When Elina Asensio was 14 years old, she had a restraining order in place against her father when a court-appointed psychologist was assigned to determine whether he should be part of her life, according to ProPublica reporting.
That Colorado psychologist, Mark Kilmer, says he does not believe 90 percent of the abuse allegations he encounters in his work, or that he had been charged with domestic violence.
“Mark Kilmer’s decision affects every day of my teenage life,” Elina told ProPublica. “They let him speak for me but they wouldn’t let me speak for myself.”
In 2019, Elina’s father grabbed her from behind by her lucky charm necklace and hoodie and dragged her up a flight of stairs, according to police reports.
“Dad, I cannot breathe … You’re hurting me, stop it,” Elina said, according to the report.
Fearful the judge would use Kilmer’s recommendations to reduce her parenting time, Elina’s mother agreed to resolve the custody dispute through arbitration where she and Elina’s father agreed to equal parenting time.
Elina is tracking the days, hours and minutes on her iPhone until she turns 18 and is no longer under her father’s control.
About a month after ProPublica’s reporting, the Colorado courts suspended Kilmer last month and launched a review of the entire state-approved roster.
Multiple Colorado parents said family court custody evaluators downplayed or omitted from reports to the court the traumatic and lasting effects of abuse they said they had experienced.