IN THE INTEREST OF K.H. and T.H., Minor Children, K.H., Father, Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Plymouth County, Robert J.
Dull, District Associate Judge.
father appeals the adjudication of his child as a child in
need of assistance. AFFIRMED.
S. Moeller of John S. Moeller, P.C., Sioux City, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Thali of the Juvenile Law Center, Sioux City, for minor
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Bower, JJ.
DANILSON, Chief Judge.
father appeals the adjudication of his child, T.H., as a
child in need of assistance (CINA) pursuant to Iowa Code
section 232.2(6)(d) (2016). The father asserts the juvenile
court erred in determining T.H. was sexually abused, and
therefore, argues adjudication is improper. Because the
record supports adjudication under section 232.2(6)(d), we
affirm the judgment of the juvenile court.
father and mother have three children B.H., who is nineteen;
T.H., who is thirteen; and K.H., who is twelve. The father
and mother have been divorced for eleven years. Pursuant to
the dissolution decree, the father had physical care of T.H.
and K.H. However, in July 2016, the mother assumed physical
care of T.H. and K.H. due to allegations B.H. was sexually
abusing T.H. and K.H., the children told the father what was
occurring, and he did not act to prevent further abuse.
children were interviewed at the Child Advocacy Center in
July of 2016. K.H. reported specific incidents of sexual
abuse by B.H. beginning when K.H. was ten or eleven years old
and occurring as recently as one month prior to the
interview. T.H. reported that T.H. was not sexually abused by
B.H. However, T.H. stated B.H. had attempted to pull down her
pants or force her into his bedroom on a number of occasions
from the time she was about eight years old. K.H. and T.H.
both stated they told the father about the incidents of abuse
and the father told them he would speak to B.H. However, the
children reported it did not appear the father addressed the
problem with B.H. because the incidents of abuse or attempted
abuse continued to occur.
petition was filed September 14, 2016, and an adjudication
hearing was held December 20, 2016. On December 28, 2016, the
juvenile court entered an order adjudicating both children as
CINA pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(d). The father
now appeals with respect to T.H.
review of CINA cases is de novo. In re D.D., 653
N.W.2d 359, 361 (Iowa 2002). "We are not bound by the
juvenile court's factual findings, but give them weight,
especially when credibility is at issue." Id.
"Our primary concern is the children's best
interests." In re J.S., 846 N.W.2d 36, 40 (Iowa
Code section 232.2(6)(d) provides that a child "[w]ho
has been, or is imminently likely to be, sexually abused by
the child's parent, guardian, custodian, or other member
of the household in which the child resides" is a CINA.
father argues that adjudication under section 232.2(6)(d) is
improper as to T.H. because T.H. did not report being
sexually abused by B.H. However, application of section
232.2(6)(d) is proper where the child has not been sexually
abused but abuse is imminently likely. See D.D., 653
N.W.2d at 362; see also In re K.H., No. 15-0396,
2015 WL 2394198, at *2 (Iowa Ct. App. May 20, 2015)
("[W]e find it fair to draw the inference that since
K.H. was abused by the father, then A.H. and S.H. are