Nate Tseglin was born on November 5, 1989 to Ilya and Riva Tsleglin. The parents, now residents of California, are originally from the former Soviet Union. They have a younger son Robert as well.
Nate was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at age 14. He was first taken away from his parents by the State of California on January 12, 2007 at age 17 when a teacher reported his parents to the Child Protective Services (CPS) because Nate was scratching himself on the arms. His family has been fighting for him to be home, and to be cared for at home, ever since. He is currently being detained by the State of California against the will of Nate, who is now an adult, and his family. He is allegedly being forced to take drugs his family does not approve, and is kept locked up like a prisoner.
The Tseglin family would like the public to know their story of medical kidnapping happening in California. They do not believe that having a disability such as Asperger’s Syndrome gives the State a right to kidnap their son.
High-Functioning Disabled Youth Became Worse in State Custody
Nate is high functioning on the autism spectrum with many interests that he enjoys learning about. Since being taken from his loving family he has been severely traumatized by the treatment he has received from law enforcement as well as the staff at Orange County Regional Center (OCRC). As a result he developed severe anxiety, PTSD, and now has severe anxiety attacks. According to his father, Nate has never been suicidal nor has he ever been homicidal and yet he has been hospitalized in a psychiatric facility.
Louis Piccone, an attorney who lives in Canada, represented the Tseglins during a trial in July 2015 for conservatorship (a legal process to obtain custody or guardianship over an adult.) He states that Nate’s family is incredibly loving and are wonderful people.
He explained that before Nate was taken by the state he was doing really well with the services that the county was providing and that the family was also doing well.
This has been devastating to Nate and his family. He explained that “Nate has impulsive behavior” and “likes to touch people’s faces”. When people are patient, stay calm and let him explore their faces, he stays calm. However if people react strongly and “freak out” he has the capacity to act out and potentially be violent.
When the county paid staff were in the Tseglin home caring for Nate, they allegedly sometimes used inappropriate restraints for Nate like choke holds in response to Nate’s behavior. In response to the inappropriate treatment of Nate, Mr. Tseglin took photos to document the abuse.
The Owner of OCRC, Lou Pena, reportedly stated:
“You can’t take photos of my staff or I will cancel your contract.”
Tseglin Removed from Family’s Home by Adult Protective Services
He allegedly followed through with the threat and reported Ilya Tseglin to the Adult Protective Services and to the county sheriff, stating that if they would go to the Tseglin’s home in three weeks time, they would be able to take Nate into state custody because there would be zero services. The law requires continuous services.
Adult Protective services did just that. The sheriff took Nate away again on a gurney, traumatizing him again, imprisoning him again and keeping him isolated from his family. The family says it was kidnapping.
California Forcing Psychotropic Drug Treatment
The Tseglins are in a “Catch 22” because they disagree with the IPP (Person-centered individual program planning) set for Nate by the OCRC professionals, and yet the IPP has to be signed by the conservator in order to get funding for services.
The IPP states that Nate needs to be on psychotropic drugs and the Tseglins do not want Nate on them. They agree with the profssionals that say that Nate should be weaned off them and taken care of at home.
Nate is now being held in a group home, which is overseen by OCRC. The Regional Center is one of 21 private, nonprofit organizations contracted by the State of California to coordinate lifelong services and support for individuals with developmental disabilities. The Regional Center has professionals who evaluate the needs of the consumer and make recommendations as to what services the consumer needs in order to live as normal a life as possible.
More Funding Available for Confined Disabled Adults than At-Home Services: Motive for Kidnapping?
In the state of California there is the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act, known as “The Lanterman Act of California.” It states that citizens of California are entitled to have services that will enable them to live a more independent and as normal a life as possible.
This law is the Regional Center’s basis for getting funding for services for their consumers; services that pay them $600,000 annually for Nate. (The cost of services when Nate was getting services at home was only $500,000 annually.)
Regional Center psychiatrists and social workers set recommendations for the consumers and then an IPP is written out stating the goals for treatment. The Tseglins disagreed with the IPP set by OCRC which included a cocktail of many drugs including psychotropics. The professionals at OCRC did not include the recommendations made by the expert doctors the Tsleglins chose to follow, therefore the Tsleglin’s refused to sign the IPP.
However, in order to receive and funding under the Lanterman Act, a conservator’s signature is required on an IPP. The doctors that the Tsleglins agreed with, stating that Nate should be home, and be weaned off of the psychotropic medications that are causing permanent damage to his health were not incorporated into the IPP. Therefore, if the Tseglins bring Nate home they will need to be able to pay for services on their own because the state will not provide those services to them at home.
Judge Rules to Let Nate go Home – But State is Hindering His Return
The Tseglins filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus (a legal action for detainees to seek relief from unlawful imprisonment.) twice and twice the judge granted it. OCRC said that the Tseglins were welcome to take Nate home, but because they can’t afford the services themselves they are unable to follow through and the state will just take Nate back for neglecting to get him services.
As attorney Louis Piccone stated, “This family has had a tough time.” The Tseglins came to this country hoping to find the American dream and instead found that “it isn’t there for them.”
