DSS worker gets probation

A former state social worker who was honored for his work in the Attleboro religious sect case was placed on probation Monday for entering a neighbor's home and exposing himself earlier this year.

Thomas Birch, 46, headed the state Department of Social Service's investigation into the Attleboro religious sect, known as The Body, and the starvation death of a sect toddler.

DSS took 13 children from the sect home on Knight Avenue five years ago and charged three members in connection with the toddler's death.

Birch was arrested on Smith Street the day after Karen Robidoux, the mother of the toddler, was found innocent of murder in the nationally publicized case.

Birch's lawyer, John Casey of Attleboro, said his client suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome, and suffered a flashback induced by the case the day he was arrested.