A Michigan judge has thought better of punishing three children over their parents’ bitter divorce.
The judge, who locked up the three kids because they refused to eat lunch with their father, has reversed her decision and sent them to summer camp instead.
Oakland County Judge Lisa Gorcyca faced withering criticism for locking up the three — ages 9, 10, and 15 — in juvenile detention after they refused her order to meet with their father, NBC News reported Friday.
The children, who committed no crime, were charged with contempt of court after Gorcyca ordered them to have lunch with their estranged father in the Oakland County Family Court cafeteria.
The Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence blasted Gorcyca for “not only making these children unsafe, but traumatizing them further by tearing them away from their non-violent parent and placing them in detention.”
The children’s parents have been involved in a bitter custody dispute since 2009, according to court records.
The judge, solidly backing the father, blamed the children’s mother for alienating the two boys and their younger sister from their father. According to an earlier hearing transcript, Gorcyca compared the mother’s influence on the children to Charles Manson’s on his California cult in the 1960s, the Daily Mail reported.
The children were confined at Children’s Village, a juvenile detention center, but kept away from youthful offenders who had committed crimes. At their father’s request, the children will be sent to a two-week summer camp, where they will be able to visit with their parents.
It’s unclear what will happen to the children when summer camp is over.
“That’s up to the judge,” said Lisa Stern, the mother’s attorney.
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