San Antonio Judge Rules Men Not Capable of Being Victims of Domestic Violence
www.SavingTheKids.weebly.com SAN ANTONIO, TX - Texas has some of the toughest domestic violence laws in America. This is not by accident. A large percentage of domestic violence occurs in homes where children are present. Because of the danger and adverse consequences to children growing up in a home with domestic violence present, the Texas Family Penal Code makes it very clear that a Family Law Judge CANNOT name an abusive spouse as custodial parent if credible evidence of domestic violence occurs.
But what if the abusive spouse is a woman?
The answer for San Antonio Judge Larry Noll was to rule that a man cannot be a legal victim of domestic violence because a man cannot ever have a reasonable fear of the woman that is abusing him.
Texas Family Penal Code makes it very clear that the law does not discriminate based upon the gender of a domestic violence victim, but that does not mean that rogue judge cannot be sexist against male victims of domestic violence.
Andrew and Shakia Goss were married in 1999, and have 8 children together. The Goss children participated in sports, clubs, and neighborhood activities. The Goss children went to parties for classmates, and played with neighborhood kids at the park. The Goss children also grew up watching their mother verbally and physically abuse their father on a regular basis.
The first time the police were called to the Goss residence was in 2000. Shakia had gotten angry at something Andrew said and slammed him into a door, breaking the glass. Responding officers took and filed Shakia’s statement about what happened, but never bothered to file Andrew’s. Andrew called the police because of Shakia’s violence several other times over the years, but no police report was even filed.
In 2009, while arguing with her husband, Shakia picked up a butcher's knife and tried to stab Andrew to death in the family kitchen. The young Goss children, hearing the commotion, ran to the kitchen. The oldest child was in 5th grade and, immediately sensing danger, grabbed a phone and called 911. Police responded and found scratches and bruises on Andrew's face, arms, and neck. Police arrested Shakia. Shakia was charged, and later convicted, of felony domestic assault against a family member. The court gave her a one-year probation. For attempted murder.
After undergoing court-ordered anger-management, Shakia convinced Andrew that she was a changed person who deserved a second-chance. As many victims of domestic violence do, Andrew allowed Shakia to return to the home after the temporary protective order against her expired. Peace was in the home, but it would not last long.
The Goss children were getting older. Shakia reverted back to her violent abusive ways. In February of 2015, Shakia stayed overnight at a hotel she could “get a break” away from her family. Having a headache, Shakia called and asked Andrew to bring up medicine. Because it was late, Andrew stayed the night at the hotel. While driving around town the next day, one of the older children stated that when they noticed that their father did not come home they just assumed that their mother had killed him. The child said it so matter-of-factly. Andrew was shocked and appalled that his children discussed their mother killing their father so casually. It was as if they had already accepted its inevitability. Over the next few weeks Andrew thought more and more about what his children were thinking. Andrew slowly realized that he too had already accepted the premise that his days were numbered, and his life would end at the hand of his violent abusive wife.
March 10, 2015 was a good day. The weather was nice. Andrew had the Goss home running like a well-oiled machine, and that day was going according to the tight schedule. Andrew had made dinner and was eating it with the children. Shakia was upstair watching some reality program and investing time on facebook. Shakia called Andrew upstairs to talk. Andrew went upstairs to see what she wanted. Shakia blocked Andrew in the bedroom and started screaming and cursing.
Andrew had a work bag. Inside the workbag was a zipped-up compartment. Inside the zipped-up compartment was a sealed envelope addressed to Andrew’s mother, who lived about 1700 miles away. Inside that sealed envelope was a $75 money order. A repayment for money borrowed to buy the children Christmas gifts. Shakia had rifled through Andrew’s bag, gone through the zipped-up compartment, and opened the sealed envelope. And Shakia was furious.
For almost an entire hour, Shakia punched, slapped, kicked, and choked Andrew. Shakia is not a small girl. She usually weighs about 300lbs. With her large rear-end, Shakia blocked the only exit out of the room as Andrew spoke softly in an attempt to calm her down. Eventually a child got Shakia to open the door, and Andrew escaped to a bathroom in the hallway. Andrew hoped he would be able to hide out in the bathroom until Shakia calmed down. She did not calm down, instead she picked the lock and attacked him in the bathroom. Andrew was able to escape and ran out the house and called the police.
When responding officers arrived, Andrew had noticeable bruises and scratch marks. Shakia’s hand print marks were still red around Andrew’s neck from when she had choked him. Shakia confessed to attacking Andrew and was arrested and charged with felony domestic violence for the second time. In June of 2016, Bexar County gave Shakia her second domestic violence conviction. The court, again, only gave Shakia a one-year probation.
Andrew filed for divorce from Shakia and a custody hearing was held on October 20, 2016. Despite the fact that issue of custody involved 20 years of marriage, eight minor children, and multiple acts of domestic violence, Judge Noll only gave each lawyer 30 minutes to make their case. For Andrew, that meant that his lawyer had to pick and choose just a fraction of evidence to submit. Andrew had dozens of audio files, police records, court documents, screenshots, and images that showed the undeniable pattern of verbal and physical violence that Andrew and his children had suffered at the hand of his abusive wife. During closing arguments, Andrew’s lawyer read into the court record Texas Family Penal Code that prohibits a judge from giving an abusive spouse custodial conservatorship of minor children when credible evidence of domestic violence occurs. Ignoring police reports that detailed the violent aftermath of Shakia’s abuse, ignoring the fact that two different prosecutors charged Shakia with felony domestic violence, and ignoring the fact that two different courts found Shakia guilty of domestic violence, Judge Noll ruled that, as a man, Andrew could not have had a reasonable fear of Shakia, therefore it was not legally possible for domestic violence to have occurred and the law did not apply.
To add further insult to injury, despite the fact that Andrew had been successfully raising all 8 children by himself for the last two years, Judge Noll ruled that it was not reasonable to believe that a man could take care of 8 kids by himself, and ruled that the children be yanked away from their stable home with their father and placed into the custodial care of their violent abusive mother.
Andrew is appealing Judge Noll’s ruling based upon many abuses of discretion that Judge Noll committed. Appealing will cost about $15,000. Raising 8 children makes paying for a lawyer an extreme burden. $15,000 is next to impossible. This problem is further compounded because Judge Noll also ruled that Andrew pay his abuser over $2000/month in child-support.
Andrew took his beatings for years. When Andrew called the police he was humiliated by those who found out. When he tried to get out through divorce, Judge Noll took away his kids and his income. Coming up with $15,000 to appeal a sexist rogue judge is next to impossible. Where is the hope for a male victim of domestic violence?
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