Mother gained world-wide renown for holding off SWAT team to stop harmful drug treatment of her child in 2011
Pros. Kym Worthy: “Godboldo not expected to regain competency . . . to stand trial;” kept appealing despite repeated dismissals of criminal case
Sister Penny: Godboldo’s health crisis hurts family, and “community on a national level . . .She was so vibrant, healthy and intelligent.”
“TESTIFY” for Maryanne: Funds needed for ongoing care; GoFundMe site on webpage http://justice4maryanne.com/
DETROIT – “This is bittersweet,” Penny Godboldo-Brooks told VOD about the dismissal of numerous felony counts Jan. 31 against her sister Maryanne Godboldo.
“Thank God the legal court proceedings are over, but we should never have had to deal with them in the beginning. The tragedy and travesty is that Maryanne had to sacrifice her health due to the stress. This is a loss not just to our family, but to the community world-wide.”
Godboldo-Brooks said her sister, who suffered a massive brain aneurysm June 15, 2016 on the eve of a third criminal trial, had been helping many families fight state-sponsored child kidnapping and the forced administration of psychotropic drugs. She was also active in the home schooling movement. Godboldo has received numerous awards, including one from the International Citizens Commission on Human Rights in 2012, and another from the Libertarian Party Feb. 4, 2016. Godboldo-Brooks said she is pleased that such organizations are keeping her sister’s memory as she was, and her struggle alive.
On May 24, 2011, Godboldo held off tanks, police helicopters, and cops armed with assault weapons to keep authorities from seizing her daughter Ariana Godboldo-Hakim, then 13. Child Protective Services Worker Mia Wenk, who had no medical training, called in police to force Ariana back on the drug Risperdal, which has dangerous side effects, without a valid court order.
After the stand-off, Godboldo was arrested and held on eight felony counts, and her daughter was forcibly institutionalized at Hawthorne Hospital in Northville, where she was medicated not only with Risperdal, but three other psychotropic drugs. Godboldo had been weaning her off Risperdal due to its negative effects, as the consent form she signed to put her daughter on the drug allowed her to do. During Ariana’s stay at Hawthorne, a prosthesis she had worn on her leg due to a birth injury was taken away to limit her movement, and the family alleged she had been sexually assaulted as well.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged Godboldo with eight assaultive felonies after the stand-off, claiming she had fired a weapon inside her home.
Thirty-Sixth District Court Judge Ronald Giles and Third Judicial Circuit Court Judge Gregory Bill each dismissed the charges twice. Worthy appealed each time, finally taking it to the Michigan Supreme Court in May, 2016. The court sent it back for trial, which was to begin June 16, 2016, the day after Godboldo’s aneurysm, which nearly killed her.
On Jan. 31, Thirty-Sixth District Court Judge Ronald Giles dismissed the charges for a third time, at the request of defense attorneys Allison Folmar and Byron Pitts, during a highly contentious hearing according to attendees.
“Allison said they argued Maryanne could not defend herself, and that the prosecution finally said if the judge dismissed the case on those grounds, they would not contest it,” Godboldo-Brooks said.
Neither Folmar nor Pitts were available for comment before press time.
“The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the charges today because it has been determined that Ms. Godboldo is not expected to gain competency to stand trial,” Maria Miller, spokeswoman for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, said in a statement. She later told VOD that if Godboldo does regain her mental competence, a determination would be made then whether to reinstate the charges, which were dismissed “without prejudice.”
“It is premature to speculate at this time,” Miller said. She said Worthy had no comment on whether her continued prosecution of Godboldo contributed to her brain injury.
Folmar said at the time of Godboldo’s aneurysm, “Her blood pressure had been rising and this caused a brain vessel to burst. Five years of court hearings took their toll.”
During those five years, the Godboldos lost their mother Lovey Godboldo, as well as Godboldo-Brooks’ husband Stephen Brooks.
“Maryanne was my strongest confidante after my husband and my mother,” Godboldo-Brooks said. “She is virtually incapable of any of that now. She was so vibrant, healthy and intelligent, and so well read.”
Godboldo-Brooks said she is taking care of her sister’s daughter Ariana now, and also cares for three grandchildren three days a week.
“Ariana has up and down days,” Godboldo-Brooks said. “She misses her mother terribly, but her father Mubarak Hakim has stepped up to the plate and is very much in her life. I have to go see Maryanne virtually every day to ensure she gets taken care of. This is the third nursing home she has been in.”
She said Maryanne is improving, but cannot speak, and that she hopes she hears what she talks to her about every day. She said she sees reactions in her sister’s face. Godboldo-Brooks said she is working with medical personnel to eventually to bring her sister home to care for her there.
Godboldo-Brooks worked at Marygrove College as a tenured faculty member for 35 years, 18 of them spent as chair of the Dance Department and three of them as chair of the Division. She said she recently retired, despite loving her job, due to her family obligations.
TESTIFY FOR MARYANNE: Her family remains in serious need of funds for her care. To access GO FUND ME site for her, go to website at http://justice4maryanne.com/