Former Cook County employee loses custody of children following - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Former Cook County employee loses custody of children following charges of alleged child abuse

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GRAND MARAIS, MN -

A former Cook County Health and Human Services Director will no longer have custody, or be able to visit his children, after he was charged with two felony charges and two misdemeanors related to alleged child abuse.

Joshua Beck, 40, made his first appearance at the Cook County Courthouse on Monday, though a majority of the appearance focused on custody issues regarding his children.

In court, their mother and Beck's wife, Priscilla Beck requested custody of the children on the basis that there are no allegations of abuse from her.

Assistant Lake County Attorney, Lara Nygaard, as well as the grandmother's attorney, argued the grandmother should maintain custody since the mother is still married to Beck and failed to protect the children.  

Judge Michael Cuzzo decided custody should remain with the children's grandmother, Karen Perkins, who lives in Indiana. 

Judge Cuzzo also maintained the current no contact order preventing any kind of visitation between Beck and his children. He said the court will reevaluate visitation when Beck's, as well as the children's, psychological evaluations are complete.

A pretrial has been scheduled for October 24 in Cook County, however the defense may ask for a change of venue.

The request may be made since Beck once worked with the County Attorney.

Beck is currently facing charges of Domestic Assault by strangulation and third degree assault.

The charges were filed after First Witness interviewed both children, ages 10 and 12.

In the interviews, the children describe physical abuse that at times left them bruised and bloody.

According to a criminal complaint, Beck choked one of the children, and threw hard toys at the child's face.

There were two younger children in the home, but neither reported abuse.

Bail was set for Beck at $20,000 but Judge Cuzzo said it was not mandated unless he contacts the children.

After the hearing, the judge arraigned Perkins on misdemeanor charges of fighting. She was granted release on her own recognizance and given a no contact order for Beck.

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