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Name: In re David R.
Case #: B239629
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 12/31/2012
Subsequent History: Review granted, depublished, transferred
Summary

Son may not be removed from father who molested female sibling absent any evidence that son was also at substantial risk of sexual abuse. The juvenile court took jurisdiction over six-year-old S.G. and two-year-old David, because father molested S.G. in an apartment away from the family home where he lived with David, S.G., and S.G.’s mother. No one else was present when father molested S.G. The court based the jurisdiction on its view that “both sexes are at risk where this type of sexual abuse occurs.” The appellate court held that the court committed reversible error because it applied an incorrect standard in finding that David was at risk of being molested. California courts are divided on the question of whether a man’s sexual molestation of his minor daughter or stepdaughter is sufficient by itself to support a finding that the victim’s male siblings are at risk of sexual abuse. The better reasoned view is that a father’s sexual abuse of his female daughters, standing alone, is insufficient to establish a substantial risk to the male sibling. Here, the court applied the wrong standard and DCFS failed to introduce any evidence to support the conclusion that David was at risk of sexual abuse. Therefore, reversal of jurisdiction was required.