Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Mom arrested, hid 13 kids from judge

By Sharon Turco
The Cincinnati Enquirer

A mother of 13 children was arrested Monday after refusing to cooperate with a Hamilton County Juvenile Court judge who was trying to make sure the children were safe.

When Lolita Taylor, 37, finally told Cincinnati police their location, officers found 10 children locked in a Winton Terrace apartment, according to police and prosecutors.

The children ranged in age from 15 to 1 year old.

Taylor, of College Hill, was arrested on child endangering charges, according to the prosecutor's office. Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Sylvia Hendon set bond at $100,000.

Taylor was cited into court earlier this year for contributing to the unruliness of a child after one child was chronically absent from school. She failed to show up at her court appearances until last week.

That's when Hendon started asking questions.

Her house was being foreclosed on, the utilities had been turned off and the family was eating every meal out, Taylor told the judge.

"The real problem was nobody knew where the children were," Hendon said. Even a Hamilton County caseworker, who appeared in court with Taylor, was unsure.

As a condition of bail, Taylor agreed to place her five youngest children, ages 2, 3, 4, 5 and 9, with the Department of Job and Family Services.

When caseworkers tried to take the children, Taylor refused to cooperate, Hendon said.

"I revoked her bond and issued a warrant for her arrest," Hendon said.

Taylor appeared in juvenile court Monday with several stories about where the children were. Finally she broke down and gave their location.

A hearing in Juvenile Court is scheduled for June 25.

E-mail sturco@enquirer.com

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