There was a psychiatric evaluation at the social agency Esra as the result of Beth being lured under false pretenses for a visit regarding child rearing - by someone she thought was her friend. In fact Dr. Schlesinger's supporters had convinced the friend that Beth was suffering from post partum depression and needed to be evaluated. That psychiatrist concluded that Beth was not mentally ill. There was another psychologist - who Dr. Schlesinger had surreptitiously visit the twins at a social agency. She observed them for only a few minutes before she was discovered and kicked out. However she wrote a 5 page report not only on the twins but also on Beth (based on what Michael told her). This "report" was submitted as evidence to the court also.
Basically I am going to start at the end, where recognized experts who examined Beth were asked to confirm or deny the reports from Dr. Schlesinger's experts that were the reason that the judge took full custody from Beth and gave it to Michael. I am simply going to give some excerpts from these reports. It should be clear that the judge's justification for giving custody to Michael is deeply flawed.
Dr. Willinger [the author of the main report the judge replied upon ] concluded the children were 'retarded' because they did not speak 200 words at 2 years old. Yet she had only seen them when they were 14 months and 16 months old.
Dr. Willinger based her assessment of the developmental delay on the very general scales of child development.
“A healthy linguistic development can be seen if a child of approx. 18 months has an active vocabulary of 50 words, the “critical amount”, in order to achieve the so-called “vocabulary explosion” which leads a child to have 200 words by the time they are 24 months old, so that they learn about 9 new words a day. It is easy for parents to ascertain a linguistic delay.” Willinger Report
This is totally debunked by the expert that Beth consulted - Dr Sinko Sanz - who stated:
“I believe however, that these scales do not take into account inter-individual development. This is not just my personal opinion, but the limitations of these development scales are recognised in professional circles. This is also the reason why I rarely apply them…”
Dr. Willinger´s claims were also contradicted by a scientific study that Beth's lawyer submitted, that concluded speech retardation could not be recognised under the age of 3.
Dr. Willinger criticised Beth for not questioning the opinions of her pediatrician, health visitor and child psychologist, who all told Beth that the children were healthy and well developed in her care. She said Beth should have looked on the Internet, seen the development scales, realised her children were not at the right stage and then questioned their professional expertise.
Dr Sinko-Sanz, from a human perspective, defended Beth's actions and said they were perfectly understandable.
“It is a situation where she (the mother) is under strain and where, as far as I know, was given different opinions by many different people. In such a situation you tend to accept the statements that are positive. I think that's understandable. Even more so where the people that said that everything was okay (with the children´s development) were medical professionals.” Court hearing 17 June 2011
Dr. Willinger fabricated test results for 180 questions that Beth had not even filled out! When Mag. Oberschlick produced the pages that Beth hadn't sent back to Willinger and asked her during the 10 hour hearing how she nevertheless had test results for these pages, Willinger denied that the test hadn't been filled out and said she had the completed tests in her office. Even though her original handwriting was on the pages in Beth's possession. She claimed:
“A test for both children was filled out. I have these tests among my documents. It is a mystery to me where these other filled in tests come from. I didn't give out a second document.” Court hearing, 24.6.2011
Judge Göttlicher did not question this bizarre statement or investigate the matter further.
Both further psychiatric assessments by Dr Leixnering and Dr Wörgottor totally discredit the Willinger report
Willinger´s report was based on just 2 short assessments of the children. By contrast, Dr Sinko-Sanz had assessed them over a 6-month period and said they were developing at their own pace.
Willinger´s assessment of Beth as ´incoherent, illogical, delusional´ was later wholly refuted by 3 senior psychiatrists; Dr Marianne Springer Kremser, Dr Wörgetter and Dr Leixnering, who all confirmed Willinger had fabricated a diagnosis and there were no mental health problems whatsoever.
4.7.1 Dr. Willinger describes the father´s interaction with the children as follows:
The child raising ability of the children´s father can be shown by the given ratings. The children´s father is able to reflect in a variety of ways on the needs of his sons, by being able to recognize their emotional and physical needs.
In the interaction with his two sons, a loving, caring, intimate, very safe and routine behaviour can be observed.
In contrast, Dr Löffler, who saw the children long after, on 21.7.2011, just 4 days before the father was awarded sole custody, described the relationship between the father and the children as follows:
Children´s father: no outreach (of children) to children´s father, no independent contact initiated, children´s father crosses boundaries in his behaviour, little reaction to the needs / signals of the child (turning away, ignoring). Danger Report, 21.7.2011, Dr Löffler
Judge Göttlicher herself initially accepted there were flaws in the Willinger report
In fact, Göttlicher herself initially raised doubts about the self same Willinger report. Her sudden, drastic decision of 25.7.2011 was highly irregular and unusual considering that just 2 months previously, in May 2011 she denied the father's application for temporary custody on the grounds that the children were well cared for with their mother and she saw no danger: The judge noted:
“The mother takes good care of the children both in their daily care and upbringing and concerns herself with their welfare. This is well attested in the submitted reports in the file, including the reports of the Social Services (second district) and the statements from play groups. This point (the care of the mother for her children) is also not disputed by the father.”
Further, even Willinger attested to the loving parenting Beth showed the children:
"Even the report of the court expert, Dr Willinger states that the mother lovingly and caringly looks after the children and they are closely bonded to her.” Appeal Court decision, Denial Temporary Custody May 2011.
The fact that the Appeal Court acknowledged there was apparently nothing wrong with Beth but then said this didn´t affect parenting ability custody decision is simply outrageous.
“From the great wealth of evidence during the proceedings, it is apparent that the mother does not suffer from a psychiatric illness. However, child raising competence has no direct correlation to mental illness.” p.2 Appeal Court decision 2013
update Further refutation of Willinger
update Further refutation of Willinger
Judge Göttlicher refers (original custody decision) to Beth's claims that Michael Schlesinger was also violent generally during throughout the marriage. However she goes on to say that “the expert [Willinger] found nothing in the whole examination that indicated that the father might be aggressive, violent or not in control of his impulses. Oddly Judge Göttlicher did not send Dr. Willinger copies of the police documents attempt to have Beth committed nor his subsequent eviction order and restraining order and all mention of it is omitted from the Willinger report.
In the custody decision, Judge Göttlicher failed to mention Willinger’s hypothesis as stated by her in the 10 hour court hearing, that either the mother is not mentally ill and everything she alleged about the violence is correct, or she is mentally ill and is paranoid. Beth's lawyer asked what we could deduce about the father if Beth were not mentally ill and Dr. Willinger stated this would be 'manipulation' by the father:
“If we accept the opposing hypothesis, that the mother is not mentally ill, then the father's actions can be seen as manipulation.' Transcript, court hearing Willinger, 24.7.2011
As three further psychiatric reports (including a court commissioned one) all confirmed the mother is clearly not mentally ill, according to Willinger's reasoning, the father is manipulative.