Research on sex offender laws and their effects on people and society

Cases of False Accusation: Sex with Juvenile
by Marshall Burns, Ph.D. 
Additional background for the SOLR report, False Accusations of Sex with Juveniles

A collection of 159 cases of claims that innocent people have been falsely accused of sexually molesting children, along with, where available, court documents and reputable news reports and analyses.

For statistics on these case and a discussion of their significance, see the primary report, False Accusations of Sex with Juveniles.

 

Contents

      Listing of Information on 159 Cases
      Explanatory Notes on the Listing

 

Listing of Information on 159 Cases

 

2006


John Greene et al. — Melbourne, Australia — June 10, 2006
Vigilante murder

Codie Jeffrey Jakeman “wanted to kill all pedophiles and rid the world of them” And he believed his neighbors, John Greene and Kathryn Hogg, were pedophiles. So he invited them over to his house to help with his renovations, and then he killed them.1

  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: John Philemon Greene (59), Kathryn Hogg (his wife, 46)
  • Accusations: Being pedophiles
  • Outcome: Murdered1
  • Dates: June 10, 20061
  • Latest information: June 8, 20071
Source:
  1. Man 'thought neighbours were pedophiles', News Network (Australia), June 8, 2007


James Perry — Oakland County, Michigan, US — February 2006 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Perry, a kindergarten teacher, was convicted of sexually assaulting two boys, ages 4 and 5 based on the boys’ testimony. The complaint began when the mother of the 5-year-old complained her son had been "tea-bagged" – slang for oral sex. She also said her son had been the victim of a similar assault in Chicago. Under questioning, the 5-year-old identified Perry and said he was only fondled, but said another boy, the 4-year-old, had been "tea-bagged." The 4-year-old initially denied being assaulted.

“At trial, the boys claimed to have been pulled from a lunch line and assaulted in an empty Special Education classroom during lunchtime. However, post-conviction interviews with school personnel indicate that the classroom always contained students who do not go out for lunch, and at least one teacher to watch over them.”1

  • Location: Oakland County, Michigan
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: James Perry
  • Accusations: Sexually assault two boys in his school, aged 4 and 5
  • Outcome: Sentence: Up to life (not yet sentenced)
  • Dates: Incident: October 20052, Arrest: February 20062, Conviction: September 20062, Sentence: November 9, 20062
  • Latest information: November 1, 20062
Source:
  1. James Perry by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, March 2007
  2. Lawyer to seek new trial or dismissal of charges (), Detroit Free Press, November 1, 2006
Listed in: VotS


Veda’s Learning Center — Queens, New York, US — 2006 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

Khemwatie Bedessie was convicted of “raping and sexually abusing a 4-year-old boy she had been babysitting.”1 But the basis for convicting the immigrant day care worker with poor command of the English language, her videotaped confession, is “highly dubious.”1

  • Location: Queens, New York at Facility: Veda’s Learning Center
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Khemwatie Bedessie
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse a 4-year-old boy
  • Outcome: Sentence: Up to 25 years
  • Dates: Arrest: 20061, Conviction: June 20071
  • Problems: Tainted confession. “The police detective, she said, told her he had a tape of her assaulting the child. He told her she could go free if she confessed, but if she didn’t, she would be brutalized at Rikers [prison].”1
         Poor evidence. “no physical evidence of abuse”1
  • Latest information: June 20071
Source:
  1. Watching the Detectives by Debbie Nathan and Emily Horowitz, New York Times, June 24, 2007 (Op-ed)
  2. Day Care Accusation: Is Khemwatie Bedessie Innocent? (), National Center for Reason and Justice (U.S.A.), June 25, 2007 (2 Web pages)
Listed in: NCRJ-Spons 

2005


David Hicks — Charleston, West Virginia, US — February 17, 2005 (charges)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

Friends of the defendant claim that Melissa Hicks did not mention any sexual improprieties during the divorce proceedings against her husband, David. But, they say, after she was not granted custody of their two daughters, he became the pariah of the neighborhood and was sentenced to 30 years in prison for alleged misdeeds with various little girls.3

Refutation: Ms. Hicks wrote to SOL Research in February 2009,5 stating that she contacted CPS about her husband while the divorce was underway and that she and her ex-husband were granted joint custody, so that the above characterization of the matter is false. Since the above information is from documents in the court record, we requested additional court documents from Ms. Hicks, intending to modify or remove the description of this case in this listing based on such new information. No further correspondence has been received from Ms. Hicks.

  • Location: Charleston, West Virginia
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: David Hicks
  • Accusations: Take pictures of his daughter's friends naked, touch them inappropriately, rub his erect penis on one girl's buttocks, sexually molest her in an outdoor shower when she was 9, and possess thousands of images and movies of child pornography1
  • Outcome: Sentence: 30 years4, Other: In prison, Incarcerated: Since 2005
  • Dates: Incident: 20041, Charges: February 17, 2005 [Indictment, from case docket], Trial: January 18, 20074, Conviction: January 23, 20074, Sentence: November 2, 20074
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “These children have been bullied into believing what the prosecution has drilled into their heads.”3
         Poor evidence. Of the two pornographic photos presented in evidence, no one testified that Hicks made them and testimony was presented that he did not make both and may not have made either one.2 “… evidence of David not even being at home when files were downloaded to his computer wasn't even taken into consideration.”3
         Break-up dispute. “If [his ex-wife] was aware, as she claims of all of these charges, why was the judge in the divorce hearing not told about this?”3
  • Latest information: February 4, 20095
Source:
  1. USA v. David Hicks: United States Sentencing Memorandum (SL), US District Court (Charleston, West Virginia), April 5, 2007
  2. Sentencing Memorandum on Behalf of David A. Hicks (SL), US District Court (Charleston, West Virginia), April 12, 2007
  3. Letters in support of David Hicks (SL), US District Court (Charleston, West Virginia), April 12, 2007
  4. West Virginia Man Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison On Child Pornography Charges, US Department of Justice, November 2, 2007
  5. Private correspondence from Melissa Hicks, February 4, 2009
 

2004


Dominique Wiel et al. — Outreau, France — May 2004 (trial)
Prosecution with imprisonment, suicide

“The verdicts left France stunned and bewildered. How could an investigating magistrate — that pivotal figure of French criminal justice — have made such blunders? And how could his errors have gone unnoticed for so long? In a letter of apology to the defendants, President Chirac described the affair as a "disaster", and promised reform to prevent a similar miscarriage of justice in the future.”1

  • Location: Outreau3, France
  • 16 Claimed Innocent: Dominique Wiel (priest), Unemployed couple, Bailiff, Bailiff's wife, Taxi driver, 11 others (whole group ages 24..67)3,7
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse 18 children, aged three to 12, from 1995 until 2000, including fondle and rape them and force them to perform sex acts and watch pornographic films3,7
  • Outcome: One committed suicide in jail. One declared unfit for trial. Seventeen went on trial, 11 men and six women.3 Ten convicted. Six convictions overturned on appeal. The Delays, Delplanque, and Grenon convicted and remain in prison.8, Incarcerated: For those acquitted on appeal, three years1
  • Dates: Investigation: December 20003, Trial: May 20043
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “During the appeal, psychologists and social workers admitted that their original findings were flawed.”8
         Judicial misconduct. A judge said, “There are areas which are almost sacred like paedophilia and terrorism where there is no room for the presumption of innocence.”7
         Recanted testimony. “I'm sick, I'm a liar, I lied about everything.” 5 Two children also said they had made up their stories.8
  • Latest information: April 20061
Source:
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  1. Paedophile case that could bring down the Napoleonic system — Fabrice Burgaud thought his investigation into child abuse would be the case of the century. It may be, but not in the way he expected — Times (London, England), April 4, 2006
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  2. Outreau trial, Wikipedia
 • News reports
  3. Child rape trial opens in France — Seventeen people have gone on trial in northern France on charges of gang raping 18 children, aged three to 12, over a period of five years. — BBC News (United Kingdom), May 4, 2004
  4. Mother admits raping her children — A mother-of-four at the centre of a child rape case in northern France involving 18 children has confessed in court to raping her own children. — BBC News (United Kingdom), May 5, 2004
  5. France child sex case in disarray — The trial of 13 people in northern France on charges of child rape has been thrown into disarray after two of the defendants admitted they lied. — BBC News (United Kingdom), May 19, 2004
  6. Acquittal call in France sex case — The prosecution in a high-profile paedophile case in northern France has called for seven acquittals and prison terms for the other defendants. — BBC News (United Kingdom), June 25, 2004
  7. Outreau puts French justice in question — One of France's highest-profile sex abuse case in years has ended with guilty verdicts against 10 people, but with accusations of an even wider paedophile ring not proved. — BBC News (United Kingdom), July 2, 2004
  8. Collapse of child sex case shakes French courts, Telegraph (United Kingdom), December 2, 2005
 

2003


Ian Campbell et al. — Isle of Lewis, Scotland, UK — October 3, 2003 (arrest)
Prosecution with charges dropped

Living in an abusive and neglectful home, three sisters in Scotland were occasionally removed to foster care, and were permanently removed in 2001, when they were approximately eight, ten, and twelve years old. Although there had been serious allegations of neglect and physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, there had been no criminal charges laid. In late 2002, one of the sisters told a foster parent that she had been sexually abused by adults who visited her parents' home. This led to a series of interviews with the girls and their mother for several months, in which increasingly wild stories were told of orgies and devil-worshipping animal sacrifice. On the basis of these interviews, a set of simultaneous, early morning police raids were conducted on seven homes in Scotland and England in October 2003. Thirteen people were arrested on suspicion of abusing the three girls. Charges were publicly announced against seven of them, as well as two others. Although there was compelling evidence of malicious physical injury to the girls and nothing sexual, the charges were specifically for sexual abuse and nothing else. When the accused were release on bail, there were several instances of vigilante mob attacks on their homes and families. Abruptly, in July 2004, the prosecutors dropped all charges.

The police were criticized for rounding up a dozen people without any evidence of wrong-doing except the word of an accusing family. A formal investigation was conducted by a government social work agency, which submitted a 162-page report about the handling of the case. It went into great detail about the conditions in which the girls had grown up and the abusive behavior they both endured and exhibited. It also gave a similar rendition about the living conditions in the family home of one of the married couples that had been arrested in the police raids.

Prepared by a social work agency, the report focused on the care provided to the children involved in the case. It concluded that the government “should have acted sooner to protect the children.”13[¶ 13, pg 5] The report specifically avoided any comment on the criminal investigation and prosecution. Civil lawsuits have been alluded to both by the girls against their alleged abusers16 and by the accused against the government for false arrest and imprisonment.9

  • Location: Isle of Lewis, Na h-Eileanan Siar, Scotland
  • 9 Claimed Innocent: Ian (37) and Penny Campbell (40), John (67) and Sue Sellwood, A grandmother (75) (3), Peter (58) and Mary Anne Nelson (his daughter, 37) 7[1st linked pg], The girls' uncle5, 1 other13
  • Accusations: Rape three girls, as well as “lewd and libidinous and indecent practices and behaviour” with them, and make pornography of them13[¶ 11, pg 4] (SRA1,7,10)
  • Outcome: All charges dropped7[2nd pg]
  • Dates: Arrest: October 3, 20038,13[¶ 315, pg 105], Exoneration: July 1, 20047[2nd pg]9,13[¶ 349, pg 115]
  • Problems: “[A] forensic criminologist who has examined the evidence on behalf of those accused, said that the charges derived from a series of unsubstantiated assumptions made by the police and social services.”9
  • Latest information: November 20053,5
Source:
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  1. 'We were accused of raping little girls, having orgies, killing cats () — The full story of the families whose lives were shattered when they were falsely accused of abusing children on a remote Scottish island; For the past nine months Vicky Allan has been talking to the families accused and finally cleared of being involved in the ritual abuse of children on Lewis. This is their story — Herald (United Kingdom), July 11, 2004
  2. 'It was like a witch hunt', Guardian, July 16, 2004
  3. Special Investigation (), Daily Mail (United Kingdom), October 15, 2005
 • Analysis from a local citizens’ group
  4. Lewisgate, False Allegations Action Scotland
  5. Western Isles: Falsely accused remain demoralised., False Allegations Action Scotland, November 2005
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  6. The island of Lewis in Scotland, in 2003 and again in 2005 by Diane Vera, Theistic Satanism
  7. M.V.M.O. Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) hoax: Island of Lewis, Scotland by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, July 9, 2004 (Updated April 29, 2006.) (4 Web pages)
 • Case documents and news reports
  8. Police charge seven in Western Isles child sex inquiry, Telegraph (United Kingdom), October 4, 2003
  9. Parents cleared of child abuse to sue police, Telegraph (United Kingdom), July 4, 2004
  10. No peace for the accused after Lewis ritual abuse case dropped (), Herald (United Kingdom), July 4, 2004
  11. Orkney expert slams Lewis ’sex abuse’ fiasco (), Herald (United Kingdom), July 11, 2004
  12. Probe into collapsed abuse case — Independent experts have been called in by Western Isles Council to assess its handling of a child abuse inquiry which collapsed. — BBC News, July 13, 2004
  13. An inspection into the care and protection of children in Eilean Siar, Social Work Inspection Agency, August 2005
  14. Island strife (), Times (London, England), August 7, 2005
  15. Care Workers 'Failed Victims of Child Abuse' (), Times (London, England), August 7, 2005
  16. Lewis victims plan private prosecution (), Herald (United Kingdom), October 9, 2005
Listed in: OCRT


James LeCraw et al. — Toronto, Ontario, Canada — April 2003 (arrest)
Prosecution with charges dropped, suicide

“Toronto police [publicly] named James LeCraw as one of six men charged [in] a Canada-wide investigation into child pornography on the internet. [LeCraw] was charged with using his credit card to download child pornography. After further investigation, the charges against him were eventually withdrawn, as they were against two other men named that day. A fourth man named was never even charged. [LeCraw] never recovered from the stigma of being [falsely] associated with child porn. In debt and depressed, [he] killed himself [the following year].”1

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 6 Claimed Innocent: James LeCraw, 5 others
  • Accusations: Buy child pornography on the Internet
  • Outcome: LeCraw: Charges dropped. Lost job and friends, killed himself in July 2004.1, Others: Charges against two of them dropped1
  • Dates: Arrest: April 20031[pg 4], Exoneration: LeCraw: September 23, 20031[pg 4]
  • Problems: Charges against LeCraw may have been dropped when police found his purchases were only of legal, adult porn.
  • Latest information: July 20041
Source:
  1. Naming and Shaming: A brother's tragic tale, CBC News (Canada), July 2004 (Undated; date is month of latest event mentioned)
 

2002


Brian Cooper et al. — United Kingdom — December 2002 (investigation)
Prosecution with acquittal at trial

“An international investigation of internet-based child pornography has led to accusations against innocent victims of credit card fraud … [or] identity theft … [and others who] made legal purchases of adult pornography.”1

  • Location: United Kingdom
  • 3 Claimed Innocent: Brian Cooper, 2 others
  • Accusations: Buy child pornography on the Internet
  • Outcome: Cooper: Charges dropped, Others: One acquitted at trial. Third man not charged, but stigmatized by investigation. Two men lost their jobs, one his marriage.
  • Dates: Investigation: December 20021
  • Problems: Poor evidence. The men's credit cards had been used to buy the porn. Cooper's card number had been defrauded.
  • Latest information: March 20061
Source:
  1. Global child porn probe led to false accusations, CBC News (Canada), March 14, 2006


Christopher Allen — Troy, New York, US — September 18, 2002 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

Christopher Allen was 16 when he visited the home where his 15-year-old girlfriend was babysitting. Two months later, the girl spoke of having been raped that day to an online correspondent, who told the girl's mother, who called the police.

