Couple terrorized by series of false child-abuse accusations by CPS worker

April Rodgers and Corey Chaney were the victims of a series of false child-abuse claims by a Kentucky CPS worker. (Photo: (Photo: Debby Yetter/The Courier-Journal))
April Rodgers and Corey Chaney were the victims of a series of false child-abuse claims by a Kentucky CPS worker.  (Photo: (Photo: Debby Yetter/The Courier-Journal))
April Rodgers and Corey Chaney were the victims of a series of false child-abuse claims by a Kentucky CPS worker. (Photo: (Photo: Debby Yetter/The Courier-Journal))

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY — A young couple had their lives turned upside-down when a CPS worker decided to target them with a series of anonymous child-abuse accusations, each prompting a new investigation.

Corey Chaney, 25, and April Rodgers, 23, have come forward to expose their story after spending “every single dime” they had, even relocating their family, in order to escape the torrent of malicious attempts to separate them and put them into financial ruin.

It began with investigations in the middle of the night.  The family was awoken, on multiple occasions, to police officers and social workers demanding entry to their home to check on their infant child.  The child, of course, was sleeping peacefully in her crib.

The Courier-Journal documented the disturbing string of false allegations.  First, the authorities were investigating a “drunken fight” that supposedly took place outside.  Another time, they awoke the family to investigate a claim that Ms. Rodgers was holding her baby upside down over a balcony.  Another night, Mr. Chaney was accused of being violent and high on methamphetamine.  And yet another time, the father was accused of slammed his infant daughter into a wall.

Each time, the anonymous accusations were enough to put the family through humiliating and disruptive investigations in the middle of the night.  The fact that each investigation came up as “unsubstantiated” did not matter when it came time to investigate each new, bizarre claim.

“We asked CPS, how many calls are you going to take before you realize this isn’t true,” Mr. Chaney told the Courier-Journal. “They said, ‘Oh, we have to respond to every call.'”

Aside from losing many nights’ sleep, the couple was put through significant disruption and anguish because of the ordeal.  They lived in constant fear that the state would take their baby, despite having done nothing wrong.  They were forced to miss work repeatedly to deal with meetings with social workers to prove their innocence.  Finally, they used all their savings and moved away from the apartment where the situation had been occurring.

It was finally discovered that the anonymous accuser had been the couple’s downstairs neighbor, who turned out to be a CPS worker with a grudge.  Using the anonymous CPS hot-line between April 1 and May 23, the sadistic public servant had made a total of six false accusations because her upstairs neighbors were “too loud.”

Charged with six counts of false reporting were 37-year-old social worker Beth A. Bond (employed by Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services), and her fiancé, 42-year-old Joseph W. Applegate Jr.

Disturbingly, the malicious accusers only face misdemeanor-level offenses, after repeatedly plotting to destroy their neighbors’ lives.

Chaney and Rodgers expressed their frustration with the broken, unaccountable system.  They reported that the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services never even apologized to them.

“There is no way to hold a rogue social worker accountable,” Mr. Chaney said. “There’s got to be a system in place to protect families. There’s everything in place to protect anonymous callers.”

This family’s ordeal represents only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the horrors of unaccountable child protective agencies, which many regard as the most frightening of all agencies.  Chaney and Rodgers were fortunate that they were not subjected to months of traumatic separation that many innocent families are put through because of unproven allegations.

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