Former Major League Baseball player David Segui is making a desperate plea to have his two minor children returned to him after they have been ordered by an Arizona court to attend the controversial Family Bridges reunification camp as part of an ongoing custody battle with their mother Donna Moniz.
The children have not been in school since January 5. Segui also alleges that court appointed “therapeutic interventionists” are colluding with the camp.
An Otherwise Peaceful Custody Arrangement Turned Bizarre and Bitter
In an exclusive interview with Celeb Magazine, sources say the trouble began May 2015, when Moniz who was estranged from Segui, made shocking child abuse allegations against her ex-husband out of the blue. The children, who were living with Segui, were removed from his custody.
Segui claims there was no warning before police arrived to remove the children, and up until then the conversations between himself and his ex were normal and peaceful.
Segui recalled that he was shocked when police arrived, and the children hid and were scared over the thought of being taken from their father.
After going to court, custody was returned to Segui when the allegations were proven satisfactorily untrue. Testimony from the therapist Dr. Sara Petty, hired by Moniz, proved the allegations false. When the children were being interviewed by psychologists for the court battle, there were allegations made by the children against their mother, saying they were threatened by her and her twin sister and told to lie to Dr. Petty—which Segui claims were ignored by the state of Arizona.
After the State Ignored the Children’s Worrying Testimony, They Tried to Reunify Them With Their Mother
Even after this incident, the state of Arizona continued to award joint custody to Segui and Moniz, who were co-parenting harmoniously, with week-on, week-off transitions until 2017. There were multiple attempts at counseling to put the family back together.
In 2017, there was school incident of physical violence between one of the children and Moniz that resulted in a court order removing the children from her.
After that, the children were thriving under Segui’s custody, and Moniz had been under investigation by the state for abuse—all attempts by Moniz to gain custody and visitation have been denied outright even though the claims of abuse were deemed unsubstantiated.
A Video of the Children Discussing their Mother in an Interview Raises Red Flags
In a video from 2018 claims of physical and sexual abuse are alleged by the children during an appointment with a therapist. Despite all of this, Segui says reunification efforts continued by the courts and most recently a hearing on December 22, 2020 established that another attempt would be made to do so.
Segui is Told to Bring Children to Family Bridges
However, at the end of December, Segui brought his children with him to Kansas City to visit family for the holidays. While in Kansas City, Segui received notice that someone was trying to serve him. The court order demanded an immediate transfer of custody from father to mother on January 6, 2021 for the children to participate in the Family Bridges Reunification camp. Segui alleges that the best interest attorney, appointed to represent the children who wrote up the emergency order, stated that the boys are in “immanent danger in the father’s custody”—even though this attorney has never spoken to the children or the father. [A month prior the same judge signed an order saying there was no alienation.] In order to comply with the court’s ruling, Segui would have to transfer custody and all decision making for a total of 95 days. Segui was also told not to inform the children, who lived in fear of being turned over to their mom’s custody.
On January 6, Segui was going to deliver the children as ordered but they flew into a panic at the thought of being turned over to their mother, which resulted in them being admitted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
The children were taken to a hospital for a week before being transferred into the care of the Family Bridges reunification camp. Despite Segui’s efforts to stay abreast of his children’s whereabouts, he has been stonewalled at every turn.
‘Reunification Camps’ are Considered Controversial
The Family Bridges reunification camp model has raised eyebrows in the past. Questions about the model were documented in a Washington Post article. Washington Post explains, “Opponents charge that the reunification programs, and accusations of parental alienation itself, are shams—a way for lawyers, psychologists and social workers to profit from parents in bitter custody battles, and for the more financially secure parent to gain a custodial advantage. Proponents say that parental alienation involves truly harmful psychological behaviors that should be recognized by the therapeutic community and tort law, and that reunification programs are sometimes the only way to put families back together.” According to sources, the camp has no license and is operated with no state oversight. They also have no facility and “hotel hop.”
Segui also alleges that the court appointed “Therapeutic Interventionist” has a personal interest in the Family Bridges camp and that there is collusion on the part of Moniz and these representatives to “brainwash” the children.Celeb Magazine reached out to Moniz attorneys for comment but as of publication has not received a response.
Where are Segui’s Children, and What’s Going to Happen?
As of January 22, Segui believes that the children are now in the custody of their mother again, although no notice has been given as to how he can regain his children after a supposed camp “aftercare” period.
Segui alleges that his ex-wife displayed narcissistic and abusive behaviors during their relationship. Well-documented incidents support his allegations that his ex-wife may not be the safest place for his children to be, but so far the county investigators and his ex-wife’s attorneys have been unhelpful in the father’s efforts to see his kids again.