  • Location: Troy, New York
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Christopher Allen (16)
  • Accusations: Rape 15-year-old girlfriend
  • Outcome: Correction: Judgment reversed, Other: In prison pending new trial, Incarcerated: Since 2000
  • Dates: Incident: July 20001, Investigation: September 20001, Conviction: September 18, 20021, Exoneration: December 23, 20041
  • Problems: Poor evidence. The New York Supreme Court reversed the conviction, citing “exclusively testimonial evidence” (i.e., no physical evidence) and the “significant probability that the erroneous admission of this evidence [2-month delayed disclosure as "prompt outcry"] decided the verdict”1
  • Latest information: December 20041
Source:
  1. New York v Christopher Allen (), New York State Supreme Court, December 23, 2004


St. Jean L'Evangeliste Catholic Church — Newton, Massachusetts, US — June 2002 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

At 74, Shanley “became one of the highest-profile figures in the Catholic abuse scandal that gripped the state in 2002. But while Shanley’s conviction … was widely interpreted as a closing chapter in the scandal, his case bears classic warning signs of a wrongful conviction.”10

  • Location: Newton, Massachusetts at Facility: St. Jean L'Evangeliste Catholic Church
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Father Paul Shanley
  • Accusations: Fondle and sodomize four boys in the church as often as every week for six years, for three of the boys over the time that they were 6 to 12 years old, starting 19 and ending 13 years prior to the charges
  • Outcome: In prison, Incarcerated: Since 2002
  • Dates: Incident: 19837, Arrest: June 20027
  • Problems: Recovered memory. The four accusers “said they immediately forgot being raped or abused [and] recovered their memories after reading … press coverage of the priests scandal.”7
         Poor evidence. “unsupported by corroborating evidence”7
  • Latest information: March 200911
Source:
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  1. Sex, God & Greed — Pedophile priests have sparked a litigation gold rush. The Boy Scouts, day care firms and Hollywood may be next. — Forbes, June 9, 2003. Including:
  2. Back to Salem Beat the Devil: Paul Shanley and the Return of "Recovered Memory" by Alexander Cockburn, Nation, February 17, 2005 (Excerpt. Full text at CounterPunch link.)
  3. Did Shanley Get Screwed? — Phoning in coverage of the latest priestly abuse scandal, most outlets missed a better story about recovered memory. — by Michael Miner, Chicago Reader, February 18, 2005
  4. If Paul Shanley is a monster, the state didn't prove it () by Jonathan Rauch, National Journal, March 12, 2005 (Excerpt. Full text at Reason link.)
  5. Crisis of Faith: Carnal Knowledge by JoAnn Wypijewski, Nation, February 25, 2009
  6. Sexual Trauma & Repressed Memory (), Nation, April 8, 2009 (Reader response to Crisis of Faith: Carnal Knowledge by JoAnn Wypijewski, Nation, February 25, 2009)
 • Analysis from activist press and inmate advocacy organizations
  7. The Passion of Father Paul Shanley by JoAnn Wypijewski, Legal Affairs, September 2004
  8. Paul Shanley Case, FMS Foundation Newsletter, March 2005 (page 3)
  9. Juries and Lynch Mobs: What If Jackson had been on Trial in Massachusetts? by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, CounterPunch, June 15, 2005
  10. Press Release (, ), National Center for Reason and Justice (U.S.A.), June 20, 2005
  11. Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to hear appeal of former priest Paul R. Shanley, FMS Foundation Newsletter, March 2009 (page 10)
 • Case documents and news reports
  12. Church finds, releases new files on accused priest, CNN.com, April 25, 2002 (Correct date appears to be in CNN.com file path, not date in article.)
  13. Priest arrested on child rape charges, CNN.com, May 2, 2002
 See also the other cases involving recovered memories: Frank Fuster, Paul Ingram, George Franklin, Michael Parker, Michael Kliman, Ray and Shirley Souza, John Quattrocchi, and Timothy Smith.
Listed in: NCRJ-Spons


Onsy Zachary — U.S.A. — 2002 (trial)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, in immigration detention

The NCRJ sponsors this case which means that it has reviewed the case and found the allegations of child sexual abuse baseless. It says such charges were instigated by his brother, on whom he was dependent, in order to get him deported and out of his hair.1 There is no other information provided about the sexual abuse case.1,2

  • Location: U.S.A.
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Onsy Zachary (58)
  • Accusations: Unspecified child sexual abuse
  • Outcome: Served sentence, then held by immigration authorities for deportation1, Incarcerated: 5 years prison, immigration detention since September 20071
  • Dates: Trial: 20021
  • Problems: No case information given.
  • Latest information: March 19, 20082
Source:
  1. Onsy Zachary Press Release, National Center for Reason and Justice (U.S.A.), September 20, 2007
  2. Help Stop Deportation to Torture. (Access in March 2008 indicated updated March 19, 2008.)
Listed in: NCRJ-Spons 

2001


Christian Activity Center — Marietta, Georgia, US — September 6, 2001 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

A girl accused her brother of inappropriately touching her. Their mother grilled the boy until eliciting an allegation from him about having been abused himself. The alleged abuser was Gunther Fiek, a popular Taekwondo instructor at the Christian Activity Center, who had taught about 2,000 children without incident over the preceding five years. The boy was taken to a children's advocacy center, where an untrained interviewer told his mother that the allegation was true. The mother then called her friends on the phone in a panic, who called their friends, who interrogated their own children.

Two days later, a father accosted Fiek with accusations of molesting his son and attacked him and his car with a baseball bat. Badly shaken by the incident, he went for a drive in the mountains, where he spent the night. The next morning, the church called parents to the first of three meetings it held that week, in which it announced that Fiek was accused of molesting children and had fled. A therapist was brought in, who suggested the parents question their children further about Fiek. Eventually, 22 students came forward with stories of having been abused by him.

  • Location: Marietta, Georgia at Facility: Christian Activity Center
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Gunther Fiek
  • Accusations: Sexually molest 22 martial arts students
  • Outcome: Sentence: 90 years without parole1, Other: In prison, Incarcerated: Since 2000
  • Dates: Investigation: December 1, 20001, Conviction: September 6, 20011, Sentence: October 21, 20011
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. The children “had been all questioned by their parents several times before accusations were elicited and taken to forensic interviews.”1
  • Latest information: February 20082
Source:
 • Dedicated website
  1. Gunther Fiek: Innocent Victim of Mass Hysteria (), National Center for Reason and Justice (U.S.A.) (6 Web pages)
  2. Status as of February 2008, National Center for Reason and Justice (U.S.A.)
Listed in: NCRJ-Spons


Timothy Smith — Covington, Kentucky, US — 2001 (trial)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

“Smith was charged and convicted of sodomy after his teenage daughter, Katie, claimed repressed memories of abuse. His other daughters had denied such abuse. In 2006, his conviction was overturned because of failure of his counsel to challenge the prosecution expert who backed up Katie's story. The expert had obtained a doctorate in an unaccredited online school. Katie Smith died in 2005 after attacking Sarah Brady, who was 9-months pregnant, with a knife. Brady managed to grab the knife and turned it on Smith. Police concluded Brady acted in self-defense.”1

  • Location: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Timothy Smith
  • Accusations: Sodomize his teenage daughter
  • Outcome: Correction: Conviction overturned2, Other: In prison awaiting prosecutor's decision whether to retry.2, Incarcerated: Since 2001
  • Dates: Investigation: 20002, Trial: 20012, Exoneration: March 29, 20062
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. The prosecution's expert witness had a doctorate from an unaccredited online school.2
         Recovered memory. One daughter claimed repressed memories of abuse. His other daughters had no such memories.2
  • Latest information: March 31, 20062
Source:
  1. Timothy Smith by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, September 2006
  2. Judge throws out Ky. sodomy conviction (), Associated Press, March 31, 2006
 See also the other cases involving recovered memories: Frank Fuster, Paul Ingram, George Franklin, Michael Parker, Michael Kliman, Ray and Shirley Souza, John Quattrocchi, and Paul Shanley.
Listed in: VotS 

2000


James Krivacska — U.S.A. — 2000s (est.)
Prosecution

The National Center for Reason and Justice has indicated sponsorship of this case, but lists it as “In development.”1 No case information available.

  • Location: U.S.A.
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: James Krivacska
  • Dates: 2000s (est.)
  • Latest information: March 20081
Source:
  1. N C R J Fiscal Sponsorship (), National Center for Reason and Justice (U.S.A.). (Access in March 2008 indicated Krivacska case is in development.)
Listed in: NCRJ-Spons


Jorge Sanchez — U.S.A. — 2000s (est.)
Prosecution

The National Center for Reason and Justice has indicated sponsorship of this case, but lists it as “In development.”1 No case information available.

  • Location: U.S.A.
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Jorge Sanchez
  • Dates: 2000s (est.)
  • Latest information: March 20081
Source:
  1. N C R J Fiscal Sponsorship (), National Center for Reason and Justice (U.S.A.). (Access in March 2008 indicated Sanchez case is in development.)
Listed in: NCRJ-Spons


Victor Rosario — U.S.A. — 2000s (est.)
Prosecution

The National Center for Reason and Justice has indicated sponsorship of this case, but lists it as “In development.”1 No case information available.

  • Location: U.S.A.
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Victor Rosario
  • Dates: 2000s (est.)
  • Latest information: March 20081
Source:
  1. N C R J Fiscal Sponsorship (), National Center for Reason and Justice (U.S.A.). (Access in March 2008 indicated Rosario case is in development.)
Listed in: NCRJ-Spons


Edward Kramer — Atlanta, Georgia, US — August 2000 (arrest)
Prosecution with long-term house arrest, still under house arrest

Ed Kramer is an odd fellow. An unconventional orthodox Jew who has been described as a cross between Jerry Garcia and Paul Bunyan,3 he started a major science fiction fan conference in conservative Atlanta and enjoyed taking teenaged boys on caving expeditions.2 He was accused by an anonymous phone caller of molesting the sons of a woman he was dating. The boys at first denied anything improper, but eventually relented under insistent questioning by police and their mother.2 As further evidence of his guilt, police reported finding 200 pornographic videos in his home, but they later admitted that none of them were pornographic afterall.3

There is no trial testimony to refute in this case because there has been no trial. After several months in jail awaiting trial, Kramer was released to a strictly enforced and electronically monitored house arrest, which is ongoing as of January 2008. The focus of his case has become alleged civil rights violations that have kept him detained without trial for over seven years.1,4

  • Location: Atlanta, Georgia
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Edward Kramer
  • Accusations: Sexually molest two sons, aged 13 and 15, of his girlfriend
  • Outcome: Awaiting trial, Incarcerated: Jail and house arrest continuously since 2000
  • Dates: Investigation: August 24, 20003, Arrest: August 20003
  • Problems: Poor evidence. No physical evidence. "Pornographic" videos seized by police were not pornographic.3
  • Latest information: January 28, 20084
Source:
  1. Edward E. Kramer, Wikipedia
  2. The wizard of Dragon*Con stands trial: The force behind Atlanta's largest sci-fi convention finds himself in his own world of darkness, Creative Loafing (Atlanta, Georgia), January 30, 2002
  3. Truth, Justice, and Ed Kramer, Atlanta Jewish Life, October 2004
  4. Ed Kramer Legal Defense. (Access in March 2008 showed posting dated January 28, 2008.)
Listed in: NCRJ-Spons


Yvette Cloete — Wales, UK — August 2000
Vigilante attack

“Yvette Cloete is a specialist in pediatric medicine at the Royal Gwent Hospital. But to an isolated group of vigilantes, she was obviously a child molester. Pediatric means pedophile, right? These self-appointed defenders of the truth made their position known by spray-painting the doctor's windows and the front door of her home with the word "paedo," an abbreviation of the British spelling "paedophile."”1

  • Location: Wales
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Yvette Cloete (pediatrician)
  • Accusations: Being a pedophile
  • Outcome: House vandalized1
  • Dates: August 20001
  • Latest information: September 20001
Source:
  1. Plain stupid: British vigilantes mistake a pediatrician for a pedophile., Salon, September 26, 2000


Ian Armstrong — Manchester, England, UK — July 23, 2000
Vigilante attack

“Ian Armstrong … told … of his terror at being mistaken by vigilantes for one of the alleged paedophiles named and pictured by the News of the World … It is thought that the fact that Mr Armstrong wears a neck brace led to him being mistaken for a man alleged to be a sex offender … who was pictured by the paper wearing a neck brace. …

“On … the day the list was published, a 300-strong mob … surrounded his house, and later a window of a neighbouring house belonging to his ex-wife was smashed with a brick. … Armstrong … was … afraid for his life and of leaving his … home, as teenagers continued to gather outside to torment him and his children.

“Mr Armstrong … said that people had abused his children, screaming "paedophile's kid, rapist's kid" at them. "It's just a nightmare, I wish I could wake up from it. There are 14 kids outside the house now. They're saying 'we're going to get our dads on you'. Three or four times today, they've backed a six-year-old child halfway down the path to my door shouting 'do you want this one'. Yesterday the mob were shouting 'paedophile, rapist, beast, pervert'.

“"I'm scared of what will happen at nightfall."”1

  • Location: Manchester, England
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Ian Armstrong (49)
  • Accusations: Being a pedophile1
  • Outcome: Attacked by a vigilante mob1
  • Dates: July 23, 20001
  • Latest information: July 20001
Source:
  1. Tabloid sets vigilante terror on innocent man — Unwitting victim of 'name and shame' campaign — Guardian, July 25, 2000


Michael Horgan — London, England, UK — 2000 (est.)
Vigilante harassment

“Michael Horgan … and his family … were under police protection after 500 homes close to where they lived received a letter on Wednesday warning, incorrectly, that he was a twice-convicted child molester. Police have now distributed leaflets pointing out that that he was wrongly identified.”1

  • Location: London, England
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Michael Horgan (55)
  • Accusations: Being a child molester1
  • Outcome: Neighbors were sent warning letters about him1
  • Dates: 2000 (est.)
  • Latest information: August 20001
Source:
  1. Paedophiles: Vigilante mob attack man named by paper (), Independent (London, England), August 4, 2000. (Brief mention of Horgan)


Victor Terry — London, England, UK — 2000 (est.)
Vigilante harassment

“Victor Terry, 78, of Croydon, London, was targeted by an organisation [sic] calling itself Antimatter, which confused him with a paedophile.”1

  • Location: London, England
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Victor Terry (78)
  • Accusations: Being a pedophile1
  • Outcome: Targeted by vigilante group1
  • Dates: 2000 (est.)
  • Latest information: August 20001
Source:
  1. Paedophiles: Vigilante mob attack man named by paper (), Independent (London, England), August 4, 2000. (Brief mention of Terry)
 

1999


Robert Wasser — Walworth County, Wisconsin, US — May 26, 1999 (charges)
Prosecution with case dismissed

Robert and Bonnie Wasser dedicated their lives to helping abused and neglected children in a most dedicated fashion — by adopting and raising 22 of them over the years. But one of their daughters turned on them when Robert disapproved of her dropping out of college. She and her boyfriend first attempted to blackmail Robert for sexually abusing her, then filed a civil suit for damages. Later the police got involved and charges were filed. “While the charges against him were eventually dismissed, he lost his job, his reputation was damaged, and he incurred the expense of a court battle.”2

  • Location: Walworth County, Wisconsin
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Robert Wasser
  • Accusations: Sexually assault his 19-year-old adopted daughter2
  • Outcome: Case dismissed. Lost his job and had years of legal expenses.2
  • Dates: Incident: December 1, 19971, Charges: May 26, 19991, Trial: 20022
  • Problems: Judicial misconduct. In dismissing the case, judge cited prosecutor's misconduct in providing false information to the court and lying under oath.2
  • Latest information: June 20032
Source:
  1. Wisconsin vs. Robert Wasser, Wisconsin Court System
  2. A Poisoned Prosecution — Misconduct in sexual abuse cases damages reputations—and can ruin lives — Center for Public Integrity, June 26, 2003 (Case of Robert Wasser)


Mark Daer — Walworth County, Wisconsin, US — April 15, 1999 (charges)
Prosecution

Mark Daer was prosecuted “for sexually assaulting his eight-year-old stepdaughter. The appellate court reversed Daer's conviction … because [the prosecutor] "prevented the real question of Daer's guilt from being fully tried." Among the incidents the court found problematic were "the prosecutor's improper focus during closing argument on [alleged perjury by Daer's wife] Trina Daer and the prosecutor's comment during closing argument that defense attorneys routinely trumpet their clients' innocence no matter what the evidence at trial."”2

  • Location: Walworth County, Wisconsin
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Mark Daer
  • Accusations: Sexually assault his eight-year-old stepdaughter2
  • Outcome: Correction: Conviction reversed2
  • Dates: Incident: October 1, 19971, Charges: April 15, 19991, Exoneration: 20022
  • Problems: Judicial misconduct. Appeals court ruled that district attorney “prevented the real question of Daer's guilt from being fully tried.”2
  • Latest information: June 20032
Source:
  1. Wisconsin vs. Mark Daer, Wisconsin Court System
  2. A Poisoned Prosecution — Misconduct in sexual abuse cases damages reputations—and can ruin lives — Center for Public Integrity, June 26, 2003 (Case of Robert Wasser)


Pamela Reser — McMinnville, Oregon, US — 1999 (conviction)
Prosecution with imprisonment

“Reser was convicted of raping her four small children and sentenced to 116 years in jail. Her children alleged that she forced them to have sex with her, each other, and her boyfriends. Apparently, their foster mother put them up to this, because they all later recanted. Reser was incarcerated for more than three years before release.”1

  • Location: McMinnville, Yamhill County, Oregon
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Pamela Sue Reser
  • Outcome: Sentence: 116 years1, Correction: Released after new police investigation.3, Incarcerated: More than three years
  • Dates: Conviction: 19993, Release: May 31, 20023
  • Problems: Recanted testimony. “[D]etectives verified that Pamela's four children admitted they made up the alleged abuse she was convicted of. A polygraph test of one of the children confirmed to the investigators the recantations were real.”3
  • Latest information: June 20023
Source:
  1. Pamela Sue Reser by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, July 2005
  2. Pamela Sue Reser by Hans Sherrer, Innocents Database, Forejustice
  3. Innocent Small-Town Oregon Woman Freed From 116 Year Sentence For Non-existent Crimes () — Pamela Sue Reser, wrongly convicted in 1999 of raping her four small children and sentenced to 116 years in prison, was released on May 31, 2002 when an investigation by the Oregon State Police uncovered that the crimes she was convicted of hadn't occurred. — Justice Denied, June 2002 (Undated; date is month of latest event mentioned.)
Listed in: JustD, VotS 

1998


Ryan Smith — Ashland, Oregon, US — April 17, 1998 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

Ryan Smith was a boy with a reputation as a troublemaker. Some of his neighbors had forbidden their children to play with him. Then a new family moved in next door with eleven children, several of whom had histories of behaving sexually with each other. Eight of them were "special needs" children who did not have a lot of friends, and they often played with Smith. After a few years, when Smith was 13, one of the boys, aged 12, who had apparently previously “sexually assaulted at least two of his younger siblings”2 told his mother that, “I don't want to get Ryan in trouble,” but “some things had happened with Ryan in the pigeon coop that were inappropriate.”2 The boy was interviewed by police the next day and Smith was arrested that afternoon.

