CHICAGO, July 5, 2016 – A protective mother said courts, police departments and Child Protective Services (CPS) in two states are covering up child molestation and threatening to force her daughter into unsupervised visits with her abuser.
Jamie Leigh Cramer currently lives in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. In 2012, she and her boyfriend Cory Rymal lived in Jasper County South Carolina, where they had a baby, Ruby.
Cramer and Rymal later split up and had an informal visitation schedule for Ruby.
On March 13, 2015, Rymal took his daughter for his regular weekend visit. During that visit, Ruby became ill and was vomiting repeatedly. Rymal told Cramer he gave Ruby medicine to stop the vomiting.
When Cramer picked up Ruby, she took her to the pediatrician. Cramer says Ruby exhibited overly-sexualized behavior, which concerned Cramer, and that Ruby eventually revealed that her father had molested her during her visits with him.
Cramer then to Hope Haven, a clinic for treatment of sexual abuse. The report from Hope Haven stated, "During the interview she [Ruby] disclosed her father (Cory Rymal) touched her breasts and vagina on top of the skin and put his pee pee in her mouth. She also disclosed 'Mimi' put her pee pee in her mouth (Mimi is the name she reportedly uses for both grandmothers)."
Hope Haven did not return a phone call for comment on this story.
Cramer immediately reported the incident to the Bluffton Police Department and gave a formal statement on March 27, 2015. Following is part of Cramer's statement:
"(On 3-15) I asked what she ate and she got very upset said I stay at your house. I said no baby what did you eat. She said a toy, she ate all blue toy- displayed from the 15th to the 23rd rage, aggression, regression, language, rocking back and forth, saying hush your mouth, hush up, shut up, shut up boy, shut up girl, shit repeated 30x's...She pointed to her clit. I asked why are you doing that after she continued to play with herself and she told me I can't tell...She started crying and she told me the monster told me she can't tell. I asked what monster. Ruby there isn't a monster and she said he's at daddy's."
Despite the report, the Bluffton Police Department did not conduct a physical evaluation, which may have provided hard evidence of abuse, until after the wounds had healed.
For months, Cramer repelled Rymal's demands to see their daughter while she awaited the results of an investigation by the Bluffton Police Department. That investigation, however, seemed to stall. On June 1, 2015, Cramer was told that Rymal did not respond to a phone call from the Bluffton Police Department to come in for an interview.
Chief Joey Reynolds of the Bluffton Police Department did not respond to an email for comment.
Later that day, Rymal, using the South Carolina attorney Margaret Day, filed for a motion to change custody.
Day did not respond to a message at her office.
On June 8, 2016, Rymal came in to the Bluffton Police Department and made a formal statement claiming that he was in a bitter custody battle with Cramer, and that these allegations were made as a result of this battle.
Following is part of Rymal's statement, which starts with the visit where the alleged molestation took place:
"I get Ruby and she was very distraught about leaving her mom. She usually would ask about her mom but this time she seemed unusually upset and did not stop crying the entire way home asking for her mom.... She was throwing up every thirty minutes. I had my mom take us to the store to get Ruby stuff to keep her hydrated....I ended up catching her stomach flu and having to go to the ER. When I text Jamie about picking up the kids, she told me Ruby was sick again. I have not seen my kids since."
With Day, Cramer said that Rymal began a sustained legal attack which continues to this day. Cramer said that Rymal employed "the best defense is a good offense" strategy, filing a series of motions accusing her of putting these thoughts in Ruby's head to keep him away from her.
As a result, Cramer was forced to take several psychological evaluations even though both found her of sound mind.
"Ms. Cramer's response style suggests a personality style which is strong, assertive and with some need to be in control of the relationship. She like has good relationship skills." An evaluation by Dr. Elizabeth Toplyn of Cramer stated.
Cramer also took a Rorschach test which confirmed Toplyn's earlier conclusions.
Dr. Toplyn did not respond to a voice mail for comment.
Despite being consistently evaluated in normal mental health, one of the court professionals assigned to the case has repeatedly suggested Cramer is "crazy" and making up these allegations.
Addison Fender is the guardian ad litem on this case. A guardian ad litem is a court professional assigned to investigate a case for the court to determine the best interest of the child.
Fender is a divorce attorney, not a psychologist, and yet he has reached out to multiple agencies including both the police and CPS to suggest that Cramer is "crazy".
"Addison feels that Jamie maybe experiencing some mental health issues and is concerned for the safety of the child even being with her," according to a CPS report which investigated claims of sexual abuse.
