Wednesday, June 1, 2005

The Peter Boy Files

Reports of abuse and
lengthy delays in legal action
characterize records

» State wary of proving abuse
» Mother alleges abuse
» Sister says she saw boy dead
» Family tree
» Kema case history

Key revelations in the "Peter Boy" Kema documents:


» Peter Boy's sister, then age 5, told a psychologist that she saw Peter Boy "dead" in her father's car truck and "dead" in her parent's closet and that they "took" the box to Honolulu. She also reported she thinks Peter Boy is alive in Honolulu.

» The sister also reported her father tied Peter Boy in chains and rope and made him eat "doo doo." She also reported Peter Boy got "dirty lickings" from Peter Sr. and that her mother also got "dirty lickings" when she makes trouble.

» Peter Boy's stepbrother and stepsister told of other abuse -- that Peter Boy was tied with a rope to a bed post and that he was sometimes handcuffed. They said Peter Boy often slept outside in the cold with no pillow, covers or jacket. He was also locked in the trunk of the car a lot.

» The siblings said Peter Boy had an infection in his arm from a mosquito bite that "turned in to a big hole in the crock of his arm" and moved down to his wrist. "It really stank and it had a lot of pus," they said. They were not sure if Peter Boy went to the doctor.


» In January 1994, six months before Peter Boy was returned to the Kemas, a state social worker recommended to Family Court Judge Ben Gaddis that a hearing be held to terminate the Kema's parental rights.

In another letter in January, the guardian ad litem, the attorney appointed to represent the interests of the children, wrote in a Jan. 18, 1994, letter to the court: "It appears that this couple simply will not be able to overcome their continuing difficulties to provide a safe home."

In response, Christopher Barthel III, the Kemas' psychologist, wrote a letter on Feb. 1, at the request of the Kemas and their attorneys, pointing out the progress the Kemas have made in "7 out of 8 of their treatment goals," and attributing missed appointments to grief over the deaths of "4 or 5 family members" between November and January.

A few months later, a social worker meets with Barthel on April 4, 1994. In a letter dated April 7, 1994, the Kemas are informed that a return date for the children in July 1994 will be recommended. However, if the Kemas do not complete their counseling plans over the next three months, the state will ask for "immediate permanent custody over (names blacked out)."

» In 1991, the attorney appointed by family court to represent the best interests of the children recommends that "DHS seriously consider option of terminating paternal rights as a viable option sooner rather than later" because of Jaylin and Peter Sr.'s noncompliance with a plan to return the children.

» For three years, the documents show the Kemas didn't keep appointments to see their children for supervised visits and attending the classes and training they needed to get the children back. Outreach workers report numerous unreturned phone calls and missed appointments for home visits.

» On April 4, 1997, a relative reported Peter Jr. had a broken arm. But, a home visit was not scheduled until June 1997. Then the family was not home and following two canceled appointments, the family visited the DHS office in early July 1997 without Peter Boy. An appointment was set for August 15, 1997, but because it was admissions day, a state holiday, the office was closed. It wasn't until October 1997, that a social worker interviewed Peter Boy's siblings at school.

Information online

Peter "Peter Boy" Kema Jr. documents:

Hawaii State Clearinghouse
on Missing Children:


National Center for Missing
and Exploited Children:


E-mail to City Desk


© Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- http://archives.starbulletin.com