Jeff and Julie were well aware of the consequences if CT authorities — the Department of Child and Families (DCF) and the State Police — were to learn what was transpiring in their bedroom. Julie had briefly volunteered at a center for social services. [1E] As will be discussed shortly, she also had experiencing in using social services to lodge false allegations against other families.
For Jeff and Julie to save themselves from investigation, they needed to take action, and they needed to do it quickly.
Lily’s guardians weren’t likely to cause a problem. They wanted nothing to do with the authorities. [1F] Jeremy’s mother, however, Megan Barney, could pose a problem. Some years earlier Julie had lodged a false child-abuse report against Megan, and then watched silently as social services tore Megan’s family apart. Although the investigation eventually concluded, correctly, that the abuse allegations were unfounded, the emotional and psychological damage to Megan — sobbing as social services took a child from her arms — had left her more than a little wary of Julie. [1F2]
Because Jeremy was older than Carson, however, Julie and Jeff could gamble that Megan would not want authorities to know about the boys’ sex, despite it being consensual. So, on October 19, 2003, Julie drove to Megan’s home to inform her of Carson’s and Jeremy’s activities, and to take control of the situation.
According to documents from social services, when Megan and Julie confronted Jeremy — who until that time had kept his homosexuality a secret from family and friends — he told the two mothers that he was “sorry” for having sex with Carson, and was “glad” they’d found out.[1G]
By her own admission, Julie expressed her hope that the two families could “keep this from public exposure,” and was under the impression Megan had “agreed this was OK.”[1H]
Megan, however, thought better of it. Not only was she already keenly aware of Julie’s propensity for deception and malice, but Megan also had licenses for both foster care and day care. Megan stood to lose it all, and she believed that she was mandated to make a report to the State.
As Julie watched in shock, Megan picked up the phone and called a regional hotline — automatically triggering an investigation by social services and police.