"Belligerent claims of mental illness made by the Guardian ad Litem," Cramer wrote of Fender in a motion filed on February 29, 2016, "have over passed consensus so far that individuals who have never met me are being persuaded I suffer from mental illness including Child Protective Services, DPS Gurka (Dearborn Heights Police Department) contradicting with reports from psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians and therapists, people who are trained professionals."
At one point, Fender wrote in a report that regardless of whether Ruby was sexually abused or not, he did not like the way Cramer had handled the situation.
Fender did not respond to a message left at his office.
Cramer says that because of the constant motions filed by Rymal, the focus has shifted away from whether Ruby was molested. Instead, Cramer says she is now under constant scrutiny by the court.
On Friday September 4, 2015, Cramer said she reluctantly agreed to a supervised visitation for parts of that Labor Day weekend between Ruby and her father. Fender supervised the visit.
As part of this visitation, Rymal agreed to first see Ruby in the presence of a therapist, Dr. Cornelia (Cory) Schoenherr, at the therapist's office.
Ruby's initial reaction to seeing her father was one of fear. Ruby initially hid under the desk, according to an affidavit filed with the court by Dr. Schoenherr describing the meeting.
Dr. Schoenherr referred to Rymal's interactions with his daughter as "superficial" in the same affidavit.
Throughout about fifteen minutes of audio of this session provided by Cramer, her daughter refers to a "monster" multiple times. Each time, Rymal interjects and makes suggestions about what that monster is.
During that visitation, Rymal took his daughter to the International House of Pancake (IHOP). At the restaurant, Rymal took his daughter alone to the restroom, which was prohibited under the terms of the visit.
Cramer surreptitiously sewed an audio taping device into her daughter's shirt. Although the audio does not provide a full picture of what took place, Rymal does talk about unzipping his pants and a noise is heard after that statement.
Cramer took the audio to the Dearborn Heights Police Department who told her not to continue with the visitation and not to contact Rymal.
Based on that advice, Cramer did not deliver Ruby to the zoo the next day, where another supervised visit was scheduled. Rymal sent Cramer numerous text messages when she did not show up, which Cramer did not return.
If the Dearborn Heights Police Department, with Detective Stephen Gurka leading, was initially interested in investigating the allegations, that thought quickly tempered.
An email from Cramer's then-attorney, Mary Quindlen, to Cramer provides details on her interaction with Gurka. "Detective Gurka asked me if I thought you suffered from mental illness... He said he spoke to the director of their CPS and that person told him they didn't make a referral because the allegation was not credible and they could not substantiate it. He also made a vague reference to maybe to CPS maybe getting involved because of the false allegations."
In response, Rymal filed a series of motions again suggesting Cramer was only attempting to keep him away from his daughter.
Rymal has not seen his daughter since that visit.
Rymal has multiple convictions: multiple convictions for possession of a controlled substance, driving under the influence and armed robbery.
Rymal has continued filing motions attempting to change custody and force visitation with his daughter. There has been no evidentiary hearing either on the allegation against Rymal or on the allegations that Cramer was coaching their daughter.
For more than six months, Cramer has represented herself, saying she believes that not only is it more cost effective, but also that she believes she will do a better job fighting for her daughter than an attorney would.
Jim O'Connor and Mary Quindlen, who each represented Cramer at the different times, didn't respond to voicemails requesting comment.
A series of motions and counter motions still produced no result in early May 2016. Cramer said she was then introduced to Darrell Thomas Johnson, a local attorney who goes by Tom Johnson. Johnson is also a member of the Ridgeland Town Council.
Cramer said she was of the understanding that Johnson was connected and could offer her some informal advice, but according to a set of emails she provided, he has taken over the case even though Cramer did not hire him.
Johnson disputed this characterization, while calling Cramer a former client: "A few minutes of reflection would demonstrate the absurdity of the accusation of 'muscling in'. Who would muscle in on a case for someone who was out of money, and had a case coming up in 2 business days? Beyond that, I can't discuss a former client's business."
At a May 9, 2016, hearing Cramer said "(Johnson) went in behind closed doors to pretrial they filed before trial. I informed Johnson I could not allow him to represent me without me being pro counsel. While I was filing the objection to pretrial thinking Johnson was going to object on my behalf like I told him to he instead went in and acted on my behalf. He boxed me in and made my father believe I was gambling with my daughter and made to believe I would be losing custody and I was lucky to have any kind of custody."
Johnson said of that day, "It is accurate to say that the Court afforded the parties most of the day to negotiate."
Cramer said that Rymal has already attempted to show up at her home claiming the order gave him the power to take their daughter.
So far, Cramer has warded off those advances but continues to fear the courts- in conjunction with multiple police departments- will force her to give her daughter into the arms of an abuser.
Note: the name of the child was changed to the pseudonym "Ruby" due to the age of the child.