Change Indiana Child Custody Law in Memory of Christian Choate
Christian Choate was a 13-year old boy who was continually beaten, abused, and locked in a dog cage by his father and stepmother, and was finally beaten so severely that he died from blunt trauma, internal bleeding and a skull fracture. The father then buried his son and told anyone who questioned Christian's whereabouts that he had run away. Christian's body was discovered two years later.
The outrageous problem with this even more outrageous and horrendous story is that this whole situation should never have happened to begin with. In 2003, Christian's parents divorced and his father Riley Choate was given custody of him and his sister, DESPITE the fact that Riley had a well-known history of domestic violence and was convicted of child abuse since 1999. In fact, one of the reasons Christian's mother divorced his father was due to the abusive relationship she had to endure with him. Neighbors repeatedly reported suspicions of abuse to the Indiana Department of Child Services for almost 10 years, and yet no action was taken.
So what kind of a law supposedly dedicated to justice allows child custody to a man convicted of child abuse? We create this petition to protest against such an irrational lawmaking custody decision, and to appeal to the legislature to enact a law that takes into account a history of domestic violence and abuse when deciding custody, so that no child has to live and suffer through such a horrifying reality when it could have been avoided.
So please sign and thank you very much!