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 the termination of his parental rights.
A. Hurd of Glazebrook & Hurd LLP, Des Moines, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Anagha Dixit, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Wolle of Juvenile Public Defender Office, Des Moines,
guardian ad litem for minor children.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Tabor,
father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his
children O.H., born in March 2007, and P.H., born in June
2015. The father's rights as to P.H. were
terminated pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(d), (h),
(i), and (j) (2017). The father's rights as to O.H. were
terminated pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(d), (f),
(i), and (j). On appeal, the father argues there is not clear
and convincing evidence to terminate parental rights on any
of the grounds for termination, termination is not in the
children's best interests, he should have received a
six-month extension of time, and the children should have
been placed with a relative under a guardianship.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
and P.H. have different mothers. O.H. and P.H. lived with the
father and P.H.'s mother. P.H.'s mother has another
child, T.W., who is in the physical custody of his father,
but who visited his mother at the residence with the father,
O.H., and P.H. In September 2016, P.H.'s mother and the
father sexually abused T.W. while O.H. was in the home and
P.H. was in the same room. The children were removed in
October. Both O.H. and P.H. were taken to the emergency room
for an extensive lack of personal hygiene. The children were
placed with their paternal grandparents and adjudicated as
children in need of assistance (CINA).
father and P.H.'s mother were both arrested and charged
with sexual abuse in the second degree and neglect of a
dependent person. The court entered a no-contact order
prohibiting the father from contacting "any person under
the age of eighteen." The father was ordered to
participate in all available jail programming along with any
services offered by the Iowa Department of Human Services
November, O.H. was placed in the custody of her maternal
grandparents and P.H. was placed in the custody of her
maternal aunt and uncle. Both children remain in these
placements, and both placements report they are able to
provide permanent homes to the children.
December, the court entered a dispositional order denying the
father's request for visitation. The father appealed the
order to our court, and we affirmed the denial of visitation,
finding the father has "yet to address the issues that
led to the CINA action." In re O.H., No.
16-2209, 2017 WL 2184632, at *2 (Iowa Ct. App. May 17, 2017).
2017, the father entered an Alford plea to
lascivious acts with a child, enticing a minor under
thirteen, two counts of neglect of a dependent person, and
lascivious acts with a child by way of solicitation for his
actions with T.W. The father was sentenced to consecutive
terms of incarceration not to exceed a total of twenty-five
years for lascivious acts with a child, enticing a minor
under thirteen, and lascivious acts with a child by way of