A sex offender and someone accused of child abuse are speaking out about how they were able to become the guardians of two children.
However, the fact that they even had those children under their care for several months, got two Department of Children and Families managers fired.
Everyone involved in the situation said DCF did not initially place the children with the couple, but instead the biological parents wanted them there. It is being described as a private transaction, but once DCF found out about their backgrounds, they still did nothing.
Charles and Dawn Staples said the parents of their infant nephew and toddler niece didn’t want them.
“The parents couldn't take care of him and they didn't want him,” Dawn Staples said.
For several months, after a private transaction, they were acting as their parents.
“Both children had everything they needed, cribs, changing tables, you name it,” Charles Staples said.
Relatives caring for the children doesn’t seem like such a bad thing, but the couple does have a past.
“I was supposedly on a child abuse registry,” Dawn Staples said.
Her husband is on the sex offender registry for a child rape that happened in 1990, but he said he was falsely accused.
“I've been out of prison since August of 2001,” Charles Staples said.
Someone who was concerned made an anonymous call to DCF and investigators looked into the couple. The Staples said they were upfront about their past.
“100 percent honest, no lies, hiding nothing,” Dawn Staples said.
They said DCF officials knew about the past an arrangement and would come several times per week for unscheduled visits.
“The whole time they kept saying, 'you're doing great, the children are beautiful.’ One of the DCF workers went to court with us and testified for us,” Charles Staples said.
The couple showed Eyewitness News a risk assessment that was conducted by DCF on Charles Staples, and it discovered his chance of reoffending was low, and said “the results of this evaluation support allowing Charles and his common-law wife to remain as the primary caretakers for the young children."
The Staples said other experts and department lawyers were also consulted and found them fit to guard, but in a scathing termination letter addressed to two managers at the Willimantic office, DCF said the children should have been removed immediately, saying “you failed to recognize the serious risk associated with this situation, failed to take immediate steps to ensure the safety of the children, and instead allowed the children to remain in this arrangement.”
Charles Staples has served his time and his wife Dawn said her child abuse allegations are unfounded, and they should be back with the children.
“That label is stuck on me for life until I can get off of it,” Charles Staples said.
The couple is looking to gain legal custody but they just don’t think it’s going to happen.
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