exposing the dark side of adoption
Register Log in

Man sentenced for unlawful restraint


Man sentenced for unlawful restraint

Edwardsville resident gets two years probation

Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 12:00 am


stevehorrell@hotmail.com | 0 comments

Stephen Rhoten has been sentenced to two years of probation after he pleaded guilty to charges that on several occasions he unlawfully restrained his 14-year-old adopted daughter at his home in the 300 block of Buena Vista in Edwardsville.

A Madison County grand jury had charged him with using plastic bindings to restrict his daughter’s movements. It stated that on one occasion, Rhoten bound her to the leg of a couch and on another he bound her to his arm.

His wife, Kathy Rhoten, 49, has also been charged in the incident. She faces a trial before Circuit Judge Richard Tognarelli.

She and her attorney, Jack Spooner, failed to show up at her scheduled May 18 trial date at the Madison County Criminal Justice Center. On June 6, Associate Judge Janet Heflin issued a warrant for failure appear, although it has since been revoked, said Stephanee Smith, a spokesperson for Madison County State’s Attorney Bill Mudge.

Smith declined to comment further about either case because Kathy Rhoten’s case is pending.

The Rhotens have contended that the girl had been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder, an affliction of orphanage children who are left to spend long stretches of time alone in their cribs. The infants are not held or cuddled or attended to, and do not learn to bond. In the mid ‘90s it was listed as a psychiatric disorder by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.

Stephen Rhoten’s attorney, Robert Elovitz, said that while R.A.D. was a factor in the incidents, it did not play a central role in the criminal case. He declined to comment further.

Officials have said there is no indication that the 14-year-old girl was physically injured. After the alleged incidents, she was turned over to the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services, where she remains today, Smith said. The incidents allegedly occurred between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 6, 2007.

2009 Jun 17