February 6, 1996, SUZANNE HUGHES v. DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES ARLINGTON COUNTY, COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA, 1996 Va. LEXIS 77,
Termination of Parental Rights Affirmed
Overview: Appellate documents state a baby was removed from the custody of the mother, Suzanne Hughes, after evidence of abuse. The mother was eventually diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder. The child was returned to her, but after further incidents of abuse and neglect, she was taken into custody again. The mother's counselor testified that the mother stated she was involved with a Satanic cult that killed adults and babies, and they had threatened her. She stated she was involved with them since she was 7 yrs. old and she reported members of the cult abducting and raping her.
Under cross-examination, the mother was asked about the maternal grandparent’s failure in reporting her own abuse, and the court was concerned that she was living at the maternal grandfather's home. The trial judge expressed concern over the continued existence of the Satanic cult, appellant's inability to help the police prosecute a member of this cult, appellant's continued residence in the same family home where she had been verbally and physically abused as a small child, and lack of family support that was missing when appellant was an abused child.
The appellate court found that the evidence of Ms. Hughes participation in the cult described was relevant to the proceedings.