BOSTON (CBS) – The family of a Connecticut teenager at the center of a custody dispute with the state of Massachusetts has posted a video showing the teen pleading for the judge to let her go home.
“All I really want to be with is my family and my friends and that’s all I want is to be with my family and friends back home,” she says. “You can do it. You’re the one that’s judging this. Please let me go home.”
The state of Massachusetts took charge of Pelletier when her parents and doctors at Children’s Hospital clashed over her diagnosis and treatment in 2013.
Pelletier’s parents alleged that she suffers from mitochondrial disease — a rare and controversial disorder where the body’s cells can’t produce energy, triggering chronic fatigue and severe digestive problems. The Pelletiers brought Justina into the Children’s Hospital ER where they say doctors quickly cast aside her diagnosis, instead concluding her problems were of psychiatric origin.
When the Pelletiers objected, Children’s brought in DCF and the state took custody of Justina, essentially ruling her parents were committing child abuse by pursuing medical rather than mental health treatment.
In March, Judge Joseph Johnston awarded permanent custody to the state, noting that Justina’s parents “continue to engage in very concerning conduct.”
Among the incidents cited in the ruling, it was alleged that a social worker had to be removed from the Pelletier case after being threatened by Lou Pelletier.
Pelletier was eventually moved to a rehabilitation facility in Framingham, and then to Thompson, Conn., where she is currently residing.
According to WBZ NewsRadio 1030, DCF filed a request last week with Judge Johnson to return Pelletier to her parents’ custody, saying that have met all of the conditions laid out as part of a re-unification plan.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports