Warren parents charged in rape of 1-year-old daughter
By Ed Runyan
A woman whose 20-month-old daughter died while in foster care in 2009 and her husband have been charged with raping their 1-year-old child during a visit with her at the Trumbull Children Services Board offices in July.
Felicia Banks Beemer, 21, and Cody Beemer, 22, both of Austin Avenue Southwest, pleaded innocent Friday in Warren Municipal Court to the first-degree felony rape charge.
Family members called police Wednesday to notify them of the purported offenses after viewing a cellphone recording of the visit, police said.
If convicted, the Beemers each face a possibility of 10 years in prison.
Nick Kerosky, executive director of the CSB, said prosecutors have advised him not to comment on the allegations or discuss the type of visit or supervision involved or to discuss the type of custody CSB has regarding the child.
“As soon as they allow me to discuss the investigation, I will,” Kerosky said.
Felicia Banks Beemer is the mother of Tiffany Banks Cross, a 20-month-old girl who died in 2009 while living with a foster family in Champion.
Bonnie Pattinson, the foster mother, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Tiffany’s death and was sentenced to nine years in prison.
Felicia Banks and Tiffany’s father, Thomas Cross, were never allowed to bring Tiffany home from the hospital after she was born, Banks family members said. For 17 months, they were only allowed to have supervised visits with the girl.
In the several months before Tiffany’s death, they didn’t get to see her at all, family members said.
CSB took possession of Tiffany at the hospital one day after she was born. The courts eventually removed all parental rights from Felicia Banks and Thomas Cross.
In 2005, Felicia Banks gave birth to her first child at age 15, family members said. That child ended up in CSB custody at about one year of age.
Felicia Banks had another child in 2009. That child was living with the father’s family, Felicia Banks Beemer’s mother, Loretta Banks said.
During Cody Beemer’s video arraignment Friday, Judge Thomas Gysegem of Warren Municipal Court ordered that Cody Beemer be held without eligibility to make bond. He set bond for Felicia Banks Beemer at $250,000.
Both return to court at 10:15 a.m. Oct. 7.