News & Politics

Missouri Guardian Ad Litem Served in Wrongful Death Suit for Suicide of 14-Year-Old Abuse Victim Mikaela Haynes

(YouTube screenshot)

This report is part 26 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.

Mikaela Haynes took her own life at the tender age of fourteen when the professionals in the Missouri family court system and Department of Family Services failed to protect her from her father, a convicted child rapist. PJ Media reported extensively on that story here and here.

A wrongful death suit was filed in Missouri’s federal court on November 11 naming guardian ad litem (GAL) Jennifer Williams, Bernice Haynes, grandmother of Mikaela, and Charles Haynes, father and convicted pedophile as defendants in the death of the abused minor.

The lawsuit brought by Mikaela’s mother Cynthia Randolph alleges that Williams had multiple conflicts of interest, failed to report abuse as a mandated reporter, and failed to report to the court that Charles Haynes was on tape threatening to kill a criminal witness, his step-daughter whom he raped, among other outrages. Williams, reports the suit, did everything in her power to keep the pedophile’s access to his younger daughters, including Mikaela, who later hung herself to escape her father and the abuse by the Missouri family court system.

In June or July 2016, Plaintiff told Williams that Charles has been threatening to kill Plaintiff and M.S.H. because M.S.H. disclosed to the police Charles’ sexual abuse of her. Plaintiff told Williams that the Ripley County Sheriff had a recording of Charles’s threats against Plaintiff and M.S.H. That recording was lodged into the evidence in State of Missouri v. Charles Haynes, 13RI-CR00907-01. Williams refused to review the video.

The suit alleges that Williams used false allegations of “educational neglect” that allowed the court to remove them from their mother’s custody and place them in the care of Bernice Haynes, Charles’s mother. Haynes, the court admitted, did not supervise him around his children. Judge John Shock was aware that Bernice Haynes did not supervise the rapist and gave the children to her anyway with an order for “liberal visitation” with their rapist father. Shock wrote on December 15, 2016, “After all other evidence was presented, the Guardian Ad Litem testified that, even though she has concerns about Bernice Haynes’ failure to fully supervise Father’s visits in the past, her recommendation is that the minor children be placed with Bernice Haynes.”

RELATED: What Happened to Mikaela Haynes? Missouri Guardian Ad Litem Withdraws from Case Involving Teen Suicide After Press Inquiry

Williams told the court that the children would be in a better home with Bernice than with their mother and the court agreed.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Williams told the Divorce Court that being “fairly informed” it was her opinion that “the educational endeavors of the girls have been hindered” and “had not been pursued appropriately” by Plaintiff, based on what “I am being told by the children.” “I have great concerns about their education.” “I believe that Bernice Haynes is in the better position to make that happen and hopefully get them caught up to where they need to be.”

At the time, Bernice Haynes was 90 years old, unable to drive, heavily medicated, and hard of hearing. Despite no signs of educational neglect ever being proven, Williams continued to allege that the girls were behind in school. Both girls made the honor roll and Mikaela was an entire year ahead of her classmates. Despite these facts, Williams continued to allege false claims of “educational neglect” and ignore signs of sexual abuse.

Mikaela began cutting herself while in the custody of Bernice Haynes and was hospitalized. The doctors who saw her there refused to return her to her grandmother’s care, recognizing that there was serious abuse going on in her home. Williams then demanded that Mikaela and her younger sister be turned over to foster care instead of returning them to their mother, who was never accused of any child abuse, only “educational neglect,” which was proven false. The court continued to listen to Williams, and Mikaela and her younger sister were sent to foster care against their wishes, furthering their trauma by the system.

RELATED: Mikaela Haynes Committed Suicide After Being Forced to Visit Rapist Father. He Now Wants Prison Visits with Her Sister.

After being presented with the evidence that the children were doing well in school, Williams did not change her opinion and instead threatened Randolph, according to the lawsuit, and continued to keep her children from her.

