Rifqa Bary Returning to Ohio

This probably won’t be the end of this sorry saga, but it will at least get Rifqa Bary out of Florida and hopefully away from the likes of John Stemberger, the Florida Security Council, Blake and Beverly Lorenz, Lou Engle, and all the others who have sought to exploit this situation for their own purposes – from the Orlando Sentinel:

An Orange County judge ordered Ohio teen runaway Fathima Rifqa Bary back to that state, ending the 17-year-old girl’s three-month stay in Florida as she battled her parents over her religious freedom and allegations of abuse.

Circuit Judge Daniel Dawson signed an order Friday afternoon asking the Florida Department of Children and Families to make arrangements to send Rifqa back to Ohio, where she is bound for a new stint with a foster family.

A DCF spokeswoman confirmed her agency received Dawson’s ruling.

“This order indicates that the Court has relinquished its emergency jurisdiction and orders the Department to arrange the transportation of the child to the proper authorities with Franklin County Children Services in Ohio,” spokeswoman Carrie Hoeppner said.

Hoeppner said DCF will not discuss details of Rifqa’s transfer from a foster family in Central Florida to one in Ohio. She cited safety reasons.

Rifqa’s private attorney, John Stemberger, has not returned phone calls seeking comment.

Reached by phone Friday afternoon, Rifqa’s father, Mohamed Bary, was laughing and giddy during a brief conversation with the Orlando Sentinel. He declined comment, though, citing a gag order in the case.