RICHMOND, Texas (FOX 26) - How long were Paula Sinclair abusing and neglecting the special needs kids she had adopted?
Investigators want to know, but once she and her ex-husband adopted them, they were officially off CPS's radar. There would be no regular follow up visits, even after her divorce and her new relationship with Allen "Coach" Richardson. State law doesn't require it and Bob Sanborn with Children at Risk says that needs to change.
"If the law isn't there, we need to use this as a catalyst to change the law," said Sanborn. "With the legislative session coming up, we know there's not a lot of capacity for the state monitoring some of this stuff. And I think we as a population we need to say 'why is this happening and how can we stop this?'"
A Child Protective Services spokesperson says currently they are treated like a family and the matter is considered closed.
When 7-year-old Jaden Sinclair died in 2011 of natural causes, CPS did an investigation and determined there was no cause to remove the children. Today the Ft. Bend County Sheriff's office announced in a news release it was not reopening the case.
The release goes on to say in April of 2016 a deputy was called to the house. It continues, "One of the siblings told the deputy they were mistreated and wanted to leave the home and had backpacks ready to go to their father's house. The deputy observed there was food cooking and the children did not appear to be underfed, though their bedding and clothes seemed to be old. The deputy conducting the visit summarized his call and sent the summary to CPS."
CPS removed the children on November 23. Deputies arrested Sinclair and Richardson December 3.
But will this case cause the legislature to change the law? Special Ed Advocate Louis Geigerman helped get cameras in special education classrooms. He says, maybe.
“Unless there's a presence every day. People have to be there every day and make their voices known every day, this thing will pass in a week or two,“ Geigerman said.