Isaiah Rider, video recorded just before being forced to return to Chicago against his will.

by Terri LaPoint
Health Impact News

Isaiah Rider is a 17-year-old Missouri resident who was taken away from his mother at the age of 16 by Illinois child protective services – DCFS – while in Lurie Children’s Hospital for medical treatment. Recently, he has come forward publicly with devastating information about the trauma that he experienced as a ward of the state of Illinois. While he was in a Chicago foster home, he was raped and sodomized. Though this has been reported to his social worker, his guardian ad litem and the authorities, nothing is being done about it according to the family.

According to Michelle Rider, Isaiah’s mother,

“they [Illinois DCFS] ended up doing the real abuse, and allowing abuse, and then covering it up. I can’t even believe this; that no one can stop this.”

Isaiah Seized from Mother Because She Asked for a Second Opinion on Medical Care

Michelle has been fighting to get her son back ever since Illinois DCFS seized custody of Isaiah on April 15, 2014, after she dared ask for a second opinion when the doctors had no answers. Health Impact News has been covering their story for some time.

Michelle spoke Tuesday evening about the injustices to her family on “The Common Sense Show” with David Hodges, and that is when she dropped the bombshell that she and Isaiah have been carrying on their shoulders. Toward the end of the show, she began to recount the abuse that Isaiah experienced in the foster home, and the concerns for his safety that were minimized in court. Then, she revealed the extent of the basis for their fears.

“Isaiah just recently disclosed, while he was in the hospital in Kansas City, that – this is the first time that I’ve ever publicly talked about this – but he was sexually assaulted. He was raped and sodomized at gunpoint with a gun to his head while he was in foster care in Dolten, Illinois. He disclosed that to his guardian ad litem, his caseworker, and when he went back to Chicago, just recently on December 5, he actually was experiencing Post Traumatic Stress events, because he was brought back to the area of crime, where a crime was committed against him. This is all well-documented. To this date, there has been no report, no investigation. There was no medical work-up. All of the people involved are aware of what’s going on. This has not been brought up in court.”

Isaiah Decides to Come Forward on Sexual Abuse, as Authorities have Done Nothing

Isaiah told me that he originally didn’t say anything about what happened to him because he was scared. All he really wanted to do was to escape Illinois and never look back. When he was allowed to return to his home state of Missouri, though not to his home and his mom, he tried to forget about the horrors he had  faced.

He had already told his family, and the guardian ad litem and social worker about the fact that guns had been held on him while he was in foster care, and that he had been exposed to many ugly things he had never seen before in his relatively sheltered childhood in Missouri. Michelle reports that Isaiah was placed in a foster home in Dolton, one of the top 2% of the most dangerous neighborhoods in America. They believe that he was placed there, in a predominately African-American ghetto, because of the fact that Isaiah has dark skin – he is tri-racial, black, white, and native American.

Isaiah had hoped to never have to face any of the traumatic memories again. He wanted to forget that the things he never told anyone about ever happened.

Then he had another pain crisis which began just before Thanksgiving. After he was admitted to the hospital in Kansas City, Illinois DCFS became involved again and made the decision to transfer him back to Chicago. That is when all the memories that he had tried to forget about came flooding back, because they were making him go back to the place where it all began. That is when he first disclosed the rape.

While he was in foster care in the Chicago area, Isaiah reports that a man he had never seen before confronted him and held a gun to his head. He forced him to chew a white pill, and as Isaiah was becoming dizzy, the man forced himself on the boy, sodomized him, and did other things to him, calling him a “pretty boy.” He passed out. When he woke up, he was extremely sore. The man was gone, but he was surrounded by other people who were laughing. The terrified child found his way back to the foster home, but he didn’t tell anyone. He says that the foster mother didn’t really supervise much, but she yelled at him a lot. He just tried to block out the abuse.

Illinois Caused Post Traumatic Stress by Transferring Isaiah back to Chicago even Though They Knew About Rape

When he learned that Illinois planned to transfer him to Chicago, Isaiah pleaded not to be sent back, even recording a desperate video from his hospital room. The assault and rape was reported to his social worker and guardian ad litem. An investigator with DCFS reportedly came to the hospital to take his statement, but nothing was ever done about it. To date, there is allegedly still no report of the rape and sodomy. There was never a medical work-up done, and no investigation.

His guardian ad litem, Kim Boone, the person appointed to look after his best interests, reportedly ignored Isaiah’s pleas. Without a court order, they forced him into an ambulance on the morning of December 6. DCFS reportedly threatened his grandparents, demanding that they not interfere. Michelle says that they gave him an extra dose of valium, so that Isaiah would be too drugged to fight back.

After he arrived in Chicago against his will, he reportedly experienced symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress, reliving the events while he was unconscious, saying “No, no, no!” and fighting off the unseen attacker.

Isaiah Still under Illinois State Custody

Isaiah is now safely back at his grandparents’ home in Kansas City, for the moment, but is still under Illinois DCFS custody. He would love to forget everything that happened, but he told me that he believes that people need to know what happened to him in DCFS care. He said that it has changed him, and he went through a lot that he never should have gone through. He assured me that he doesn’t think this would ever have happened to him had “Child Protective Services” not stepped in to “protect” him. He doesn’t feel very protected.

He is not alone. The Illinois DCFS has come under recent fire as reports have surfaced in the media about numerous sexual assaults of children in the foster care system. At the same time this scandal has hit the headlines, the current DCFS director, Bobbie Gregg, has stepped down from her post.

Isaiah Rider appears to be just one of thousands of children in foster care who has suffered far worse abuse in “protective custody” than he ever did in his own home with his own family. Team Isaiah supporters are fighting tirelessly to bring attention to the injustices that he and his mother have faced at the hands of the system.

There is another court hearing on Tuesday, as well as a support rally for the Riders at 1 pm on Tuesday, January 13, at the Cook County Juvenile Court at 1100 S. Hamilton, Chicago. The public is invited to attend and show support for the family.

The Team Isaiah Facebook page is calling for people to contact the new IL Governor Bruce Rauner’s team regarding Isaiah.

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