A bill is in the Maryland Legislature now, HB 700 (Del Hecht, et al.), which seeks to alter the standard of proof for issuing a final protective order from clear and convincing evidence to a preponderance of the evidence. If a judge finds from the preponderance of the evidence that the alleged abuse has occurred, the judge may grant a final protective order for relief from abuse to any eligible person. It was first read to the Judiciary Committee on February 24th, and they had a hearing on it the 25th.

Amy Castillo testified at this hearing, as she tried to get a protective order in 2007, but was denied. Her husband Mark Castillo had their three children on visitation after when he murdered all three in a Maryland hotel, drowning them in the bathtub. At the protective order hearing, her husband’s lawyer questioned her (from the transcripts):

Douglas Cohn–Defense Attorney, Mark’s Attorney: “He threatened to kill your children and you, and you made love to him that night.”

Amy Castillo: “Yes, because I’m scared of him. If I act scared or upset or emotional, he really reacts to that, and I didn’t want him to know I was trying to get a protective order.”

With this, the judge denied the protective order. Judge Joseph Dugan ruled “There is not clear and convincing evidence that the alleged acts of abuse occurred.” This left Mark Castillo the opportunity to murder the children.

Fast forward to the hearing on February 25th, where witnesses testified to the committee about this travesty. Delegate Luiz Simmons took it upon himself during the hearing to further question Amy Castillo’s credibility because she had engaged in sex with Mark after being threatened. Apparently Del. Simmons does not realize that abusive men often center their lives around their genitals and the need to have them serviced. One can go on any of the many men’s rights forums and read them denigrating women, especially if they aren’t being serviced. This is one from “Men Going Their Own Way“:

“I was driving back from a meeting this morning, thinking about my wife, and I really wanted to go home, and simply beat the living shit out of her. I have been supporting everyone for years, working my ass off, and my wife has not done one single fucking thing to make my life easier, to encourage me, or to help me with anything that’s bugging me. She’s on the PTA, the board of her preschool, she teaches art at the elementary school, is involved in a book club, and on and on and on. Her calendar is ridiculous. But I am some kind of fucking afterthought. I’m the engine that powers this entire thing, and I haven’t gotten laid in months. She takes care of the children during the week, fine. But we have a housecleaner, because actually cleaning the fucking house is beneath her. We take shirts to the dry cleaner, because she couldn’t possibly iron them. Clean laundry is in piles in the garage, because she can’t be expected to fold it. On weekends, I’m apparently her assistant. I can’t wait for Sunday night to come, when I can get out and head back to the office. And every day there’s some new example of truly shitty behavior — a bad attitude for any human. For example, last night she was at her fucking PTA meeting, which ran from 7 until 11. I went to bed, and had just turned the light out when she shows up at the front door, and starts ringing the fucking doorbell. She didn’t have her keys. She then informed me that she never does. I pointed out that having keys to your own house might be a smart thing to do. And she acts like that’s some kind of major insult, and then launches into a description of what happened at this meeting. I stopped her, and said something like “You know, I was in bed and almost asleep, and you got me up.” It didn’t even occur to her that a) I would actually mind being jerked out of bed by the doorbell; b) I wasn’t interested in a blow-by-blow at that moment. Finally, after years of this, the truth is starting to sink in, and I’m devolving into this serious, angry person to be around. All the normal, considerate stuff I used to do I don’t. I don’t talk to her unless I have to, and not any longer than necessary. She catches me looking at her sometimes, and the expression she sees on my face frightens her, I think. Somewhere along in here, she’s going to ask me if something’s wrong, and I’m going to start screaming at her. I’ve tried marriage counseling. I’ve tried listening, and giving, and being nice. Now, I’m going to try fear and intimidation.”

Del. Luiz Simmons, Montgomery County

Do you think Amy Castillo saw that certain expression on Mark’s face (besides just outright being told he would kill her and the kids)? Do you think she had to have sex for her and her kid’s safety? You betcha. Nobody likes having sex with an abusive asshole. It’s like a submissive gesture to try and calm the savage beast. You don’t think she had to fake it (think Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally)? Many women have to given in to having sex to avoid being treated worse. But this pig thinks it makes her less credible. Del. Luiz Simmons and his John Edward’s haircut need to come out of the fog and look at all the children being murdered by fathers who are not happy with child support, not happy with shared parenting, or just want to punish their ex-wives by taking the children permanently from them (by murdering them). Over and over again, many of these horrific deaths of children can be traced back to a judge who wouldn’t issue a protective order.

Delegate Simmons demonstrated his love and wish to protect batterers in the last session. This is from Maryland Politics Watch:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Luiz Simmons’ Abuser Expungement Bill (Updated)

Delegate Luiz Simmons (D-17), who is a trial attorney, has introduced a bill enabling accused domestic abusers to expunge their court records. No, folks, we are not making this up.

This bill most likely won’t make it out of the committee, thanks to Delegate Simmons. If you are from Maryland, how many more women and children are you willing to see murdered? If you are from Maryland, you need to know who your employees are, the people you pay to speak for you, who are doing this to the children of Maryland, who questioned Amy Castillo’s credibility, and decide if you want them to work for you any more when you go vote in the next election. Here are the Judicial Committee members….do they work for you?

Appointed by House Speaker:

Joseph F. Vallario, Jr., Chair (410) 841-3488, (301) 858-3488

Samuel I. Rosenberg, Vice-Chair (410) 841-3297, (301) 858-3297

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