A Michigan teen who was sentenced to four days in juvenile detention Thursday for refusing to visit his father was released after spending only one night there.
Macomb County Judge John Foster reversed his previous decision Friday to order Jacob Mastrogiovanni, 14, to spend four days in a youth home for refusing to see his father, who has joint custody of him."I am happy I am out of there," said Mastrogiovanni as he was released from the Macomb Juvenile Center. "That place is not good.
I basically sat in a small room for a really long time."The call to Mastrogiovanni's mother about his early release came as she and her son's grandmother picketed outside of the Mt. Clemens courthouse."
I am glad the judge finally realized what he did. They have never heard of him reversing a decision like this, but they have also never heard a child being sent to a juvenile facility for not visiting his father," said Mastrogiovanni's mother, Dawn Platevoet.
Mastrogiovanni lives with his mother in Warren and his father, who lives in New Baltimore, has joint-custody.Mastrogiovanni said he has deliberately missed court ordered visitations with his father, and because of that, Foster had ruled he should be held in contempt of court and sentenced to time in a youth home.
"They didn't tell me anything they just put me in handcuffs and took me to court," said Mastrogiovanni.
Foster said his decision was in part based on Platevoet's statements about not being able to control her son.Platevoet, said her son is a hard working student and that she feared for his safety inside the Macomb Juvenile Center.“I’m very worried. I’m very concerned for the well-being of my son,” Platevoet had said.
“The child is being torn in between this kind of situation due to the friend of the court. They’re not looking at the best interest for my son.”Mastrogiovanni said staying at the youth home would not change his attitude toward his father.
“I guess he’s going to have to be punished. I don’t necessarily like that he’s in there but something has to be done,” Mastrogiovanni’s father, Victor, said by phone Thursday.Local 4 learned that his father came to visit him in the youth home Thursday, but Mastogiovanni refused to see him.
Mastrogiovanni would not be specific with why he was refusing to spend time with his father. His reasonings were recorded in a confidentiality agreement being held by the court.
Mastrogiovanni said he would rather be in a youth home than visit his father and that he’s willing to go back to the youth home again if required by the court.Matrogiovanni will be back in court Monday, so a judge can decide who he will spend the holidays with.News by SoulRiser on November 27, 2009 @ 11:02 PM
Tags: Youth Rights