exposing the dark side of adoption
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Ex-Caseworker Gets Probation In Boy's Death


Woman Expected To Appeal Obstruction Of Justice Conviction

INDIANAPOLIS -- A former child welfare caseworker was ordered Wednesday to serve 1½ years of probation for lying about doing a background check on a couple whose adoptive son would later die of neglect.

A judge gave Denise Moore a suspended prison sentence of 1½ years and ordered her to serve 260 hours of community service. She had been convicted of obstruction of justice -- a felony -- in connection with the death of Anthony Bars.

Prosecutors claimed Moore, who helped place the boy with adoptive parents, lied about doing a background check on the couple. Bars died of dehydration in January 2002 while in the couple's custody, authorities said.

Authorities said the boy was deprived of food and had suffered head injuries and a broken collarbone. He weighed 24 pounds at death.

Prosecutors alleged that a background check would have found three substantiated cases of abuse in the couple's home.

The judge who sentenced her said he would consider reducing Moore's felony conviction to a misdemeanor after she completes probation, RTV6's Derrik Thomas reported.

Moore, who was acquitted on two counts of neglect in the case, is expected to appeal her obstruction of justice conviction, Thomas reported.

Bars' adoptive parents, L.B. and Latricia Bars, were convicted of child neglect. L.B. Bars was sentenced in 2003 to eight years in prison.

Latricia Bars initially was sentenced to 13 years in prison, but the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a resentencing, saying a judge erred in considering aggravating circumstances. That judge last week reduced the sentence by three years.

2005 Feb 23