From Iceland — Father Wins Custody Despite Sexual Abuse Claims

Father Wins Custody Despite Sexual Abuse Claims

Published September 29, 2020

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The father of a young girl has been given custody rights of his daughter, despite the mother accusing him of sexual violence against the child, Vísir reports.

The case ended in the father’s favour because the mother did not respect his access rights, based on her suspicion of violence against the girl.

The mother reported the child’s father to police in October 2018 for sexually abusing the young girl, after she, and the staff at the kindergarten her daughter attended, noticed changes in the girl’s behaviour. The parents had broken up the year before and the father often visited his daughter. However, the mother claims that the behaviour he displayed around the girl became increasingly inappropriate and disturbing.

The police investigation was cancelled due to a lack of evidence. The mother then stopped allowing the father to see the child unattended, prompting him to file for custody at the end of May.

Admits a history of abuse

The father has previously admitted to abusing his half-sister, when she was five and he was 14 years old. He claims that he knew at the time that he was doing something wrong, and that this event had affected his whole life. He said he was ashamed of his actions and asserted that he had no inclination towards children, denying any sexual motivations for his daughter.

The verdict says that a court-appointed assessor considered the mother’s accusations unclear and that they are largely speculation about possible violations.

“The mother does not agree that a traditional custody agreement takes place, and that is in fact the one detail that the court concerns itself with, and grants custody to the father just because of that.” says Þorbjörg Inga Jónsdóttir, the woman’s lawyer. A children’s law expert says that she does not remember a case where the verdict was based entirely on the rules of conduct alone.

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