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[Articles & Essays - R]     [Register by subject - False accusations] 

42 MVMO [*] Court cases with allegations of multiple sexual & physical abuse 

[* Multi-Victim, Multi-Offender] 

< http://www.religioustolerance.org/ra_case.htm
[The version referred to here above has lots of links and more literature references.]


"A mere suspicion of witchcraft justifies the immediate arrest and torture of the suspected person. If the prisoner mutters, looks on the ground, and does not shed any tears, all these are proofs positive of guilt." Jean Bodin, French lawyer, judge and witchhunter, "The Demonomanie," published circa 1580.
"A prisoner may be promised immunity or reduced punishment if he accuses his accomplices." Jean Bodin
"In the Little Rascals day-care-abuse case in North Carolina, one mother told reporters that it took 10 months before her child was able to "reveal" the molestation. No one at the time considered the idea that the child might have been remarkably courageous to persist in telling the truth for so long." Carol Tavris [*1]

[1.] Carol Tavris: "Mind Games: Psychological Warfare Between Therapists and Scientists," The Chronicle of Higher Education, Section: The Chronicle Review, Vol. 49, Issue 25, Page B7, 2003-FEB-28.

The following quotations relate to the Fells Acre case, but apply to many others as well: 

"We just suspended intellectual integrity. We believed the absurd when it came to child abuse cases." Kimberly Hart [*2]

[2.] Kimberly Hart is executive director of the National Child Abuse Defense Center in Ohio. The quote came from the National Post, 2001-JUL-10, Page A10. The National Post is a conservative Canadian newspaper.
"It has nothing to do with lying and everything to do with the implanting of false memories...Studies have shown that children will vehemently defend the veracity of implanted memories. They recall reporting them, and those reports produce mental 
images of the events that these individuals cannot distinguish from their real experiences. But the kids are not responsible for that. The interviews are." Debra Poole [*3] 

[3.] Debra Poole is a professor of psychology at Central Michigan University. She is the author of the forensic interviewing protocol for children now mandated by Michigan law.

- - -

We have studied over 40 Multi-Victim, Multi-Offender (MVMO) cases at 24 locations, mostly involving allegations of ritual abuse, since 1995.

In other areas of this web site, we do not take sides. We do not reach conclusions. We merely report both or all sides of each issue and let our readers make up their mind. However, with these ritual abuse cases, it seemed obvious to us that grave injustices had been done. As Kimberly Hart of the National Child Abuse Defense Center said, the police and District Attorneys' offices had suspended their "intellectual integrity." They readily "believed the absurd." We decided to write the essays with the assumption that most of the defendants were innocent. 

We believe that some sexual molestation did happen at Country Walk, in Miami FL, and perhaps in a few of the remaining cases. But it is our opinion that: 

No ritual abuse occurred in any of the cases. 
Any criminal acts were non-ritual abuse by a single perpetrator. 
Most or all of the crimes never happened.

Hundreds of adults were convicted of ritual abuse of children, mostly during the 1980s and early 1990s. Almost all have had their cases revisited. Most convictions have been overturned because of what we now know about: 

How easy it was for investigators to get false disclosures of abuse from young children by simply asking direct questions, repeatedly.
How meaningless the past standards of evidence were for sexual abuse of girls.
How meaningless past STD lab tests were on children. 

A few innocent people continue to rot in prison in the United States and elsewhere. A list of addresses of US prisoners is available. [*5] 

[5.] Bob Chatelle has a list of falsely accused inmates at: 
< http://www.ultranet.com/~kyp/prisaddr.html >. 

Child psychologists and police investigators now are generally aware of how to avoid improper questioning of young children. New cases dried up in the early 1990s. However, one strange case did surface in Lewis Island, Scotland, in late 2003.

