Editor’s note: On May 18, a 13-year-old girl escaped from the basement of a home in Toledo where her stepfather, Timothy Ciboro, and his son, Esten Ciboro, allegedly kept her shackled to a post for a year or more. This is yet another horrific story of what can happen when abusers use a claim of Christian home-schooling to hide and mistreat children. You might wish to start with Part 1
Stafonda Hawkins, mother of the 13-year-old survivor of alleged shackling and other abuse, has been arrested in Toledo and arraigned May 27 on old charges of passing bad checks and failure to pay fines.
“Police at this time do not intend to file charges against Hawkins related to the [abuse] case, said Lt. Joe Heffernan, [Toledo Police] department spokesman.”
Hawkins, 39, left a tumultuous relationship with Timothy Ciboro in 2012, and was recently in Las Vegas, reportedly “staying with family […] including a young son.” Upon her return to Toledo by bus last week, “The U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested Hawkins without incident about 11 a.m. Wednesday at a house on Tecumseh [Street], said Alex Rutter, a deputy marshal.
“Lucas County [Ohio] property records show the home is owned by Glenda Hawkins, whose relationship to Stafonda Hawkins is unknown. The marshals’ office said she was staying there with family, including her young son”—probably the same son who was with her in Las Vegas. The marshals sought Hawkins “on a parole violation for theft.”
The mother was reportedly “distraught” and a “blubbering mess” when news of her daughter’s escape from abuse reached her in Las Vegas, and she declined to talk with reporters. She possibly knew that she risked arrest by returning to Toledo.
Hawkins was jailed and arraigned in Sylvania Municipal Court “on a bench warrant for failing to pay fines and costs on a conviction for passing bad checks.” She has a long history of run-ins with police in Ohio and Nevada. The Toledo Blade reviewed over 100 pages of police incident reports involving Stafonda Hawkins and Timothy and Esten Ciboro. “The narratives suggest a chaotic relationship” between Hawkins and the elder Ciboro, “rife with allegations of threats, violence, and theft.”
In addition to being the mother of the 13-year-old girl (whose father is not identified in news reports), Hawkins has two children by alleged abuser Timothy Ciboro: a girl, 9, and boy, 10. She left the children with Ciboro about four years ago. “All three children who lived in the home are now in foster care, but due to safety and security reasons, it’s unknown if they are with the same family or if they have been separated,” according to Cleveland 19 News. The children are under the supervision of Lucas County Children Services.
It does appear that Hawkins abandoned the three children. However, in 2009, “Hawkins was found in violation of a protection order with Mr. [Timothy] Ciboro.” At that time, the two had a son and daughter together (and Hawkins’s older daughter was about nine). This suggests significant legal difficulties with regard to child custody, and perhaps a power struggle over the children.
Ciboro has a history of disputes with others, notably his former employer, the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department. Between 1996 and 2004, he was a “problematic” firefighter who, upon being fired the second time, “filed lawsuits against the city, the fire department, the fire union, and an arbitrator.”
On May 18 of this year, after the 13-year-old escaped from Ciboro’s basement, reports indicated that she alone was targeted for abuse in the home. However, it seems very likely that the two younger children witnessed the abuse. If so, they might be traumatized, and they might also have been forced to develop survival strategies in order to avoid being abused like their half-sister.
I have not found news reports identifying the girl’s biological father. Although stories call Timothy Ciboro the stepfather of the 13-year-old girl, he and Hawkins were never married.
I have also not yet learned whether the “young son” traveling with Stafonda Hawkins is in foster care, or who his biological father is.
Propinqua is the Latin word for neighboring or nearby (singular feminine adjective). It is used in law and philosophy, and in the scientific names of plants and animals, such as the native bee Osmia lignaria propinqua.
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