A few months later, before the case went to trial, the boy and his siblings added numerous additional and “increasingly bizarre”2 allegations of sexual abuse by Smith against them over the several months prior to his arrest. Ryan was tried for 21 counts of coercion, menacing, sexual abuse, rape, and sodomy. He was convicted on 12 of those counts and at the age of 15 was sentenced to ten years in prison.

An appeals court affirmed the conviction saying, for example, that although at least one detective “frequently asked leading questions” and at least one complainant's testimony “grew increasingly bizarre over time,” that “not … all of the officers' questions were improper or unduly suggestive” and “we should not discredit everything that the children said.”2 The appellate decision did, however, point out at least three places where Smith's trial lawyers had not preserved his constitutional rights for appeal and the appellate lawyers did not cite these problems when they said that the trial lawyers had served their client inadequately.

  • Location: Ashland, Oregon
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Ryan Smith (13)
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse eight adopted children of the family next door, 6 boys and 2 girls aged 6 to 11, including expose himself, show them pornography, undress them, touch their genitals, urinate and defecate on them, rape them vaginally and anally, "squirt rocks from his penis," and put rocks in one boy's anus
  • Outcome: Sentence: 10 years, Other: In prison, Incarcerated: Since 1998
  • Dates: Investigation: April 17, 19982, Arrest: April 17, 19982
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. The therapist “conduct[ed] group sessions … instructed all of the complainants to share stories of abuse. … met with the entire family … instructed them to talk about abuse by Ryan and to "exchange[] information."”1
         Poor evidence. “… no evidence of [the acts] was offered. The state did not even bother to look for biological evidence.” Claimed witness to one rape “did not corroborate that claim.”1 No pornography found.
  • Latest information: 20071
Source:
  1. Help Us Free Ryan Smith — Ryan Smith was falsely accused at 13 and sent to prison at 15. — National Center for Reason and Justice (U.S.A.) (5 Web pages). (Access in March 2008 showed reference to Smith's upcoming birthday in 2007.)
  2. Oregon v. Ryan Smith (SL), Oregon Court of Appeals, November 27, 2002 (search). See annotated version.
Listed in: NCRJ-Spons, Imag-In 

1997


Jack Carroll — Troy, New York, US — December 1997 (trial)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

“The accusations in this case arose after the then 13-year-old daughter of Jack Carroll's ex-wife reported to a friend that she was having dreams that an unidentified 'someone' was touching her.”2

  • Location: Troy, New York
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Jack Carroll
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse and rape 13-year-old step-daughter
  • Outcome: In prison, Incarcerated: Since 1997
  • Dates: Trial: December 19972
  • Problems: Poor evidence. Court of appeals stated “There is no evidence or testimony of penetration of any instrumentality.”
         Break-up dispute. “Once Carroll’s ex-wife heard of the dreams, she immediately believed her daughter had been molested and within hours the dreams had become allegations of sexual abuse against Jack Carroll. Carroll and his ex-wife were undergoing a bitter separation at the time.”2
  • Latest information: September 20071
Source:
  1. What is She Hiding?? by Jack Carroll, Justice Now, September 2007
  2. State of New York v. Jack Carroll, Justice Now
Listed in: NCRJ-Spons


Cameron Todd — Chickasaw County, Mississippi, US — August 1997 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

“Todd, a police officer, arrested three adults and three teenagers for setting fire to a trailer. One of them, a 13-year-old girl accused him and others of raping her. Todd was charged with Capital Rape (in 1997) and was linked in press hysteria as being one of the ringleaders of a major child prostitution, drug, and pornography operation. The girl who made the initial accusation has since recanted.”1

  • Location: Chickasaw County, Mississippi
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Cameron Todd
  • Accusations: Rape a 13-year-old girl whom he had arrested
  • Outcome: In prison, Incarcerated: Since 1997
  • Dates: Arrest: August 19972
  • Problems: Recanted testimony. “The young woman who made the initial charges has since retracted them. She has, in fact, a long history of making and retracting such charges”2
  • Latest information: March 20032
Source:
  1. Cameron Todd by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, March 2005
  2. Mississippi Justice...It's not For Everyone!, Mississippi Justice Project, March 16, 2003
Listed in: VotS


Worms, Germany — June 1997 (trial)
Prosecution with acquittal at trial

(No case description available)

  • Location: Worms, Germany
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse children1
  • Outcome: Acquitted at trial1
  • Dates: Trial: June 19971
  • Latest information: June 19971
Source:
  1. Ritual Abuse Cases in Muenster, Germany, Religious Tolerance. (Worms case briefly mentioned.)


Wayne Cservak — Dalton, Georgia, US — May 1997 (trial)
Prosecution with imprisonment

“Cservak was convicted of molesting his girlfriend's 13-year-old-son. One trial juror, Jim Thomas, believed Cservak was innocent but was browbeaten into convicting him after eight grueling hours of jury deliberation. Thomas spoke at Cservak's sentencing hearing and his testimony helped convince the judge to give Cservak only 10 years out of a possible 100-year sentence. Then Thomas spent thousands of dollars hiring an attorney to appeal Cservak's case. During the appeal process, the alleged victim recanted his story and told prosecutors that he had lied. Apparently, the boy's mother and Cservak were talking about marrying and the boy did not like that idea. Cservak was incarcerated for close to a year.”1

  • Location: Dalton, Whitfield County, Georgia
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Wayne Cservak (21)
  • Accusations: Sexually molest his girlfriend's 13-year-old-son
  • Outcome: Sentence: 10 years without parole2, Correction: Case dismissed after recantation2, Incarcerated: Almost one year2
  • Dates: Trial: May 19972, Exoneration: December 29, 19972, Release: December 29, 19972
  • Problems: Recanted testimony. “During the appeal process, the alleged victim recanted his story and told prosecutors that he had lied.”1
  • Latest information: March 19982
Source:
  1. Wayne Cservak by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, June 2005
  2. Juror refuses to accept injustice (), Chattanooga Times, March 1998 (Undated; date inferred from “May 1997” and “10 months ago”.)
Listed in: VotS


Daniel Sanders — Washington, US — May 1997 (investigation)
Prosecution

“Sanders stayed with his former girlfriend, Patti Kelley, to spend time with [their2] 14-year-old son, Gabe. Kelley also lived with her three-year-old son, Tyler, who was not Sanders’ child. After Kelley accused Sanders of molesting Tyler, Sanders said she was retaliating against him for threatening to call Child Protective Services after Tyler had gotten got into Kelley’s stash of methamphetamine. Kelley had told police that Sanders had masturbated and ejaculated in Tyler’s face. During a preliminary hearing, Tyler stated, "My mom told me to say these things about [Sanders]," and he would not, or could not, identify Sanders in the courtroom. The judge found Tyler incompetent to testify.

“Kelley said she had put Tyler’s clothes and the washcloth used to clean him in a bag for police, but no semen was found on any of the items. Tyler was examined the day after the alleged incident, and though Kelley said she had not bathed him, no semen was found on him.

“Sanders identified numerous exculpatory witnesses, but his [public defender2], Thomas Ladouceur, refused to call or interview them. … Other than Sanders himself, Ladouceur did not seek or call any witnesses. Nor did he seek to introduce Tyler’s pretrial statement. The [appeals] Court overturned Sanders’ conviction … based on Ladouceur’s failure to investigate and interview potentially exculpatory witnesses. Sanders also claimed that the prosecutor, who Sanders had worked for as an informant, was retaliating against him for failing to provide information satisfactory to the prosecutor.”1

  • Location: Washington
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Daniel L. Sanders
  • Accusations: Masturbate and ejaculate in face of girlfriend's three-year-old son1
  • Outcome: Correction: Conviction overturned2
  • Dates: Investigation: May 19972, Exoneration: September 4, 20032
  • Problems: Poor representation. Public defender failed to investigate case or call witnesses brought to his attention by defendent.1
  • Latest information: September 4, 20032
Source:
  1. Daniel L. Sanders by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, February 2008
  2. Sanders v. Ryder by Judge William A. Fletcher, US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, September 4, 2003 (Leslie Ryder is the superintendent of the Monroe Correctional Complex [Morse v. Washington DoC].)
Listed in: VotS 

1996


James Love — Hamilton County, Ohio, US — February 14, 1996 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

James Love was out of the country during the time that he is supposed to have raped a young girl in Cincinnati.

  • Location: Hamilton County, Ohio
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: James F. Love
  • Accusations: Orally rape a girl five times when she was 11 and 12 years old4
  • Outcome: Sentence: 4 consecutive life terms3, Correction: Judgment reversed, re-trials ordered2 Charges dismissed5, Other: In prison while prosecutor appeals dismissal5, Incarcerated: Since 1996
  • Dates: Incident: 19883, Investigation: February 11, 19963, Arrest: February 14, 19964, Trial: June 19963, Exoneration: Reversed: November 22, 20062, Dismissed: February 15, 20085
  • Latest information: February 15, 20085
Source:
  1. James Love by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, September 2007
  2. James F. Love, #329-475, Innocent Inmates Association (With links to case documents)
  3. Man Two Thousand Miles From Alleged Rape Scene Fighting For New Trial: The James Love Story by James F. Love, Justice Denied, September 2005 (Article starts on page 5)
  4. My Statement by James F. Love, Innocent Inmates Association
  5. James Love’s Indictment Dismissed For Raping A Girl In Cincinnati When He Was 2,000 Miles Away In Mexico, Justice Denied, February 26, 2008
  6. Ohio v. James F. Love (), Ohio Court of Appeals (Hamilton County, Ohio), November 22, 2006
Listed in: JustD, VotS


Kenneth Barnes — Maryland, US — 1996 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in jail

“[R]umors had already been swirling around Barnes, a strange man living in a close-knit neighborhood who invited neighbors, including children, into his house for Kool-Aid, and who had taken pictures of Marian at her sister's birthday party. Marian says that the idea to accuse him came when a woman with the local neighborhood watch approached her with a question. "I was a little kid, but I was thinking hard about how I could get him away from my sister," Marian recalls. "And [the neighbor] came up to me out of the blue one day and was like, 'Has Kenny ever sexually touched you?' And I'm like, 'Yeah-he raped me. He beat me and raped me.' And the police came. I told the police the same story."”1

  • Location: Maryland
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Kenneth Barnes
  • Accusations: Beat and rape an 8-year-old girl
  • Outcome: In jail on SO registry violations, Incarcerated: Since 2005
  • Dates: Investigation: 19961, Conviction: 19961
  • Problems: Recanted testimony. Eleven years later, the woman who was the girl that accused him said, “The only way I knew how to stop him [from dating my sister] … was if I made it to where she was never able to see him again.”1
  • Latest information: December 20071
Source:
  1. Sex, Lies, and Legal Red Tape — Accuser of Jailed Sex Offender Kenneth Barnes Says He's Innocent — City Paper (Baltimore, Maryland), December 5, 2007


Peter Rose — Lodi, California, US — 1996 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Rose was convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl. For three weeks, the victim maintained that she did not know who her assailant was. Then after a three-hour taped interrogation, police told her she was lying and threatened to dismiss the case if she did not identify her attacker. Family members who disliked Rose, who was their neighbor, pressured her into identifying him. Rose’s blood type did not match the semen on the victim’s underwear, but the semen sample was deemed too small to conclusively rule him out. Rose served 9 years of a 27-year sentence before DNA testing exonerated him in 2004. In 2005, Rose was awarded $328,200 for the 3282 days that he was wrongfully imprisoned. In 2007, Rose was awarded an additional $1 million combined from the local, county, and state governments.”1

  • Location: Lodi, San Joachin County, California
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Peter Rose
  • Accusations: Rape a 13-year-old girl
  • Outcome: Sentence: 27 years2, Correction: Exonerated by DNA test2, Incarcerated: 8 years2, Compensation: Over $1 million1
  • Dates: Incident: 19942, Conviction: 19962, Release: October 29, 20042
  • Latest information: 20071
Source:
  1. Peter Rose by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, July 2005
  2. Peter Rose, Innocence Project, February 18, 2005
Listed in: InnPr, VotS


Thomas Harris — Hays County, Texas, US — 1996 (arrest)
Prosecution

“Harris was accused and convicted of molesting his youngest daughter. His wife acknowledged to two witnesses that the accusation was not true. The alleged victim also acknowledged that accusation was not true and said … the divorce attorney … told her to lie.”1

  • Location: Hays County, Texas
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Thomas Harris
  • Accusations: Sexually molest his youngest daughter
  • Dates: Arrest: 19962, Trial: May 19, 19972
  • Problems: Recanted testimony. “I then asked if [her father] had bothered her. She said no. I asked if someone else had bothered her and she said yes but that some people had told her to say it was her Father so that he could be put in jail.”2
  • Latest information: March 19992
Source:
  1. Thomas Harris by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, June 2005
  2. The Story of Thomas Harris, Justice Denied, March 8, 1999
Listed in: JustD, VotS 

1995


Elsie Oscarson — Vermont, US — 1995 (investigation)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

After the operators of Elsie Oscarson's day care complained to the state about her three young children, aged one, three, and four, being neglected at home, the state took the children away from her and placed them with the day care operators. After previous allegations of molesting her older children were sent to the new foster parents, new allegations arose from the three- and four-year-olds. Oscarson was convicted and sentenced to 35 years to life. The conviction for one of her sons was thrown out by the state supreme court, but the other one remained. At a resentencing hearing, one of the older children, who had earlier plaintively denied the allegations against her mother, gave vindictive testimony of sexual abuse at the hands of her mother and his boyfriend. The boyfriend had never been prosecuted, but Oscarson's sentence was affirmed.

