Oswego County Judge accused of placing infant in dangerous home with sex offender

Sheri Remington

The grandparents of a 3-month-old girl claim Family Court Judge Kim Seager has placed the child in danger by allowing her to live with registered sex offender in a home of squalor and neglect.

Terry Mann and Steven Ouderkirk, of Oswego, told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon that the mother of the infant, Sheri Remington is a level 2 sex offender and has been cited by Child Protective caseworkers over the conditions in her Fulton home.

The couple showed Kenyon reports compiled by the caseworkers. Among the findings, "overpowering odors" and clutter, used diapers, a baby bottle "full of curdled formula," a garbage can in the living room "full and heaping over with trash." The report stated the home was a "fire and tripping hazard" because of debris.

The caseworkers reported that Remington referred to the baby as "bitch and little s**t." They stated that "the child does not engage in tummy time...due to the mess" and she "does not regularly bathe the child."

The report contains an assessment from the child's doctor that the "child suffers from vaginal total adhesions as a result of ...not cleaning or wiping the child properly... could lead to genital deformities."

The report concludes that, "despite the constant prompting and assistances by the caseworkers and service providers, the condition of the home does not improve. The Respondent's (Sheri Remington) actions place the subject child at risk of harm."

The grandmother, Terry Mann told Kenyon that she's afraid "I'll get a call in the middle of the night that she's dead." Ouderkirk says in a recent hearing that Judge Seager referred to the report as "allegations."

"These aren't allegations, tThe child is in danger," said Ouderkirk.

The paternal grandparents are attempting to gain custody of the child, but feel the child should immediately be removed from the home and placed in foster care.

"The Judge is not doing her job," said Ouderkirk.

Responding on behalf of Judge Seager, Court Attorney Karen Brandt pointed out that there was "no removal petition pending" in the case. Brandt said, "as you know the court can't comment on any pending cases."

Approached by Kenyon outside her home in Fulton, Remington denied neglecting her daughter and used a number of expletives directed at the Ouderkirk family before walking away and into her home.

According to the New York State sex offender registry, the 20-year-old woman is considered a level 2 offender for having sexual relations with an underage male. She was sentenced to 11 months in the Oswego County Jail.

This is not the first time Judge Seager has been accused of placing children in allegedly dangerous situations.

Citing several other examples, last year, the Oswego County Legislature along with its Social Services Commissioner and law enforcement agencies appealed to District Administrative Judge James Tormey to intervene. Following a private meeting in Syracuse last June, Oswego County no longer participates in the Child Welfare Court Collaborative.

Social Services Commissioner Gregg Heffner says the collaborative was designed to reduce the number of children being placed in foster care, which he agrees with, but he says the program "was not working out."

Heffner the relationship between his department and Judge Seager is "amicable and status quo... we're all looking at it more carefully."

(Update: Following the publishing of this story, the child was taken out of the home and placed in foster care.)