Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Clermont
FROM CLERMONT COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS JUVENILE DIVISION
Case No. 2017JC04983
Vincent Faris, Clermont County Prosecuting Attorney, Nicholas
Horton, for appellee
Kenneth M. Miller, 717 West Plane Street, for appellee father
Law Firm, Scott A. Hoberg, for appellant
for Clermont Kids, Nathan Bell, guardian ad litem
1} Appellant, Kylee Bowling ("Mother"),
appeals the decision of the Clermont County Court of Common
Pleas, Juvenile Division, denying her motion for additional
parenting time. For the reasons outlined below, we affirm.
2} Mother and Colton Brandenburg
("Father") are the parents of A.B., a girl born in
July 2016. Initially, Mother was the sole caretaker and
provider for A.B. and her twin sister. However, when the
children reached six months old, Father began visiting with
them and ultimately "served [Mother] with DNA test
papers" to establish his paternity of the children.
Thereafter, Father began exercising regular parenting time
with A.B. and her sister.
3} In the early morning hours of March 24, 2017,
Mother discovered blood in A.B.'s diaper. According to
Mother, she had dropped the children off at her
boyfriend's parent's home on her way to work on March
23, 2017. Aside from five hours in which the children were
with Father, the children stayed at Mother's
boyfriend's parent's home until Mother picked them up
around midnight. Upon discovering the blood in the baby's
diaper, Mother took A.B. to the hospital. After A.B. was
examined, it was determined that she had suffered a tear to
her hymen, which the hospital suspected was a result of
sexual abuse. Because the hospital suspected A.B. had been
abused, it notified Clermont County Children's Protective
Services ("CPS") and the Clermont County
Sherriff's office. The hospital then completed a rape kit
on A.B., which revealed the presence of a single sperm cell
in A.B.'s mouth.
4} In June 2017 Father filed a motion to establish
parental rights and responsibilities and a motion for
temporary emergency custody. Two days later, CPS filed a
complaint based upon the sexual abuse allegations. The
complaint alleged that A.B. was abused, and further indicated
that because no perpetrator had been identified and A.B. was
with both parents on the date the injury occurred, CPS was
concerned for A.B.'s safety. Accordingly, CPS requested
the court to inquire into the alleged abuse and to either
grant temporary custody of A.B. to CPS or to grant temporary
custody to Mother with protective supervision.
5} Thereafter, Father withdrew his motion for
temporary emergency custody and A.B. was adjudicated abused.
As a result, CPS received temporary custody of A.B. and she
was placed in the care of Mother's great aunt and uncle.
A case plan was then established, which described the
concerns Mother and Father needed to address in order to
reunify with A.B.
6} In October 2017 a hearing was held before a
magistrate regarding Father's June 2017 motion to
establish parental rights and responsibilities. At the
hearing, the investigator assigned to A.B.'s case
testified that his investigation into the sexual assault of
A.B. remained open but was in inactive status. The
investigator described his investigation into the incident,
and indicated he was able to exclude Father as a suspect, but
still had "a lot of concerns" with excluding
Mother. According to the investigator, he had interviewed
Mother extensively, and determined she was the only
individual alone with A.B. on the night of the incident. He
further testified that while he found Father credible, he had
concerns with Mother's credibility.
7} A.B.'s guardian ad litem also testified at
trial and recommended that A.B. be placed with Father.
According to the guardian ad litem, she had no apprehensions
regarding Father, but was concerned with Mother's history
of mental illness, the investigator's inability to
exclude Mother as a suspect in the criminal case, and certain
evidence that Mother favored A.B.'s sister over A.B.
8} The caseworker assigned to A.B.'s case also
testified at trial, and recommended granting custody of A.B
to Father. Specifically, the caseworker noted that her
recommendation was based, in ...