This report is part 8 of an investigative series looking into reported corruption in the Missouri Judiciary and family courts. For the rest of the investigation visit the catalog here.
On Thursday on KSGF in Springfield on the Nick Reed Radio Show, Kristi Fulnecky, of Fulnecky Law in Springfield, says that the allegations Evita Tolu has made in her lawsuit that led the entire 21st Judicial Circuit Court of St. Louis to recuse themselves are well-founded.
“If you want to hear about the most evil thing in the world, it’s reading the transcripts of what happened in these trials to these children. It will break your heart. I could hardly read it,” she told Nick Reed. Fulnecky says she is representing a woman right now who described collusion to return her child to an abuser and she could barely wrap her head around it.
“I represent one of these women involved in this right now,” she said. “She came to me because she saw that I’m a fighter and I don’t care about being in the clique.” Fulnecky said that her client knows a group of women who are in the same situation with the same psychologists and colluding guardians ad litem (GALs). “The women have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on these cases,” she said.
Fulnecky had a hard time comprehending the scope of the corruption that was described to her. “When I first got this it took me a while to get through it…my client kept saying ‘it’s corruption, not incompetence.'”
Fulnecky confirmed the pattern that PJ Media is seeing in the victim statements as they come forward. “The psychological evaluations, exactly what Megan [Fox] was saying yesterday—diagnosing all these women with borderline personality disorder (BPD). My client had the same psychologist. All the way through they would appeal their cases and lose because all these people are in on it!”
Fulnecky also confirmed that getting an attorney in St. Louis for any of the victims is going to be next to impossible.
“In St. Louis, there are no attorneys who are going to take these womens’ cases,” said Fulnecky. While most of the victims are women, PJ Media has received several reports from fathers on the receiving end of this corruption as well. Their stories will be shared as the investigation continues.
“It is corruption at the highest levels,” said Fulnecky.
Reed then went on to describe this situation better than I’ve been able to put it into words, mostly because I couldn’t even fathom the evil that would make this possible.
The sick thing is, if the allegations are true, in order for the money to flow to these different individuals, the greater their leverage is dependant upon, the greater danger they put the child in. Then they know the mother will do anything…these are instances where they are sending kids back to be molested, they are sending kids back to be beaten because they know if they do that the mom, hell or high water, will find the money to pay the fees required by the courts in order to keep fighting for the child.
Fulnecky then went on to describe perfectly the same pattern that is being revealed in evidence over and over again. “In my case, there were numerous hotline calls…by multiple sources, not just the mother and they still didn’t believe it,” said Fulnecky about child sex abuse charges.
In one case, three court-appointed therapists informed guardian ad litem (GAL) Elaine Pudlowski in writing that a child should never have unsupervised visits with her father because of multiple disclosures of sexual abuse, including sodomy. It began with the Missouri Children’s Division substantiating the abuse in November of 2016.
The Division’s preliminary finding of Sexual Abuse by a Preponderance of Evidence was made after weighing all of the evidence and based on the following:
There was abuse to the alleged victim child which was caused by the alleged perpetrator in that [redacted] stated Mr. [redacted] stuck his finger in her butt. The abuse was caused other than by accidental means in that [redacted] stated this happened at bedtime, in her daddy’s room. The abuse was not the result of spanking or other forms of discipline administered in a reasonable manner in that: This sexual abuse was for the purpose of sexual gratification and not reasonable discipline.
In October, therapist Salicia Mazero wrote in an email to Pudlowski and others, “I do not believe that [redacted] should have unsupervised visits with her father until we can continue to investigate.”
Pudlowski would not allow an investigation. Instead, she complained that the therapist was someone the mother chose and so Mazero should be ignored. “Now there is going to be ANOTHER hotline and I assume [redacted] will be interviewed again. I have a real problem with this,” she wrote in response. But a trained therapist was so concerned about what she observed in her meeting with the child that she reported it to the police and the hotline. This was a “problem” for Pudlowski. Then she continued, saying, “Please stop taking [redacted] to this therapist until we have a ruling; let’s see what the ruling is and then we will regroup.”
But did Pudlowski already know what the ruling would be? The victims who have come forward say the judges always come down on the side of the GALs. Sure enough, Judge Bruce Hilton ordered unsupervised visits, just like Pudlowski wanted.
Pudlowski fought off hotline call after hotline call as is evidenced by the piles of her emails that PJ Media has received. On September 21, 2017, Pudlowski admits she prevented a hotline call from being investigated. The call was made by the mother after a supervised visit with the child’s father went awry and the child used a “safe word,” alarming the mandated reporter. The child then made more disclosures to her mother about genital touching. Pudlowski’s response was exasperation and deflection and what looks like interference in the hotline process. “I spoke with the Children’s Division. Per the worker, he spoke with his supervisor, and the Children’s Division will be closing the hotline as incident already investigated. The visits need to resume,” wrote Pudlowski.
