MIDDLETOWN- The judge who denied a permanent restraining order against the father accused of fatally throwing his 7-month-old off a bridge ignored several red flags, the director of Connecticut’s Coalition Against Domestic Violence said Thursday.
According to Karen Jarmoc, the mother of baby Aaden Moreno presented plenty of evidence to Judge Barry Pinkus to show there was a continuous threat of violence from the baby’s father, Tony Moreno, 21.
"It's the physical violence and it's also the threat of physical violence and the risk factors associated with that that merit a restraining order. And, clearly, all of those were very evident,” Jarmoc said.
Moreno was charged with the murder of Aaden after allegedly throwing the infant of the Arrigoni Bridge in Middletown before attempting his own suicide on Sunday.
Court documents revealed that Aaden’s mother, Adrianne Oyola, 19, applied for a temporary restraining order against Moreno on June 17. A permanent restraining order was denied by Judge Pinkus at a hearing on June 29.
"If an offender is willing to take his own life, he's willing to take her life and the life of those around her. That should have been an enormous red flag for the judicial system,” Jarmoc said.
Jarmoc argues that the baby Aaden case is a tragic example of a system-wide issue in the Connecticut family court system. Specifically, she believes judges should receive more training from experts in domestic violence.
"It's unclear what the training looks like. We understand it's judge to judge,” Jarmoc said, "You know, we know that the Office on Violence Against Women offers free training."
According to Jarmoc, only five Connecticut judges have completed the free training program through the federal Office on Violence Against Women since 2007.
Jarmoc is not the only one pointing fingers at Judge Pinkus. State Senator Mae Flexer, a member of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, argues that Pinkus could have contacted Middletown Police when he heard allegations that Moreno violated his temporary restraining order. She is also calling for more victim advocates in family courts.
"Just think of the difference it would have made if this brave young woman had an advocate with her,” Flexer said.
Right now there are four advocates for 13 family courts.
Moreno is charged with murder and murder with special circumstances, as well as two counts of violating a temporary restraining order. He is due in court on July 21.