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Kids sent away for refusing to have relationship with dad

PONTIAC, Mich. -- A Michigan judge Thursday sent three children to live in a shelter care facility after they refused to make an effort to have a relationship with their father, reports CBS Detroit.

At a hearing in the case Friday, Oakland County Circuit Judge Lisa Gorcyca took exception with media reports that the children had been locked up.

"The children are not locked up, they are in Mandy's Place, a non-secure place in the Children's Village where children receive top of the line care for children in need of immediate placement in certain situations," she said.

Last month Gorcyca declared the children -- ages 9, 10, 15 -- in civil contempt of court. The children were then taken into custody and brought to Mandy's Place, a short-term housing facility for children who have been removed from their homes by the court due to neglect, abuse and status offenses.

The children's parents, Maya Eibschitz-Tsimhoni and Omer Tsimhoni, have been entangled in a bitter divorce for six years, according to CBS Detroit. The Bloomfield Hills couple, who married in 1995, have reportedly made dozens of court appearances regarding parenting time, therapy, schooling and other issues -- but have never reached a common ground.

During a June 24 hearing, Judge Gorcyca told the children that their father has "gone through hoops" to maintain a relationship with them, despite having issues with their mother. The judge reportedly insisted the children make an effort to talk to their father, who suggested they have lunch together. Still, the children refused, according to the station.

"I ordered you to talk to your father. You chose not to talk to your father. You defied a direct court order. It's direct contempt so I'm finding you guilty of civil contempt," Gorcyca told the 15-year-old boy in court that day, according to the Oakland Press.

"You're very defiant. You have no manners," the judge reportedly added. "You need to do a research program on Charlie Manson and the cult that he has.... You are so mentally messed up right now and it's not because of your father. And one day you are going to realize what's going on in this case and you're going to apologize to your dad."

The judge then turned her attention to the father, Omer Tsimhoni, saying, "Dad, if you ever think that he has changed and he's no longer like Charlie Manson's cult, then you let us know."

The 9-year-old boy and 10-year-old girl also refused to have a meal with their father, instead opting to go to Mandy's Place.

"I've never seen anything like this," Gorcyca said, reports CBS Detroit. "One day you can watch this video and realize that you two have been brainwashed.... This is not normal behavior. No adult in this courtroom, except one, thinks this is normal. Every single adult in this courtroom thinks you have been brainwashed."

Omer Tsimhoni's attorney, Keri Middleditch, called the situation traumatic for everyone involved.

"Dr. Eibschitz-Tsimhoni has continued to endorse the children's behavior that she successfully instilled in them, effectively alienating them from their father. The court took severe action to attempt to remedy a heart-wrenching situation," Middleditch said in a statement.

CBS Detroit reports officials at the detention facility have been instructed by the court to keep contact between the siblings to a minimum and the children's mother and her relatives have reportedly been prohibited from visiting the facility.

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