Audio Posts In English

Did CPS overlook mother’s reports about ‘treadmill abuse’ dad?

(NewsNation) — A former Child Protective Services caseworker says implicit bias and a workforce crisis may have contributed to the death of a 6-year-old New Jersey boy allegedly killed by his father.

Bre Micciolo, Corey Micciolo’s mother, said she reported suspected abuse more than 100 times in 18 months, but no action was taken before the child’s death.

Jessica Pryce, author of “Broken: Transforming Child Protective Services,” told NewsNation’s “CUOMO” on Wednesday that CPS has “to take accountability for what happened in this case.”

Corey Micciolo died from blunt force trauma and lacerations to his heart and liver, according to autopsy reports. His father, Christopher Gregor, is charged with first-degree murder.

“When I was in the field, there was this line between the family court and CPS … But I want CPS to realize that we can’t do child safety alone … We’ve got to be the leader because we’re the experts in (keeping) kids safe.”

Gregor forced his son to run on a treadmill in March 2021. The workout was captured on surveillance video, which shows Gregor continually increasing the treadmill’s speed, causing his son to fall off it face-first about six times.

Host Chris Cuomo pressed Pryce on how more than 100 reports from the mother were ignored with no home visit. Pryce cited high caseworker turnover, potentially causing reports to fall “through the cracks.”

However, because Corey’s mother was an addict, Pryce said implicit bias against marginalized parents being perceived as not credible could also be a factor.

“Unfortunately, implicit bias plays a big role in this,” Pryce said. “Sometimes, we have this level of bias toward parents to say, ‘Oh, she’s not credible,’ and we’re going to stick and keep the child with the dad.”

New Jersey’s child welfare agency has declined requests for an interview about the case. Pryce said the agency should be transparent about any lapses that led to this tragedy.