  • Location: Vermont
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Elsie Oscarson
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse her two sons
  • Outcome: Sentence: 35 years to life, Other: In prison, Incarcerated: Since 1998
  • Dates: Investigation: 19951
  • Problems: Poor evidence. A pediatrician found “the genitalia and rectum were completely normal. … none of the Oscarson children show any physical findings consistent with sexual misuse.”1
  • Latest information: December 20041
Source:
  1. Elsie Oscarson case summary () by Mark Pendergrast, National Center for Reason and Justice (U.S.A.), December 2004 (Undated; date is month of latest event mentioned.)
Listed in: NCRJ-Spons


Bhongweni, South Africa — 1995 (incident)
Vigilante murder

Not a case of overtly sexual accusations, but the shadowy overtones are there in the notion of elderly women enslaving the souls of young boys. “[I]n Bhongweni township … in 1995 after a bus crash killed 12 schoolboys … Overwhelming community grief gave rise to rumour which quickly ran rampant. … It was claimed that witches had caused the crash, that the spirits of the boys had been transformed into zombies which were being kept in an elderly woman's wardrobe. Events got to such a stage that two women were gruesomely murdered and the 12 bodies hacked and desecrated in order to exorcise "the evil spirits."”1

  • Location: Bhongweni, South Africa
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: 2 elderly women
  • Accusations: Make a school bus crash, killing twelve schoolboys in order to enslave some of their spirits
  • Outcome: Death by vigilantes
  • Dates: Incident: 1995
  • Latest information: 19981
Source:
  1. Bailey sticks with winning styleIpi Zombi?, now on at the National Arts Festival — Daily Dispatch (South Africa), July 10, 1998. (Review of a play based on the event)


Ross Sorrels — Clark County, Washington, US — 1995 (conviction)
Prosecution

“Sorrels was convicted of raping a five-year-old girl. His 1995 trial attracted wide publicity because he was the former director of a group for troubled teenagers, America For Youth Foundation. The actual rapist was convicted in 2002 of raping both the five-year old and her two sisters while living with the girl's mother.”1

  • Location: Clark County, Washington
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Ross Sorrels
  • Accusations: Rape a five-year-old girl
  • Dates: Conviction: 19951, Exoneration: 2002
  • Latest information: 20021
Source:
  1. Ross Sorrels by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, October 2005
Listed in: VotS 

1994


Bruce Clairmont — Massachusetts, US — December 6, 1994 (trial)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“On his twelfth birthday … Neal … and his eight-year-old sister … were caught in a neighbor's garage, engaging in what could be considered age-appropriate sexual experimentation. … That September, [their mother] Deborah and the children began to see a therapist, Amy Moran. … Over the next few years, … the incident between Neal and Renee was construed as molestation, and Moran and Deborah made the presumption that "something had happened" between Neal and [his father] Bruce.”1

  • Location: Massachusetts
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Bruce Clairmont
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse his son and daughter aged 12 and 8
  • Outcome: Paroled4, Incarcerated: 8 years4
  • Dates: Investigation: January 19931, Trial: December 6, 19941, Conviction: December 15, 19944, Sentence: December 21, 19941, Release: 20024
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “The children were interviewed and denied that their father had done anything other than bathe them. Later … [they] began to change their stories. Various allegations of sexual abuse were made. … Therapist … told the children that when they'd "gotten it all out," they could have a celebration. … Over the next seven months, the stories continued to grow.”1
         Poor evidence. Psychologist who determined the allegations were false was not called to testify.
         Break-up dispute. “Parental alienation syndrome” and “sexual allegations in divorce syndrome”1
  • Latest information: September 9, 2005 4
Source:
  1. The Witch Hunt State Claims Another Victim: Clairmont by Carol Clairmont Weissbrod, Justice Denied, September 1999
  2. Bruce Clairmont: An Update, Justice Denied, February 2001 (Undated; date is of latest event mentioned.)
  3. Berkshire County, Massachusetts: How Not to Investigate Child Sexual Abuse by Lona Manning, Imaginary Crimes
  4. Vittone vs. Clairmont — A motion to extend an abuse prevention order — Massachusetts Appeals Court, September 9, 2005
 See also the other cases in Berkshire County, MA: Bernard Baran and Robert Halsey.
Listed in: JustD, NCRJ-Spons, Imag-Out


Jesse Rouse et al. — Yankton Indian Reservation, Marty, South Dakota, US — August 1994 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

A five-year-old Native American girl in foster care was interviewed by a government official in January 1994 after speaking of having nightmares and some form of sexual activity. The next day, on the basis of that interview alone, approximately 13 other Native children were forcibly removed from two families and placed in the same foster home. Five young Native men were charged with raping five of the girls, ranging in age from 20 months to seven years. At trial in August, one of the men was acquitted while the other four were convicted by an all-white jury and sentenced to between 30 and 33 years.2 "../../../

In 1999, the defendants requested a new trial on the basis of recanted testimony by all five of the state's key witnesses. Hearings on the request were held in 2000, 2001, and 2003, and a decision was issued in 2004 denying a new trial.6 The appeals court upheld that denial in 2005.7

  • Location: Yankton Indian Reservation, Marty, South Dakota
  • 5 Claimed Innocent: Jesse Rouse, Desmond Rouse, Garfield Feather, Russell Hubbeling, Duane Rouse
  • Accusations: Rape five of the men's nieces aged 20 months to seven years
  • Outcome: Sentence: Jesse: 33 years2, Desmond: 32 years2, Feather: 30 years2, Hubbeling: 30 years2, Other: Convictions overturned, then reaffirmed. New trial denied., Incarcerated: Since 1994
  • Dates: Investigation: January 10, 19942, Conviction: August 19942
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. One expert testified that “powerful and potentially coercive influences had been brought to bear on the small four- and five-year-old children”2 First appellate decision stated that “the children's reports of abuse may have been tainted by the influence of social workers and law enforcement officials.”2
         Poor evidence. First appellate decision stated that “the medical evidence was inconclusive as to abuse or abuse by the defendants.”2
  • Latest information: June 8, 20057
Source:
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  1. Yankton Indian Reservation Ritual Abuse Case, Religious Tolerance
 • Case documents
  2. United States v. Desmond Rouse (, SL), US Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, November 12, 1996 (search. 100 F3d 560 (Case 95-1554, 6, 8, 9)). See annotated version.
  3. United States v. Desmond Rouse (), US Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, February 6, 1997 (107 F3d 557 (Case 95-1554, 6, 8, 9))
  4. United States v. Desmond Rouse (, SL), US Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, April 11, 1997 (search. 111 F3d 561 (Case 95-1554, 6, 8, 9)). See annotated version.
  5. Russell Hubbeling v. United States, US Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, May 3, 2002 (abstract. Case 01-1174)
  6. Memorandum Opinion and Order: United States v. Desmond Rouse, US District Court, South Dakota, Southern Division, February 10, 2004 (Case CR 94-40015)
  7. United States v. Desmond Rouse, US Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, June 8, 2005 (search. 410 F3d 1005 (Case 04-1468, 69, 70, 71))
Listed in: OCRT


Shieldfield Nursery — Newcastle, England, UK — June 1994 (trial)
Prosecution with acquittal at trial

Two nurses at a children's nursery were charged with sexually abusing children in their care. They were acquitted at trial in 1994. Upon violent protests by some of the parents, an inquiry was launched. The resulting report in 1998 supported the original charges. The nurses won a libel suit in 2002 against the authors of the report and were given the maximum possible award. The judge wrote that the authors “included in their report a number of fundamental claims which they must have known to be untrue” and the nurses “are entitled to be vindicated and recognized as innocent citizens.”10 In 2005, a doctor was charged with serious professional misconduct for faulty medical evidence provided for the report. The medical council hearing the case decided that “the evidence … would permit them to find her guilty,”18[pg 2] but they did not.

  • Location: Newcastle, England at Facility: Shieldfield Nursery1
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: Christopher Lillie, Dawn Reed
  • Accusations: Sexually molest as many as 350 children, supply them to paedophiles for filmed sex sessions, and slash them with knives1 (SRA1)
  • Outcome: Acquitted at trial1
  • Dates: Trial: June 199410
  • Latest information: May 31, 20058
Source:
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  1. Cleared: The Story of Shieldfield () by Bob Woffinden and Richard Webster, Guardian (United Kingdom), July 31, 2002 (Longer version of published op-ed)
  2. We must still listen to kids — This week's libel trial must not distract us from the real issues in child abuse cases — by Christian Wolmar, Guardian (United Kingdom), August 1, 2002 (Op-ed. With correction on August 3, 2002)
  3. Trials of dealing with abuse claims, Guardian (United Kingdom), August 3, 2002 (Letters to the editor in response to We must still listen to kids by Christian Wolmar, Guardian (United Kingdom), August 1, 2002 (Op-ed. With correction on August 3, 2002))
  4. How our demons fuel witch-hunts born from demons — Child abuse scandals are fuelled by the same terrors that fed fantasies of Satanic black magic, says author, who has fought for justice for the two nursery nurses — by Richard Webster, Observer (United Kingdom), August 4, 2002 (Op-ed)
  5. Time to give our children rights — But only changes in the law will work — Observer (United Kingdom), August 4, 2002 (Editorial)
  6. Just how bad can a doctor be?, Sunday Sun (Newcastle upon Tyne, England), May 15, 2005 (Editorial)
  7. Get docs a real watchdog by Phil Doherty, Sunday Sun (Newcastle upon Tyne, England), May 15, 2005 (Op-ed)
  8. 'I feel I have lost so many years' — Eleven years ago, former nursery nurse Dawn Reed was cleared of sex abuse charges. But … the scars remain — Telegraph (United Kingdom), May 31, 2005
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  9. GMC and Lazaro: The toothless watchdog bites again by Richard Webster, May 15, 2005
  10. MVMO Abuse Case in Newcastle, UK by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, June 7, 2005
 • News reports
  11. Former nursery workers sue over child abuse claims, Guardian (United Kingdom), January 15, 2002
  12. Lillie and Reed v. Newcastle City Council, et al. by Justice Eady, High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division (London, England), July 30, 2002 (Case HQ9903605, HQ9903606, Excerpt)
  13. 'I'm angry for the children, for us, for a lost nine years' — Ordeal over for pair accused in notorious child abuse case — Guardian (United Kingdom), July 31, 2002
  14. 'Our genuine belief was that the nursery nurses had abused children in their care' — Response to the libel case verdict involving two nursery nurses falsely accused of child abuse — Guardian (United Kingdom), July 31, 2002
  15. Cleared nursery nurses fear vigilante mobs, Guardian (United Kingdom), August 1, 2002
  16. Councils advised on averting abuse libels, Guardian (United Kingdom), August 1, 2002
  17. 'We were terrified - we could have been killed' — The nine-year ordeal of Dawn Reed and Christopher Lillie ended last week. In their first extended interview, they tell how false charges of child sex abuse wreaked havoc on their lives — Observer (United Kingdom), August 4, 2002
  18. Paediatrician 'exaggerated accounts of sexual abuse', Telegraph (United Kingdom), April 26, 2005
Listed in: OCRT


Gary Morris — Michigan, US — June 1994 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

“Morris was convicted of sexually assaulting his 13-year-old granddaughter. Morris had evicted his daughter from a trailer owned by his mother. His daughter had paid the rent for years but fell way behind after she began hanging out with a drug-using boyfriend. Shortly after her eviction, his daughter's daughter brought these charges against Morris. Morris' granddaughter claimed he raped her, but a medical exam showed that her hymen was still intact and that she was a virgin. Morris is serving a 20 to 40 year sentence.”1

  • Location: Michigan
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Gary Lee Morris
  • Accusations: Sexually assault his 13-year-old granddaughter
  • Outcome: Sentence: 20 to 40 years1, Other: In prison, Incarcerated: Since 1994
  • Dates: Incident: March 19912, Arrest: June 19942
  • Problems: Poor evidence. A “report … by … the doctor … shows that my granddaughter’s hymen was still intact … [and] no lacerations or lesions to indicate a rape had occurred.”2
  • Latest information: 20052
Source:
  1. Gary Lee Morris by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, September 2005
  2. Conviction Without Evidence: The Gary Lee Morris Story by Gary Lee Morris, Justice Denied, December 2005
Listed in: JustD, VotS


Robert Roberson et al. — Wenatchee, Washington, US — April 4, 1994 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“"Wenatchee may be the worst example ever of mental health services being abused by a state, its social workers and hired therapists, to control and manage children who have been frightened and coerced into falsely accusing their parents and neighbors of the most heinous of crimes," said [Dr. Phillip] Esplin, a senior research consultant with the National Institute of Health's Child Witness Project.”21

Defendants included a minister and parents and Sunday school teachers of alleged victims, altogether 20 men, 22 women, and a minor girl.

