media traction

The case of C, thoroughly covered in this blog, is finally getting some traction in the media outside of Lawrence County PA. On June 4 papers were filed in Pittsburgh federal court for the Habeus Corpus release of C from captivity.

In the story below, C has been mischaracterized as a “runaway,” but he is unlike most garden-variety runaways you might picture (except for the abuse he has suffered at the hands of his mother and her family). Unlike most runaways, his parents have always known exactly where he is. His only “crime” is defying a judge’s order to reside with his mother, where experience shows he will be battered again. In a world where some kids resort to murder to end the abuse, C is my hero. I admire his willingness to suffer incarceration as a criminal rather than submitting to more abuse.

He prefers to live with his father, identified for the first time in this report as Dr. Kevin Thomas, with whom he will be safe. If you want to see the KDKA report where Dr. Thomas is interviewed on camera, click here.



Teen Locked Up After Running Away From Mom; Dad Files Suit To Get Him Released

by Ralph Iannotti, KDKA-TV

June 4, 2015

A Westmoreland County man has filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in Pittsburgh in an effort to get his 14-year-old son out of a detention facility in Lawrence County.

The boy, identified in court papers by the initials C.T., has been confined to the Krause Youth Shelter in New Castle since early April.

The teen has never been charged with a crime. But he has run away from his mother’s home in the New Castle-area repeatedly because of what he calls panic attacks.

A Lawrence County judge assigned the boy to Children and Youth Services, and the boy ended up at the shelter.

His father, Kevin Thomas, told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti that he and the teen’s mother get to see C.T. one hour each week.

“My son doesn’t deserve this; he’s a great kid,” said Thomas. “My son very much wants out; he wants to be safe.

“He has no visitors there,” he added. “His mother and I get to see him for one hour each per week, but no friends, no outside… no other family. His education itself has really been left to, ‘you’re a smart kid, do it yourself.’”

Thomas’ lawyer, Pittsburgh attorney Richard Sandow, says a habeas corpus lawsuit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court on behalf of Thomas because his client was getting no satisfaction from state courts.

“The boy is not a threat to anybody,” Sandow said. “He’s not a threat to run away, except he won’t stay with his mom because of the panic attacks.”

According to the lawsuit, “the boy is a prisoner of the Commonwealth, locked away without trial. He’s been denied education and religious studies.”

“Any father would be proud to have a boy like mine as their son,” Thomas said, “and it’s not right how my boy is being treated since he’s committed no crime and nor has he been charged with any wrongdoing.”


Ralph Iannotti is an investigative and general assignment reporter for KDKA-TV. Ralph is known for his no-nonsense style and his track record of being first to break major stories. It’s great that he has focused on this story about the judicial corruption rampant in Lawrence County, and that a heroic young boy has shown him the way.


Previous installments of this unfolding story can be read here (1), here (2), here (3), here (4) and here (5).

Although it is not a part of the story of C, this is another story about the corrupt courts of Lawrence County. And then, of course, there is the thoroughly outrageous story of Jordan Brown, consisting of many posts, but summarized here.


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9 Responses to “media traction”

  1. 1 BobH
    June 6, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    It appears that this boy would not run away from anywhere except his mother’s house. Therefore, it is unconscionable that he has not been placed in a foster home while the process is worked out and the reasons for his panic attacks are worked out. It seems to me, therefore, that his confinement in juvenile detention is a punishment and a coercion tactic, intended to force him to agree to return to his mother. But his refusal is a rational act, if he fears being with his mother, for whatever reason. Smart 14-year olds can think through anything if their thoughts go in the right direction.

    In class yesterday, one 14-year old boy moved himself from one desk to another so that he would not be led astray by his friends. He had worked out for himself that your friends are not always the ones you want to be with every situation if their interests or inclination diverge from yours.

  2. June 6, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    I entirely agree with Bob when he says that this looks as a retaliation tactic to punish the boy for his refusal to remind with his mother. I’m pleased to note that the gag order made by Lawrence County Judicial authorities is now meaningless, the case having attracted the media’s attention.
    Perhaps will this attention lead this triumvirate of (auto censored) and their followers to change their minds in this case and send the young C in a foster home instead of this “Youth Shelter”, the time needed to find a satisfying solution which takes in account the interests and the welfare of the child?

  3. 3 Hat Bailey
    June 6, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    All this authoritarianism gets pretty tiresome. Especially since these arrogant self styled “authorities” didn’t author anything, much less a young flesh and blood human being. I’ve seen too much of this de facto punishment for daring to defy unfounded and unjust orders. Whatever happened to “due process” before deprivation of liberty? Wasn’t that supposed to be guaranteed under the constitution?

    • 4 Dave
      June 8, 2015 at 10:49 am

      The defiance of Judge Motto’s order was the 14-year-old’s attempting to save himself from further abuse being levied on him by mom and family.

      Unfortunately, courtesy of Judge Motto, the young man was recently assaulted by an inmate of Krause Youth Center, apparently in full view of the guard(s.) On the upside, it doesn’t appear to be as bad as some he has received at mother’s.

      The U. S. Constitution has been ignored by Judges Hodge and Piccione in addition to Motto, in Lawrence County, PA.

      This is the price paid by citizens for granting total immunity to lawyers turned politicians.

  4. 5 Marie
    July 30, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    I think 60 minutes should share this case and Jordan’s, with the public. Truly horrifying.

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