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Police Report in Case of 17-Year-Old Girl Who Converted to Christianity and Doesn't Want to Return to Her Muslim Family:

From the AP:

The police report, which was ordered sealed for 10 days by a Florida judge, contains the results of a two-week investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement into Rifqa Bary's family and her home life....

The FDLE report is "favorable" to Bary's parents and "indicates there is no evidence out there whatsoever to corroborate these accusations," said Roger Weeden, an attorney for Rifqa Bary's mother, Aysha.

Weeden was cut off from saying any more about the report because it has been sealed....

The case is headed for a trial in which the judge will hear testimony and decide whether Rifqa Bary should be returned to [her parents]....

More on the case in this earlier post. Naturally, if the court concludes that the girl's claim that she is in jeopardy — a claim contested by her parents — is not supported for the evidence, she needs to be returned to her parents. To be sure, her own statement may be sufficient evidence, if she testifies credibly enough, and explains why she should be believed. But if indeed a police report uncovers no corroborating evidence, and the parents testify credibly, a judge would be unlikely to believe the girl unless her testimony appeared extremely persuasive notwithstanding the parents' contrary statements and the absence of supporting evidence from the police report (if the police report indeed reveals such an absence of evidence). Parents' rights can't be permanently abrogated simply based on allegations -- as opposed to proof by clear and convincing evidence -- even if those allegations echo what some of those parents' coreligionists may have done in other cases.

UPDATE: I initially wrote that, "Naturally, if there's no evidence other than the girl's claim — contested by her parents — that the girl will be in jeopardy, she has to be returned to her parents' custody. Parents' rights can't be permanently abrogated simply based on unsubstantiated allegations, even if those allegations echo what some of those parents' coreligionists may have done in other cases." But on reflection I realized that this was an overstatement, and corrected the post accordingly.

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