  • Location: Wenatchee, Chelan/Douglas County, Washington
  • 43 Claimed Innocent: Rev. Robert Harlan and Connie Lee Roberson, Mark Glenn and Carol Marie Doggett, Meredith Eugene Town, Cherie Lee Town, Tracy Hockett, Timothy Ray Durst, Joyce Adele Durst, Henry Herman and Connie Jean Cunningham, Laura Rebecca Holt, Robert Morris Devereaux, Randall Neil Reed, Doris Marie Green, Michael Edward Rose, Harold Everett, Idella Everett, Jeannie Lorraine Bendt, Norberto Castaneda Macias, Kathryn Marlene Lancaster, Justino Melendez Cruz, Donna Carol Hidalgo, Jerome H. Buckley, Donna Jean Rodriguez, Linda Miller, Lawrence Eugene Steinborn, William Garland Davis Jr., Johnny Dale Nichols, Manuel Hidalgo Rodriguez, Edward Lyle Knowles Jr., Kerri Ann Knowles, Pamela Lee Kimble, Gary Elbert and Scharl Ann Filbeck, Sadie May Hughes, Edward Lyle Knowles Sr., Honnah L. Sims, Lawrence D. Catcheway, Barbara Ann Garass, Ralph Vernon Gausvik, Susan Ann Everett, Karen Reney Lopez 5
  • Accusations: 29,726 charges: Sexually abuse 60 children, including their own (SRA10[Background])
  • Outcome: Sentence: Mark Doggett: 11 years, Carol Doggett: 11 years, Meredith Town: 20 years, Cherie Town: 10 years, Timothy Durst: 23 years, Joyce Durst: time served, Henry Cunningham: 47 years, Connie Cunningham: 46 years, Holt: 40 years, Devereaux: 30 day suspended, Reed: 6 years, Green: 23 years, Rose: 23 years, Harold Everett: 23 years, Idella Everett: 5 years, Bendt: 16 years, Cruz: Suspended, Hidalgo: 14 months, Miller: 33 years, Steinborn: 6 years, Nichols: Suspended, Manuel Rodriguez: 5½ years, Hughes: 6 years, Catcheway: 16 years, Garass: 2 years, Gausvik: 23 years, Susan Everett: 1 year suspended, Correction: Mark Doggett: Conviction overturned, released, Carol Doggett: Conviction overturned, released, Meredith Town: Changed plea and released, Henry Cunningham: Conviction overturned, released, Connie Cunningham: Conviction overturned, released, Green: Conviction overturned, released, Rose: Charges dropped on appeal, Harold Everett: Conviction reversed, released, Idella Everett: Conviction reversed, released, Manuel Rodriguez: Conviction overturned, released, Hughes: Released with time served, Catcheway: Changed plea on appeal, released, Other: Robert Roberson: Acquitted by jury whose foreman called the trial “a witch hunt.”, Connie Roberson: Acquitted by jury whose foreman called the trial “a witch hunt.”, Hockett: Acquitted at trial, Idella Everett: Regained custody of children, Macias: Charges dismissed before trial, Lancaster: Charges dismissed before trial, Hidalgo: Served sentence, Buckley: Charges dismissed before trial, Donna Rodriguez: Charges dismissed before trial, Davis: Charges dismissed before trial, Edward Knowles Jr.: Charges dismissed before trial, Kerri Knowles: Charges dismissed before trial, Kimble: Charges dismissed, Gary Filbeck: Plea deal to testify against others and no prison time, Scharl Filbeck: Plea deal to testify against others and no prison time, Edward Knowles Sr.: Charges dismissed day after arrest, Sims: Acquitted, Garass: Served sentence, her children remained in foster care, Lopez: Charges dismissed before trial, For 14 defendants, charges dismissed or acquitted at trial. For 6 defendants, suspended sentences or plea deal with no prison. For 9 defendants, convictions overturned. For 2 defendants, sentence modified on appeal. For 7 defendants, served sentence or part of sentence. For 5 defendants, sentenced and no further info known.5,26, Incarcerated: Robert Roberson: 9 months, Connie Roberson: 9 months, Mark Doggett: 5 years, Carol Doggett: 5 years, Meredith Town: 7 years, Joyce Durst: 2 months, Henry Cunningham: 5 years, Connie Cunningham: 2 years, Reed: 5 years, Green: 5 years, Rose: 4 years, Harold Everett: 4 years, Idella Everett: 4 years, Hidalgo: 14 months, Buckley: 2 months, Miller: 3 years, Manuel Rodriguez: 4½ years, Hughes: ???, Catcheway: ???, Garass: 2 years, Gausvik: 5 years, Of the 14 with charges dismissed or acquitted, two spent 9 months in jail, one spent 2 months, no time info on others. Of the 6 with suspended sentences or plea deals, no info on jail time before disposition. The 9 with convictions overturned served between 2 and 5 years, average 4.3 years. Of the 2 with sentences modified, one was after serving 7 years, other unknown. The 7 who completed sentences served between 2 months and 5 years, average 2.7 years. The 5 others were sentenced to 6, 10, 16, 23, and 40 years.5,26, Compensation: A jury found the city and county negligent in the investigations and awarded $3 million to a wrongly-accused couple. Other civil cases were filed.5,26
  • Dates: Arrest: Robert Roberson: March 28, 1995, Connie Roberson: March 28, 1995, Mark Doggett: December 28, 1994, Carol Doggett: December 28, 1994, Meredith Town: April 4, 1994, Cherie Town: April 5, 1994, Hockett: May 19, 1994, Timothy Durst: May 26, 1994, Joyce Durst: May 26, 1994, Henry Cunningham: June 10, 1994, Connie Cunningham: June 10, 1994, Holt: July 8, 1994, Devereaux: August 2, 1994, Reed: September 15, 1994, Green: September 16, 1994, Rose: September 20, 1994, Harold Everett: September 24, 1994, Idella Everett: September 25, 1994, Bendt: October 4, 1994, Macias: October 4, 1994, Lancaster: October 27, 1994, Cruz: November 8, 1994, Hidalgo: February 13, 1995, Buckley: February 3, 1995, Donna Rodriguez: March 14, 1995, Miller: March 24, 1995, Steinborn: April 7, 1995, Davis: April 12, 1995, Nichols: April 17, 1995, Manuel Rodriguez: April 18, 1995, Edward Knowles Jr.: April 21, 1995, Kerri Knowles: April 21, 1995, Kimble: April 25, 1995, Gary Filbeck: May 3, 1995, Scharl Filbeck: May 3, 1995, Hughes: May 3, 1995, Edward Knowles Sr.: May 4, 1995, Sims: May 22, 1995, Catcheway: June 16, 1995, Garass: July 9, 1995, Gausvik: July 9, 1995, Susan Everett: August 24, 1995, Lopez: August 24, 1995, Exoneration: Mark Doggett: 1997, Carol Doggett: 1997, Henry Cunningham: 1999, Connie Cunningham: 1997, Green: 1999, Harold Everett: 1998, Idella Everett: 1998, Manuel Rodriguez: 1999, Release: Mark Doggett: 1997, Carol Doggett: 1997, Henry Cunningham: 1999, Connie Cunningham: 1997, Reed: 1999, Green: 1999, Rose: 1998, Harold Everett: 1998, Idella Everett: 1998, Miller: 1998, Manuel Rodriguez: 1999, Gausvik: 2000
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “Perez built cases by manipulating children, prodding them with threats and prompting them with second- and third-hand information.”5
         Poor evidence. “Prosecutors offered no physical evidence to support the charges.”16 “Not a scrap of physical evidence of sex abuse was ever presented, an extraordinary fact considering that the children, some mere infants, had allegedly suffered an average of 495 rapes.”8
         Recanted testimony. Chief witness, in 1996, “recanted …, saying that she had been pressured by [foster father and sex abuse detective] Perez.”4
  • Case question: Victims of the State says that “more than $7 million in civil settlements have been awarded to the defendants.”2 Where does that figure come from?
  • Latest information: November 20028
Source:
 • Brief summaries
  1. Wenatchee sex ring, Wikipedia (Section of Day care sex abuse hysteria, Wikipedia)
  2. Wenatchee 43 by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, July 2005
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  3. Wenatchee: A True Story by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, September 29, 1995 (Op-ed)
  4. Wenatchee, Washington, Frontline, PBS, May 27, 1997 (Section of Other Well-Known Cases, Frontline, PBS, May 27, 1997)
  5. The Power to Harm: A record of abuses in Wenatchee, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 1998.
  6. Afterwards () — Freedom is never the same for those who've been to prison on phony chages [sic]. — by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, December 30, 2000 (Op-ed, with photos at Pulitzer). (Second section is on Carol and Mark Doggett.)
  7. Negligence in Wenatchee, Seattle Times, August 2, 2001 (Editorial)
  8. How a mantra ate justice () by Paul Craig Roberts, Washington Times, November 7, 2002 (Excerpt. Full text.)
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  9. Wenatchee sex ring, Wikipedia
  10. The imaginary "sex rings" in Wenatchee, WA by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, December 29, 2007 (5 Web pages)
  11. The Wenatchee Report () by Kathryn Lyon, 1995
 • Book
  12. Witch Hunt: True Story by Kathryn Lyon, Avon, March 1998 (Amazon)
 • Local citizens’ group
  13. Concerned Citizens for Legal Accountability — Wenatchee, Washington —
 • Case documents and news reports
  14. Child abuse allegations trouble rural community, CNN, October 20, 1995
  15. Charges about child-sex ring divide town in Washington, Associated Press, November 7, 1995
  16. Pastor and Wife Are Acquitted on All Charges in Sex-Abuse Case, New York Times, December 12, 1995
  17. Pastor, wife acquitted in child sex trial, CNN, December 12, 1995
  18. Consultant finds no fault in sex ring probe, Associated Press, February 22, 1996
  19. Doctor confirms abuse in sex-ring case, Associated Press, December 5, 1996
  20. Washington v. Carol M. and Mark A. Doggett: Published Opinion () by John A. Schultheis, Washington Court of Appeals, Division III, December 9, 1997
  21. Wenatchee abuses attacked nationally, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 28, 1998
  22. Washington v. Carol M. and Mark A. Doggett: Published Opinion by John A. Schultheis, Washington Court of Appeals, Division III, September 14, 1999
  23. Washington v. Carol M. and Mark A. Doggett by Stephen M. Brown (dissenting), Washington Court of Appeals, Division III, September 14, 1999
  24. 'Sex ring' investigator gets promoted, Associated Press, June 23, 2001
  25. Jury finds city, county negligent in child sex ring case — Couple awarded $3 million; Robersons get no money but feel vindicated — Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 1, 2001
  26. Updates on those accused in the child sex-ring probe, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 1, 2001
  27. Family files claims over child-sex probe, Associated Press, June 20, 2002
Listed in: Wiki, FL97, NCRJ-Exon, Imag-Out, OCRT, VotS, DHill, DN95-In


Peter Thorpe et al. — Pembroke, Wales, UK — January 1994 (trial)
Prosecution with acquittal at trial

A 14-year-old girl ran away from home in Pembroke, West Wales, and accused her father of raping her repeatedly over several years. Meanwhile, a number of local officials took a three day training program on satanic abuse of children. Shortly afterwards, the girl's story expanded to talk about a sex ring involving around 200 people in the town of 7,000 people. A boy in the case “accused both parents of sexual abuse and revealed that group sexual orgies involving other adults and children had occurred in nearby farms and quarries.”1 With no significant physical evidence, the boy's father and five other men were convicted of sexual abuse of children.

  • Location: Pembroke, Wales
  • 13 Claimed Innocent: Peter and Sally Thorpe (pseudonyms), 2 parents of a girl, 9 other men
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse children, including orgies, make pornographic movies and pictures1
  • Outcome: Sentence: Peter: 15 years1, Others: 5 to 11 years1, Correction: Sally: Charges dropped1, Six acquitted or cleared at trial1
  • Dates: Investigation: June 19921, Trial: January 19941, Conviction: June 19941
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “[T]here were indications that children were threatened if they refused to disclose abuse and were rewarded when they made allegations.”1
         Poor evidence. No photographs or video tapes found. A boy said his father frightened the children by shooting through the roof of a shed; no bullet holes were found.1
         Judicial misconduct. “[T]wo female witnesses for the prosecution took the stand. They were expected to confirm the testimony of the children and discuss the threats they had received from the men to keep silent about the abuse. Instead, they revealed that the social workers had blackmailed them into verifying the children's stories; if they did not lie on the stand, then their children would be taken from them.”1
         Recanted testimony. “4 prosecution witnesses retracted their stories - 3 of them on the stand.”1
  • Latest information: October 19951
Source:
  1. Ritual Abuse Cases in Pembroke, West Wales, UK, Religious Tolerance
Listed in: OCRT


John Quattrocchi — Providence, Rhode Island, US — 1994 (trial)
Prosecution

For most of Gina's childhood, her mother was dating lawyer John Quattrocchi. Gina entered psychotherapy at age 13 for problems with sleep, appetite, concentration, and mood. At about 16, she started reported concerns about possible abuse by Quattrocchi when she was very young. She could not remember anything specific and told her therapist, “he is like my Dad, he couldn't have done anything bad to me.” The therapist for Gina's mother called Gina's therapist to report that Gina's mother suspected Gina was sexually abused by Quattrocchi. Gina's therapist wrote in her notes, “She really can't recall when it might have happened or what might have happened and, in fact, part of my treatment with Gina has been to help her try to re-create those memories to see if there is any actual basis for this concern.” When Gina was about 17, her therapist reported to the government suspicion of sexual abuse by Quattrocchi. When an investigator talked to Gina the next day, she recounted three memories from ages four to 12, of Quattrocchi touching her breasts, taking pictures of her touching his penis, and digitally penetrating her in the shower. More memories surfaced later.2

Quattrocchi was convicted in 1994 and sentenced to 40 years.1 His conviction was overturned two years later by the Rhode Island supreme court, which ruled that the trial court should have held a pre-trial hearing to determine the reliability of recovered memories as evidence. The lower court held such a hearing in 1999 and determined that it was “not … establish[ed] that repressed recollection is reliable and admissible as scientific evidence.”2

  • Location: Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: John "Jack" Quattrocchi III (lawyer)
  • Accusations: Sexually molest his girlfriend's daughter from age 4 to 13, including fondle her breasts, digitally penetrate her in the shower, take pictures of her touching his penis, oral sex, and rape her2
  • Outcome: Sentence: 40 years1, Correction: Conviction overturned, retrial ordered1
  • Dates: Incident: 19792, Investigation: April 28, 19922, Trial: 19943, Exoneration: July 31, 19963
  • Problems: Recovered memory. Gina's therapist wrote in her notes, “She really can't recall when it might have happened or what might have happened and, in fact, part of my treatment with Gina has been to help her try to re-create those memories to see if there is any actual basis for this concern [about childhood abuse by Quattrocchi].”2 “In a ruling that establishes guidelines for such cases, … [the Rhode Island Supreme Court decided that] trial judges must weigh reliability [of a witness's recovered memories] in each case -- without a jury -- much as they would when deciding whether to allow a confession into evidence.”1
  • Latest information: January 19, 20013
Source:
  1. Article about John Quattrocchi (), Providence Journal-Bulletin (Rhode Island), August 1, 1996
  2. Rhode Island v. Quattrocchi () by Judge Clifton, Superior Court of Rhode Island, April 26, 1999 (Decision on evidentiary hearing)
  3. Rhode Island v. Quattrocchi () by Judge Clifton, Superior Court of Rhode Island, January 19, 2001 (Decision on Motion for Reconsideration and Clarification of Rhode Island v. Quattrocchi () by Judge Clifton, Superior Court of Rhode Island, April 26, 1999 (Decision on evidentiary hearing))
 See also the other cases involving recovered memories: Frank Fuster, Paul Ingram, George Franklin, Michael Parker, Michael Kliman, Ray and Shirley Souza, Timothy Smith, and Paul Shanley.
Listed in: NCRJ-Exon, DHill


Elizabeth Ramirez et al. — Texas, US — 1994 (investigation)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

The “lawyer’s advice was to take the 10 years deferred adjudication plea bargain offered by the prosecution. In that lawyer’s experience, when a child gets on the witness stand and testifies to sexual abuse, the jury will always believe the child, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The fact that the three women were Chicana lesbians being tried by jury in a Texas court virtually assured a conviction. The women refused to confess to a crime they didn’t commit.”2 The four women went to trial and were all convicted. One was sentenced to 37 years, the other three to 15.5

  • Location: Texas
  • 4 Claimed Innocent: Elizabeth Ramirez, Anna Vasquez, Cassandra Rivera, Kristie Mayhugh
  • Accusations: Twice during a weeklong stay with Ramirez, restrain two of her nieces aged 7 and 9, kiss and fondle them, put tampons in their vaginas, and threaten them into silence5,2
  • Outcome: Sentence: Ramirez: 37 years5, Others: 15 years5, Other: In prison, Incarcerated: Since 1997
  • Dates: Incident: 19945, Investigation: 19945
  • Problems: Poor evidence. Pediatrician reported “redness and a thickened hymen” in one girl and “an irregular white area … on her hymen” in the other, expressing “concerns this may be satanic-related.”3 [Is that a medical diagnosis?]
  • Latest information: February 20084
Source:
  1. Four Lives Lost
  2. False Allegations, Four Lives Lost
  3. Indicators of Wrongful Convictions, Four Lives Lost
  4. Expert Testimony by Darrell Otto, Four Lives Lost, February 9, 2008
  5. San Antonio Lesbians Claim Innocence and San Antonio Lesbians Incarcerated, Texas Triangle
Listed in: Imag-In 

1993


Head Start — Lorain, Ohio, US — November 3, 1993 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

“Nancy Smith and Joseph Allen were convicted of child abuse. Smith, a Head Start school bus driver allegedly drove students to Allen’s house where the students were molested. Smith, a white woman, and Allen, a dark complexioned black, were an unlikely pair and denied ever having met each other. The two were convicted on the testimony of child witnesses whose testimony changed over time, and on the testimony of adults who were facing unrelated criminal charges. School attendance and bus records show the crimes to be impossible. Smith was sentenced to 30 to 90 years in prison and ordered to pay the costs of prosecution. Allen was sentenced to five consecutive life terms. No physical evidence existed that any child was molested.”1

  • Location: Lorain, Lorain County, Ohio at Facility: Head Start
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: Nancy Smith (36), Joseph Allen (40)
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse ten children aged 4 and 5, make them drink urine, and poke them with needles and sticks
  • Outcome: Sentence: Smith: 30 to 90 years6, Allen: 5 consecutive life sentences plus 22 to 50 years6, Other: In prison, Incarcerated: Since 1994
  • Dates: Investigation: May 19935, Arrest: Smith: November 5, 19935, Allen: November 3, 19935, Conviction: August 4, 19946
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “Smith's lawyer … said the children were led in their testimony by the prosecutor and influenced about what they should say by their parents and the police.”8
  • Latest information: March 20074
Source:
 • Brief summary
  1. Smith Allen by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, February 2007
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  2. The Lost Crusade — Paul Facinelli sought to expose a wrongful conviction. It cost him his career. — Cleveland Scene, April 19, 2001
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  3. Nancy Smith and Joseph Allen -- Lorain, Ohio () by Lona Manning, Imaginary Crimes
  4. The Shame of Lorain, Ohio by Lona Manning, Crime Magazine, December 6, 2002. (Access in March 2008 indicated updated March 3, 2007.)
 • Case documents and news reports
  5. Bus driver accused of molesting children (), United Press International, November 7, 1993
  6. Jury Convicts Pair in Lorain Head Start Sex Abuse Case (), Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), August 5, 1994
  7. Head Start Chief Sees No Fail-Safe Security Plan (), Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), August 6, 1994
  8. Lawyers Want Abuse Convictions Overturned (), Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), November 18, 1995
  9. Ohio v. Nancy Smith (), Ohio Court of Appeals (Lorain Country, Ohio), January 24, 1996
  10. Ohio v. Joseph Lee Allen (), Ohio Court of Appeals (Lorain Country, Ohio), February 7, 1996
  11. Ohio v. Nancy Smith, Ohio Supreme Court (Cases filed in March 1996 and March 1998, both declined to be heard by court)
  12. Ohio v. Joseph Lee Allen, Ohio Supreme Court (Cases filed in March 1996, October 1997, and July 2003, all declined to be heard by court)
  13. Parole board: Nancy Smith is in denial () — Ex-Head Start bus driver refuses to admit guilt — Chronicle-Telegram (Cleveland, Ohio), February 22, 2007
Listed in: NCRJ-Spons, Imag-Main, VotS, DHill


Bruce Perkins — Waller (Houston), Texas, US — July 12, 1993 (trial)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

“Bruce and Carol have two sons, Larin and Lann. Before allegations surfaced, the Perkins' family was particularly close-knit. Then Trish, Larin's wife, entered therapy in 1991 for depression and parenting difficulties. Soon, however, she began to uncover supposedly "repressed memories" of abuse by her grandfather when she was a child. She began to see signs of sexual abuse everywhere. After observing her children "playing doctor" with friends, she grilled them about possible molesters and soon accused several of their playmates of abuse. Then, suspecting an adult perpetrator, she asked her four-year-old daughter whether "Pawpaw," her granddaddy Bruce, had ever touched her. Trish had never liked her husband's parents. Now she questioned her daughter repeatedly about what Pawpaw might have done, but the child insisted that nothing had happened.

