Child Unjustly Taken from Loving Mother?
"Expert" Dr. Sabin - Pay to Play?

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By Joseph Snook
Investigative Reporter

Brett Miller
Brett Miller

Portland, OR. - Loredana Miller could not have foreseen the profound heartache and immeasurable hardship a problematic divorce would thrust on her until she was unjustly separated from her only daughter in October, 2015, after "falsely" being accused of medical neglect.

Loredana, a loving mother, had raised her daughter until the age of six-years-old. She obtained full custody of her daughter during her 2011 divorce (child was 18 months old) and was the primary caregiver of her daughter since birth.

In the spring of 2013, Loredana’s daughter received care, sought by Loredana, for “intermittent esotropia” which is poor eye muscle and occasional eye turn control, resulting in prescribed glasses. Loredana sought further treatment options and discovered vision therapy, through the optometrist’s recommendation, which was fully covered by the child’s insurance plan.

When the father, Brett, found out about his daughter’s condition and the treatment plan chosen by Loredana, he raised allegations against Loredana of medical neglect and insisted that his daughter, instead, have a surgery to correct the problem rather than using the therapeutic route recommended by the optometrist. Loredana was cautious of risks the surgery could pose without going the therapeutic route first.

After Loredana saw that Brett wasn’t going to cooperate with therapy and how persistent he was about pushing their daughter through surgery, she arranged to do it, using the best recommended pediatric ophthalmologist in the area. This showed that Loredana was not medically neglecting her daughter.

Nonetheless, with his claim of medical neglect, Brett initiated a full scale custody battle for the child.

Brett's attorney went to the, "pay to play" Dr. Sabin for a custody evaulation.

Dr. Charlene O. Sabin, in online review forums, is reported as a notoriously biased evaluator. She was chosen by Brett’s attorney, Doug Peterson. Loredana knew of Sabin’s reputation (one star rating with many reviews online), numerous reviews of being biased, and lack of credentials, so Loredana objected to Dr. Sabin performing the custody evaluation. Loredana preferred to use a neutral licensed psychologist, which Sabin was not. Her objection was reportedly never heard by Judge Kirsten E. Thompson because Loredana's own attorney agreed to use Dr. Sabin, against Loredana's wishes.

"She (Dr. Sabin) doesn't have the qualifications and
she should not be making these decisions. She's in violation
of her ethics rules, there's no doubt about it!"

--Licensed Portland Psychologist

Loredana attended the custody evaluation wherein she was completely transparent and provided all documents and release forms that were required.

When Loredana got the evaluation back from Dr. Sabin, it appeared to be based on little to no factual or scientific methodologies. Sabin failed to contact key professionals and experts (doctors) before she finalized her custody evaluation. Sabin's written report was allegedly inconsistent with her results given in an oral phone conference with both parties’ attorneys. In that phone conference, Dr. Sabin allegedly said that Loredana had difficulty making decisions and that was her reason for recommending custody be given to Brett (father). However, Brett emailed Dr. Sabin after that phone conference and questioned the validity of that claim after which, Dr. Sabin altered her basis from decision making difficulty, to Loredana having Anxious Attachment Style, which was reportedly never mentioned during her oral report with the attorneys. Strangely, Dr. Sabin later stated that she never tested Loredana for Anxious Attachment Style!

"My focus is the practice of child and family psychotherapy..."
-- Dr. Sabin's Website
Note: Dr. Sabin is reportedly not licensed to practice psychology

The problem with Dr. Sabin’s hypothesis, according to Dr. Landon Poppleton, PhD., JD (a custody evaluator who reviewed Dr. Sabin’s file and performed a second evaluation on Loredana), as he put it, was, "you have to do the work to be able to draw those conclusions and the work just wasn’t done."

Dr. Charlene Sabin
Attorney Doug Peterson, Dr. Charlene Sabin
and Brett Miller (father)

On September 29-30, 2015, Loredana and Brett appeared before Judge Kirsten E. Thompson, to decide custody of their daughter. Witnesses stated that Dr. Sabin physically displayed biases in the courthouse as she sat with Brett and his attorney during breaks, laughing. Dr. Sabin was also witnessed being coached by the father’s attorney about what to say during testimony.

