfare services had, no less then, 10 calls for reported abuse within the home; specifically that a boy was beaten and was being held under house arrest. Case workers all reported the claims as unsubstantiated, although not one investigator was seen to have entered the home nor did they request a warrant to enter the home for inspection.
    4. Adult family members saw the abuse and said nothing. Adult family members even knew when Christian died; and still did nothing nor said anything to the authorities.

    There was no help, no rescue, or even give a minimum amount of decency shown to Christian. He wrote of being hungry, thirsty, wanting to be liked by his family, and wanting to die. His story and photo haunts me. Looking into to those beautiful eyes and his sweet smile and then reading the horror that he lived is heart wrenching; it makes my heart, physically ache and turns my stomach.

    All of the persons who are responsible, directly or indirectly, should be held accountable.

    Child care law reforms are needed, home school accountability needs to be monitored, and doctors should be accountable for failure to report. It is rare that criminal negligence is prosecuted against those who could have made a difference.

    The home schooling system, although a great option for most families, should not be a loophole where abused children can be removed from site; endangering their education and health.

    God help us, it’s too late to save him, but please, please, please do not let Christian be forgotten. Maybe we can stop this from happening to another child.
    A saef house network is, currently, trying to be established in Christian's name (CHristian Choate Safe House Network), where children (like Christian) could escape their tormentors and find safety. We ALL need to help those who cannot speak or help themselves. Christian was innocent and defenseless, please don’t let him disappear.

    September 15, 2011 at 8:41 am |

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