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Child says Assembly of God Pastor Sexually Assaulted Her

Contact: Jane Tucker, Family's Attorney for the Appeal, 601-291-2047l; www.chandlerkids-thetruth.com


MERIDIAN, Miss., Jan. 23 /Christian Newswire/ -- Chancery Court (Family Court) Judge Sarah Springer, defeated in the Nov. 2006 election, in Civil Case No 00-0038-S handed custody of two children to the children's biological father; David Trave Chandler, the Outreach Pastor of First Assembly of God Church, Meridian.  Physicians, counselors, state- appointed psychologists, Child Protective Services Texas, are a few of the experts who say that the girl was sexually assaulted. She has steadfastly declared since 2004 that her father, Rev. David Trave Chandler, is the perpetrator.


"In December 2005, Judge Springer gave David Chandler unsupervised visitation for two weeks, over Christmas.  In response to this order, the mother, Donna Chandler, took the children into hiding." -- Jane Tucker


The mother fled to protect these children so the United States Attorney may be forced to look for them.  At this time the mother's and children's whereabouts are unknown to the court.


Without cause--without due process, Springer issued sanctions and criminal contempt charges against the mother and her attorney.  


Karen Spencer, the mother and grandmother's original attorney, faced contempt before Judge Springer and was represented by criminal defense attorney Cynthia Speetjens.  Spencer was found in contempt of court for, among other things,  "sharing information with her clients."


Up until the contempt hearing, Springer's court had succesfully quelled all attempts to introduce evidence of the minor daughter's sexual assaults. In fighting the contempt charge, Cynthia Speetjens introduced the molestation evidence for the first time.  Even so, the court refused to allow that evidence to be heard during the custody trial and awarded custody to the father.


The child told counselors that her "daddy" had begun a "special relationship" when she was 6. Texas Protective Services conducted an independent investigation and found that there were "reasons to believe David Trave Chandler had sexually assaulted his daughter."


The story began on July 16, 2004, when the nine-year-old daughter handed her mother a note stating that her "private parts hurt bad." The child, who had just returned from visitation with her father, had drawn what appeared to be an erect penis on the note.   The mother took the child to a counselor who immediately scheduled a physical exam with a board-certified physician who found physical evidence consistent with sexual molestation.


The Assisitant United States Attorney, who has reviewed the evidence, agrees that the mother left the jurisdiction to protect her children, but may have to look for them anyway.


Texas Family Law attorney, Lisa S. Zahn, expressed incredulity saying,  "This is one of the worst cases of sexual abuse of a child I have seen… the court seeming to seek to put the children back in the source of the abuse."