AYLMER, ON, July 9, 2001 ( – A hearing today in the case of a Christian family whose 7 children aged 6 to 14 were taken from their home by police last Wednesday has not led to the children’s return home. LifeSite has learned that an interim hearing is scheduled for July 26 and a trial for August 9.

The family’s pastor, Rev. Henry Hildebrandt of the Aylmer Church of God, told LifeSite that there is no merit to the actions of the Children’s Aid Society and the police since the family is in no way abusive to their children. The CAS had visited the family’s home a number of times likely after someone made a complaint about the family. Rev. Hildebrandt said that the last visit on Wednesday was intended to be the conclusion of the investigation since the CAS found no evidence of any harm to the children. However, when the parents refused to promise social workers that they would never spank their children with an object such as a switch, the CAS apprehended the children with the assistance of the police.

Aylmer police deputy chief, Andre Reymer, suggested that the apprehension was decided on the failure of the parents to promise never to spank with an object, even though there were no injuries. “We believed that it would continue to occur because they would not promise to stop,” Reymer told the Toronto Star. Moreover, a social worker interviewed by the Star who wished to remain nameless confirmed that the CAS search for injuries on the children turned up nothing. “There were no bruises or anything like that,” said the worker. Police also confirmed that the resistance put up by Pastor Hildebrandt’s congregation was all peaceful. “It was passive resistance. They surrounded the children,” Reymer said. “It was like breaking up a protest.”

Pastor Hildebrandt notes that before the hearing today the parents were denied communications with their children. “They said the children could talk by telephone to their parents,” he said. “Now they say it’s not possible,” he told the Star Saturday.

The family’s neighbours attested to the family’s good character. Next-door neighbour Ernie Timmons told the Star the family was quiet and said he never heard any problems. “Those children, believe me, they were happy. They were always playing. They were forever rollerblading, bicycling and playing all the time.” Timmons witnessed the apprehension and was very distressed by what he saw. “I saw a policeman bringing out this little girl,” Timmons said. “She was shouting and hollering for help. I could see the fear in her face. It was unbelievable.” He said he was so upset with what he saw he had trouble sleeping Wednesday night. Timmons said that after the little girl was carried out, they brought out an 8-year-old child. “You’ve never heard so much squealing, crying and wailing from children,” he said. “These kids are scarred for life. The (workers) don’t realize the scars they put on these little kids.” Timmons concluded, “The CAS people should be charged with kidnapping. They are the ones that should have been sent away.”

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