The children of a Mansfield man who shot and killed himself last month have been placed with their paternal grandparents for now.
The children’s mother, however, is contesting the petition for termination of parental rights and has demanded a jury trial on the matter.
413th District Judge Bill Bosworth on Wednesday scheduled a 9 a.m. Sept. 11 hearing on the matter.
For now, the children will be placed with their grandparents with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services continuing to serve as temporary managing conservator of both children in order to monitor and ensure the safe conditions of their environment.
The children’s mother is allowed supervised visitations at the Child Protective Services office under Wednesday’s order.
CPS in August requested and received the temporary conservatorship based on the belief that the children remain in danger should they be allowed to stay with their mother. Their mother, according to the petition for removal, failed to take steps to ensure her children’s safety and questioned whether the allegations against her husband were true.
The children’s father, Michael Patrick McGovern, 35, shot and killed himself shortly after noon on Aug. 21 in JCSO’s parking lot. JCSO detectives the day before obtained warrants on McGovern for aggravated sexual assault of a child, possession of child pornography and indecency with a child.
McGovern accessed an online site where he went by the screen name pervvydad.com and relayed statements of sexual activities he participated in with his daughters and activities he hoped to engage in with them in the future, according to the petition. McGovern through the same website transmitted photos of his daughters in their underwear and of him inappropriately touching his younger daughter.
McGovern, according to the petition, interacted on the site with who he apparently believed was another father who has similar sexual interests and had an 8-year-old daughter. McGovern instead was interacting with an undercover law enforcement official.
A search of McGovern’s home uncovered a large number of sexual toys and devices all within reach of the children as well as several unsecured firearms throughout the house including an AK-47 type rifle on top of a dresser. Officials noted that the house was in a general state of disarray. Officials located bedding and clothing matching those in the pictures of his daughters. Officers also seized computers, cameras, phones and other electronics in addition to photographs of McGovern’s wife engaging in sexual intercourse with multiple partners.
McGovern at the time of the search told officers that his children were in day care. As CPS workers were leaving the home to go to the day care to pick the children up for forensic interviews, McGovern’s wife drove up with the children
in her vehicle. McGovern’s wife was “initially hesitant” but allowed CPS workers to take the children for interviews.
The children made no direct outcries of abuse, according to the petition, but the demeanor of one of the girl’s changed noticeably when she was asked specific questions about sexual abuse and she asked how her sister had responded to such questions.
McGovern’s wife began gagging and grabbed a trash can as if she was about to throw up when given details of the charges against her husband, according to the petition.
Officials told her that the children could not have any contact with McGovern and asked what her plans were to keep her children safe.
McGovern’s wife at that time agreed to change the locks of her home and take steps to ensure her husband had no contact with the children. She failed to do so, however, and questioned the charges against her husband, according to the petition.
“At that time it was determined that an emergency removal of the children was necessary,” according to the petition.
Detectives searched for McGovern all day Aug. 20 and into the next morning. CPS officials on Wednesday received word that McGovern was scheduled to turn himself in at the sheriff’s office but instead committed suicide in the parking lot.
The petition notes that neither McGovern nor his wife have past criminal or CPS history.