PONTIAC (WWJ) – Three Oakland County kids sent to juvenile detention for refusing to see their estranged father are now headed to summer camp.
The case made national headlines when Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Lisa Gorcyca ordered the siblings — ages 9, 10, and 15 — to Children’s Village after they defied her order to have lunch with their dad.READ MORE: Belle Isle Park Reopens Giant Slide Friday
Gorcyca Friday afternoon lifted a civil contempt of court charge against the trio, ordering that they now be sent to summer camp.
Prior to making that ruling, the judge spent some time defending her earlier decision to lock up the kids, saying it “wasn’t a punishment.” Gorcyca said the move came after five fruitless years of trying to get the children to have a meaningful relationship with their father — whom she says has done nothing wrong.
The parents, Omer Tsimhoni and Maya Eibschitz-Tsimhoni, have been involved in a bitter divorce battle for six years. The Bloomfield Hills couple have made dozens of court appearances concerning parenting time, therapy, schooling and other issues — but have never reached a common ground.
The father — who is currently in Israel and could not be reached for comment — has asked for sole custody; but their mother wants the kids back at her home.
“I’m happy that the kids are out,” Eibschitz-Tsimhoni told WWJ’s Sandra McNeill and other reporters, through tears. “I hope I can go see them now.”READ MORE: Woodward Dream Cruise Kicks Off This Weekend: What To Know
Gorcyca and the children’s court-appointed guardian had accused the mother of fostering a hostile relationship between the kids and their dad — the judge calling it the worst case of “parental alienation” she’d ever seen.
Gorcyca said she believed the sibling had been “brainwashed,” but Eibschitz-Tsimhoni denies that.
“I have never done any of the things that she’s saying about me. The only thing I always said to the court is that love comes with love,” Eibschitz-Tsimhoni said. “You can’t force somebody to love and I feel that when love is given love comes back.”
Asked if she wants the kids to have a relationship with their father, Eibschitz-Tsimhoni replied: “Absolutely.”
Both parents will be allowed supervised visits with the kids, and the kids will receive counseling while they’re at camp. Just how long they’ll be there is unclear.MORE NEWS: Federal Judge Retains Jurisdiction In Lawsuit Over Enbridge Pipeline
The siblings spent more than two weeks in juvenile custody; although, according to the judge, they were housed separately from children who had committed violent crimes.