December 2008, 10-year-old Seth Ireland was sent to the hospital after his mother's boyfriend punched and kicked him repeatedly. Seth died about a week later. Authorities say just days before Seth's death, his mother and her boyfriend asked authorities to take Seth and his half-brother to protective custody. They were denied. Lebaron Vaughn was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for beating Seth to death. Seth's mother, Renae Ireland was sentenced to six years for child endangerment.
Next week, Fresno County's child protection program will stand trial. Seth's father, Joseph Hudson is accusing county social workers of failing to stop the violence they knew was happening. He spoke about it, several years ago. He told KSEE24, “There were a lot of steps that could have been taken by the courts, by CPS, and on and on, in which they could have protected my son, in which they didn't do.
The civil case will focus on social workers and if they did their jobs when receiving reports of Seth's abuse, before his death. Hudson claims CPS employees failed to take necessary actions to protect his son. But the county is denying the allegations claiming social workers conducted investigations after receiving reports of abuse. A jury will hear from about 30 witnesses, including Hudson, CPS workers, school teachers, and police officers.
Hudson is seeking an undisclosed amount of money for damages.
Both Hudson and the county's attorneys refused to comment.
Jury selection is expected to begin Wednesday. Opening statements in the trial will start early next week.