DENVER (AP) — There is no evidence a Colorado woman who lost custody of her 7-year-old son for allegedly lying about his health problems plotted with Qanon supporters to have him kidnapped from foster care, her lawyer told jurors Monday at the start of her trial.
The prosecution’s case about the alleged plot in 2019 is based on the account of Cynthia Abcug’s then 16-year-old daughter, who told her counselor that her mother was talking with followers of the baseless Qanon conspiracy theory about launching a raid on the home, defense lawyer Brian Hall said during opening statements in court in Castle Rock in suburban Denver.
Many Qanon supporters believe former President Donald Trump was fighting enemies in the so-called deep state to expose a group of satanic, cannibalistic child molesters they believe secretly runs the globe.
Hall stressed that the girl did not know details about what was supposed to happen and did not think her mother knew where her son’s foster home was.
But Chief Deputy District Gary Dawson told the jury that the daughter heard her mother talking about the raid on several occasions in September and August of 2019. Around that same time, Abcug bought a gun, and a man identified only as Ryan and described as an ex-member of the military and a sniper moved into their home to provide protection, Dawson said.
An older son who was no longer living at home will also testify that he remembers Abcug talking about launching a raid to get her young son back, Dawson said.
Abcug is charged with both conspiracy to commit second-degree kidnapping, a felony, and misdemeanor child abuse for allegedly committing medical child abuse by lying about his health problems to doctors, causing him to be subjected to unnecessary procedures, and telling staff at his school that he suffered seizures, had trouble walking and swallowing and was dying. The boy has not suffered any medical problems since being put in foster care in May 2019, Dawson said.
Hall said there was no evidence of medical child abuse. He said that a doctor who cared for the boy in Florida and a half-brother witnessed him having seizures and implied that at least some of his other health problems were side effects of medication prescribed to treat the seizures.
Abcug, a single mother, moved her family to Colorado in 2018 to seek treatment based on the recommendation of the Florida doctor, Hall said. A doctor in Colorado had developed a plan to wean Abcug’s son off the seizure medication about two weeks before he was removed from his mother’s custody, Hall said.
“Ms. Abcug was doing the best she could after years of not knowing what was wrong with her child,” Hall said.