Associated Press Writer
Months before an Ohio police officer was accused of killing his girlfriend and her fetus, a California court suspended contact between him and his 9-year-old daughter based on child psychiatrist’s report that alleged he was emotionally and physically abusive, court documents show.
Bobby Cutts Jr., 30, is accused of killing 26-year-old Jessie Davis and her unborn daughter at her northeast Ohio home on June 14. Davis was missing for about a week before her body was found in a Summit County park Saturday, still carrying the baby she was due to deliver July 3.
Cutts was arraigned on Monday in Canton Municipal Court on two murder charges and ordered held on $5 million bond.
Hours before Cutts’ arraignment, Stark County Family Court Judge David Stucki dismissed an Ohio custody case between Cutts and his former girlfriend, Nikki Giavasis, over the 9-year-old girl. Stucki cited the charges against Cutts as one factor in his decision, said Jeffrey Jakmides, an Ohio lawyer representing Giavasis.
Another custody dispute is ongoing in a court in Los Angeles County, where Giavasis resides.
A Superior Court judge there on Jan. 17 granted a request by Giavasis to temporarily suspend visitation rights and telephone and e-mail contact between Cutts and the 9-year-old, citing “evidence of physical and emotional abuse perpetrated on the child.”
The decision followed a report by Dr. J.H. Carter-Lourensz, which was filed in court on Jan. 11.
“The things she remembered, when put together, made a very credible story of concern,” Carter-Lourensz told the Associated Press Tuesday. “She had the demeanor of a child who was very frightened.”
The 9-year-old stayed with Cutts in his home outside North Canton in April 2006 and from June to December 2006, court records show. Giavasis sought the court order after the girl traveled to California to spend Christmas with her mother, Jakmides said.
Carter-Lourensz, a UCLA child psychiatry professor and independent child abuse evaluator, interviewed the girl after Giavasis requested a review. Carter-Lourensz wrote in a follow-up report that the 9-year-old felt “sexually unsafe and threatened verbally, emotionally and physically by Mr. Cutts.”
Carter-Lourensz found in her interview with the 9-year-old that Cutts would often hit or threaten his daughter, but would always laugh afterward and say he was kidding, the report said. Cutts also predicted to his daughter that she would one day work as a Las Vegas stripper, Carter-Lourensz’s report said.
Carter-Lourensz also alleged abusive behavior by Cutts against the 9-year-old’s half brother, who is Giavasis’ son by another man and not related to Cutts. The boy, 5 at the time of the report, said he was “physically abused, mistreated and verbally abused” by Cutts when he visited his sister in Ohio, Carter-Lourensz said Tuesday.
Carter-Lourensz said the judge reviewed her report and determined it was enough to keep the 9-year-old in California.
When the judge entered the January order, a March hearing on the matter was scheduled, but documents received from the Los Angeles County court do not show whether it was held. Messages left with Cutts’ attorneys were not returned.
Carter-Lourensz said Tuesday that Cutts did not travel to California to challenge the order.
Cutts met the girl’s mother when both attended Walsh University in North Canton. The 9-year-old has lived with Giavasis for most of her life in California, but Cutts challenged the custody arrangement in 2005.
The 9-year-old is Cutts’ first child. He has another daughter, Breonna, born in 2001 to a woman he married shortly thereafter.
Cutts and Davis together had a 2-year-old son, Blake, and Davis’ family members said Cutts was the father of Davis’ nearly full-term fetus.
“There’s a lot of little children being absolutely devastated over this,” Davis’ mother, Patricia Porter, said Monday outside Canton Municipal Court. “We can’t forget them.”
Cutts’ stepmother, Barbara Cutts, on Monday called her stepson a generous man good with kids who coached youth soccer, basketball and football.
“It’s very hard to accept,” said Barbara Cutts, 46, a nurse’s aide. “A lot of people are looking at him like a bad person, but he’s not, he really isn’t.”
While Giavasis has made the rounds on cable television news shows, she’s tried to keep the 9-year-old away from news of the charges against her father, Jakmides said.
“The family has deliberately tried not to burden her with this,” he said. “They’ve tried as much as possible to keep her from the media storm.”
Associated Press Writer JoAnne Viviano contributed to this report.
Calif. court said Ohio murder suspect couldn’t contact daughter