Teen Girl Chose Death Over Rapist Dad: Justice for Mikaela Haynes
Note: We juxtapose injustices, within the context of jails and prisons, in the United States and on the continent of Africa; specifically South Africa. We seek to highlight similarities versus differences in an attempt to bridge the gap across the Transcontinental divide. It is our intent to increase awareness and promote solidarity in our quest for systemic reform of institutions of incarceration.
Fall/Winter Edition: Issue 4
Mikaela Haynes, fourteen year old at the time, committed suicide. Haynes refused to be under the care of her convicted rapist father. Image supplied.
Why fourteen year old Mikaela Haynes took her life
On the day of this episode, the start of Mental Health Awareness Month, our Show slogan hit hard.
I began to appreciate that the Justice Beat is “where we discuss what matters to you.” And what should matter to all.
The topic was minors’ rights and guardianship cases. And boy, were we all not ready for the forces!
Introduction to a powerful, justice feminine force.
Our guest on this topic, Evita Tolu, an immigrant and lawyer came to the United States at 25 with more justice determination than the 200 USD in her pocket.
In 2006, she started her immigration law practice.
As a former immigrant, she has walked the success path in the U.S., and she knows what it takes to comply with immigration laws.
She later expanded her legal practice to accommodate domestic and family violence victims. Her motivation was her lived experiences. She suffered personal trauma from domestic violence and family court corruption.
Tolu found the court unsupportive of family domestic violence victims and perpetuating them by proxy.
She cites the central issue as the involvement of legal professions.
Tolu is, therefore, actively involved with Missouri legislators to amend the laws.
Her goal is to redress the family court to guarantee accountability for family court professions. Tolu is vivid in her aims to protect children.
Louisiana education specialist does justice for education, impairment, and minors
Our second guest was Victor M. Jones, is a New Orleans, Louisiana, Education Specialist Counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. (LDF).
He focuses on children’s rights and disability rights.
Jones engages in integrated advocacy, litigation public policy, and public education.
He has educated Louisiana educators, parents, and lawmakers about education equity issues. This includes immigrant children’s rights, special education, student discipline, and access to children’s mental health services.
Before practicing law, Jones was a public school kindergarten teacher.
He was a graduate student studying risk and resiliency in children and adolescents. Jones is a published author, guest lecturer, and frequent commentator in civil rights issues impacting children and young adults.
Husband arrested for molesting his stepdaughter
Tolu’s client, Cynthia “Cindy” Randolph, says that “Back on December 1, 2013, my husband was arrested for molesting his stepdaughter. [She] is my daughter from a previous marriage. She was twelve at the time, and he was arrested and then promptly just let out again.”
Randolph says that it has been eight years of trying to get a divorce from him. “Time has gone on; more information has come out from more who he has molested,” says Randolph.
“He is in prison right now. December 12 of 2018 [five years after the crime] he went to prison, finally. He is in Farmington Correctional Centre for seven years [now]”, says Randolph.
It has taken equally long to have justice done for what he did to her and Mikaela and her other daughter.
“Time has gone on; more information has come out from more who he has molested,” says Randolph.
Yet, despite the established caliber of the perpetrator; nothing has been done for what he has done to Mikaela.
“He is in prison right now, shares Randolph.” December 12 of 2018 [five years after the crime] he went to prison, finally. He is in Farmington Correctional Centre for seven years [now].”
Randolph holds that “[w]hile he was out, he was using the system against me worse even than he was molesting [Mikaela]. He has used the system to help him, and it has hurt us a lot just having to deal with false allegations.”
It is sick to imagine that children in the modern-day are not safe around their parent(s).
It makes me wonder, who do you call kin when the person you expect to be king takes advantage of you?
Sexual violence perpetrating GAL gets off abuse case
Randolph painfully accounts that her husband accused her of educational neglect on her two youngest children that they have together. Randolph’s daughters were taken away and put in foster care because of that.
“It has been horrific! They cannot take being taken away from their mother for nothing, especially on false allegations. They appointed a guardian, Jennifer Williams, on my case," Randolph said.
Williams was put on the case on January 6, 2016. She got off by being exposed by Evita’s work and some others like Megan Fox, a journalist, that helped get her to get off the case. She is atrocious.”
The mother to four daughters shared that Williams is trying to get her two daughters to not testify against Randolph’s husband in court.
“The court-appointed the guardian ad litem. Like a GAL,” says Randolph.
“This woman was named Jennifer Williams. She was threatening Mikaela and Melissa. And she didn’t want me to testify against him. She’s acting more as his attorney. Or his representative than the children that she is appointed to protect and to help.”
The devastated mother cited media exposure, and family and immigration lawyer’s, Tolu, help through writing paperwork.
“I couldn’t find an attorney that was in the area that would do anything to help out. It wasn’t until she got on the case and started exposing what was going on that things started turning around.”
