tanaka_headA domestic violence survivor, Maria Styke-Marquez, appears alone in Judge Keith Tanaka's Second Circuit courtroom where, according to documents filed by the perpetrator's attorney, Mimi DeJardins, the judge will grant her abuser's request to permanently relocate to Minnesota with the former couple's 2 1/2 year-old daughter, removing her not only from the island of her birth, but from her mother.

The child's father, Bruce Anthony Sotelo Jr., was convicted and held in jail for beating a pregnant Ms. Styke-Marquez so severely in 2007 that the 4 month-old baby she was carrying may have died as a result of the attack that left Ms. Styke-Marquez with a concussion, broken ribs, cracked teeth, a split lip and contusions.

Hawaii State Statute 571-46(9) perpetrators of family violence are not candidates for custody of their children, yet in September, Judge Tanaka ruled to give full physical/legal custody of the little girl to the man who put her mother in the hospital. Is that contrary to statute? Not if facts support the ruling.

Financially devastated from the litigation her abuser has put her through, Ms. Styke-Marquez, unable to afford an attorney, walked into the courtroom alone to face her abuser (who as recently as November 19th has a criminal contempt charge lodged against him), his attorney (who is also a Per Diem judge) and a judge who has already ruled against he. "My last and only hope to save my daughter is to call public attention to what's going on and I'm not the only one this is happening to - I know so many other domestic violence survivors who have lost custody of their
children to their perpetrators as well which only tells me that this is no small problem. I'm a protective parent, not a perfect one, and never tried to keep our daughter from her father so I can't understand how this is being allowed to happen" says Ms. Styke-Marquez.

She reportedly collapsed in courtroom, and was transported to hospital and the hearing continued without her.
Final outcome of the hearing is at this time, unknown. But words from the Judiciary allege factual mistakes and erroneous statements of law by Angels.


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