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Aunt Drops J.D.S.' Guardianship Plea
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 1, 2004

ORLANDO, FLORIDA--The biological aunt of J.D.S, a woman who last year unwittingly became the center of Florida's abortion debate, has dropped her requests to be appointed legal guardian.

Attorney Daniel Soloway said Wednesday that Dorothy Willis Quizon withdrew her petition, filed January, to represent the woman known by the initials J.D.S. and sue on her behalf.

"They had one interest: to protect the rights of the daughter," Soloway said of Quizon and the biological mother, known in court documents as "G.D.S."

"They accomplished what they wanted," he explained.

Soloway said he is confident that a lawyer now representing J.D.S. will sue an unnamed Department of Children & Families employee, the operator of the Orlando group home where J.D.S. spent most of her life, and the husband of the group home's operator, who has been charged with rape.

J.D.S., who has cerebral palsy, autism and mental retardation, gave birth to a baby girl in August. Authorities had learned of her pregnancy in April, several months after she was raped in Hester Strong's group home. Police later charged Strong's husband, 75-year-old Phillip, with rape when tests matched his DNA to that of the infant.

Phillip Strong has been deemed mentally incompetent and may never stand trial. Hester Strong has been charged with felony negligence and is awaiting trial.

A suit accuses the DCF employee of violating J.D.S.' civil rights, Phillip Strong of battery and rape, and both Phillip and Hester Strong of negligence. Any financial damages would be placed in a "restrictive guardianship account for the sole use and benefit of J.D.S."

A judge appointed Patti Riley Jarrell as J.D.S.' guardian in June. The Florida Department of Children & Families was criticized for failing to take her through the guardianship process when she turned 18.

J.D.S.' situation became national news in June when Governor Jeb Bush attempted to have a guardian appointed for the fetus to prevent it from being aborted. His efforts were rejected by the courts because state law does not recognize a fetus as a person, regardless of the mother's disability status.

Jarrell recommended to the court that J.D.S. give birth rather than have an abortion. J.D.S.' parental rights were terminated immediately after the healthy girl was born.

In late September, J.D.S.' biological mother came forward asking to be the guardian for her daughter and newborn grand-daughter. G.D.S. had reportedly abandoned her daughter nearly 20 years earlier. She was not named in the recent petition for guardianship.


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