CPS Worker Found Guilty Of Official Oppression

.jpg photo of Corrupt CPS worker
Rebekah Ross Thonginh

Hunt County, TX  –  One of three people indicted in connection with an investigation of the local Child Protective Services (CPS) office has been found guilty of official oppression.

A bench trial for Rebekah Ross Thonginh concluded Thursday afternoon in the 354th District Court.  Thonginh had been charged with four counts of official oppression and one charge of tampering with physical evidence and had pleaded not guilty.  Prosecution proceeded on only one count of official oppression, a misdemeanor, filed in connection with an allegedly unlawful search and seizure in December 2011.

Thonginh was found guilty of the charge by Judge Richard A. Beacom and was sentenced to one year in county jail, with the sentence probated for two years.  Thonginh was also fined $2,000, ordered to complete community service and to serve 30 days in the Hunt County Jail, starting no earlier than Oct. 8.

Thonginh was indicted by the Hunt County grand jury in September 2013 alongside Laura Ard and Natalie Ausbie Reynolds, who have also entered not guilty pleas and have trials pending next month.

Ard, of Rockwall, received one indictment for tampering with physical evidence.  Reynolds, of Fate, received three indictments for official oppression and one indictment for tampering with/fabricating physical evidence.

The charges alleged all three acted together to use a false document in the investigation of the mother of slain Greenville teenager Alicia Moore and that Ross and Reynolds conducted unlawful searches and/or seizures in connection with CPS investigations.

The tampering with physical evidence indictments allege all three defendants acted together on our about Nov. 6, 2012 “to use a record and/or document to wit: the risk assessment involving Aretha Moore … with knowledge of its falsity and with intent to affect the course or outcome of the investigation.”

In three of the official oppression indictments, Reynolds and Ross were alleged to have acted together as CPS investigators to have subjected three separate individuals who were under CPS investigations “to search and seizure that the defendant knew as unlawful” on or about Dec. 16, 2011, March 28, 2012 and June 14, 2012.

Ross was also alleged to have subjected a fourth individual under CPS investigation to an unlawful search and/or seizure on June 27, 2012.

6 thoughts on “CPS Worker Found Guilty Of Official Oppression”

    1. Official Oppression???? The four of them MANUFACTURED EVIDENCE which resulted in ILLEGAL SEARCH AND SEIZURE against at least 4 Families.
      This bunch and anyone else that does this deserves at least 20 years hard labor.

  1. I have been following this story since it started. This CPS worker appealed the conviction and the Court of Appeals upheld the conviction. But if you read their opinion it doesn’t make a lot of sense. It seems to say that Ms. Ross had an Order in Aid of Investigation and was trying to find an infant the parents were hiding. It seems she was convicted for searching too hard for the infant and “exceeding the scope of the court orders.” The mother of the child testified at the trial and said she did not have a problem with the search and said there was blood sprayed all over the walls and the bed in her home and it looked so bad that it looked like someone had been killed in the house. The mother of the child did not have a problem with this “illegal search” and it seems just Ms. Ross’ former co-workers had the issue. Anyway, it seems there is a whole lot more to the story. Here is some of the opinion of the court and the rest you can find on the court’s website or on Westlaw or Nexus.

    “On December 15, 2011, the Department filed a petition for orders in aid of investigation of a report of child abuse or neglect and for a temporary restraining order under cause number 77,600 in the 354th Judicial District Court of Hunt County. Respondents in the cause were the parents of the child, Leslie Avery Hunt Vargas (Hunt) and Nicholas V. Vargas (Vargas). The petition was supported by the affidavit of Ross. In her affidavit, Ross averred that the Department had received a referral on December 12, 2011, stating that a child had been born at home and had not had medical attention, that the mother was using drugs during her pregnancy, that the mother had had another child removed due to drug use, and that it was believed that the new child had been exposed to drugs.The affidavit also stated that Ross had been assigned to the case on December 13, 2011, and detailed her investigation, which revealed that Hunt had two prior CPS cases, including one in which a child had been removed for drug use, and that she had been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) two days before giving birth. In her affidavit, Ross stated that she had made contact with a couple present at the house located at 2321 Highway 69 South, Greenville, Texas, who stated that Hunt and Vargas had left moments before she arrived and that the child was believed to be with them. The couple confirmed that the child was born at home. The couple also said that Hunt and Vargas had a room in the house and that they assumed that the baby stayed in the room with them.The affidavit further stated that, while talking with the couple, Ross smelled an odor of ammonia emanating from the house, which she averred is often found where methamphetamine is being manufactured. It also stated that several “collaterals” had stated that they suspected the family to use and manufacture drugs and had warned her not to go to the residence alone. Finally, the affidavit also detailed Hunt’s CPS and criminal histories.