In March of 2018, court-appointed therapist Evangaline Bauer made another hotline call and reported severe sexual abuse to the police.
The mother’s attorney pleaded with Pudlowski to reconsider her obsession with reuniting the child and the father.
“For the record, her affidavit states that it happened every time she was at her Dad’s house for overnights. It was not just one incident! It happened repeatedly! Evangeline [Bauer] was very clear about this! My concern and Caroline’s is for [redacted]. No one is hearing her. There are multiple therapists telling us that contact with Dad would be detrimental to [redacted] and still [redacted] is forced to go. This cannot be in her best interests.”
Pudlowski responded to the new allegations, saying, “I do not have the ability to stop a visit that is taking place tomorrow. You have filed your TRO (temporary restraining order), I will be there at 9am Monday a.m. and we can see if the judge stops the visit.” She went on to write, “Children’s Division is not opening an investigation and said there was no disclosure. The supervisor specifically asked me to call you and tell you visits ARE to occur.”
Before the final judgment, Susi reached out to Pudlowski again, begging her to reconsider her recommendation to Judge Hilton that the child has unsupervised overnight visits with her named abuser.
As of December 13, 2018, when the motion to modify custody judgment was issued, overnight visits were ordered and remain to this day based on Pudlowski’s recommendation to the court, presided over by Judge Hilton.
Pudlowski got everything she wanted including giving the father full legal custody and 50/50 physical custody. It is a common complaint that judges in Missouri never deviate from the recommendations of the GAL. PJ Media has several victim statements with documentation that show this to be the case.
The mother also has audio recordings of Pudlowski telling her that she believes the child was traumatized but is going to reunite her with her father anyway. Investigative journalist Mike Volpe out of Chicago posted that leaked audio on YouTube.
PUDLOWSKI: I don’t believe your daughter would just make something up, Okay? Did he stick his finger up her butt? I do not know. I will not guess. She says he did, he says he didn’t…you weren’t there, I wasn’t there. What I have tried to do obviously unsuccessfully is to protect your daughter and say ‘hey if something happened let’s figure it out, let’s try to deal with it, let’s try to get a safe place for her with a counselor…she saw them together and she said ‘I think they could be unsupervised together.’..whatever happened she can move through whatever trauma that was because I know this will never go to the police. It will never go to Children’s Division. Those things aren’t going to happen, there’s not going to be that kind of resolution where you say ‘AHA! He has been criminally prosecuted and found guilty and go to jail.’ ..That’s not going to happen, that’s not the real world. So what is going to happen? He is going to have some kind of contact with her. How do you deal with that? Let’s try to help the child, let’s try to educate her.
But all evidence shows that it will not go to the police because it appears Pudlowski prevented that from happening on more than one occasion.
There is a lot more psychobabble in the video that makes absolutely no sense other than to excuse the actions of an abuser. Pudlowski is adamant that no matter what abuse occurred, the child (who was five at the time and is now ten) will have to continue being subjected to it because no one can prosecute the father because children are not believed, even when they continue to disclose abuse consistently over many years. If this is the state of law enforcement where child abuse is concerned, and it appears to be, the system is broken and people like Pudlowski only serve to bolster its illegitimacy.
PJ Media has several parents alleging the exact same pattern with Pudlowski and more allegations are coming in every day. The audio PJ Media has reviewed shows Pudlowski yelling at mothers, berating them, gaslighting them, and being extremely callous and rude. In one audio, she tells Evita Tolu to stop talking and insinuates that she’s too dumb to understand anything she’s saying. (That audio will be coming soon.)
What Pudlowski and others are just starting to realize is that many of these parents have been secretly recording them for months.
“The more people that speak out, especially attorneys, the more of us who can get together and fight it… reading the transcripts and the actual practice that these attorneys did, they all need to be disbarred,” continued Fulnecky. “It’s so overwhelming. It takes up the whole court system there.”
As to the local media silence, Fulnecky said, “It doesn’t surprise me that nobody in St. Louis [is covering it] because everybody is connected…everybody is friends…nobody wants to risk their legal [career].”
One of the more disturbing patterns of abuse that PJ Media is uncovering is attorneys acting against the interests of their own clients in collaboration with GALs and opposing counsel. Fulnecky explained, “My client went to her attorney to see her and her attorney actually tricked her into meeting her and they took her kid away from her. What kind of attorney tricks their client?”
The answer is: corrupt and criminal attorneys. Continue following PJ Media for more on this developing story.
If you or someone you know has been victimized by GALs, judges, attorneys, or psychologists in the Missouri Family Court system, please contact [email protected] for instructions on how to join the investigation.
Help us shine a light on corruption and hold those in power accountable by becoming a PJ Media VIP member. With your support, we can continue to bring you investigative reporting that makes a difference. Become a VIP supporter today.