Man gets 15 days in child abuse case

A man who tied a rope around his 4-year-old daughter and let her stand on a bridge pillar over a flood-swollen river has been sentenced to 15 days in jail.
AP Wire
Jan 9, 2014

Hans Jansma, 32, was sentenced Tuesday in Grand Rapids District Court. A jury in November found him guilty of fourth-degree child abuse.

Jansma on April 22 allowed the girl, secured by a rope, to crawl out on Blue Bridge opening over the Grand River during record-setting flooding. A photojournalist gathered footage of Jansma's daughter on the bridge.

"My daughter and I have a fun relationship," Jansma said in a TV report shown to jurors. He said the two were on an "adventure."

"I'm not going to put my daughter in any harm," he said. "That's crazy. ... I felt comfortable with the ability of the rope to support the weight of my daughter. I feel comfortable supporting my own weight with that rope."

Jansma's attorney, Kathryn Klemesrud, tried to have the trial moved to another court, saying publicity would taint a jury, but the judge refused.

A week after the conviction, a judge ordered that the child's mother, Gwen Higby, receive primary physical custody. Jansma received temporary supervised parenting time.

Higby testified at the trial that she was "pretty livid" when she found out about the April incident.



What a shame.......He would have been better off if he was caught drinking and driving with the kid in the car.


Stifling times we live in............and by we I mean all men, er people.....not to exclude pets or wild animals......not that 'animals' implies any negativity....just, you know um my ex-wife or employer could read this and so, like why even try.
Gotta live folks, gotta breathe, gotta see how far, how fast, gotta ask why.


Although this guy may not be the brightest bulb, this is yet another example of infringement on citizens’ lives and I find it outrageous! This is NOT child abuse… no more than a parent letting the kid ride a horse or walk a high wire at summer camp! Maybe buying a trampoline is child abuse or swimming without a life jacket Herding the sheep.


I agree with you on this one. Not the brightest guy. And we all teach our kids to push limits and strengthen their character. No license needed to raise a kid, you don't even need to read a book about it.
But there is way too much interference in people's everyday lives. I really believe if everyone had phone cameras and internet when we were young, half of us would have been incarcerated for something stupid we did. The world is not a better place because of it. Everyone has to have their nose in your business now, you are watched everywhere you go, no exceptions. You have to act like you are always being watched even when you think you aren't, because someone will whip out the phone to record you. Point & shoot. The world is filled with amateur photojournalists & professional photographer wannabees now, just see GH Tribs photo gallery or any 'professional photographer' page on FB (read: someone learned how to put their catchy 'studio' name on a picture- it also doesn't take a license for this 'profession' btw). Upload your best shots, The whole world is watching (you when you go out). Just don't do anything 'I' wouldn't do..


Oh Crap - we seem to be in agreement again - at least the kid wasn't chomping on a pop-tart in the shape of a gun while at the end of the rope - probably the death penalty . . .


now thats funny! glad i decided to read this at the beginning of the day!


Truthhurts and bigdeal - I agree totally. Well said by both of you (maybe that (( )) last week did the trick, truth). Bd - you are so right about the ability now to get instant photos of anything - my own kids went through a stage a while back where they would be at a park or something and take 'sniper shots' of people. I didn't like it much, and told them so, but I admit - some were funny as he11.

Social interference run amok.


Oh I so want to be the devil's advocate on this one, but I made myself a new year's resolution and I've got to at least make it to February......

Tri-cities realist

Aww, grow some... horns and entertain us with your devilish thoughts.


I thought on the 1st you only had 72 hours in which you had to be sarcastic-less. Now you say until February. Talk about dereliction of duties ....but thanks for the free pass for a while longer.


Hey, that wasn't very PC of ya...not trying to steal my thunder are you?? ;-p


I wouldn't dream of stealing your thunder! You earned it fair and square, it is your own special and unique thunder, it is your Constitutional right to have that thunder, and cooties to anyone who even thinks about stealing it!


You rock! :-D


....any other promises/commitments you won't keep?


Snipe, Snipe, Snipe......rinse and repeat.

Why don't you wade out of the shallow end of the gene pool and find something to do with your time besides be a laughingstock here?


i don't mind being the so called laughing stock in this liberal cesspool, I know who the real winner know...the one not on government assistance b/c their back hurts


Worst yet for this fellow is that he is forever branded on the CPS Central Registry for child abuse which you don't have to be convicted to be on by the way. We have given government too much control under the guise of "protecting children" that the mentality is that children need to be protected from their parents. This may be true in a very limited amount of cases but the system is run amuck and driven by the need to protect jobs rather than be concerned about children or their families.

It's a miracle we all survived our childhood without the prying eyes of nosey strangers and money-driven government social workers who seem to know better how to parent your children.

Sorry for the long rant but I'm reminded by the most feared statement of all... "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you". Now that's a scary thought!


I can't believe the Moron's behind the desk didn't go for Attempted Murder. I mean c'mon this poor innocent child looked terrified just dangling there by the shoelace her dad had tied around her, didn't she? (sarcasm) All of our parents would have been locked up and we would all have been removed from our families due to unsafe situations because of some of the crap our parents let us do. Street Hockey, playing in puddles, jumping off stuff with an umbrella for a parachute. My parents only had my hand or the back of my coat held while I would lean over the railings to see stuff.
This Dad made an uncool call but it went way overboard. The CPS needs to publicly apologize for the trouble and give him a stern talking to. The Mother needs to not use this to get at the Dad. Petty.

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