Oakland County kids locked up for refusing dinner with father

Community members rally to support children

Kids were sentenced to prison time for dodging their dad.
Kids were sentenced to prison time for dodging their dad.

PONTIAC, Mich. – A group of parents and children cannot believe the sentence a judge imposed for three siblings who refused to spend time with their own father.

"What happened to freedom of speech? They are constitutional heroes for sticking to their guns," said Karen Gilcher, a family friend.

Now they're out of the Oakland County courthouse demanding the children -- ages 14, 10 and 9 -- be released from Children's Village. They could be there until they turn 18.

"There are adults who commit felonies who aren't sentenced to 3 or 4 years incarceration," said Mark Honeyman, a teacher.

Oakland County Judge Lisa Gorcyca last month didn't hold back in court as she sentenced the children to detention. They went against her orders to allow their father to be a part of their lives.

She said this to the oldest sibling:

"You're supposed to have a high IQ, which I'm doubting right now because of the way you act. You're very defiant. You have no manners."

The 14-year-old boy told the judge he has witnessed his father hit his mother. The judge said the children's father is a good man.

She wasn't any easier on the youngest sibling -- a 9-year-old girl.

"God gave you a brain. He expects you to use it," said the judge.

She also asked the girl: "You want to have your birthdays in Children's Village? Do you like going to the bathroom in front of people?"

Parents feel the judge was out of line not only with the sentence but also with her choice of words.

"I deal with kid who misbehave in my classroom all the time. I have never used the kind of language that I have seen being used in these courtroom proceedings," said Honeyman.