“Finally, in the fall of 1992, the child told her mother something about Pawpaw Bruce. Trish frantically called Patty, Lann's wife, who questioned her four-year-old daughter. Soon, Child Protective Services became involved, then the sheriff's department. The police questioned both granddaughters closely.”1

  • Location: Waller (Houston), Texas
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Bruce Perkins
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse two 4-year-old granddaughters and 5 other children aged 3 to 12, including making pornography with them, making one girl have intercourse with a dog and then cutting its penis off, threatening into silence3
  • Outcome: In prison, Incarcerated: Since 1993
  • Dates: Trial: July 12, 19933, Conviction: August 2, 19933
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. In the “police detective's interviews with the grandchildren … the leading nature of the questions is obvious.”2
         Poor evidence. The rape dog whose penis was cut off still has a penis2. No pornography found 3.
  • Latest information: August 20051
Source:
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  1. It Could Happen To You: A Tragedy in Texas by Eleanor Goldstein and Mark Pendergrast, Bob Chatelle's website, August 1, 2005
 • Dedicated website
  2. Bruce Perkins: Falsely Accused, Wrongfully Convicted, National Center for Reason and Justice (U.S.A.) (9 Web pages)
  3. Statements of Facts, Bruce Perkins: Falsely Accused, Wrongfully Convicted, June 2005 (Undated; date is of latest event mentioned)
Listed in: NCRJ-Spons, Imag-In, DN95-In


Damien Echols et al. — West Memphis, Arkansas, US — June 3, 1993 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

“Shortly after three eight-year-old boys were found mutilated and murdered in West Memphis, Arkansas, local newspapers stated the killers had been caught. The police assured the public that the three teenagers in custody were definitely responsible for these horrible crimes. Evidence?

“The same police officers coerced an error-filled "confession" from Jessie Misskelley Jr., who is mentally handicapped. They subjected him to 12 hours of questioning without counsel or parental consent, audio-taping only two fragments totaling 46 minutes. Jessie recanted it that evening, but it was too late— Misskelley, Jason Baldwin and Damien Echols were all arrested on June 3, 1993, and convicted of murder in early 1994.

“… there was no physical evidence, murder weapon, motive, or connection to the victims, the prosecution … present[ed] black hair and clothing, heavy metal t-shirts, and Stephen King novels as proof that the boys were sacrificed in a satanic cult ritual. … Echols was sentenced to death, Baldwin received life without parole, and Misskelley got life plus 40.”4

  • Location: West Memphis, Arkansas
  • 3 Claimed Innocent: Damien Echols (18), Jessie Misskelley Jr. (17), Jason Baldwin (16)
  • Accusations: Rape and murder three 8-year-old boys (SRA2[Crime])
  • Outcome: Sentence: Echols: Death5, Misskelley: Life plus 40 years5, Baldwin: Life without parole5, Other: Echols: On death row, Others: In prison, Incarcerated: Since 1993
  • Dates: Incident: May 5, 19935, Investigation: May 6, 19935, Arrest: June 3, 19935, Trial: Misskelley: January 26, 19945, Others: February 28, 20045, Conviction: Misskelley: February 4, 19945, Others: March 18, 19945
  • Problems: Tainted confession. “Jessie's initial confession was incorrect on two points: the material used to bind the boys, and the time of the killing. However he was subsequently prompted by the police to correct the latter.”2
         DNA. “DNA evidence has conclusively proved that all three are innocent.”2
  • Latest information: January 11, 20081
Source:
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  1. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt?: The Case of the West Memphis Three, People, January 21, 2008
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  2. The 1993 Robin Hood Hills murders in West Memphis AR by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, November 7, 2007 (6 Web pages)
 • Dedicated website
  3. Free the West Memphis Three (> 50 Web pages)
  4. Case Info: Brief Overview, Free the West Memphis Three
  5. Chronology of Events, Free the West Memphis Three
Listed in: OCRT


Gordon MacRae — Keene, New Hampshire, US — May 1993 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

“Throughout his testimony, [accuser] Thomas Grover repeatedly railed at the priest for forcing him to endure the torments of a trial. He would not have much to fear, in the end, in these proceedings, whose presiding judge … refused to allow into evidence … Grover's long juvenile history of theft, assault, forgery and drug offenses. In New Hampshire, where juries need only find the accuser credible in sex abuse cases, with no proofs required, this was no insignificant restriction. The judge also took it upon himself to instruct jurors to "disregard inconsistencies in Mr. Grover's testimony," and said that they should not think him dishonest because of his failure to answer questions. The jury had much to disregard.

“The questions he did answer yielded some remarkable testimony related to the central charges--that in the summer of 1983, at age 15, he had been repeatedly assaulted sexually by the priest, in four successive counseling sessions in the rectory office and another time elsewhere. Confronted with inevitable questions about why he would come back, after the first terrifying attack on him, for a second, third and fourth session, Mr. Grover told the court that he had an "out-of-body experience." Also that he had blackouts that caused him to go to each new counseling session with no memory that he had been sodomized and otherwise assaulted the session before. Such attacks during counseling (sessions Father MacRae notes he never held) weren't the only traumas inflicted on him. The priest had also chased him with his car.”7

  • Location: Keene, New Hampshire
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Father Gordon MacRae
  • Accusations: Sexually assault a 15-year-old boy at four counseling sessions in a rectory office, show him pornography, and threaten him into silence, including chasing him with his car1
  • Outcome: Sentence: 33 to 67 years without parole1
  • Dates: Incident: 19831, Arrest: May 19931, Conviction: 19941
  • Problems: Poor evidence. The judge cited the “evidence of your possession of child pornography” in sentencing MacRae, but no such evidence was ever presented.1
  • Latest information: November 20067
Source:
 • Analysis from the mainstream press, and responses
  1. A Priest's Story — Not all accounts of sex abuse in the Catholic Church turn out to be true. — by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, April 30, 2005 (Op-ed)
  2. Comments of a lawyer-seminarian on Rabinowitz' op-ed, and responses, GordonMacRae.net, June 2005
 • Dedicated website
  3. These Stone Walls: Musings from Prison of a Priest Falsely Accused by Gordon J. MacRae
 • Older dedicated website
  4. GordonMacRae.net (15 Web pages)
  5. The Case Against Father Gordon MacRae, GordonMacRae.net
  6. Sex Abuse and Signs of Fraud () by Gordon J. MacRae, Catalyst, November 2005
  7. Letter to America, Catholic magazine by Gordon J. MacRae, GordonMacRae.net, November 20, 2006
Listed in: NCRJ-Spons


Felito Mendoza — Allentown, Pennsylvania, US — April 26, 1993 (trial)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

“Mendoza was convicted of child molestation. His common law wife, Mercedes, had disciplined her child, which led to physical abuse charges against Felito. Their children were taken away. Later he was charged with sexual abuse after a case worker got a mistranslation of a Spanish word a child used and after one child tested positive for gonorrhea, even though neither Felito or Mercedes tested positive. Mendoza suspects the child was assaulted by Mercedes brother, now in a psychiatric hospital, who had formerly lived in the house with the children and had sexually assaulted Mercedes and her sisters. In addition, the children were pressured and bribed by prosecutors to testify. Defense witnesses, particularly Mercedes were pressured into not testifying.”1

  • Location: Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Felito Mendoza
  • Accusations: Sexually assault a child
  • Outcome: In prison, Incarcerated: Since 1992
  • Dates: Incident: September 19912, Investigation: February 25, 19922, Trial: April 26, 19932
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “The police investigators put considerable pressure on both children to relate episodes of sexual abuse …”2 “A.G. … often got spending money from some of the prosecution interrogators. … the prosecutors would also bring A.G. gifts and take him to Burger King.”2 “[P]ressure was applied to people who at first volunteered to be character witnesses for Felito.”2
         Poor evidence. “The examination results revealed J.H. was suffering from vaginal gonorrhea as well as a notched hymen. … [but] neither Felito nor Mercedes demonstrated the presence of gonorrhea.”2
         Judicial misconduct. “[A]t a hearing … [Judge] Wismer joked that the District Attorney was paying him thousands of dollars to frame Felito.”2
  • Latest information: November 19942
Source:
  1. Felito Mendoza by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, June 2005
  2. Rush to Vilification, Nicholas Peters’ website, November 1994 (Undated; date is month of latest event mentioned)
Listed in: NCRJ-In, VotS


Robert Halsey — Lanesboro, Massachusetts, US — February 1993 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

“Halsey, a school bus driver, was convicted of sexual assaulting children, because of the testimony of the children. After extensive interrogation by counselors, the children said Halsey detoured their school bus on the way to school to a nearby lake and engaged in wild and bizarre activities with them that included things that could not possibly be true or showed an ignorance of human anatomy. Such detours allegedly occurred numerous times over the course of two years. No record exists of Halsey ever being late on his bus schedule. When testifying, the children did not seem frightened or upset, only well rehearsed. Sometimes they seemed to forget what was apparently rehearsed and ended up speaking about alleged events in a nonsensical context.”1

  • Location: Lanesboro, Berkshire County, Massachusetts
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Robert Halsey
  • Accusations: Sexually molest two twin boys, 6, and two girls, on detours he took from driving them to school on his bus, including use a "sleepy spray" on them, tie them up, sodomize them, put fresh-caught fish in their anuses, and make them drink urine, eat feces, and vomit, over a period of 1½ years7
  • Outcome: Three appeals denied from 1996 to 2006. Remains in prison, Incarcerated: Since 1993
  • Dates: Incident: September 19907, Arrest: February 19937, Trial: August 19937, Sentence: September 19937
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “… the prosecutor … coached [the testifying boys] right on the [witness] stand”7
         Poor evidence. “[A] pediatrician … stated that the twin boys' bottoms showed evidence of abuse” but this testimony was disputed by an expert in a later civil lawsuit.7
  • Latest information: October 20063
Source:
 • Brief summary
  1. Robert Halsey by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, January 2007
  2. Robert Hasley, of Lanesboro (Western MA near Pittsfield) by Jonathan G. Harris, Witchhunt Information Center
 • Analysis by Lona Manning — Supporting innocence
  3. The Forgotten Innocent Man by Lona Manning, Crime Magazine, May 2002 (Date given by Cheit. Includes updates through October 2006.)
  4. Response to Ross Cheit's "The Legend of Robert Halsey" by Lona Manning, Imaginary Crimes, May 2002 (Date on page 4.)
  5. Response to Ross Cheit's website, ManningDebunked.org by Lona Manning, Imaginary Crimes, September 2002 (Date from note at bottom of Forgotten Innocent Man.)
  6. My response to Ross Cheit's editorial about the "dark side" by Lona Manning, Imaginary Crimes, September 2002
  7. Robert Halsey -- Lanesboro, Massachusetts by Lona Manning, Imaginary Crimes
  8. Berkshire County, Massachusetts: How Not to Investigate Child Sexual Abuse by Lona Manning, Imaginary Crimes
 • Analysis by Ross Cheit — Refuting innocence
  9. The Legend of Robert Halsey by Ross Cheit, Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, March 2002 (Google Books. Abstract with buy link). (Refuting Harris and others, apparently pre-Manning)
  10. The Legend of Robert Halsey:: A cautionary tale about the dangers of “false-conviction chic” by Ross Cheit, Brown University, September 20, 2002 (Date is when “first activated”. “[L]ast revised” October 3, 2002.) (Formerly ManningDebunked.org.). (Responding to Manning’s Forgotten Innocent Man)
  11. False-conviction chic in the Berkshires by Ross Cheit, Brown University News Service, September 2002 (Op-ed)
 See also the other cases in Berkshire County, MA: Bernard Baran and Bruce Clairmont.
Listed in: NCRJ-Spons, Imag-Main, VotS


Ray Souza et al. — Lowell, Massachusetts, US — January 1993 (trial)
Prosecution with long-term house arrest

“The Souzas' adult daughter went to counseling and was encouraged to read The Courage to Heal, a book about recovering memories of incest. … [She] read the book and recovered alleged memories of abuse that occurred when she was a child. She then [talked about] recovered memories to her siblings, some of whom were using their parents, Ray and Shirley to baby-sit their children. Subsequently, the siblings "recovered" memories of abuse and questioned their children repeatedly until the children remember being abused. Ray and Shirley were charged and opted for a judicial trial rather than a jury trial. Judge Elizabeth Dolan, who presided over the Fells Acres abuse case, heard the case. She convicted the Souzas, and sentenced them to 9 to 15 years. Eventually the Souzas were allowed to serve 9 years under house arrest. Author Mark Pendergrast profiled them in the 1996 book Victims of Memory.”1

  • Location: Lowell, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: Ray and Shirley Souza
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse their children and grandchildren
  • Outcome: Sentence: 9 to 15 years1, Other: Completed sentence of house arrest, Incarcerated: 9 years (house arrest)
  • Dates: Trial: January 19932
  • Problems: Recovered memory. The Souzas' children “questioned their children repeatedly until the children remember[ed] being abused.”1
  • Latest information: May 19993
Source:
  1. Ray Shirley Souza by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, November 2005
  2. The Rape of the Souza Family (Excerpt from Victims of Memory: Sex Abuse Accusations and Shattered Lives by Mark Pendergrast, Upper Access Books, June 1996 (Google Books, Amazon))
  3. The Souza Family, as of early 1999, May 19, 1999
 See also the other cases involving recovered memories: Frank Fuster, Paul Ingram, George Franklin, Michael Parker, Michael Kliman, John Quattrocchi, Timothy Smith, and Paul Shanley.
Listed in: NCRJ-Done, Imag-Out, VotS, DHill, DN95-In


Bishop Auckland, England, UK — 1993 (investigation)
Prosecution with charges dropped

After a teenager was convicted of molesting children, people in the neighborhood began accusing four particular families of raping and mutilating children in bizarre satanic rituals. After spending a great deal of time investigating the matter, the prosecutors finally decided the case was groundless and dropped all charges. The accusing families then proceeded to launch their complaints in a civil lawsuit.

