A Statement From
Mark and Cheryl Sudweeks, Owners
December 1, 2004
I don't know where to begin. This past six days has been
such a nightmare that it is hard to find a place where
it makes any sense to try to sort out what has happened.
But the one thing I wanted to do once we could catch our
breath is to let each of you hear from the horse's mouth.
I guess the best thing is to start from the beginning.
On November 12, we as a group all walked to the church
to play basketball. It was 8:30 p.m., XXXXX, a new
boy in the program of three weeks, took an opportunity
out of the group and drop in on a party happening two doors
down from the Mansion. Here he was given some Vodka. He
drank the Vodka on the way to the church by himself. When
we noticed his condition, we brought him back to the mansion
with all the kids. XXXXX divulged to the group that he
had gotten the Vodka from these boys after some consultation
with a few of the other kids. XXXXX initially claimed that
one of the other kids in our program gave it to him, which
was not the case. After the real confession at about midnight,
we called the Nephi police to have their support in dealing
with the matter. They arrived at the scene, only to inform
us that there was nothing they could do to the partying
boys' two houses down since they were on private property.
So one of the girls in the program, along with her support
group, went to the house and asked one of the boys to come
outside. Once he was out in the street, the police immediately
approached him from behind the bushes. However, this boy
refused a breathalyzer test and would not answer any questions.
So the police came to the mansion to question XXXXX about
being given the alcohol from this boy who is over 18 years
When the two officers began to question XXXXX, he became
very belligerent, calling the police "F---ing pigs," and
going off on them like a mad man. XXXXX then tried to slug
one of them, and tried to kick the other. They immediately
put him on the floor and knelt on him to immobilize him,
all the time this horrible language was coming from his
mouth. He was like a 'demon possessed.'
After about four
or five minutes of trying to calm XXXXX down, they mutually
agreed to let him up if he would behave himself. Once
the policeman let him up, he started screaming and hitting
himself in the face, over and over. So he was subdued
I then stepped in and asked the officers if I could
take XXXXX to the basement room, immediately below where
they were standing, to get him to a place where I could calm
him down. Once in the basement, I tried to talk XXXXX
into submission. (It is important to note that during this
ordeal, there were approximately 20 of the kids who
all of this.) Five boys accompanied me downstairs where
I asked them to watch XXXXX while I went up the stairs
to talk to the police. Once I left the room, XXXXX jumped
off the couch, took a swing, and hit one of the boys
watching him in the eye. We took this boy to
the doctor the next morning,
where he had an MRI due to the blackening
under his eye.
When the commotion of the incident filtered through the
floor to where Cheryl and I were talking with the police,
I went back down stairs to stop the scuffle. I separated
XXXXX and put him on the floor in our bedroom where
I began to talk him down from his erratic state. During
XXXXX went off on this sort of 'hypnotic' trance of
and bawling about how he missed Hitler and how he
believes in Hitler's cause and that he would do anything
further this cause. He also bawled about how he missed
Jimmy Hendrix. This bizarre conversation went on for 10
before he settled down enough to where I felt he would
By now it was approximately 2:30 a.m.
The police were still here talking to Cheryl and the
They finally left and I went downstairs to the bedroom
where I had placed XXXXX. He was still awake but
not causing any problems. I asked two of the boys if they
mind sleeping at the top of the stairs in the TV
room, just in case XXXXX tried to run
At sometime around daybreak, XXXXX slipped out of
the room, went through the back basement door, and
When we noticed
this, (I don't remember the time), but it wasn't
that long after the fact, we immediately called the
police who came back to the Mansion for details.
We also called
XXXXX's parents who were informed of the (incident).
We told them (police) to first try looking at the
house two doors down where he had gotten the alcohol.
XXXXX was on their back lawn sitting under a tree.
When the police picked him up, he told them that
abusing him. Now, I would like to interject a letter
I received from his parents that very same morning…………..
"The two years preceding the date of this letter,
our son XXXXX had been plagued with drug and alcohol
along with both behavioral and social difficulties.
Prior to sending XXXXX to the Whitmore Academy Boarding
XXXXX had been admitted to both in-patient and out-patient
substance abuse programs. XXXXX had alleged abuse
at both treatment programs and in our home. He additionally
statements indicating his desire to hurt himself
XXXXX had been under the care of both
psychologists and psychiatrists during the aforementioned
been diagnosed with various mental disorders such
and depression. Several treatments plans were initiated
with negative results.
At this point, his mother and I elected to send
XXXXX to the Whitmore Academy Boarding School.
We had personally
known of a family who had sent their daughter
to the aforementioned
boarding school approximately two years earlier.
Their daughter was doing well and spoke highly
of her experience
at the school. XXXXX made numerous statements
threatening he would commit suicide or claim he was physically
abused if he was to attend the Whitmore Academy
Therefore, XXXXX's prior statements, coupled
with the current allegations he has made against The
Whitmore Academy Boarding
School should be viewed with certain suspicion,
the allegations are most probably without merit,
he has associated
marks and bruises, as his mother and I have witnessed
him inflicting marks upon himself in the past.
Since this transpired on November 12, we have had constant
harassment from the Utah State DCFS. They have taken it upon
themselves to call the parents and inform them that we are
abusing kids. They have been successful in talking three
parents into removing their kids from the program.
My concern at this point is the manner in which this DCFS
is allowed to portray presumed guilt without any substantial
proof. It is like a snowball that is gaining momentum.
Let me ask you one thing that kind of sums up my feelings……….
If your child that is here with us were being abused, do
you not think that it could not be kept a secret? You talk
to your kids each week. The kids talk among themselves.
The police and the DCFS have given these kids every opportunity
to come out with any concerns of abuse that they would
have if this type of thing were going on here. It was basically
a FREE TICKET home for them if they would say that we abuse
kids here. Yet, they chose to tell what they felt they
needed to say, and obviously, they are still here. There
are no secrets. And more importantly, no abuse or anything
that even resembles abuse. There is nothing but love here
and the kids know it.
We have hired an attorney who will be looking after our
interest from here on. All we can do is pray that justice
Lastly, we appreciate your support. You know how your child
is doing. You know that this alleged abuse is 'bogus.'
Parents are up in arms over this. At this point, your comments
and support will be considered to help build our character
reputation and support our claim that we are innocent.
Thank you so much for your support.
Mark and Cheryl Sudweeks
P.S. We promise to keep you informed. Perhaps you would
like a little drama to lighten your day.
Copyright © 2004,
Woodbury Reports, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
(This article may not be reproduced without written approval of the publisher.)
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