Mom in Hiding Over Son's Circumcision Is Arrested

Warrant was issued for Heather Hironimus' arrest after she failed to appear in court
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2015 8:16 AM CDT
Mom in Hiding Over Son's Circumcision Is Arrested
Dennis Nebus of Boca Raton, right, sits in court, Tuesday, March 10, 2015, with his lawyers May Cain and William Snihur, Jr.   (AP Photo/The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Mark Randall)

A Florida mom whose refusal to permit her son to be circumcised led her to go into hiding for nearly 3 months was arrested for contempt of court yesterday. Heather Hironimus has been battling with Dennis Nebus, the father of her 4-year-old son Chase, because Nebus wants Chase circumcised and she does not. Hironimus initially agreed the procedure could be done but later changed her mind, arguing it was not medically necessary. After a long legal battle, a judge in February ordered Hironimus to bring Chase to court and turn him over to his father to have the procedure done, but Hironimus didn't show up; her attorney said she had "sought refuge" Feb. 23 at a domestic violence shelter. In March, the same judge issued a warrant for her arrest. Broward County authorities took her into custody yesterday; she's now at the Broward County jail, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Chase's location is not clear; the boy hasn't seen his father since Feb. 19, Local 10 reports. In March, Hironimus' lawyer asked the judge to consider giving Chase a mental health exam before moving forward, claiming the boy "is scared to death of the procedure and doesn't want it," the Sun Sentinel reported at the time. The judge refused and ordered Hironimus' arrest; he also specifically took issue with the fact that she had partnered with anti-circumcision "intactivists" that "plastered" Chase's name and picture "all over the Internet." While she was in hiding, Hironimus filed a federal lawsuit through her lawyer claiming circumcision would violate Chase's constitutional rights, the Sun Sentinel reported last month. (Potential surgeons in the case have backed out.)

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