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High Court Takes Up Case|Over Sex Abuse Interview

(CN) - The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a mother's case against an Oregon social worker and a deputy sheriff who allegedly pulled her daughter from class and questioned her about whether her father had sexually abused her.

The girl's mother, Sarah Greene, sued Bob Camreta, a caseworker with the Oregon Department of Human Services, and Deputy Sheriff James Alford, claiming they interviewed her daughter without a warrant, probable cause or parental consent.

She also accused Camreta of lying in order to have Greene's two daughters removed from the home. Greene said she was excluded from her daughters' physical exams.

The questioning occurred after the girls' father, Nimrod Greene, was arrested for allegedly molesting a 7-year-old boy. The boy's mother told police that Sarah Greene had complained that she "doesn't like the way Nimrod makes (his daughters) sleep in his bed when he is intoxicated and she doesn't like the way he acts when they are sitting in his lap."

After interviewing one of the girls, Camreta concluded that she had been sexually abused and had the girls removed from the home.

Nimrod was charged with sexually assaulting the 7-year-old boy and one of his own daughters. After a mistrial, he accepted a plea bargain in which he maintained his innocence but admitted there was enough evidence to convict him.

Greene insisted the allegations were lies, and the daughter who was interviewed later recanted her statements.

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit against Camreta and Alford, but the 9th Circuit partially reversed, allowing Greene to pursue her Fourth Amendment claims against both defendants, but not her 14th Amendment claim against the caseworker.

Without comment, the Supreme Court took up the case, consolidating the lawsuits and allotting one hour for oral argument.


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