While child molestation is a detestable crime, in entirely too many cases it is alleged without any sort of proof whatsoever and is the result of mass-hysteria and/or the implantation of false memories by "therapists"...

THIS is the true child abuse.

I wouldn't be surprised to discover that nothing happened here or if it did, it would have been limited to a perpetrator or two, not dozens.

I trace the problem to people whose lives are bland middle-class vacuums and who don't have the courage to seek real excitement by joining the French Foreign Legion or a mountain rescue team or something. Instead they live bland little lives and become enamored of TV and the fantasy life it offers. They truly WANT to be victims of the crime-of-the-week so that they gain status in their own eyes and others.

Suddenly they are special and their life has excitement. But no one actually wants to be raped so they do the next best thing: imagine it happened to their kid.

I live right next door to Fall River MA and there are a couple of hopelessly innocent grandparents doing time for molesting their grand kids. In the local coverage of the story it was revealed that that the therapist asked repetitive leading questions of these 5 or 6 year olds regarding events that supposedly happened when they were 3 or so. The "therapist" is a "true believer" who thinks that kids don't lie or fantasize; that 30-50% of all kids are fucked regularly by their caretakers; that you can't implant memories; and the assertion by a child that nothing happened is proof of sexual abuse.

Talk about your fucking witch hunt.

If the kid says they were abused, they were abused. If the kid says they weren't abused they were abused.

The insanity of true believers is not limited to the religiously inclined although a good case could be made that the so-called talking therapies (which do not work any better than no therapy at all) are but superstitions themselves. As I understand it '"real scientists" such as Sagan laugh(ed) at the pretensions of the talking therapists when they consider their practice a science. It is an art; perhaps useful for some folks, but the talking therapies are an art more akin to novel writing, not science.


4 Exonerated in Sex Case Now Suing

.c The Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) - Horror stories began spilling out of Wenatchee four years ago, when dozens of parents were accused of having orgies with children - their own and others'. Another mass child-molestation case from a little-known town had found its way onto the map.

Ultimately, 19 people were convicted or pleaded guilty. But at least four others were exonerated, and now they are back in court, suing their accusers for $100 million.

Pentecostal pastor Robert ``Roby'' Roberson, his wife, Connie, Sunday school teacher Honnah Sims and parishioner Connie Rodriguez say they were victimized by investigators who bullied children into giving false testimony and adults into confessing to crimes they didn't commit.

The case, they say, was the twisted obsession of the chief investigator, Wenatchee police Officer Robert Perez, whose two foster daughters were among the dozens of child accusers.

The four are suing the city and its police force, Douglas County and its sheriff's department, the state and its Department of Social and Health Services, and one social worker. The civil trial has been going on for nine weeks.

Authorities from Wenatchee, an apple-growing community of 35,000 on the eastern slopes of the Cascades 150 miles east of Seattle, stand by their handling of the investigation.

Twenty-eight people were charged in the case. Of those who pleaded guilty or were convicted, 12 remain in prison, their children scattered in foster care or adoptive homes. One conviction was overturned on appeal, five appeals failed and three are pending.

The Robersons, who were accused of being leaders of the sex ring, and Sims were acquitted in 1995. Charges against Rodriguez were dropped when four of five young accusers recanted.

Attorney Robert Van Siclen, who won the acquittals and is representing the four in the civil trial, told the jury that the investigation was a locomotive that ``slipped its brakes and is careening down a hill.''

Perez's name has come up often in testimony.

A former social worker who said he was fired for criticizing the investigation testified that Perez was abrasive and threatening when he questioned people.

Once in 1994, the former social worker said, Perez placed his gun on the table as he repeatedly told a third-grader that she wouldn't be allowed to go back to school until she told him about abuse. ``She was very scared and she started to cry,'' the witness said.

The biological parents of the two foster children in Perez's home confessed to sex abuse during the scandal, but their mother - who is illiterate, with an IQ of 68 - told the civil jury she confessed only because ``I was scared and I didn't know what to do.''

She said Perez told her ``if I would tell him something, he would let me go - he wouldn't put me in jail.''

In the years since the case first made headlines, fears of child molestation have given way to concerns that the accused - mostly ignorant, poor people with limited resources and few allies - were trampled by a criminal justice system out of control, driven by community hysteria.

It wouldn't be the first time.

Among other lurid mass child-abuse cases of the 1980s to fall apart in the courts under similar circumstances are the McMartin preschool case in California, the Little Rascals case in North Carolina, the Margaret Kelly Michaels case in New Jersey and the Fells Acres case in Massachusetts.

Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist at the University of Washington in Seattle who has sided with defendants in other sex cases, testified that authorities in Wenatchee should have been more skeptical.

``The sheer number of rapes and sodomy going on for so many years while nobody noticed, you'd think, would have raised a red flag in someone's mind,'' she said.

Roberson said he was targeted for prosecution after he stood up for the parents of the two girls who lived with Perez. Similarly, Ms. Sims testified that she was charged after she tried to raise money to help the Robersons fight.

``It was nothing I thought would happen in America,'' Ms. Sims said. She and her husband were ``scared to death. We felt we were being swept up in something bigger than we could handle.'' And the acquittal didn't help. ``They're still calling me a child molester to this day,'' Ms. Sims said.

One of the girls who lived in Perez's home, now 14 and in foster care elsewhere, testified that her sex allegations were true. She said dozens of adults assaulted dozens of children in the basement of Roberson's church and in homes several times a week.

The other of Perez's former foster daughters is hospitalized for emotional problems and didn't testify.

Perez said in an interview that he did his job properly.

``I'll never apologize for the work I did,'' he said. ``Obviously no investigation is perfect, but it was as perfect as I could make it within the constraints I was bound by.''

AP-NY-06-04-98 1528EDT


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