THE CRIME OF PARENTAL ALIENATION
Part 1 in a Series of Articles
By Joan Kloth-Zanard, RSS, ABI and LC
A heart-wrenching court case is going to begin Tuesday, September 11th, on the 3rd floor of the New Haven Superior Court. Jerry Mastrangelo, a father who has shared joint legal custody of his 13-year-old triplets since December 2007, has not seen them in almost 2 years. One might ask why. Is he a bad father, did he do something wrong, did he abuse them or the mother? The answer to all of these questions is apparently, No. Instead, he is the victim or targeted parent of alienation.
Mastrangelo’s rights to maintain a relationship with his children are fundamental rights protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. When those rights are violated, the courts should be applying strict scrutiny to any of those statutes that directly and substantially impair those rights." (P.O.P.S. v. Gardner, 998 F2d 764 (9th Cir. 1993)) According to Mr. Mastrangelo, this is his constitutional right as a US citizen.
To keep a child(ren) from a biological parent when there is no evidence of that parent being unfit is a crime, which is why Mr. Mastrangelo hired, Attorney Norm Pattis, a high profile criminal attorney, who rarely if ever, steps foot in a family court. According to Mr. Mastrangelo, his attorney would rather be in criminal court on the 5th floor than in a family courtroom. It seems that Attorney Pattis is very cognizant of the extremely emotional trauma that occurs when a parent creates a contentious divorce and custody situation by isolating the children from the other parent. Starting on September 11, Attorney Pattis will be trying to reunite Mr. Mastrangelo with his children in a highly publicized court case. He believes that denying a good, loving parent from having a parent/child relationship, is a crime.
The crime we are talking about here has several names. It is called Parental Alienation, Hostile Aggressive Parenting. Parentectomy or simply, PAS. It is a form of psychological abuse where one parent deliberately undermines the relationship between the children and the other parent using bullying, manipulation and scare tactics. In fact, it involves any action that impedes with a child having a healthy relationship with the other parent.
Mr. Mastrangelo was recently interviewed by Mary Jones on WDRC-AM and Vinnie Penn on WELI-AM 960. In addition to these local media outlets, this case has captured the attention on a Regional and National level thanks to Ann Baldwin, a media specialist and president of Baldwin Media Marketing. Calls to Mr. Mastrangelo’s ex-wife’s for her response to this story were not returned.