IN THE INTEREST OF O.H. and P.H., Minor Children, T.H., Father, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Susan C. Cox,
District Associate Judge.
father appeals a dispositional order in a
child-in-need-of-assistance proceeding that denied him
visitation with his two minor children. AFFIRMED.
A. Hurd of Law Office of Thomas Hurd P.L.C., Des Moines, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kristi A. Traynor, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Wolle of Juvenile Defender Office, Des Moines, guardian ad
litem for minor children.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Bower, JJ.
Harlow appeals the child-in-need-of-assistance (CINA)
dispositional order that denied him visitation with his two
minor children. He claims there are sufficient safeguards to
protect the children during visitation and the no-contact
order that resulted from his charge for committing sexual
abuse in the second degree is unconstitutional. Because the
order is in the children's best interests, we affirm.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
October 1, 2016, the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS)
removed O.H. and P.H. after the father and P.H.'s mother
were arrested following allegations they sexually abused the
mother's other child, T.W.,  while he was visiting the
mother's home. According to police reports, the father
forced the mother and child to perform oral and vaginal sex
while the father watched. The reports also allege that O.H.
witnessed the incident and P.H. was in another room. During
the criminal proceedings, the court entered a no-contact
order prohibiting the father from contacting "any person
under the age of eighteen."
October 4, 2016, the State filed a CINA petition that alleged
O.H. and P.H. to children in need of assistance. In its
October 11 order following the subsequent removal hearing,
the court confirmed removal and placed the children under the
care of their paternal grandparents. The court ordered the
mother and father to participate in "all available jail
programming" along with other services offered by DHS.
On November 16, 2016, the court adjudicated O.H. and P.H. as
children in need of assistance. The court also found the
paternal grandparents did not provide proper care and placed
temporary legal custody of O.H. with her maternal
grandparents. Temporary legal custody of P.H. was placed with
her maternal aunt and uncle.
December 7, the court held a dispositional hearing. At the
time of the hearing, the father was incarcerated. The father
requested in-person visitation with his children, or in the
alternative, video visitation. In its order, the court
confirmed O.H. and P.H. were children in need of assistance.
The court also denied the father's request for
visitation. The court explained:
The father's request for visits with the children is
denied. Any contact with children is prohibited by the
criminal no contact order. The court further finds it is not
in the children's best interests. [The father] has not
received sex offender treatment. Furthermore, the court finds