US Cases 

Location > People and Facility Involved 
[The original on line version has links and additional literature] 

Bakersfield CA > The McCuan and Kniffen Families (and 8 other cases) (The "Bakersfield Witch Hunt") 
Bucks County, PA > A Day School teacher, and others 
Edenton, NC >Robert "Bob" Kelly et al (Little Rascals) 
Unknown location, NC > Michael Parker 
Malden, MA > The Amirault Family (Fells Acre) 
Manhattan Beach, CA > Peggy & Ray Buckey and Virginia McMartin (McMartin Preschool) 
Maplewood NJ > Kelly Michaels 
Marty I.R., SD > J Rouse, D Rouse, G Feather, R Hubbeling, D Rouse 
Miami, FL > Francisco and Iliana Fuster (Country Walk) 
Niles, MI > Allan Barkman 
Olympia, WA > Paul R. Ingram 
Pittsfield, MA. > Bernard Baran 
Robin Hood Hills AR > Damien Echols and two others, "The West Memphis Three" 
Roseburg, OR > The Gallup family 
San Diego, CA > Dale Akiki 
Smithfield, NC > Patrick Figuered & Sonja Hill 
Wenatchee, WA > Rev. Robert Roberson & dozens of others 
Westchester, NY > Rev. Nathaniel Grady (and 4 others) 

The Justice Committee has examined many child sexual abuse convictions that were triggered throughout the United States by the Bakersfield and McMartin cases. They believe that there are more than 1000 persons who are innocent of the crimes for which they have been convicted. The Committee's main project is to persuade Congress to hold hearings to study the causes of these prosecutions and initiate remedies for the unjustly convicted. 

They have obtained support from Congressmen Bill Archer, Dick Armey, Sonny Bono, and others. ABC-TV's Turning Point program of 1996-NOV-15 stated that: 

"Since 1980, in over 40 [US] communities, some 200 people have been accused of these crimes... Today, 141 people, -- nearly three quarters of the accused in these cases -- have been acquitted, had their convictions overturned or charges against them dropped.." 

Canadian cases

Location > People Involved 

Cornwall, ON > Allegations of sex-rings and ritual abuse 
Martensville, SK > The Sterling Family ("The Martensville Nightmare") 
Prescott, ON > 120 adults! We call it the Prescott Nightmare -- perhaps the worst (and least-reported) miscarriage of justice in Canada's history  
Richmond, BC, Canada > Michael Kliman 
Saskatoon, SK > The Klassen family and 11 other adults "The Scandal of the Century" 

Cases Outside North America 

Location > People accused 

Sydney, Australia > “Mr Bubbles" 
Charleroi, Belgium > Marc Dutroux 
Muenster, Germany > Rainer Moellers 
Ashhurst, NZ > The Venus Case 6 
Christchurch, NZ > Peter Ellis and 4 other cases [*6] 
Bishop Auckland, UK > 4 families 
Lewis Island, UK > Group of 8 adults 
Newcastle, UK > Christopher Lillie and Dawn Reed 
Nottingham, UK > Group of 9 adults (the one that started the UK Satanic panic) 
Pembroke, UK > Group of 6 adults 
Rochdale, UK > Group of 10 adults

[6.] For other false allegations in New Zealand, go to Brain Robinson's web site (no relation, no working link) 

Three groundbreaking books 

that explain how the justice system failed both children and adults: 

Stephen Ceci & Maggie Bruk, "Jeopardy in the Courtroom: A scientific analysis of children's testimony," American Psychological Association, (2000). 
This book was largely responsible for changing child interview techniques across North America, and bringing an end to implanted false memories of child abuse.
Dorothy Rabinowitz, "No Crueler Tyrannies: Accusation, False Witness, and Other Terrors of Our Times," Wall Street Journal Books, (2003). 
“No Crueler Tyrannies” recalls the hysteria that accompanied the child sex-abuse witch-hunts of the 1980s and 1990s: how a single anonymous phone call could bring to bear an army of recovered-memory therapists, venal and ambitious prosecutors, and hypocritical judges -- an army that jailed hundreds of innocent Americans." (Amazon.com review)
Mary de Young, "The Day Care Ritual Abuse Panic," McFarland & Company, (2004). 
"This work is a sociologically based analysis of the day care ritual abuse panic in America. It introduces the concept of moral panic and analyzes its relevance to the ritual abuse scare, explores the ideological, political, economic, and professional forces that fomented the panic, discusses the McMartin Preschool case as the incident that brought attention to satanic menaces and children, and examines the dialect between the various interest groups that stirred up and spread the moral panic and the day care providers accused of ritual abuse. 
Also covered are the popular culture representations of day care ritual abuse, the diffusion of the scare to areas overseas, the institutionally symbolic and ideologically contradictory social ends of the panic, and the outcomes of the panic in various settings. 
The book ends with a discussion of moral panic theory and how it needs to be changed for a complex, multi-mediated post-modern culture, and what lessons can be learned from the scare." (Amazon.com review)

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