Plaintiff provided the Wechsler’s Individual Assessment Test results to Williams as proof that Plaintiff did not neglect M.H.’s educational needs. Plaintiff asked Williams to file the test results with the Divorce Court. Williams told Plaintiff’s attorney and Plaintiff that if Plaintiff challenged her authority and provided the test results to the Divorce Court, Plaintiff would lose her visitation time with her daughters.

Something is terribly wrong in Missouri.

When child porn was found on Charles Haynes’ computer, nothing was done, according to the lawsuit. Charles was not prosecuted for it, despite his attorney delivering the evidence to the prosecutor.

In early January 2017, Charles told Plaintiff that in November 2015, Yarbro [lawyer for Charles] delivered Grandmother Haynes’ computer to the Prosecuting Attorney of Butler County after Yarbro found children’s pornographic images on it. Plaintiff informed Williams that Grandmother Haynes’ computer used exclusively by Charles contained pornographic images of minor children. (See also ¶43 above.) 74. At no time did Williams disclose this information to the Divorce Court or that the Butler County Prosecutor had the computer. Williams did not investigate what was on that computer.

One of the most shocking claims in the lawsuit is Williams’s response to Mikaela’s outcry that her father was visiting her bedroom in the middle of the night at Bernice Haynes’s house.

After M.H. informed Williams that she ran to Plaintiff’s home in the middle of the night because she was terrified of Charles, Williams informed Charles of this fact. Not only did Williams not act to prevent Charles from being alone with M.H. in her bedroom, Williams also did not hold Grandmother Haynes accountable for not supervising Charles’ nightly visits with M.H. Instead, Williams accused Plaintiff of manipulating M.H. She ordered Charles to install four cameras at Grandmother Haynes’ house to watch M.H. at night. Williams told Plaintiff and M.H. that Williams would cut their visitation times if M.H.’s nightly outings to her mother’s home continued. M.H. told Williams and Plaintiff, “I feel like an animal in a cage.” M.H. begged her mother to remove Williams from her case.

Mikaela cried out to every professional who would listen about the abuse. When one would try to help her by recommending she return home with her mother, Williams would refuse to follow their expert opinions, according to the suit.

On February 6, 2017, Pediatric Psychiatrist Zafar Rehmani, who was then affiliated with DePaul Hospital, recorded the following among his observations: • M.H. is the saddest about placement in the foster care 3 years ago because her biological father molested her 18 [15 at that time] year old half-sister. He went to jail twice. She is angry at him. • M.H. is the maddest at her father. • M.H.’s wishes are: 1) return home [to her mother]; 2) all the court to stop; and 3) dad in jail…Williams did not investigate why DePaul Hospital doctors refused to release M.H. to Grandmother Haynes. Williams did not investigate why M.H. was mutilating herself. Williams did not hot line the child abuse at Grandmother Haynes’ home as the MRPR, Supreme Court GAL Standards and R.S.Mo. §210.115 required.

Mikaela’s therapist, Dr. Jerry Marks, tried to tell the court she was being abused by Charles Haynes. According to the lawsuit, Williams still refused to keep her away from the pedophile.

On September 8, 2017, Dr. Marks noted that: “She [M.H.] has been sexually abused by her biological father who has denied the incidents but is awaiting court action for the alleged abuse of another daughter living at the house.” She [M.H.] says that she doesn’t want to go through what her sister has been through with the courts as she has disclosed that their father was sexually abusive with her [M.H.].

Williams would not step off the case despite being asked repeatedly to do so.

Plaintiff asked Williams to recuse herself for Williams’ failure to protect her children. Williams screamed “I am not going to voluntarily recuse myself; absolutely not!!!!”

After PJ Media sent her a press inquiry in the wake of Mikaela’s death, Williams recused herself immediately.

Mikaela took her life after finding out that Williams was going to testify at her father’s sentencing on his behalf. She believed that the court would give her back to him if he was not sent to prison. Even after Mikaela’s death, Williams testified on behalf of Charles Haynes, blaming his victims for being “highly sexualized for their age.”

Video of Williams being served was taken last week. She appeared to know it was coming.

The entire lawsuit is linked below.

E-filed Amended Complaint_Mikaela Wrongful Death Suit by PJ Media on Scribd