How Illinois Domestic Violence System Failed Woman


A judge ordered Amy Leichtenberg of LeRoy, Il., to allow her sons, 7 and 9, to spend a weekend with their father, even though the unemployed pharmaceutical salesman had vowed to cut her open, frequently threatened to kill himself, and allegedly violated her orders of protection 56 times. The boys were found dead in a remote area;, the father hanged himself from a nearby tree, says the Chicago Tribune. “Nobody took me seriously,” Leichtenberg told the newspaper.

The Tribune examined the case and found “a troubling picture of a system that often ignored Leichtenberg’s cries for help and instead aided her ex-husband as he worked toward supposed redemption.” Leichtenberg, 39, has filed an official complaint against Judge James Souk, who granted her ex-husband unsupervised visits. She also wants more information about disciplinary action against LeRoy Police Chief Gordon Beck, who was suspended for a week without pay after the Tribune reported that his department had thwarted an Amber Alert request for the boys. No reason was given for the punishment.

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