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J.S. v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/14/89)

decided: April 14, 1989.

J.S., PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Department of Public Welfare, in the case of Appeal of: J.S., Docket No. 21-87-081, CL No. 02-16861.

COUNSEL

Harry R. Ruprecht, King, Ruprecht & McQuoid, for petitioner.

Kathleen Harrington, for respondent.

Laura J. Whiteman, Assistant County Solicitor, with her, James A. Esler, Assistant County Solicitor, and James J. Dodaro, County Solicitor, for intervenor, Children and Youth Services of Allegheny County.

Judges Craig, Doyle and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Doyle.

Author: Craig

[ 125 Pa. Commw. Page 169]

J.S. appeals a decision of the Office of Hearings and Appeals of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) that rejected a hearing officer's recommendation to expunge an indicated report of child abuse maintained under the Child Protective Services Law*fn1 implicating J.S., the father of A.S. We affirm.

On March 27, 1987, Allegheny County Children and Youth Services (CYS), received a report of suspected sexual abuse alleging that J.S. had sexually abused A.S. After an extensive investigation that consisted of interviews with A.S., her mother, J.S., and a telephone conversation with A.S.'s counselor, CYS concluded that the open mouth kissing J.S. inflicted on A.S.'s face and neck constituted sexual assault. On May 1, 1987, CYS filed an indicated report of child abuse naming J.S. as the perpetrator. On July 2, 1987, the Office of Child Welfare Services denied J.S.'s request to expunge the record.

[ 125 Pa. Commw. Page 170]

After considering all of the evidence, hearing officer Strong made the following significant findings:

4. On numerous occasions between the times that she was ages four to eight, the appellant held the subject child down and kissed her on her face and neck with his mouth open. He did not use his tongue. (N.T. 38 and 95.)

5. The child does not allege that the appellant touched her breast or genital area. (N.T. 39 and 40.)

7. The subject child has had virtually no contact with the appellant outside of court since the appellant and the mother of the subject ...


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