He went on to explain that they want to immigrate to Israel now where they can immerse themselves in their own culture and help heal their son with family love.
“Israeli culture is progressive and has cutting edge therapies for Autism.”
Nate is Held Hostage Like a Prisoner – Heavily Sedated
The Regional Center claims to be “consumer driven”, and yet has conservatorship over Nate now. He is living in a group home where when the Tseglins call to speak with him, most times they are told he is asleep and that he wants to talk to them later.
They keep him on addictive sleeping medications. He is not allowed to go outside, participate in his Jewish faith, eat nutritious kosher foods, have contact with family, get an education, socialize or have a normal life.
As a result of the psychotropic medications, Nate has now been allegedly been diagnosed with rhabidomyolisis (RAB-DOE-MY-O-LIE-SIS) which is the rapid destruction of skeletal muscle resulting in leakage into the urine of the muscle protein myoglobin.
According to WebMD:
“rhabidomyolisis is due to use of antipsychotics…especially when given in high doses.”
Psychotropic medications have long been known to cause dangerous side effects and permanent damage. According to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights:
“Psychiatrists can’t predict what adverse side effects you might experience because not one of them knows how their drugs work.”
The mental health treatment of our young has become a national epidemic.
Today, the mental health treatment of our young is a life or death gamble and, given the growing number of fatalities, a roll of the dice not to be taken lightly. No longer is it a question of whether children die from psychiatric treatments, but rather whose child will be next. It’s a question of whether parents are willing to bet their child’s life on subjective psychiatric diagnoses and dangerous mind-altering drugs and treatments. The Silent Death of America’s Children presented to the President’s New freedom Commission on Mental Health Nov. 13, 2002 – Jan Eastgate President CCHR International and Bruce Wiseman National U.S. President, CCHR
Nate Being Physically and Sexually Abused in State Care
When the Tseglins have visited Nate in the past, he has reported to them that he was being abused physically which resulted in multiple visits to the ER. Nate has endured broken bones, internal bleeding, and being choked.
Nate has also reported being sexually assaulted on two occasions in two different facilities. The sexual assault, when reported to law enforcement, was dismissed and the offenders were allowed to continue to work at those facilities.
Nate reports he has been beaten, choked, and isolated in addition to being forced to take medications he is allergic to, and that are causing him to have breathing troubles and seizures.
When his family was allowed to visit they were told that they were not allowed to take any photos of their staff, the other consumers, or their facility. No cell phones or cameras are allowed.
The family believes that the only reason they are not allowed to take any photographs is because OCRC wants to cover up their abuse of consumers. OCRC states that they do not allow any photographs to be taken because it violates the privacy of the consumers.
Other consumers have informed the Tseglins that Nate gets particularly harsh treatment there, but that he is not the only one. According to OCRC if there are any abuse claims reported they are much stronger and tend to be taken much more seriously when there are multiple consumers who make the same claims. According to OCRC, when a consumer claims abuse, the offender is then moved to another facility because they cannot fire someone without cause.
Nate was moved to a different facility when he claimed to be sexually assaulted.
Family Speaks Out at City Council and County Board Meetings
Ilya and his younger son Robert have gone to city council and county board meetings to speak publicly about the laws and the abuse of their loved one. The family is in desperate need of an attorney willing to take on their complicated but valid case.
The family and others believe that Nate’s civil rights are being violated. According to Rabbi Dov Fischer, Nate’s guardian ad litem:
“Nate is an international symbol of government mishandling of an autistic teen’s Asperger’s Syndrome with horrific and perhaps criminal results.”
Here is a link to a video of an Orange County California Board of Commissioners meeting that Ilya and Robert Tseglin spoke to on January 26, 2016. They speak at three different times. At 26 minutes, item 24 at 36.55 minutes and again at 1 hour:26 min.
According to long time family friend, Daniel Sultan:
They make fun of him, the council members. I go there and speak to them as well. The sheriff doesn’t want to hear about the crimes in Orange County. It is corrupt and “facist.”
Legal Help Need to Fight for Nate’s Civil Rights
The Tseglins have filed cases against the state and federal governments, but deadline’s are looming. Rabbi Fischer emphatically states:
“The real crime will be if the government escapes liability for what they did to Nate Tseglins life by escaping prosecution on grounds that this Russian-immigrant family got out procedured on court deadlines.”
Rabbi Fischer is willing to assist on the case, as he is a licensed attorney in California, but another attorney needs to take the case on contingency because he doesn’t just represent his people, he also gives religious service to them, and this is not his area of legal expertise.
Louis Piccone has made the same offer to write documents and help in any way possible but again this is not his area of expertise.
The law states that conservatorship should first be with family. Robert Tseglin hopes to regain conservatorship of his brother Nate so this family can go home to Israel and heal from the abusive treatment the United States and the state of California has done to this man and his family.
Someone needs to step up in California and help this family as soon as possible.
How the Public Can Help
Please contact local public officials and ask them to help the Tseglins get their son back home, just as a judge has ordered.