Social worker goes to court - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Social worker goes to court

Denise Moore faces charges in the death of a young boy. Denise Moore faces charges in the death of a young boy.

Angie Moreschi/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis, Jan. 16 - Children's Services caseworker Denise Moore had no comment as she left court after her initial appearance.

Moore is accused of official misconduct and falsifying information in an adoption proceeding.

An Eyewitness News investigation in November showed Moore failed to do a proper criminal history check before placing four-year-old Anthony Bars and his twin sister in the home of L.B. and Latricia Bars, but indicated on official court documents that she did.

L.B. Bars had a battery conviction on his own daughter and a history of abuse in CPS records.

Anthony and his sister were beaten and severely malnourished and Anthony died.

Indianapolis Police did get a request for a background check on the Bars after the kids were already placed in the home. But even after getting the results of that, the children were left in the home.

Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi says, "Several red flags that either went unnoticed or just ignored. But for those acts there's a very good likelihood Anthony would be alive with us today."

Prosecutor Brizzi says he's not done with his criminal investigation yet and is looking at whether others should be charged as well, or possibly whether these charges should be elevated to a felony.

The state never even disciplined Moore for her actions. Officials have repeatedly refused to explain that, citing state confidentiality laws.

But Brizzi says he's surprised they didn't discipline Moore because he calls the evidence "clear and compelling."

After the criminal charges were filed late Thursday, the state did suspend Moore without pay pending the outcome of the criminal investigation and says its internal investigation continues.

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