Dr. Sabin presented her assessment, reportedly full of one-sided and grossly inaccurate information. Her testimony was also reportedly based on Brett’s unverified hearsay. Dr. Sabin's statements were relied upon as factual by the court.

It became obvious Dr. Sabin was testifying against Loredana, keeping her focus on medical neglect. Brett's attorney, Doug Peterson presented the child’s medical records, showing only ONE missing immunization which Loredana claimed was an incomplete record. Loredana provided the complete and accurate record showing the immunization was given. Nonetheless, once the true record was provided, the judge only saw this as a "red herring" issue (diverting attention from issue at hand), although an inaccurate copy had been provided to the court and was apparently used as an attempt to smear Loredana.

According to the Brett's affidavit, he also requested custody be switched because Mother had neglected dental care. In sharp contrast, Dr. Poppleton testified, "there was really no reports of concerns from the dental office."

Even though Dr. Sabin reportedly did not contact the child’s dentist directly, she claimed that the child had excessive plaque and dental issues. When the dental records that were in Dr. Sabin’s file were reviewed by Dr. Poppleton, the only annotation of such that was found was “mild plaque,” which is very common in almost every patient during their six month dental check-ups. Dr. Poppleton’s office contacted the dental office and found that the child never had a single cavity. Furthermore, the dentist had no emergent concerns about the child's dental care, something that Dr. Sabin had previously implied.

--Dr. Poppleton referring to Dr. Sabin's report.

Dr. Poppleton testified that he had seen the notes from Dr. Wheeler that were in Dr. Sabin’s files and that Dr. Sabin was reporting differently than what was actually annotated in those notes. He said, "When you read what is in Dr. Sabin's report, what she put in her report and what are actually in those notes, there's a big difference between those. There were things that were left out. There's things that were cherry-picked. And that is a -- a smoking gun for bias."

Dr. Sabin insinuated that Loredana had Anxious Attachment Style because she did things like send snacks with her child and well-dressed the child to keep her from being cold during winter months when leaving home. Not only are these very normal things for caring mothers to do, but it is part of Loredana’s Romanian culture to make sure that children are sent off dressed warm and with food. When did caring for your child become a bad thing? Again, Dr. Sabin cannot diagnose Anxious Attachment Style as she is not a licensed Psychologist.

"Her (Loredana) parenting appears to be within normal limits."
--Dr. Landon Poppleton PhD, JD

Dr. Sabin takes child unjustly?
Loredana with daughter

Loredana has subjected herself to three different mental health evaluations because of the concerns by her ex-husband, Brett, and to prove she is a good mother. She has complied every step of the way. One was done during the initial divorce. Two more evaluations were completed while Dr. Sabin was involved. All of them showed normal results; Loredana is a satisfactory parent (1a, b, 2, 3).The evaluations were also conducted so that experts could testify as to Loredana being mentally sane. The only report that was never produced, was the one ordered by Dr. Sabin, which was conducted by Dr. Kathleen Gillis PsyD. Dr. Gillis never produced a written report, but conferred that Loredana had "no clinical scale elevations" - essentially meaning, no mental health disorders.

"...Ms. Miller approaches life with a clear sense of purpose..."
--Dr. Christopher F. Wilson PsyD

Dr. Sabin is a pediatrician, yet she reportedly represents herself as providing psychological services in her private practice such as, “psychotherapy.” ORS 675.020, Practice or representation as a psychologist without a license, prohibits this. Dr. Sabin is allegedly not qualified to make assessments regarding adult mental health issues.

Ironic is that Judge Thompson still regarded Dr. Sabin as qualified to make her predictions about Loredana, even calling her a psychologist, which she is not, and dismissed an actual licensed psychologist’s, Landon Poppleton, PhD, professional opinion. She stated his testimony was not well taken, without offering any explanation as to "why."

Dr. Sabin claimed she, “ran out of people,” she could speak with because of time constraints, while pushing to get her evaluation done before the new school year started, although she only reportedly talked to one of the childs doctors. The child’s doctors include 3-4 different eye doctors (ophthalmologists and optometrists combined), her eye surgeon, her pediatrician, her dentist, her occupational therapist and her mental health therapist.