  • Location: Bishop Auckland, County Durham, England
  • 4 Claimed Innocent: 4 families
  • Accusations: Rape and sodomize children, as well as mutilate their genitals with fishhooks and shoot them in the anus with airguns1 (SRA1)
  • Outcome: Charges dropped since determined not credible1
  • Dates: Investigation: 19931, Exoneration: January 19951
  • Problems: Poor evidence. “[P]olice … found no evidence to support the charges. The girls were medically checked and found to be virgins.”1
  • Latest information: 19951
Source:
  1. Bishop Auckland, County Durham, UK, Ritual Abuse Case, Religious Tolerance
Listed in: OCRT 

1992


Michael Kliman — Richmond, British Columbia, Canada — October 2, 1992 (arrest)
Prosecution

“At first, Kliman thought that the case would be dismissed because of the unreasonable nature of the charges. One woman claimed that the abuse occurred in a specific room. But the room was built many years after she had left the school. Other abuse allegedly occurred in a highly visible location in the school, where there was a strong likelihood that any perpetrator would be seen. Kliman was accused of leaving his classroom several times a week in order to abuse the children. He taught at the time in a large open space where he and another teacher handled two classes. Yet nobody, other than his accusers, noticed his absence. In addition, the women's stories changed on several occasions and conflicted with earlier statements that they had made.”1

  • Location: Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Michael Kliman (42)
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse two 6th-grade students 17 years before1
  • Outcome: Correction: Conviction overturned by provincial supreme court1
  • Dates: Incident: 19751, Arrest: October 2, 19921, Conviction: January 19941, Exoneration: December 19971
  • Problems: Recovered memory. One of the accusers “had received five years of intensive psychiatric treatment without any indication of childhood sexual abuse. Later, a different therapist was able to "recover" repressed memories of abuse. An investigating officer repeatedly called one of the plaintiffs until her memory improved.”1
  • Latest information: January 19981
Source:
  1. Richmond, BC, Canada, Sexual Abuse Case, Religious Tolerance
 See also the other cases involving recovered memories: Frank Fuster, Paul Ingram, George Franklin, Michael Parker, Ray and Shirley Souza, John Quattrocchi, Timothy Smith, and Paul Shanley.
Listed in: OCRT


Andrew Torstenson — Walworth County, Wisconsin, US — September 9, 1992 (charges)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

Andrew Torstenson was convicted of sexual assault on a child. “There had been no physical proof or eyewitness testimony; [the] case rested mostly on the victim's statements. During the trial, [the prosecutor] told the jury that the trial judge thought the victim's statements were "reliable," "credible" and "trustworthy." Defense counsel offered no objection and the trial judge did not admonish [the prosecutor] … [Later] a unanimous appeals court … held, "When the prosecutor commented that the court had given a judicial imprimatur to [the victim's] credibility, the jury was effectively being told that [the victim] was truthful and, therefore, that the State's case was the truth."”2

  • Location: Walworth County, Wisconsin
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Andrew Torstenson
  • Accusations: Sexually assault a child
  • Outcome: Correction: Conviction overturned2, Other: Still in prison1, Incarcerated: Since 1992
  • Dates: Incident: June 1, 19921, Charges: September 9, 19921, Exoneration: 1994,2
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. Prosecutor prejudiced the jury by telling them the judge believed the victim's testimony.
         Poor evidence. “no physical proof or eyewitness testimony”2
  • Case question: The case record shows his address as of May 2007 as “Oshkosh Correctional.”1 Did he lose again in a second trial? (A search for his name shows that it's not due to another criminal case.)
  • Latest information: May 20071
Source:
  1. Wisconsin vs. Andrew Torstenson, Wisconsin Court System. (Access in March 2008 showed address as of May 15, 2007.)
  2. A Poisoned Prosecution — Misconduct in sexual abuse cases damages reputations—and can ruin lives — Center for Public Integrity, June 26, 2003 (Case of Robert Wasser)


Ron Sterling et al. — Martensville, Saskatchewan, Canada — June 1992 (charges)
Prosecution with imprisonment

“[A] mother noticed a rash on the perineum of her 30 month old child. It exploded into a total of 173 charges laid, stayed and revised against 9 adults. At its center was a babysitting service for young children. The children revealed … horrendous stories (being blindfolded, gaggd [sic], confined in cages, penetrated with axe handles and vibrators, being thrown naked into freezers, etc) Incessent, intrusive, leading questioning by inexperienced police investigators was the only evidence presented in court by the prosecution. A representative of the SRA [satanic ritual abuse] industry whipped up public hysteria; people saw Satanists under every rock.”1

  • Location: Martensville, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • 9 Claimed Innocent: Ron and Linda Sterling, Travis Sterling (their son), Minor female in family, John Popowich, 4 other men (total including 6 police or prison officers)2,3
  • Accusations: 190 counts: Physically and sexually abuse two dozen children, including stimulate with vibrators, sodomize with axe handle, lock in wire cages, force to drink urine and eat feces, cut off a child's nipple and eat it, and threaten into silence2,3 (SRA2)
  • Outcome: Correction: Travis: Conviction overturned3, Minor female in family: Conviction overturned3, Other: Ron: Acquitted at trial3, Linda: Acquitted at trial3, Others' charges dismissed.3, Compensation: Wrongful prosecution settlements of Cdn$925,000 to Sterling family, Cdn$1.3 million to Popowich, and to others.3
  • Dates: Charges: June 19922, Trial: March 19932
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “child interviews … used repeated, direct questioning … now known to produce false accusations”3
         Poor evidence. “no physical evidence of any abuse,” including no scars from cut-off nipples3
  • Latest information: February 20032
Source:
 • Brief summary
  1. Saskatchewan case by Bruce Robinson, Ontario Centre for Religious Tolerance, Doug Hill's website, November 8, 1995
 • Article from television documentary
  2. Hell to Pay, Fifth Estate, CBC TV (Canada), February 12, 2003 (12 Web pages)
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  3. The "Martensville Nightmare" Ritual Abuse Case by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, August 5, 1998 (Updated March 8, 2006.)
Listed in: Imag-Out, OCRT, DHill


Christchurch Civic Creche — Christchurch, New Zealand — March 30, 1992 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Ellis was found guilty on 16 counts of sexual offences involving children in his care at the Christchurch Civic Creche [nursery] and was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment. This outcome has been strongly criticised, with concerns centering around how the children's testimony was obtained and presented to the jury. Ellis has always maintained his innocence and many New Zealanders have supported calls to overturn his convictions. The case has been subject to a High Court trial, two Court of Appeal hearings, and a Ministerial Inquiry. There have also been two parliamentary petitions, two books and numerous articles about the case.”1

  • Location: Christchurch, New Zealand at Facility: Christchurch Civic Creche
  • 5 Claimed Innocent: Peter Ellis, 4 women child-care workers at the nursery5 (SRA2)
  • Outcome: Sentence: Ellis: 10 years, Other: Ellis: Released after 2/3 of sentence5, Women: Cases dismissed before trial.5, Incarcerated: Ellis: 7 years5, Women: 5..6 months each5
  • Dates: Investigation: November 20, 19915, Arrest: March 30, 19925, Trial: April 26, 19935, Conviction: June 5, 19935, Sentence: June 22, 19935, Release: February 2, 20005
  • Latest information: March 20084
Source:
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  1. Peter Hugh McGregor Ellis, Wikipedia
  2. Christchurch, New Zealand: Ritual Abuse Cases by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, September 21, 2004
  3. Peter Ellis — Convicted of crimes against children. The Peter Ellis case is full of controversy. Has he been persecuted? — Crime.co.NZ
 • Dedicated website
  4. The Peter Ellis web site — Seeking justice for Peter Ellis and other victims, past and present, of the New Zealand sex abuse moral panic — (100s of Web pages). (Access in March 2008 indicated updated March 7, 2008.)
  5. A Chronology of the case, Peter Ellis web site
Listed in: Imag-Out, OCRT


Fran's Day Care Center — Austin, Texas, US — January 28, 1992 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

“Fran and Dan Keller were sent to prison for sexually abusing a child in their suburban Austin Day Care Center. But parents have convinced themselves that the couple are guilty of much worse. They believe the Kellers belong to a cult that tortured and brainwashed their kids and turned them into Satan’s slaves.”1

  • Location: Austin, Texas at Facility: Fran's Day Care Center
  • 4 Claimed Innocent: Daniel6 and Francis6 Keller, Janise White, Paul Quintero
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse a child
  • Outcome: Daniel: In prison, Francis: In prison, White: Charges dropped, Quintero: Charges dropped, Incarcerated: Daniel: Since 1991, Francis: Since 1991
  • Dates: Incident: 19911, Arrest: Daniel: January 28, 19921, Francis: January 28, 19921, Trial: November 19921
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “independent therapist hired by defense attorneys to review videotapes made of the three victims … counted 89 leading questions”1
         Poor evidence. “there was hardly a trace of physical evidence”1
  • Latest information: March 20092
Source:
  1. The Innocent and the Damned (), Texas Monthly, April 1994
  2. Believing the Children — It's likely Fran and Danny Keller were innocent of charges of child sexual abuse, but they're still in prison after 17 years — by Jordan Smith, Austin Chronicle (Austin, Texas), March 27, 2009
  3. Legitimate Public Concern — The Keller prosecution is an enduring stain on Austin's honor — by Michael King, Austin Chronicle (Austin, Texas), March 27, 2009 (Editorial)
  4. The Power of Suggestion by Jana Birchum, Austin Chronicle (Austin, Texas), March 27, 2009 (Video, including footage of a child interview in the case.)
  5. Police report: Fran's Day Care (), Austin Police Department (Austin, Texas), June 22, 1992 (Entries dated from March 24, 1992 to August 11, 1998. Bulk of file is two entries dated June 22, 1992 and July 7, 1992.) (Link)
  6. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: FL98, NCRJ-Spons, Imag-In, DN95-In


John Harvey — Tarrant County, Texas, US — 1992 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Harvey was convicted of molesting the 3-year-old daughter of his live-in girlfriend. The victim, now 17, denied that Harvey was her molester and only named him under pressure from the prosecutor, Lisa Mullen. In a sworn statement the victim said, "I am also very angry with the prosecutor. I feel that she took advantage of me because she wanted to win her case."”1

  • Location: Tarrant County, Texas
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: John Michael Harvey
  • Accusations: Sexually molest his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter4
  • Outcome: Sentence: 40 years4, Correction: Conviction overturned and released10, Incarcerated: 12 years10
  • Dates: Incident: 19904, Conviction: 19924, Exoneration: December 200410, Release: December 200410
  • Latest information: December 200410
Source:
 • Brief summary
  1. John Michael Harvey by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, October 2005
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  2. Penned In — Almost nobody -- not even the trial judge or the victim -- thinks John Michael Harvey molested a child. So why's he still serving 40 years in prison? — Houston Press, June 12, 2003
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  3. Keller, Hervey, can't stand in way of innocence claim, but try by Scott Henson, Grits for Breakfast, December 11, 2004
 • Case documents and news reports
  4. Seeking freedom () — Man convicted in 1992 of molesting a 3-year-old girl cites new evidence in his request to reopen the case — Star-Telegram, May 29, 2003
  5. DA seeks more time to study innocence claim (), Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas), June 10, 2003
  6. Judge: Man wrongly accused — Convicted sex offender awaits appeal court decision — Associated Press, April 9, 2004
  7. Ex Parte John Michael Harvey, Texas Court Of Criminal Appeals, December 8, 2004 (name search. En bank opinion)
  8. Dissenting Opinion: Ex Parte John Michael Harvey by J. Johnson, Texas Court Of Criminal Appeals, December 8, 2004 (name search)
  9. Dissenting Opinion: Ex Parte John Michael Harvey by J. Hervey, Texas Court Of Criminal Appeals, December 8, 2004 (name search)
  10. Man Free after 12 Years in Prison for Wrongful Conviction (), Associated Press, December 11, 2004
Listed in: VotS


Ronnie Gariepy — Hutchinson County, Texas, US — 1992 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Gariepy pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting his 13-year-old stepdaughter after authorities persuaded him that he might have committed the crime during an alcoholic blackout. The alleged victim recanted her allegation 18 months after he was sentenced to 12 years in prison. After Gariepy was paroled in 1999, Gov. George W. Bush granted him a pardon based on innocence.”1

  • Location: Hutchinson County, Texas
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Ronnie Mark Gariepy
  • Accusations: Sexually assault his 13-year-old stepdaughter2
  • Outcome: Sentence: 12 years2, Other: Paroled in 1999, pardoned in 20002, Incarcerated: 7 years
  • Dates: Incident: 19912, Conviction: 19922, Release: 19992
  • Latest information: August 20002
Source:
  1. Ronnie Mark Gariepy by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, July 2005
  2. Ronnie Mark Gariepy — Although the rape allegation had been fabricated, Ronnie Mark Gariepy pled guilty — Center on Wrongful Convictions, Northwestern University School of Law
Listed in: VotS


Patrick Figured et al. — Smithfield, North Carolina, US — 1992 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

“Patrick Figured's girlfriend's mother babysat a few children at her farm house. One two year old was having pain in the genital area and perhaps constipation. After seeing several doctors, the child ended up at Duke. There, a pediatrician who examined the child's anus decided there was the possibility of sexual abuse. The girl's case was referred to social worker Nancy Berson, who claims experience in satanic ritual abuse.”1

  • Location: Smithfield, North Carolina
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: Patrick Figured, Sonja Hill
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse three children aged 2 to 5, including sodomize with a screwdriver, have sex in front of them, make pornographic videos of them, whip and drug them, and force them to drink urine and blood2 (SRA2)
  • Outcome: Sentence: Figured: 3 consecutive life terms2, Hill: 10 years2, Other: Figured: In prison, Incarcerated: Figured: Since 1992
  • Dates: Conviction: 19922
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “The statements of the children were the result of lengthy, repeated interviews by zealous interrogators.”2 “Ms. Berson admitted [that her interviews] involved leading questions as to sexual and ritualistic abuse … She introduced Pat's name in the interview because the girl's mother insisted that Pat was the only person who had access to the child. Ms. Berson then used similar suggestive techniques on the girl's five year old brother and another two year old girl who attended the daycare.”1
         Poor evidence. “positive result during "anal dilation" tests … discredited, because both abused and non-abused children have been found to have the same reaction”2 No pornographic videos found.
  • Latest information: August 19944
Source:
  1. Outrageous Appellate Decision of the Decade by Jonathan G. Harris, Witchhunt Information Center
  2. The Ritual Abuse Case in "Smithfield, NC", Religious Tolerance
  3. North Carolina v. Figured: Defendant-Appellant's Brief (), North Carolina Court of Appeals, August 23, 1993
  4. North Carolina v. Figured (), North Carolina Court of Appeals, August 16, 1994
Listed in: NCRJ-In, Imag-In, OCRT, DHill, WIC


Rainer Moellers — Muenster, Germany — 1992 (charges)
Prosecution with acquittal at trial

“[A] male … teacher at a Montessori nursery in Muenster, [Germany] was fired because of allegations of ritual abuse. The concerns originated with a conversation between a child, his mother and a friend of the mother who is a social worker and member of a local feminist group. The allegation centered around the taking of the child's temperature; it was quickly cleared up. But, after a series of talks to parents by the feminist group, additional allegations surfaced. Parents received a checklist of warning signs of sexual abuse. In 1992, Moellers was charged with abusing 62 children at 2 nurseries.”1

  • Location: Muenster, Germany
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Rainer Moellers
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse 62 children at two nurseries, including paint genitals with water colors, smear jam, Nutella, toothpaste, sperm, and excrement on genitals and lick it off, group oral and penetrative sex, insert pencils, spoons, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and toy cars in their vaginas and anuses, stick pins, needles, nails and a penknife into genitals, ejaculate, urinate, and defecate on them, force them to eat excrement out of toilet bowls, bury them in coffins, and threaten to kill them.1 (SRA1)
  • Outcome: Acquitted at trial1
  • Dates: Charges: 19921, Trial: 19951
  • Problems: Poor evidence. There was no evidence to confirm any of the charges, despite the fact that some of the alleged acts would have definitely left evidence if they had taken place.1
  • Latest information: 19951
Source:
  1. Ritual Abuse Cases in Muenster, Germany, Religious Tolerance
Listed in: OCRT 

1991


Timothy Durham — Tulsa County, Oklahoma, US — November 1991 (charges)
Prosecution with imprisonment

“Durham was convicted of raping an 11 year-old girl, Molly M., and robbing her house. Durham had 11 alibi witnesses who placed him at a skeet shooting competition in Dallas, TX at the time of the attack, but he was convicted anyway and sentenced to over 3,100 years imprisonment. His trial featured a dubious forensic analyst who implied Durham's hair matched hair left by the attacker. DNA tests exonerated him in 1997.”1

  • Location: Tulsa County, Oklahoma
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Timothy Durham
  • Accusations: Rape and rob an 11 year-old girl
  • Outcome: Sentence: Over 3,100 years2, Correction: Conviction overturned after DNA test2, Incarcerated: Over 3½ years2
  • Dates: Incident: May 31, 19912, Charges: November 19912, Conviction: 19932, Exoneration: December 9, 19972
  • Latest information: December 19972
Source:
  1. Timothy Durham by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, October 2005
  2. Timothy Durham, Innocence Project, December 1997 (Undated; date is month of latest event mentioned.)
Listed in: InnPr, VotS


Dale Klassen et al. — Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada — July 10, 1991 (arrest)
Prosecution with imprisonment

