"I believe that Steven Jr., my stepbrother, fondled my daughter," says Tashika. "I can't eliminate the fact that Julia may have been coached, but I have to take into consideration the fact that my
The allegation of sexual abuse came up when Tashika's daughter, Julia, was staying with Tashika's aunt. Tashika's mom, Pam, who is married to Steven Jr.'s father, received a phone call from her sister. Pam's sister reported that the babysitter saw Julia making sexual play moves with her Barbie dolls. "My sister had asked Julia if that was true, and Julia started crying and told her that Steven had touched her," Pam shares. "I believe my granddaughter."
Pam's husband, Steve, does not believe his son committed this crime. "Steven has been blamed for something that never happened," he says. "It's supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. That is not the way it worked out. My wife and my stepdaughter treat this as if it has already been proven as a fact. Nothing has ever been proven."
Steven Jr. denies the allegations. "It's just sickening that I would be accused of something like that," he
Tashika alerted the police and Child Protective Services to the situation, and she took Julia to the doctor. "They told us that they could not find evidence of penetration. The doctor's report did not relieve my concern. Just because there was no evidence did not mean that something did not happen," she says.
Pam and Tashika still suspect that Julia was touched inappropriately because of another alarming incident. "Julia woke up in the middle of the night just screaming, and Steven Jr. came running out of the bedroom hollering, â€˜I didn't do anything. I didn't do anything,'" Tashika remembers. "Now, with everything that came up later, I really wonder if that was one of the incidences that happened."
The allegations have put a strain on the family relationships. "Our marriage is on the rocks because of it," Steve reveals. "[Pam] doesn't want him over at my house. It's really hard for me to have the kind of relationship with my son that I believe a father and son should have."
Pam recognizes the tension as well. "My husband and I have fought for five years over this problem," she shares. "I can't let Steven come back in this house with these questions hanging over him."
Steve believes his son deserves a fair chance to resolve this situation. "I love Pamela very much, but Steven is my only son. I don't believe that I should have to choose between the two. I don't think it's fair that Steven is being treated as an outcast. It is the one thing that is just really destroying my relations
Tashika says that the family constantly fights about who believes whom. "Until all of these allegations stop, our family is ripping further and further apart," she laments. "I'd like to put this whole incident to rest. I just want to know the truth about what really happened to my daughter."
Dr. Phil addresses Tashika. "You understand these are very serious allegations that you're making," he says.
"Yes, I do," she says.
"You understand that this is something that, if true, is devastating to a lot of people. If these are false accusations, they're extremely devastating to an innocent individual," Dr. Phil elaborates.
"Yes," Tashika replies.
"You believe this happened. You believe that he did it," Dr. Phil says. "What do you base that on? How do you know this?"
"I have to believe my daughter, and a 3-year-old child is just not going to make something up like that," Tashika says.
"You don't have to believe your daughter, and 3-year-olds do make things up," Dr. Phil tells her, noting that he's not implying that was the case in this situation. He points out that the alleged molestation has been investigated by Child Protective Services and asks Tashika what their findings were.
"They had decided that it was non-founded because they didn't have any evidence," Tashika says. "But when we had her looked at by a specialist, they told her there's no internal evidence, but it doesn't mean that she wasn't touched."
Dr. Phil lays out the facts: The professionals concluded that the claims that Julia had been molested had no basis, and the physician found no physical evidence of her being molested. "So, we're back to your maternal instincts and the reports of a 3-year-old child, which you have to take seriously, but you also have to weigh it," he makes clear.
Dr. Phil asks Pam. "Do you believe that Steven Jr. molested your granddaughter?"
"Yeah, I do," she says. "He's touched her in some way. I guess I can't really point it to him, but the reason I'm saying it is because she had mentioned his name."
"Wait a minute," Dr. Phil says. "You've pointed it to him for five years and have banned him from your home."
"For five years I was told by my granddaughter that it was Steven Jr.," Pam maintains.
Dr. Phil asks Steve if he believes his son is guilty.
"No, I don't," he says, adding that he has stood up for his son.
Dr. Phil asks, "Why have you allowed him to be banned from your home for five years?"
Steve says that he does have contact with Steven Jr. "It's just, basically, if we're having a family function together, I obviously can't have Tashika and Julia there, and Steven also," he explains.
"Why do you guys say you're headed for divorce if this isn't resolved?" Dr. Phil asks.
"Because we're tired of fighting over it," Steve says. "We fight so much about it."
"I feel like I'm the bad stepmom who's trying to keep him from his son, and I don't want to do that," Pam says.