Witnesses stated that Sabin failed to speak with at least four expert doctors! Records in her file allegedly showed that she continued to work on the case, speaking ex parte to Brett and gathering records, well after she "completed" her work. It's obvious that Dr. Sabin's actions greatly benefited Brett. Her final report was dated July 24, 2015. She has emails into August, 2015, showing she still worked on the case well after the date her report was finished. Why?

The following is no longer in reference to Loredana’s particular case, but Dr. Sabin’s work in general, on other cases…

"Families have been traumatized becuase of her (Dr. Sabin)..."
-- Licensed Portland Psychologist

Not only has Dr. Sabin allegedly worked outside her scope, but it was also reported that she does not follow Model Standards of Practice for child custody evaluation by AFCC (Association of Family and Conciliation Courts) or the NASW (National Association of Social Workers). Furthermore, sources stated there are over a dozen alleged violations that Dr. Sabin has committed, and according to the AFCC, it appears that Dr. Sabin may not be qualified to be a custody evaluator.

"Sabin changed reality and is threatening our witnesses..."
-- Witness

Other parents have reported that Dr. Sabin is bought and paid for. Did she tamper with medical records to accuse Loredana of medical neglect so Brett could get custody? This wouldn’t be the first time Dr. Sabin was allegedly caught with altered documents to favor fathers who are seeking custody. In a separate case, Dr. Sabin reportedly did not give a mother her custody evaluation report until hours before trial, preventing necessary time for a peer review, or, to counter the claims. On another evaluation Dr. Sabin conducted, she reportedly changed her findings three different times to be more extreme each time against the mother and recommended that more rights be stripped from that mother. This reportedly happened every time the mother pointed out gross errors such as the number of family members, dates, timeline, etc. In another interview with a child therapist, the therapist reported that Dr. Sabin had allegedly called and made threats against her if she was to testify for a child who had been seeing her for therapy regarding alleged sexual abuse by the father. The mother said, “Sabin changed reality and is threatening our witnesses so our former abuser can get custody.”

Judge Kirsten Thompson

On court record, Dr. Sabin claimed she did not know who paid her on Loredana’s case, yet in a subpoenaed email dated July 28, 2015 Sabin's assistant clearly states that she does know who paid the initial deposit. Dr. Sabin even has her assistant ask Brett for more money! In another letter sent directly to Dr. Sabin herself, Brett's attorney tells her that Brett will be paying for her services. Perhaps Dr. Sabin's recollection of who paid her was just another, "red herring," as Judge Kirsten Thompson put it!

Unfortunately, Loredana’s case took place in Washington County, OR., which is reportedly notorious for biases, especially when Dr. Sabin is involved. Domestic violence was a part of why Loredana separated from Brett, and there is a police report that reflects domestic violence, which was also noted by Dr. Wilson. Additionally, Brett's attorney’s position from his closing trial argument was that Loredana is not a bad mother. Witnesses state Loredana is a loving and caring mother. Her mental health evaluations lead one to think; why was her daughter ever removed from her custody?

In total, Loredana has spent more than $40,000 fighting this custody case. She's spent upwards of $60,000 in legal fees since her divorce and is still making payments to her trial attorney and appellate attorney. She is still paying her evaluator, Dr. Poppleton. She is also paying her parent coordinator now involved in the case. She was also ordered to pay around $5k of Brett’s attorney fees and child support! If you could contribute any amount to her legals costs, please contact the US~Observer (contact info. below). Please share her story, too. Without traction - she's just another person without a voice.

Loredana's appeal will be heard on March 6, 2017.

If you have any information on Dr. Charlene Sabin, or anyone named in this article, please contact the US~Observer at:, or by calling: 541-474-7885.

More from the US~Observer:

The MacLaren Nightmare:
Daughter Wrongfully Taken From Mother
and Placed in Custody of Alleged Abuser

$9.2 Million Lawsuit Filed Against
DHS' Child Caseworker Matthew Stark

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