For two years, Justyna Zubko-Valva tried to let the world know that her ex-husband was abusing their children.
But for two years, her cries for help went ignored. Her husband was an NYPD cop, after all.
Now that her ex-husband has been arrested for the murder of their autistic eight-year-old son, Thomas Valva, the world is finally paying attention. Unfortunately, it’s a little too late.
Her ex-husband, New York City police officer Michael Valva, was charged with second-degree murder on Friday. His fiancee, Angela Pollina, was also charged with second-degree murder.
The evidence against them is damning. Video and audio recordings from their own surveillance system inside their Long Island home, showing the couple force Thomas Valva and his 10-year-old brother, Anthony, to sleep on the cold hard floor in the unheated garage while it was 19 degrees outside. One clip captures Michael Valva admitting to suffocating his son.
According to the New York Post:
In the recording, a child can be heard asking why Thomas cannot walk.
“Because he’s hypothermic,” Pollina replied, according to (Assistant District Attorney Laura) Newcombe. “When you wash with cold water and it’s freezing out you become hypothermic.”
Later, Pollina put the same question to Valva.
“Do you know why he’s falling?” Pollina asked Valva about Thomas, Newcombe said, citing recordings.
“Because he’s cold. Boo f–king hoo,” Valva callously responded, according to the prosecutor.
When Pollina apparently walked into the garage and asked Valva what he was doing, Valva said: “I’m f–king suffocating him that’s what I’m doing,” prompting Pollina to say, “Take your hands off his mouth. There are people everywhere,” according to Newcombe.
Michael Valva, 40, who has been an NYPD cop for 15 years, told police his son fell in the driveway when he called 911 on January 17. When police arrived, he was performing CPR on the boy. When transported to the hospital, doctors determined the boy died from hypothermia. The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide and the couple was arrested. Michael Valva was suspended without pay.
In January 2018, Zubko-Valva launched a Twitter account called Stand Against Child Abuse where he posted videos and documents alleging her ex-husband was abusing their children.
In one video posted in January 2018 where Michael Valva is dropping off the two boys to visit with their mother, he is shown squeezing their hands to make them cry. Zubko-Valva accuses him of making them cry to make it see as if they do not want to see their mother. In November 2018, she posted documents from the local school district showing concern that their children were not being fed properly and regularly go to school hungry as punishment because “they did not use their manners.”
Zubko-Valva even accused her ex-husband of sexual abuse, according to the New York Post:
“The institutions that are supposed to protect the children protect the abusers,” said Zubko-Valva who claimed that she reported to law enforcement and child protective agencies and judges about the alleged abuse of her three young boys.
Zubko-Valva, who says she lost custody of her three children in 2017, said she “went everywhere” to report that her children were in danger. The mom alleged “severe” abuse of the children that included “physical, emotional, and also sexual abuse.”
A range of officials “knew exactly that the children needed help. That they were being abused, and you know, brainwashed. That food was being withheld from them as a form of punishment.”
“They did absolutely nothing,” said Zubko-Valva, who also has a 10-year-old and a 6-year-old that were living with Valva and Pollina.
“Trust me, I wrote to everybody. I asked for help. I beg the judge to remove the children. Immediately I begged the CPS caseworker 10 days before my son’s death,” she said, adding, the caseworker then closed the report.
Zubko-Valva said during court proceedings over the years she told judges: “My children are gonna die from the sadistic and abusive care of Michael Valva and Angela Pollina. I told them everything.”
The couple has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. They are being held without bail.