2) that she had seen Petchenik push Darrell to the ground on one occasion;
3) that she had seen Leona strike Darrell five to eight times in the head on one occasion;
4) that she had witnessed Leona and Petchenik use a form of discipline referred to as "assume the position," in which the children were forced to stand on their toes facing the wall; on one such occasion, Darrell fell asleep, at which point Leona struck him with a ping-pong paddle;
5) that she had witnessed both children get slapped in the head by Leona and Petchenik;
6) that as a form of discipline, Darrell had been forced to keep hot pepper in his mouth for five minutes;
&) that she had heard Petchenik address the children as "fucking assholes" or "fucking animals."
Lanfair's statement also recounted a number of instances in which Leona or Petchenik made sexually-oriented remarks to the children or in their presence. In one instance, Petchenik allegedly told Darrell that if he did not put on his pajamas, Petchenik would "fuck him in the ass." On several occasions, the conduct revolved around Petchenik, Leona and another woman, Sharon Simmons, whom Lanfair alleged was the "live-in lover" of both Leona and Petchenik. Leona allegedly told Lanfair, while the children were in earshot, that if "[Petchenik]" wanted to have sex with Sharon or if Sharon wanted to have sex with [Petchenik], that Sharon had to have sex with [Leona] first." On another occasion, the children allegedly witnessed Leona and Sharon "kissing on the mouth" and "fooling around."
In addition to these instances revolving around the children, Lanfair recounted her own alleged history of abuse at the hands of Petchenik. That history included instances in which Petchenik, among other things, slapped her, put a gun to her head, and hit her on the buttocks with a belt until she bled.
The statement also alleged that in September of 1992, Darrell allegedly sodomized Lanfair's son. In fact, one of the reasons Lanfair came forward, she said in her statement, was that "Darrell had to learn somewhere what he did to [her] son. He either had it done to him or he saw other people doing it."
Lavoie contacted the children's school on November 21 to make sure they were present and to have someone check on their condition. She spoke with a school counselor, who informed her that the children were in school and appeared normal.
Lavoie didn't receive Lanfair's written statement from the state police until November 23. The next day, she interviewed Katrina and Darrell at their school. She first interviewed Darrell, who told her of an instance in which he thought Petchenik was going to shoot him, that Petchenik "bit a dog," and that his sister had gotten in trouble for talking about "assume the position" with a friend, and thus he was afraid to discuss it. He also indicated that Petchenik used a belt and red pepper. As to the alleged abuse Darrell had inflicted on Lanfair's son, Darrell told Lavoie that other relatives, not Petchenik, had taught him to do that. He also added that he slept on the cot, but added that the family sometimes camped out. At that point, Lavoie alleges that Darrell began talking about "odd things." To Lavoie, Darrell appeared scared, but showed no physical signs of abuse. Later that day, Darrell gave a statement to the New York State Police iterating what he told Lavoie. Lavoie then spoke to Katrina, who confirmed that "assume the position" was used in the household, but said that things were otherwise fine.
Later that day, Lavoie communicated her findings to Bodie, who then forwarded the information about the Lanfair statement and the interviews with the children to the County Attorney. The County Attorney then took the information to Family Court Judge Kevin Dowd, who issued a temporary order of removal that read, in pertinent part, as follows:
The Chenango County Department of Social Services, having applied to this Court and having alleged that there exists reasonable cause to believe the children's interests require immediate protection pending a full hearing before this Court; and having presented information including a statement of Marsha Sue Lanfair . . . forming the basis of such belief to this Court; and the parents of said children having not been present because the Court finds that past history of threats makes notice of this hearing to report inappropriate; and there being insufficient time to hold a preliminary hearing pursuant to Section 1027;