PRIDE AND PROSECUTION: OREGON'S DESTRUCTION OF A FAMILY
ROSEBURG, OR. - Brian and Ruth Christine decided to take a year off, sell their Indiana home and buy a motor home to explore America with their 3 daughters, ages 5, 3 and 2, their travels eventually brought them to Oregon. They visited Deadwood, Oregon, staying with friends at Alpha Farm, a community based on Christian ideals and non-violence, where people live together in harmony.
After leaving Deadwood they headed South on I-5, deciding to stop in Grants Pass, Oregon. That turned out to be a fatal mistake. Their troubles started when Brian, Ruth and the children used the Grants Pass Public Library to teach their children to read. It was a hot July day during a heat wave. One of their daughters had contracted the flu and refused to eat. Someone saw the child who had been sick and called the Grants Pass, Oregon Offices for Services to Children and Families (SCF) anonymously. This brought out Grants Pass Police Child Advocacy Officer Dan Evans and a number of police cars that surrounded the Christine's motor home. Ruth was sitting at the table feeding the children, while Brian was inside using the library computer. Brian was summoned out of the library.
Without a search warrant and without informing Brian of his Rights, Officer Evans manipulated Brian and got into the motor home. Under the guise of a friendly conversation Evans deviously contrived information from Brian's conversation, which he used against the family. It became obvious to Brian and Ruth that they were being deceived. Evans demanded the confiscation of the children from their parents. When Brian and Ruth asked what would happen it they refused, Evans threatened to take the children out kicking and screaming. Evans presence terrified Brian and Ruth, who newer had any difficulty with the police in their entire life.
Brian was arrested, the children confiscated by SCF, and Ruth, 9 months pregnant, was abandoned in a parking lot with a motor home she had never driven. Once out of jail, it was eight months before Brian and Ruth saw their children again, thanks to SCF.
The Christine's were continually harassed by Grants Pass Public Safety Police. They were cursed at and terrified in a traffic stop. Their motor home windows were broken and the inside pepper sprayed, then impounded, leaving them without a place to live. Friends had to finally pay police to get their ransacked motor home out of impound. Grants Pass police harassment never ceased. On one occasion Officer Dan Evans followed Ruth into the Josephine County court house on her way to the law library to shove legal papers under Ruth's arm while mocking her, saying if she dropped them he'd also arrest her for littering. During this time Ruth delivered her fourth daughter Olivia at an undisclosed location. SCF demanded she turn her new baby over as well. Olivia, born out of the area and harms way, was being cared for by Brian's mother, Terri Christine, in Indiana.
Grants Pass SCF played a cruel duplistic game, wanting Brian and Ruth to sign self-incriminating papers. On one hand SCF demanded the Christine's admit guilt. One the other SCF did not allow cooperation from Brian and Ruth without their admission of guilt. Brian and Ruth were being forced to confess to charges they did not commit. Lawyers hired by the Christines were intimidated by the insider's legal system club and forced off the case. Brian and Ruth were fearful of public pretenders (defenders) because they are beholden to the insider's legal clique and SCF. These pretenders of justice demanded the Christines accept a plea bargain admitting guilt. All cooperation by Brian and Ruth was ignored and the state moved almost at once to demand parental termination.
After eight months of forced separation from their children, local Judge Allen Coon ordered SCF to allow Brian and Ruth to have at least weekly visitations with their children. SCF refused to honor the court order. The Christines saw their children only twice in the next three months. SCF- instigated parental termination proceedings were fast approaching and Brian and Ruth would lose their children forever. As hope of unifying his family diminished, Brian decided to rescue his children from this rogue over-zealous state agency. That desperate action brought little relief. Brian made a clean get-away but was caught speeding in Montana. Ruth was put in jail where she delivered their fifth daughter, Abby Rose. Read: Handcuffed Mother Gives Birth Oregon's SCF fought tooth and nail to get her as well, but with Attorney Steel's help, Abby Rose also went to live with Brian's mother in Indiana. Brian's mother fought Oregon's SCF and was helped by fair judges in Montana and Indiana courts who threw out the false charges against her, giving her custody of the two youngest girls. The three older girls were returned to Oregon's SCF as Brian and Ruth were locked away in a Montana jail, and later expedited back to Oregon.
