FRISCO, TX — The story of a 9-year-old Frisco, Texas girl, Sophie Long, has gone viral across the U.S. and is putting the spotlight on family court and child protective services.
A nearly 20-minute long video posted to social media shows the child pleading with adults to not send her back to her mother’s home despite a court order mandating that she do so.
In the video, the child can be seen pleading with her father to save her, claiming that she had been sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend as her mother watched. Despite the child’s pleas, representatives from child protective services can be seen ordering the child into the car and telling the girl’s father that if he refused to turn her over he would be arrested and sent to jail.
A GoFundMe campaign titled “Stand with Sophie,” was created by the child’s step mother and posted to the platform on August 21. The campaign, which had set an original goal of $25,000, has raised more than $145,000 as of September 2.
Response from members of the public outraged by the video prompted the Frisco Police Department to issue the following statement regarding the case:
“While the Frisco Police Department will not usually offer further comment on cases that are this sensitive in nature, we would like the public to know that the child in this case is safe and staying at a safe location. Due [to] the public nature of this case, we also feel the need to address false information circulating on social media. For example, posts claiming that the alleged offender is a police officer with our department are FALSE, as the individual has never had any professional affiliation with the Frisco Police Department.
The continued dissemination of patently false information and third-party speculation on various social media platforms related to this case serves no other purpose than to hinder investigative efforts and does nothing to help the child in the case. The case remains under active investigation, and we are restricted by law on providing specific information related to juvenile cases. The Frisco Police Department shares your concerns to partner with various agencies to assure the safety and well being of all involved.”
The Lacy Lakeview Police Department (LLPD) also issued statement regarding Sophie’s case:
“First and foremost, the Lacy Lakeview Police Department (LLPD) has confirmed that a female juvenile shown in numerous YouTube videos taken by her father and placed on a gofundme page is presently in a safe home,” Chief John Truehitt posted onto the department’s official Facebook page.
“The mother and father of the child in these videos are in a child custody dispute and we have been advised the court has awarded the custodial rights of the child to the mother. The mother lives about 100 miles north of Lacy Lakeview and the father lives about 100 miles south of Lacy Lakeview. In July, 2020, the father reported the sexual abuse of the child to the appropriate law enforcement agency where the offense(s) occurred,” the statement continued.
“There has been one and only one incident that occurred in Lacy Lakeview as follows: On 08/18/2020, LLPD received a call requesting officer assistance regarding a disturbance involving a child custody exchange wherein the child did not want to go with the grandmother. Two LLPD Officers responded and I have reviewed their body camera video. The video shows that upon their arrival the disturbance had already stopped. The officers spoke will all parties at the location. The father told the officers his daughter did not want to go with the grandmother because she was being sexually abused in his ex-wife’s home (in another city). The father told LLPD officers the sexual abuse occurred in the city where his ex-wife lived – NOT in Lacy Lakeview. The father told the officers that he had reported the allegations to law enforcement in that area and CPS had also been involved.”
The Frisco Police Department says it has received a high volume of requests for information about Sophie’s case. Concerned citizens have taken to social media to say they are contacting Texas Governor Greg Abbott to demand a review of the case. A White House petition regarding Sophie’s case has also been created.