An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority. Citation is disfavored, but may be permitted in accordance with the provisions of Rule 30(e)(3) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.

NO. COA05-752

Filed: 21 February 2006

E.T.                            Buncombe County
                            No. 97 J 265

    Appeal by respondent father from order entered 9 December 2004 by Judge Shirley H. Brown in Buncombe County District Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 26 January 2006.

    Lisa M. Morrison, for petitioner-appellee Buncombe County Department of Social Services.

    Michael N. Tousey, for petitioner-appellee Guardian ad Litem.

    The Moore Law Firm, by George W. Moore, for respondent- appellant.

    TYSON, Judge.

    Mohamed Abdelsalam (“respondent”), father of E.T., appeals the trial court's order denying his motion to re-establish visitation with E.T. We affirm.

I. Background
    On 18 June 1997, the Buncombe County Department of Social Services (“DSS”) filed a juvenile petition alleging E.T. was a sexually abused and neglected child. On 20 March 1998 a dispositional order and an adjudication judgment was entered finding that E.T. had been sexually abused and neglected by respondent father. The trial court made the following findings of fact:        12. That as E.T. became increasingly verbal, she began to make spontaneous comments to her mother and grandparents such as “daddy bad, daddy yuck.” In early June, 1997, E.T. told her mother that “daddy hurt me here” and pointed to her vaginal area, and indicated to her mother that her father put his finger in her vaginal area.

        . . . .

        14. That the minor child made the same disclosures during the Child Medical Examination (CME) and has made the same disclosures to Debbie Sexton with whom she was placed in therapy after the CME.

        15. That there was no credible evidence introduced to indicate that any of the minor child's comments were coached or suggested by any person to whom she disclosed.

    The trial court concluded as a matter of law:

        2. That the Court finds by clear, cogent and convincing evidence that the minor child is a sexually abused child pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-517(1) in that she was sexually abused by her biological father, Mohamed Abdelsalam; and, a neglected child pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-517(21) in that [s]he was neglected by her father during overnight visits in his home.

    The court ordered, “there shall be no contact between E.T. and her father.” The court also ordered, “[t]hat if [respondent] wishes to have visits with the child in the future he must successfully complete sex offender specific treatment, acknowledge the abuse of his daughter, and petition the court to hear the issue of visitation.” This Court affirmed the trial court's adjudication of abuse and neglect on 6 April 1999. In re E.C.T., (No. COA98- 860) (unpublished).    Respondent denies he abused E.T. Respondent filed a petition on 14 May 2004 requesting that he be granted visitation privileges with E.T. under the supervision of a psychiatrist. On 16 June 2004, respondent mother filed a motion requesting the petition be dismissed, or in the alternative be transferred to juvenile court. On 16 June 2004, the case was transferred to juvenile court.
    On 2 August 2004, respondent, by and through his attorney, filed a notice of hearing requesting visitation privileges with E.T. The trial court denied the motion. Respondent appeals.

II. Issues
    Respondent argues the trial court erred when it denied respondent's petition to re-establish visitation privileges with his minor daughter.
III. Petition to re-establish visitation    
    In the original adjudication and dispositional order, the trial court ordered respondent to: (1) obtain a sex offender specific evaluation certified and licensed by the State of North Carolina to perform such an evaluation; (2) successfully complete sex offender specific treatment; and (3) acknowledge the abuse of his daughter if he wishes to have visits with E.T. in the future.     Respondent complied with the first requirement. Dr. Robert D. McDonald (“Dr. McDonald”), a specialist in the evaluation and treatment of sex offenders, performed the evaluation, and noted, “there is no information obtainable through psychological testing or clinical interview that can determine that an individual has sexually abused someone when he is denying that he has. Additionally, there is no cluster of psychological characteristics that can differentiate individual sexual abusers from non-abusers.” During the evaluation, respondent failed to disclose to Dr. McDonald that he was fired from his job for viewing internet pornography, or that he had sexually abused his brother. Dr. McDonald testified respondent's disclosure of this information could have altered the outcome of his report. Based on the results of the evaluation, Dr. McDonald did not recommend that respondent participate in sex offender treatment.
    At the visitation motion hearing, respondent presented testimony from Dr. McDonald. Dr. McDonald concluded that respondent was not in need of treatment for issues commonly thought to be related to sexual offending. Dr. McDonald recommended “that efforts begin to reunite the minor child with [respondent] under the supervision of a knowledgeable psychotherapist at a rate and in a manner that creates no damaging impact on [the minor child].”
    The trial court found and concluded respondent failed to acknowledge he sexually abused E.T. On direct examination, when asked about the final requirement of the trial court's order, respondent testified, “[w]ith all due respect to the court, I cannot acknowledge something I did not do.”
    The trial court made the following findings of fact:
        6. At the close of the evidence, [DSS] and the Guardian ad Litem recommended that it is not in the best interest of the minor child to have visitation with her father.