The Christine trial began the week of May 3, 2002, for rescuing their children from the State of Oregon social workers on August 1, 2001. The alleged rescue occurred in a rest area on I-5, just south of Roseburg, Oregon, as the social workers were returning the children to their foster home in Bandon, Oregon, after the second - and last - parental visit.
During jury selection, I witnessed each juror called and questioned by the prosecution and defense. Many of them said they were either previously or currently employed, or associated, with Oregon SCF and other government agencies. I was concerned about the jury pool and the apparent government involvement which could influence a lack of compassion or understanding for the Christine's plight. It struck me that this could become the 'jury from hell'. The jury selection was completed and the trial began.
Prosecutor Rick Wiesenburg called numerous witnesses. One witness that stuck out in my mind was Rina Diamond who was employed by Oregon's SCF. She stated that the Christine children were underweight, malnourished, and one child was two days away from death. Upon cross examination by defense attorney, Edgar Steele, first she said it was her opinion that one child was two days away from death. Later retracting her statement she said someone else said that the child was two days away from death. A day later Diamond contradicted herself again saying she didn't remember who said it. When the defense was cross-examining Diamond, the prosecutor kept objecting. In fact it was so bad that one time he objected even before he knew what he was objecting to. In later testimony the state doctor claimed the child in question was in fact not near death at all, far from it. Diamond had contrived the story, which was told to a willing media to demonize the Christine's.
Another witness for the prosecution was Ruth's father, Phillip Medland, who returned from England with his wife and the three oldest Christine children, all at Oregon taxpayer's expense. He chose to testify against his own daughter. It was obvious that there is a strained relationship between father and daughter. It was also apparent that Ruth's father hates Brian, calling this American a foreigner. As he left the witness stand and walked by the prosecutor, he gave Weisenburg a wink. When defense attorney Steele recalled him to the witness stand asking him "Why did you wink at the prosecutor?" He mockingly replied, "It was a twitch in my eye."
The next witness was Brian and Ruth's daughter Bethany. Prosecuting D.A. Wiesenburg put her on the stand and asked the 6 year old what happened at the van? She answered, "Baba (her name for her father) pulled a gun and that scared me." "What about mommy? Did she wear a wig?" "Yes." When Steele cross examined, he asked Bethany, "Sweetie, did anybody ask you to say that?" "Yeah." "Who?" "He did" Bethany said pointing to Weisenburg "Did he tell you to say that that scared you?" "Yeah." "Do you know what a wig is?" "No." "Did he also ask you to say that?" "Yeah." The D.A. continuously wiped sweat from his forehead. In fact he was sweating and wiping himself throughout the whole trial. Upon hearing that the D.A. was coaching her daughter with her father's consent, Ruth ran out of the courtroom in tears. Ruth's father apparently took great pains to contrive and set up the destruction of his own daughter and son-in law.
The prosecution had to prove that Ruth was involved in the rest area incident and the only link to prove this, was the wig and Ruth's 6 year old daughter Bethany's testimony. Of course the child's testimony wasn't credible because she was coached by the prosecutor and didn't even know what a wig was. This outrageous deception of witness manipulation should have destroyed the prosecution's case right there, but they continued.
At the conclusion of the testimonies the prosecution and the defense gave their closing arguments to the jury. It was obvious that the D.A. would stop at nothing to convict Brian and Ruth. He had the state's infinite resources to throw at the defense attorney and the Christines. In my opinion attorney Steele presented an eloquent argument in Brian and Ruth's defense. The jury, however, came back with a guilty verdict on all counts, except the claim that two SCF workers were kidnapped when asked to leave the van. After the verdict was read I observed back patting, hand shakes and smiles from the court house insiders as though they were proud of the fact that they thoroughly destroyed a family. Smiling Grants Pass Officer Dan Evans, who started it all, was there at the end to watch the final destruction of this family that he had initiated.
