Although Rosie O’Donnell’s daughter Chelsea was returned home safely a few days ago, new details have emerged about the man with whom Chelsea was found. Steven Sheerer, 25, has been charged with distributing obscenities to a minor and child endangerment. He could face up to 10 years in prison on the charges.
It is believed that Sheerer and Chelsea were corresponding after meeting on Tinder, a popular dating application. When police believed there might be evidence on Chelsea’s phone that could lead to finding her, Rosie gave them permission to search the phone. Thankfully for Rosie, Chelsea was found soon after, and she was lucid when discovered.
However, Rosie has been coming under fire for her parenting abilities, given the man with whom Chelsea was found was a convicted drug addict. She acknowledged that parenting was challenging and perfection was something no parent could achieve.
There have been some who have said Rosie waited far too long to begin searching for her daughter. Chelsea O’Donnell left home August 11, and Rosie did not plead for the public’s assistance in locating her daughter until nearly a week later. It has, however, been widely reported that the family believed Chelsea was hanging out with friends during her weeklong disappearance; it was not until Chelsea had not called home that concerns were raised.
Sheerer and Rosie’s daughter had apparently met on Tinder weeks earlier and had carried on their correspondence. Communication that was deemed inappropriate, however, was found on Chelsea’s phone, and when police arrived at Sheerer’s New Jersey address to retrieve Chelsea, Sheerer had originally denied that Chelsea was there. Under the Safety section of Tinder’s website, there are recommendations about how to deal with first meetings with individuals you meet on Tinder. These include meeting in public places and being in control of your own ride to and from the meeting place. While details about Chelsea’s mental illness have not been released, Rosie did say her daughter was “mentally ill” and had not taken her medication for some time. This may have compromised her ability to make sound decisions about Sheerer and meeting with him.
Regardless of Chelsea’s state of mind when she met with Sheerer, Sheerer now faces the prospect of jail time because of his role in sheltering Chelsea. There are those who might think that Rosie is not a great parent, but the fact of the matter is, there are many reasons that might cause a parent to suspect that their child is actually safe when in reality the child may not be. Parents everywhere make mistakes, and Rosie is no exception to this; if she thought her daughter Chelsea was with friends, there would have been no reason to expect that her daughter was with someone with a prior criminal record.
Rosie is quite right in saying that parents are only doing the best job they can, and when it comes to mental illness, sometimes it is a matter of just hoping to keep those you love afloat when their mental illness wants to drag them down.
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