        7. The Guardian ad Litem reported that E.T. has undergone considerable therapy and     counseling over the last seven years, both forthe sexual abuse and for her autism. E.T. has not seen her father since she was four years old. She has asked the Guardian ad Litem to relay to the judge that she does not want [respondent] in her life. E.T. has a safe, supportive home with her mother and extended family on her mother's side. [Respondent] has not acknowledged that he sexually abused or neglected the minor child. It is particularly disturbing to the Guardian ad Litem that [respondent] states that the issue is that E.T. “carries a notion around in her head” about the abuse, as though he doesn't think the abuse or neglect ever happened.

        8. The Court further ordered in 1998 that if [respondent] wishes to have visits with the minor child in the future he must acknowledge the abuse of his daughter. [Respondent] has not made such an acknowledgment and continues to deny that he perpetrated sexual abuse upon his daughter, both to Dr. McDonald and before this Court in his sworn testimony today. Based on these findings the Court denies the motion of [respondent].

    The trial court concluded, “[t]hat the motion filed by [respondent] to re-establish visitation with the minor child, is denied based on the findings of fact as specified above.”         Respondent argues “[t]here was no evidence to support the court's determination.” Respondent cites Moore v. Moore and argues a parent should not be denied the right of visitation in the absence of extreme circumstances. 160 N.C. App. 569, 572, 587 S.E.2d 74, 76 (2003). In that case, plaintiff and defendant were divorced. Id. at 570, 587 S.E.2d at 75. Defendant was awarded custody of the minor child. Id. After the minor child informed defendant that plaintiff had sexually abused her, defendant filed a motion to suspend plaintiff's visitation rights pending a sexual abuse investigation. Id. Plaintiff's visitation rights weresuspended, and a protective order was entered pending further investigation. Id. Four months later, plaintiff filed a motion to reinstate visitation. Id. The trial court denied plaintiff's motion. Id. at 571, 587 S.E.2d at 75.
    This Court reversed the trial court and stated “[t]he trial court merely recited the testimony of witnesses and failed to make the required findings of fact resolving the critical factual disputes.” Id. at 574, 587 S.E.2d at 77. “In all actions tried upon the facts without a jury,” the trial court must “find the facts specially and state separately its conclusions of law.” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1A-1, Rule 52(a) (1) (2003). “Where there is directly conflicting evidence on key issues, it is especially crucial that the trial court make its own determination as to what pertinent facts are actually established by the evidence, rather than merely reciting what the evidence may tend to show.” Moore, 160 N.C. App. at 572, 587 S.E.2d at 75 (citation omitted).
    N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-905 provides that when a juvenile is removed from the custody of a parent, the dispositional order must provide for “appropriate visitation as may be in the best interests of the juvenile.” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-905(c) (2003). The original dispositional order and adjudication judgment required respondent to satisfy three requirements before it would reconsider the issue of visitation.
    If a party moves the court to review the custody order, the court must conduct a review hearing. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-906(c) (2003). “The trial judge, prior to denying a parent the right ofreasonable visitation, shall make a written finding of fact that the parent being denied visitation rights is an unfit person to visit the child or that such visitation rights are not in the best interest of the child.” Moore, 160 N.C. App. at 572, 587 S.E.2d at 76 (citation omitted).
    Here, respondent moved the court to reinstate his visitation rights. The court found that respondent had not completed the requirements of the original dispositional order. The court also found E.T.'s best interests would be served by denying respondent the reinstatement of his visitation rights. The trial court made appropriate findings of fact to support its conclusion of law that respondent's motion be denied.
IV. Conclusion
    The trial court did not err by denying respondent's motion to re-establish visitation privileges with E.T. The trial court's findings of facts supported its conclusion of law. We affirm the trial court's order denying respondent visitation privileges with E.T.
    Judges HUDSON and GEER concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

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