What saddened me was that the jury had the power to say 'not guilty' on all counts, but chose to convict Brian and Ruth who had reacted to the complete destruction of their family by the Grants Pass SCF. As the jury read the verdict I noticed their faces were cold, hard and uncaring. I wonder what the jurors would feel or do if they were in Brian's and Ruth's shoes? When Brian and Ruth heard the verdict, Ruth broke out in tears. Brian, sitting next to Ruth, turned to comfort her by huddling his head next to hears. This brought a response from the sheriff's deputies, who pulled them apart and said "It's against the law." It was even against the law for them to hold hands. I realized today's justice is not only blind, it's heartless.
Ruth, a British citizen, will be deported after serving Oregon's mandatory minimum 'one strike you're out, no time off for good behavior, fill the jails Measure 11' sentence of at least 7-1/2 years. Brian will lose his passport. The three oldest daughters are in England and Brian will never see them or Ruth, again. Ruth will never see Brian or her two youngest daughters in Indiana. They and their five children are forever separated, compliments of Oregon's Justice System and Kevin Mannix's draconian 'one strike and you're out Measure 11.' Oregon's SCF spared no taxpayer expense and effort to try and capture the two youngest girls who will never see or be able to visit their mother again until they are grown. If they come to Oregon as minors, to visit their parents in jail, they run the risk of being confiscated by a vindictive Oregon SCF agency.
Granted, Brian and Ruth made some desperate and futile choices. I'm sure if they had the opportunity to do it over again they would have chosen a different path. They have learned that the law wields cruel and unjust punishment, and that most public officials are cold, uncaring, unemotional, hard-hearted, conscienceless bureaucrats who sell their soul for job security. In Oregon everyone must submit to government hypocrisy or be destroyed for life.
This family has been totally destroyed and yet the state doesn't have their fill of the Christine's, they want more. The court in Josephine County, Oregon, where the children were originally confiscated by SCF, now wants to try them for withholding medical attention from one child in July of 2002. This was because the child had a bandage on a small wound that was healing. Other trivial and contrived charges are being heaped on Brian and Ruth, as if they have not suffered enough. Oregon, the poster child for the police state, demands that extra pound of flesh. How much will the war on the Christine's cost the state of Oregon taxpayers? I would estimate between $1 to $3 million, perhaps more.
How much would the cost be if the people in the system had a heart and were kind, wise and compassionate to the Christine's from the start? They could have said, 'We were called by an anonymous caller from the library who was concerned that the children looked dehydrated. We know it is hot and a child can get sick; accidents can happen. We would like to speak to you and your husband about your children. Perhaps we could lend a hand. May we see them please?' Those kind words and offer of help would have been proper. Instead, Grants Pass officials chose fear and confrontation. Kind words are something self-important Josephine County public employee's seem to lack. They approach parents with an accusative, cold, mean-spirited attitude, treating them like criminals.
The current system, the state and their strong arm SCF, break up families, then pretend to fix them in their image of what a family should be. This is now the norm. It's called "the reshaping of America". This reminds me of cloning. They don't like what God makes. They want to recreate it.
Yes, the Christines chose a different lifestyle. But isn't that what America is all about? Since when being different become against the law? People come here to escape oppression, but the spirit of King George has once again made a home here in today's government. The very Spirit that made America great is under attack. If they can label the Christines, then they can label any one of us. Grants Pass, Oregon has a multitude of churches, yet none came to assist the Christines. Perhaps those same public employees, persecuting the Christines, attend church services and pray to the Lord who taught "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." and "Love one another as I have loved you" Why didn't they live this with regard to the Christine family?
Upon entering Grants Pass OR., visitors see a 12 ft. cave man statue towering next to the Visitors Center. This cave man with his big wooden club is a good representation of the way justice was rendered. Cold and Brutal
© 2002 Paul Walter - All Rights Reserved
Walter was born in socialist Yugoslavia in 1945. He and his family emigrated
to America in 1959. He served 3 years in the U.S. Armed Forces and became
a U.S. citizen in 1963. Owner of Walter Publishing & Research, he
republished a 100 year old book titled The
Coming Battle, the true history of our national debt. The
book is currently in its 5th printing. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
"What saddened me was that the jury had the power to say 'not guilty' on all counts, but chose to convict Brian and Ruth who had reacted to the complete destruction of their family by the Grants Pass SCF. As the jury read the verdict I noticed their faces were cold, hard and uncaring. I wonder what the jurors would feel or do if they were in Brian's and Ruth's shoes?"