WOMAN CHARGED WITH THREATS TO HAITIAN ADOPTEES
News-Sentinel, The (Fort Wayne, IN)
Author: ASSOCIATED PRESS
A woman appointed by the court to represent the best interests of 28 adopted children has been charged with threatening two of the children.
Child advocate Peggy Hodson helped a Shelbyville man win custody of the Haitian orphans earlier this year.
She was charged Tuesday with obstruction of justice for allegedly preventing two of the children from testifying in the custody case. She was accused in court of prejudice because of a romantic link with former missionary Dan Blackburn.
Hodson allegedly told one of Blackburn's adopted daughters she ``would not be heard of again'' if she testified in the case, according to an Indiana State Police report.
``This obstruction of justice accusation was revealed while we were investigating other matters involving the Blackburn family,'' said chief Deputy Prosecutor Doug Brown.
Hodson, 42, was arrested Tuesday at her Shelbyville home and charged with two counts of obstructing justice. The charges each carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $10,000 fine. She was released on $5,000 bond.
In court records, authorities say Hodson threatened or coerced two of the daughters to withhold testimony. One of the daughters told investigators Hodson threatened her outside the courthouse during the custody case, according to a State Police report.
Kathy Blackburn filed for divorce in December 1995, and a Shelby County judge awarded Dan Blackburn the couple's 28 adopted Haitian children in July.