Evita Tolu brings context to the case
“Cindy was married before, with husband number one, and she had two daughters. And then, with husband number two, she also had two daughters. Husband number two molested Cindy’s daughter from the first marriage from age twelve to fourteen. At one point, her daughter, Melissa, came forward to say, ‘I can’t do it anymore. I have to tell my mom.’”
The family lawyer recounts the atrocities in this case.
“The moment news broke, he was arrested and charged with multiple counts. One which was deviant, forceful sodomy with a minor. He [w]as released and while being released, he started molesting his biological daughter, Mikaela.”
Tolu recounts that “The guardian ad litem appointed in the case, made sure that the abuser had access to his minor children and he had multiple opportunities to molest Mikaela.”
When asked by our host, Elaine Sutton, how Mikaela underwent more sexual abuses under an appointed guardian, Tolu was fearless to account.
“[Williams] went to the court and said that Cindy fabricated allegations of sexual abuse. That the accused is used, and he must have access to his children. His children were given access to him based on the false allegation of educational neglect”.
It is the logic applied judicially in this case that makes me wonder: e is anything sicker than systematization? I find that it justifies more than it resolves.
“The children were given to the molester’s mother who was 90 years old at that time. She was blind, deaf, and medicated with painkillers and insomnia pills. They made her the sole custodian of the two girls. While in her custody, the accused-child-sodomizer came to the house and molested Mikaela.”
Haynes's cry for help: bloody red and loud
Tolu recounts that “Then, Mikaela started cutting herself and telling everyone, ‘Please, stop. I am afraid. He’s in my bedroom in the middle of the night’. Cindy had to take her to the hospital where they treated her for self-mutilation. She disclosed to the hospital and everyone what was going on at grandmother’s house”.
It is after this incident that evil roamed around like a predator on the game.
“Then, the guardian ad litem seized the children from Cindy and placed them in foster care. The guardian ad litem continues her agenda of reunifying the rape victim with the rapist. That was going on for two years while she was on the case,” says Tolu.
The immigration lawyer says that “the final drop in the bucket was when guardian ad litem, Jennifer Williams, testified saying that the already convicted child sodomizer should be placed on probation and not into incarceration.”
Following Williams’s testimony, Haynes took her life
“If her father, her abuser, is on probation, that means he also has access to her. She was threatened that if she testified against her father, she will be taken and placed in foster care away from her mother. So this girl had no choice of survival. And everything was done by the guardian ad litem.”
Sutton questioned Tolu, on whether the second daughter testified and disclosed any information.
“She disclosed to the police that she was continuously threatened. That if she ever testifies against her stepfather, Mikaela, who took her life, and [the daughter] who is still alive, they will be either taken into foster care or they will be given back to sodomizer because he will be on probation. The guardian ad litem, threatened the entire family, all the victims in this case. Either foster case; or sodomizer’s probation so he could have access to all of them.”
Mugshot of convicted child rapist, Charles Michael Hynes. Sourced from PJ Media.
Girl children’s life and sanity turned into securable bags for ad litem guardian
When we explore the reasons for Williams’s inhumanity, we are pointed to the root of all evil. Greed.
Our executive producer, Sutton, subsequently asked Tolu, whether we get to the root of why Williams appeared to support the accused more than the victims.
“[The accused] was paying her money.” Tolu also stated that this was established to be true.
“Yes, at one point she received compensation from the sodomizer and the sodomizer’s [90-year-old] mother”.
Our host asked whether the previously discussed actions were legal, and the answer blew me away.
“Nothing that took place, in this case, is legal. Nothing”, replied Tolu
Victor Jones further unpacked the gravity of a guardian ad litem’s role.
“In this instance, [Williams, a lawyer] took away from the children’s right to have a voice. I have seen 'in some instances where guardian ad litems have been for the children and have had relationships with judges. And it ultimately benefitted the children. But I think because of instances like this, it does bring back the question, whether or not guardian ad litems should be lawyers.”
Perpetual legal profession crimes all connect to the judicial system
I remember Shawn "JAY Z" Carter'S, Roc Boys, verse, “[thanks] to boys in blue who put greed before their badge… cheers! Toast to crime”.
This particular verse is a signifier that injustices in the justice system are often controlled by the very people who are appointed by the system: law enforcers and hence legal professions.
The issue of legal professions and corruption is currently manifesting in endless commissions of inquiry that are constitutionally provisioned in South Africa. Unfortunately, corruption never hits a singular; it destroys a collective. That is something very evident in this case.
Randolph says that “[Willams] eventually went and testified at my husband’s sentencing. She said she was saving herself for that testimony. She didn’t even want to talk to my other daughter, who is in prison for now. She didn’t want to talk to her", said the mother of four.
“One could argue”, said Jones, “that a disciplinary complaint must have been filed against Williams. I can tell you”, said Jones, “that in the legal system, lawyers protect each other a lot. Do you know how you hear about the blue code among policemen? That exists in the legal profession. The chances of a lawyer being sanctioned for misconduct are very slim. Especially when it comes to children’s rights cases and child we