Convicted madam, Kimberly Miniea, is fighting for custody of her two adopted daughters in a Cook County juvenile court, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Miniea was convicted of running a Berkeley brothel with her then-17-year-old daughter.
In December 2010, the girls were placed in foster care following a raid on Miniea's home. The Cook County State's Attorney's Office, social workers, and court-appointed guardians for the girls all contend that Miniea's custodial rights should be revoked.
Miniea has been arrested several times in the past on prostitution charges connected with her running of the brothel. Her most recent arrest occurred after undercover officers found Miniea soliciting local women to work as prostitutes.
Although Miniea admitted in court on Thursday that she'd run the brothel for 20 years, she claimed that she had always kept her daughters "at arms length" from the business. Miniea stressed that she was done with the sex business, had quit drinking and drugs, and has gone back to school to become an addiction counselor. She also noted that a $2.5 million trust fund she recently inherited when her mother passed away will ensure she never has to return to the business.
Miniea claimed that she adopted her daughters from a heroin-addicted prostitute, and that the girls have begged to return home from their foster homes. The social worker handling the case testified that the older daughter "has stated consistently that she would like to return to Ms. Miniea because she loves her family."
Legal custody gives a parent the right to make long-term decisions about key aspects of the child's life. In most child custody cases, legal custody is granted to both parents unless it is shown that one parent is unfit in some way, or is incapable of making decisions on the child's behalf. A parent may be deemed "unfit" for legal custody due to a substance abuse problem, criminal record, or history of abusive behavior.
Judge Richard Stevens is legally required to meet with Kimberly Miniea's 9-year-old daughter before he decides who will have custody of the girls. On April 27, he is due to rule on whether the girl must testify before the court.
- Find a Chicago Family Law Attorney (FindLaw)
- Brothel Madam Fights to Get Adopted Daughters Back (CBS News)
- Types of Child Custody (FindLaw)
- How to Get Custody (FindLaw)