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Amish couple sue over child's rape at agency

WARREN, Ohio (AP) — An Amish couple has sued a county children's services agency in northeast Ohio, claiming workers there are responsible for their adopted child being raped by its biological parents during a partially unsupervised visit.

The federal lawsuit was filed this month on behalf of a couple who live in West Farmington, north of Youngstown. They were referred to in the lawsuit only as Jane Doe and John Doe. The action seeks $3 million in damages.

The suit claims Trumbull County Children Services and three of its employees are responsible for the decision to allow the infant girl partially unsupervised visits with her biological parents starting in January 2011.

At that time, the agency decided that workers could check in on the visits about every 15 minutes — even though the baby's biological father, Cody Beemer, had previously been convicted of raping a 3-year-old cousin. The rape was discovered later on a cellphone video made by Beemer and his wife, Felicia.

Before December 2010, the parents were allowed visitation only while constantly supervised, the lawsuit said.

The child was 9 months old when the cellphone video of the abuse was made in April 2011.

The child's biological father, Cody Beemer, now 24, pleaded guilty in June 2012 to raping her during a visit, and other charges, including pandering sexual materials involving minors. He was sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole after 25 years. The biological mother, Felicia Banks Beemer, now 23, was convicted and sentenced to life with parole eligibility after 15 years.

Felicia Beemer was also the mother of a 20-month-old girl who died while living in foster care in 2009. The foster mother pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the girl's death and was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Phone messages were left Tuesday with the attorney for the couple and for the director of Trumbull County Children Services.

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