New Charges Against Man In Child Case

Date: 1992-04-10

New Charges Against Man In Child Case

April 10, 1992

Kodzo Dobosu, who was indicted in October on charges of sexually abusing three of his adopted children and endangering eight others, was indicted in Manhattan yesterday on charges of stealing $11,500 in city child-care money intended for a child who was no longer under his care.

The new charges were the latest filed against the 51-year-old Mr. Dobosu, who once gained national prominence and "Father of the Year" acclaim in 1983 for adopting dozens of troubled and handicapped children.

Mr. Dobosu was indicted on Oct. 22, 1991, on charges that he had sexually abused a 14-year-old girl and two youths, aged 15 and 16, all of whom he had adopted. He also was charged at the time with endangering 8 other of his 35 adopted children.

The 1991 charges renewed demands for an investigation of the city's child-welfare system and its rules that allowed Mr. Dobosu to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in adoption subsidies without strong safeguards. Charges Are Denied

At an arraignment yesterday before Justice Frederic S. Berman of State Supreme Court, Mr. Dobosu pleaded not guilty and was released without bail. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison on grand-larceny charges and up to 21 years on the sex-abuse counts.

The indictment said the money was stolen by Mr. Dobosu from November 1988 to April 1991. After his arrest last May on sex-abuse charges, child-care authorities removed all the children living in what they described as filth and squalor in a four-story brownstone maintained by Mr. Dobosu at 257 West 139th Street.

Several of his adopted children testified against him in Family Court hearings last summer, and Mr. Dobosu's lawyer, Michael Hardy, said their testimony, which included charges that Mr. Dobosu poured hot tea on the genitals of one boy and hot sauce on the genitals of a girl, formed the basis of the indictment against Mr. Dobosu in October, which also included the charges that he sexually abused two of his adopted sons over several months last year.

Throughout the entire case against Mr. Dobosu, the city's Social Services Department has refused to comment or provide any explanation of what it knows about the case, citing a state law that Sheila Jack, a department spokeswoman, said prohibited comment in such cases.


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