Dane County social workers testify at Chritton trial - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Dane County social workers testify at Chritton trial


MADISON (WKOW) -- Years before Chad Chritton was charged with abusing his daughter, Dane County social workers were involved in his family's life. Friday, some of them took the stand in day four of his trial.

"I did talk to the family about concerns regarding the home and her stepbrother," Julie Phelps testified. She worked with the Dane County Department of Human Services for several years and was assigned to the victim, SLC, from 2006 to 2007.

In 2012, Joshua Drabek was charged with sexually assaulting his stepsister. Phelps testified she had concerns about the abuse while working with SLC years before. She also said Chad Chritton denied her access to Drabek and further contact with SLC when she asked to question him.

According to court testimony, Drabek was supervised as a juvenile for a separate sex assault case and for a period of time, was forced to move out of the home.

"They were trying to guarantee that this would keep everyone safe if Joshua returned home," Dane County social worker Erik Nielsen said about a conversation with Drabek and his wife regarding securities measures in their home. Nielsen was assigned to supervise Drabek in 2008 and testified he grew concerned about the well-being of SLC. He read a letter about the situation in court. "I think you should make efforts to get her into counseling and some sort of public school option while she's still as young as she is," Nielsen said.

Chritton's defense attorney, William Hayes, argued that the Department of Human Services never came upon anything that warranted more follow up with the family.

Other testimony came from social worker Robert Syring, who also testified about his time working on Drabek's case. A doctor who evaluated Drabek in 2008 and a Madison Police Department detective also took the stand.


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