An Ontario father has been desperately trying to get in touch with his daughter to let her know he’s still alive; the daughter was led to believe her deceased mother who transitioned into a trans man was her father.
Dayton Rico Washington came to The Post Millennial after exhausting his financial and legal resources in trying to get custody of his daughter after the mother died.
A resident of Burlington, Ontario, Washington is unable to speak publicly on this matter due to a court-order, but provided The Post Millennial with dozens of court documents before the court order was issued to substantiate his claims. He decided to go to the media as a last resort to hopefully reunite with his daughter after being separated for over ten years.
In 2009, Washington started a relationship with a woman he knew as Brandy Maloney. Unbeknownst to him, Maloney was in the process of transitioning to a transgender male. It wasn’t until after the two had a child that Maloney admitted to living a double life. Maloney wanted to be referred to as “Justice,” and asserted that he wanted a sex change after the birth of the couple’s daughter in late 2010.
Washington provided The Post Millennial with a 52-page sworn affidavit outlining every sordid detail of his side of the story, including how Maloney took off to Vancouver shortly before the birth of the couple’s daughter and refusing to sign the formal custody agreements Washington put forward.
While Washington expressed a consistent interest in providing for his daughter and seeking an acceptable arrangement for the two of them, Maloney was non-responsive, going so far as to block Washington on social media when he attempted to make contact online.
In early 2012, Washington alleges Justice Maloney then began demanding money from Washington in exchange for visitation rights. According to Washington, Maloney called from a blocked-ID number, telling the paternal father that a visitation would only be arranged if he gave Maloney $1,500, to be paid on a pre-paid visa gift card. Washington refused, and Maloney refused visitation.
While Washington could not establish contact with Maloney again until 2013, the sworn affidavit notes that Washington’s Facebook friends began receiving concerning messages shortly after Washington declined to give Maloney a pre-paid visa; the messages called Washington a “deadbeat dad” who “wouldn’t pay a dime” to see his daughter.
Washington desperately sought help from the Ontario Child and Family courts, but was told that without an address for “Justice” Maloney, no proceedings could be initiated.
According to the affidavit, in 2013, Washington’s family troubles would come to a climax as Maloney called and demanded more money, this time accompanied by an unidentified male who threatened consequences unless he paid the “fees.”
Shortly after the call, Washington says he found the severed head of a squirrel in a package in his mailbox. That same month, according to Washington’s affidavit, he was shot in the hand by an unknown male assailant and shortly after this incident, he was body checked while jogging in a park.
An email from “Justice” Maloney, included in the affidavit as evidence, shows Maloney, despite being three provinces away, knew about Washington’s assaults.
Washington, fearing for the safety of both himself and his daughter, who was still in Maloney’s custody, chose to stay silent. The courts and police were unable to help him without any accurate contact information for Maloney.
In 2018, Washington learned through Facebook that Justice Maloney had died. He renewed his efforts to search for his daughter. Utilizing the funeral listing and images on the GoFundMe page that had been established for the child in the wake of Maloney’s death, Washington was able to establish contact with someone who knew his daughter’s whereabouts.
Speaking to a friend of Justice Maloney, Washington learned that Maloney had been in a relationship with a woman prior to his death. Kristie Kathleen-Johnson, originally of Saint John, New Brunswick, had been living with Maloney prior to his death, and Washington learned that she had been caring for his daughter.
Johnson has no biological relation to the child, and in the sworn affidavit, Washington says he has no information which suggests a legal arrangement had been established giving Johnson custody of his daughter. Despite this, Washington says he received a message stating Johnson intended to take his daughter “to the Netherlands and not return.”
Having a concrete address and name for the individual holding his daughter, Washington initiated formal family court proceedings in 2019. Kristie Kathleen-Johnson and her new boyfriend, Tyrone, had initiated proceedings in an attempt to gain guardianship. Washington says that Tyrone was introduced to him as Justice’s brother.
In September 2019, the Supreme Court of British Columbia granted Johnson and her boyfriend, Justice’s brother, a ban on Washington preventing him from speaking about his ordeal on Facebook. Even a post Washington made in an attempt to honour his daughter, one made with the intention that she might find it one day, was court-ordered to be removed.
A sample from the communications from Washington’s legal representatives state that the Judge in the court proceedings suggested it would be “harmful” for Washington’s daughter to learn of her own father.
The communications also show that Washington’s requests to have a professional child counsellor assess his daughter and therapeutically guide her through the process of reintroducing him into her life was denied by the courts, as were his requests to prevent the couple from leaving the country with his daughter. The courts also demanded Washington remove all photos and references to his daughter from his social media, a request he has refused to comply with.
Due to this judgement, Washington is fearful about speaking to the media, and cautiously provided all information redacted so as to comply with the terms of the court order. To this day his daughter doesn’t know he exists and believes her father Justice was her father.