    The Orders stated “IT IS ORDERED that a representative of the Department is authorized to enter the residence at 2321 Hwy 69 S, Greenville, TX, [and seven other addresses] where UNKNOWN CHILD is located, for an interview with and/or examination of UNKNOWN CHILD, and observation of the premises or immediate surroundings where UNKNOWN CHILD is located or where the alleged abuse or neglect occurred in a manner consistent with the provisions of § 261.302, Texas Family Code with assistance from Law Enforcement if necessary.

    IT IS ORDERED that Law Enformcent [sic] accompany the Department to and inside the residence at 2321 Hwy 69 S, Greenville, TX, [and seven other residences], where UNKNOWN CHILD may be located by any means necessary.”

    Hunt (the mother) admitted her main concern was that she did not want the Department to find that there was a lot of blood on the mattress, and she testified that Vargas (dad) turned the mattress over. She also agreed that there was blood and bodily fluids that sprayed onto the wall during the birth and that it looked like somebody had tried to kill somebody. Hunt had no idea that the Department had gone into the house and looked through it until she was subpoenaed for trial. She not only had no idea it would be illegal for the Department to do so, actually she thought the Department could legally do so. She also stated that, when she was arrested, she said to herself that she hoped she never had to return to the house.

    Mom and dad were both arrested and convicted for child endangerment. Mom had been breastfeeding the child while using drugs and dad had been supplying the drugs. They served over a year in jail. The child was adopted by the foster family and is doing well.

    The Court of Appeals found that Ms. Ross could enter the residence and search the bedroom but the search of the kitchen was too far and no reasonable person would conclude that all of the blood in the house meant the child may have been killed.

    This case is intriguing and seems to the first of its kind and I plan to write an article about it. As for the other charges, it seems they were dismissed including the Moore family who filed a non prosecution form asking the district attorney to drop the charges as they had never asked for the workers to be prosecuted to begin with. Ms. Hunt also testified that she didn’t even know this case was pending and she never complained about it.

    I think there are many situations where a worker fails to do their job. But in this case, I think it is overreach by the district attorney’s office and possibly some bad blood between the workers (in the opinion it talks about the workers not liking each other) that led to this prosecution. The bigger issue is though, that everyone jumped on the bandwagon to ruin these women before they knew the real story. Might be worth your while to look into it.

    Here’s the cite to the Court’s opinion.

    Ross v. State, No. 06-15-00179-CR, 2016 WL 6995031, at *1 (Tex. App. Nov. 30, 2016)

    1. Reforming The System, you went thru all this after-the-fact.
      This small group of pieces of crap manufactured four (4) court instruments that were used for illegal seizures.
      You see, I got that crap programmed in, because them young-ones matter to me.
      You DO NOT manufacture a counterfeit court instrument, then UNMANUFACTURE ONE OR MORE.
      You don’t mention that the original petition listed four instruments, and four (4) illegal seizures.
      I have wondered a whole lot of times how many family members are no longer together because of those FOUR (4) LIES.

  2. I’m not trying to argue with you by any means. Like I said, I’ve been following this story since it started and there seems to be so much more to it and completely different than how the media spun it. I believe the indictments said there’s one case involving Tampering with Physical evidence and 4 separate cases involving Official Oppression. Nothing seems to explain anything about anyone lying about the cases involving the searches. Anyway, I thought it was interesting and since I saw that the opinion just came out I was sharing it.

    1. My New Friend, I do apologize for the way I came across to you.
      Later this afternoon, I am going to email you so we can talk freely… in fact, just so you have more time, I am going to send you a HEADS UP so we don’t have to worry about searching the spam folder later.
      OK, expect the email before 3:25pm CDT

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