“It was called the Scandal of the Century. A Saskatchewan foster family stood accused of committing unspeakable acts of murder and ritual sexual abuse upon their young charges. And then, startlingly, the two children whose testimony had led to the charges against the foster families, recanted on [TV news program] the fifth estate, admitting they had made the whole thing up. the fifth estate has … discovered that the Crown had serious doubts about its case all along but proceeded anyway. And, now a court has found the Saskatchewan crown prosecutor and police liable for malicious prosecution. An interium [sic] payment of $1.5 million has been awarded to the foster family.”1

  • Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • 16 Claimed Innocent: Dale and Anita Klassen (former foster parents), Richard (Dale's brother) and Kari Klassen, Peter Klassen (Dale and Richard's father), Don and Helen Ross (birth parents), Don White (Helen's boyfriend), Pamela Shetterly, 7 others2
  • Accusations: More than 70 counts: Conduct orgies with boy, 11, and his sisters, both 8, including forced sex acts with dogs and bats, force them to drink blood and urine and eat human eyeballs, feces, and a barbequed newborn baby.2 (SRA2)
  • Outcome: Correction: Don Ross: Conviction overturned by Supreme Court2, Helen: Conviction overturned by Supreme Court2, Don White: Conviction overturned by Supreme Court2, Incarcerated: Peter: 4 years2, Compensation: Wrongful prosecution settlements were made for undisclosed amounts, but included an interim payment of Cdn$1.5 million.2
  • Dates: Arrest: Richard: July 10, 19912, Kari: July 10, 19912, Exoneration: Don Ross: 19962, Helen: 19962, Don White: 19962
  • Problems: Poor evidence. No physical evidence of abuse. No dead babies found.2
         Recanted testimony. The Ross children, a decade later, “stated publicly that they lied to investigators, and that they had admitted this early in the investigation.”2
  • Case question: Refs 4,6,2 say that the TV documentary aired on November 29, 2000, but the program's website1 says it was originally broadcast on January 23, 2002. Is the latter referring to a different program that aired almost a year after the first one? Also, the resources page of the program's site refers to a CBC story about controversy over the injustice busters site,3 but the link is bad. Were there claims about that site being invalid?
  • Latest information: March 20088
Source:
 • Article from television documentary
  1. Scandal of the Century, Fifth Estate, CBC TV (Canada), January 23, 2002 (5 Web pages). Sections: The Children, The Evidence, Story Update, Resources
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  2. The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Ritual Abuse Hoax — "The Scandal of the Century" — by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, November 5, 2002 (Updated October 28, 2004.)
 • Dedicated website
  3. InjusticeBusters (100s of Web pages)
  4. The Klassen story: Breaking through to the public, injustice busters, January 2001 (Undated; date is month of latest update on page.)
  5. Sept-Oct 2003: The Klassen/Kvello civil action — A self-represented litigant's major accomplishment — injustice busters, September 2003
  6. The Klassen/Kvello malicious prosecution: Background, injustice busters, 2004 (Undated; date is of latest item in main body of page.)
  7. Brian Dueck: The whitewashing begins . . ., injustice busters, December 2004 (Undated; date is month of all articles on page.)
  8. "Klassen Case" Category, injustice busters (blog). (Access in March 2008 showed entry of March 13, 2008.)
Listed in: OCRT


Faith Chapel — San Diego, California, US — May 10, 1991 (arrest)
Prosecution with acquittal at trial

Dale Akiki, a physically deformed and mildly retarded man, volunteered with his wife as a baby-sitter at a local church. The couple looked after the children on Sundays while the parents attended services. Accusations arose “when a young girl told her mother that "He showed me him's penis." The mother contacted the police. After interviews, nine other children accused Akiki of killing animals and drinking their blood in front of the children. He was found innocent of the 35 counts of child abuse and kidnapping in his 1993 trial.”1

  • Location: San Diego, California at Facility: Faith Chapel
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Dale Akiki
  • Accusations: 35 counts: Sexually abuse and kidnap ten children, including show a young girl his penis, rape and sodomize children, kill animals and babies (SRA2,3)
  • Outcome: Found not guilty after 7½ month trial.10, Incarcerated: 2½ years10, Compensation: Settled for over $2 million in 1994 lawsuit against prosecutors, therapists and church.2
  • Dates: Arrest: May 10, 19914, Trial: March 19938
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. Investigation methods criticized by grand jury and DA after acquittal11,12
         Poor evidence. No physical evidence presented at trial. No dead babies found.
  • Latest information: September 19942
Source:
 • Brief summary
  1. Dale Akiki, Wikipedia (Section of Day care sex abuse hysteria, Wikipedia)
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  2. Dale Akiki, Frontline, PBS, May 27, 1997 (Section of Other Well-Known Cases, Frontline, PBS, May 27, 1997)
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  3. "Akiki": Ritual Abuse Case by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, October 1, 2002
 • Case documents and news reports
  4. Church Volunteer Indicted in Molestations (), Los Angeles Times, May 14, 1991
  5. Other Suspects Added to Child Sex Abuse Probe (), Los Angeles Times, May 15, 1991
  6. Judge Rejects Bail for Suspect in Molestations at Preschool (), Los Angeles Times, May 25, 1991
  7. Molestation Hearing Continues Next Week (), Los Angeles Times, February 8, 1992
  8. Is Trial of Church Volunteer Accused of Abusing Children a Witch Hunt? () — Courts: Deformed man is charged with molesting boys and girls while a baby-sitter. His defenders say his looks are causing the outcry. Reliability of child witnesses is also questioned. — Los Angeles Times, June 28, 1993
  9. Former Preschool Worker Cries on Stand in Denying Molestation () — Trial: Mildly retarded defendant testifies that he is not guilty. Case has fueled debate over validity of child abuse prosecutions in general. — Los Angeles Times, October 22, 1993
  10. Ex-School Volunteer Acquitted of Child Abuse Charges () — Verdict: After deliberating for just seven hours, jury finds Dale Akiki not guilty on all 35 counts. Trial was longest in San Diego's history. — Los Angeles Times, November 20, 1993
  11. Analysis of Child Molestation Issues () — Report No. 7 — 1993-94 San Diego County Grand Jury, June 1, 1994
  12. Prosecutors Rebuked in Molestation Case, New York Times, June 3, 1994
 See also the other cases in San Diego: James Wade, Melissa and Kimberly, and Foster brother.
Listed in: Wiki, FL97, FL98, NCRJ-Exon, OCRT, DHill, DN95-Out


San Diego, California, US — 1991 (investigation)
Visitation curtailed

A woman left her husband in North Carolina and took their two daughters, aged four and seven, to live with her mother in San Diego. The father then moved to that area too. He had several visits with the children in the company of their mother and grandmother. A petition was filed in juvenile court alleging that he had sexually molested the girls. Criminal charges were not filed, but the father's visitation was curtailed or eliminated. A psychological evaluation of the children determined that they had been heavily coached in their reports of sexual abuse. However, by that time, the children had developed such a fear of their father that the psychologists were opposed to insisting that they visit with him.

  • Location: San Diego, California
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Children's father
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse his two daughters, aged 4 and 71
  • Outcome: Father's visitation curtailed or eliminated; the children learned to fear him
  • Dates: Investigation: 19911
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “The referee in the case found that the [children's] stories [of sexual abuse] were "incredible, potentially exaggerated, and maybe even sometimes fantasized."”1
         Poor evidence. “All of the physical evidence was inconsistent with [the children's] testimony.”1
  • Latest information: June 19921
Source:
  1. Child Sexual Abuse, Assault, and Molest Issues () — Report No. 8 — 1991-92 San Diego County Grand Jury, June 29, 1992. See section Case 2: Melissa F. (4) and Kimberly F. (7)
 See also the other cases in San Diego: Dale Akiki, James Wade, and Foster brother.


Robert Izzo et al. — Long Island, New York, US — 1991 (conviction)
Prosecution with imprisonment

“Izzo was a school bus driver … who was convicted of sexually abusing children … but later vindicated in a civil trial in which the jury explicitly found that the crimes had never happened.”1

  • Location: Long Island, New York
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: Robert Izzo, Others
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse children aged 5 to 12 on the school bus he drove and threaten them into silence1
  • Outcome: Vindicated in civil lawsuit against bus company in which jury found that the crimes had never happened1
  • Dates: Investigation: 19891, Conviction: 19911
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “the children were interviewed at great length using suggestive techniques”1
         Poor evidence. No physical evidence of abuse1
  • Latest information: 19951
Source:
  1. Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Vacate Defendant's Conviction, Court of Nassau County, New York, January 7, 2004 (Jesse Friedman's Appeal Motion). See section Argument (C) (3), page 65


Jimmy Williams — Summit County, Ohio, US — 1991 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Williams was convicted of the rape of a 12-year-old girl. An attorney, appointed to represent him at a parole hearing in Dec. 2000, set up a meeting with the father of the victim. Three months later the victim recanted her identification of Williams. The victim originally claimed she was raped after her parents confronted her about sucker marks, which were on her neck. The victim and a girlfriend testified they had been experimenting with sexual activity, and the girlfriend, who was also 12, had made the sucker marks. At trial, doctors could not say that the victim was raped. They could only say the victim was not a virgin. The victim apparently still maintained she had been raped, but stated in court that she did not see her assailant’s face.”1

  • Location: Summit County, Ohio
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Jimmy Williams
  • Accusations: Rape a 12-year-old girl
  • Outcome: Sentence: Life3, Correction: Released after recantation., Incarcerated: 10 years3, Compensation: Settled for $750,000 in wrongful conviction suit.3
  • Dates: Incident: 19903, Conviction: 19913, Release: February 14, 20012
  • Problems: Recanted testimony. “She said she kept her eyes closed during the attack and did not see the man's face. She said she picked Williams' photograph from mug shots because he was the only young, thin black man among them.”2
  • Latest information: September 20033
Source:
  1. Jimmy Williams by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, September 2007
  2. Williams, Jimmy "Spunk": Informant Reversal, Wrongfully Convicted (main page)
  3. Wrongly Imprisoned Man Gets Largest Ohio Award (), Associated Press, September 24, 2003
Listed in: VotS


Orkney, Scotland, UK — 1991 (charges)
Children removed to foster homes

Two children from a “family in Orkney … were placed in a foster home in 1991 at the ages of 4 and 7. They denied that they had been abused and no reliable evidence was found of either sexual assault or Satanic ritual abuse. They were refused any access to their mother, starting in 1992 and put up for adoption in 1996 against the wishes of their mother. Their 22-year-old sister, who was returned to her family of origin said she believed they would have been told their mother no longer wanted them. She said: "When I was taken and kept at a children's home, the social workers and care assistants constantly told me my mother no longer loved me and that my whole family had turned their backs on me. I was brainwashed into thinking I was alone and nobody wanted me."”1

  • Location: Orkney, Scotland
  • Dates: Charges: 19911
Source:
  1. Study of childhood ritual abuse in the UK by Bruce Robinson, Ontario Centre for Religious Tolerance, Religious Tolerance, May 14, 2000. (Brief description of case in Orkney)
  2. Orkney Island follow-up, False Allegations Action Scotland


Michael Parker et al. — Hendersonville, North Carolina, US — 1991 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

“Divorced and living alone in a trailer camp in the nearby town of Saluda, Parker was too poor to hire a lawyer. "Sodom and Saluda" was what Mike Edwards, the prosecuting attorney, called the town. (Saludians were of course furious.) He quoted frequently from the Bible while jurors smiled and one man murmured "Amen." It took them only 55 minutes to find Parker guilty. He is now in prison, eligible for parole in 160 years.”1

  • Location: Hendersonville, North Carolina
  • 9 Claimed Innocent: Michael Allen3 Parker, His mother, Charlie Stepp3, Tabitha Taylor3, Travis Gordon3, Terry Huey3, Gary Huey3, Melvin Rivis3, 1 other1
  • Accusations: Rape his three young children in satanic rituals, drink their blood (SRA1,2)
  • Outcome: Parker: In prison. Eligible for parole in 2150., Incarcerated: Parker: Since 1991
  • Dates: Arrest: 19912, Conviction: 19931,2
  • Problems: Recovered memory. “[The children's] memories had been revived by therapists”1
         Recanted testimony. “One of Michael's children … said that no abuse ever happened and that the children were pressured into making the accusations.”2
  • Latest information: February 19941
Source:
  1. The Tragedies of False Memories () by Martin Gardner, Skeptical Inquirer, September 1994. (Three paragraphs about Parker case in middle of article)
  2. "Michael Parker" Satanic ritual abuse case in North Carolina by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, May 20, 2003
  3. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
 See also the other cases involving recovered memories: Frank Fuster, Paul Ingram, George Franklin, Michael Kliman, Ray and Shirley Souza, John Quattrocchi, Timothy Smith, and Paul Shanley.
Listed in: Imag-In, OCRT, DN95-In 

1990


Ayr, Scotland, UK — 1990s (est.)
Prosecution

(No case description available)

  • Location: Ayr, Scotland
  • Dates: 1990s (est.)
Source:
  1. Introduction by the Author of the Revised Joint Enquiry Report by J. B. Gwatkin, Broxtowe Files, May 16, 1997. (Mentions Ayr as the location of a case.)
  2. The "Nottingham, UK" Ritual Abuse Cases by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, October 15, 1999. (Mentions Ayr as the location of a case.)


James Wade — San Diego, California, US — December 13, 1990 (arrest)
Prosecution

An eight-year-old girl was brutally raped. A therapist believed that her father was responsible and that the girl's account of events had been fabricated to cover for him.1

“When asked what Alicia would tell her brother to keep him safe, Alicia responded, "tell him to keep his window locked." That statement was omitted from the narrative report because it didn't fit with what the interviewer wanted to hear. Far more damming, Alicia was asked with whom she would feel safe. She clearly stated, as attested by the Grand Jury's viewing of this tape, "my mom, dad, and brother." This is reported in the narrative of this interview as, "my mom and brother." It was later cited by the evidentiary interviewer in her narrative, the social worker in her social study, and the Director of the Center for Child Protection in his letter to the court. This statement was used to show Alicia's exclusion of the father as a person with whom she felt safe. The best that can be said is that these people heard what they wanted to hear. The worst is that they committed perjury.”2

  • Location: San Diego, California
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: James Wade
  • Accusations: Rape his 8-year-old daughter and sexually molest his son1
  • Outcome: Compensation: Received $3.7 million settlement from various agencies1
  • Dates: Incident: May 9, 19891, Arrest: December 13, 19901
  • Latest information: May 19951
Source:
  1. Hearing on Child Protection; Balancing Diverging Interests () prepared testimony of James B. Wade, US Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, Subcommittee on Children and Families, May 25, 1995
  2. The Case of Alicia W. (SL) — Report No. 6 — 1991-92 San Diego County Grand Jury, June 23, 1992
 See also the other cases in San Diego: Dale Akiki, Melissa and Kimberly, and Foster brother.
Listed in: DHill


Rochdale, England, UK — June 1990 (charges)
Children removed to foster homes

The reports on this case do not say anything about arrests, although they do indicate that “allegations of devil worship and sex abuse” were made and that a court determined they were false.8 Instead of adults being arrested, the reports talk about (and a BBC dramatization show3) children being seized from their homes in predawn raids by police. Although the finding that the allegations were false took place by the next year, the children were kept away from their families for as much as ten years.

  • Location: Rochdale, England
  • 10 Claimed Innocent: 10 parents of the seized children
  • Accusations: Sexually and physically abuse their own children5 (SRA6,7)
  • Outcome: 20 children were removed from their homes.7 Sixteen were put into foster care for periods ranging from two months to ten years2
  • Dates: Charges: June 19907, Exoneration: 19918
  • Latest information: January 11, 20062,8
Source:
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  1. When Satan came to town — In 1990 the Devil came to Rochdale. — Real Story, BBC News, January 9, 2006
  2. Lost years of 'satanic panic' children — In 1990, families on a council estate in north Manchester woke up to every parent's worst nightmare. With no warning, police and social workers had come to take their children. — Real Story, BBC News, January 11, 2006
 • Television coverage
  3. Children sue in false abuse claim — Some of the children who were taken from their families because of false claims of Satanic abuse, are suing the local council. — BBC News, January 9, 2006 (Undated. Date is of like-titled article.)
  4. False abuse claim victim speaks out — In 1990 social workers removed 16 children from their parents in Rochdale, believing they were abused in satanic rituals. — Breakfast, BBC, January 2006 (Undated. Date is estimate.)
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  5. Rochdale, UK: Satanic Ritual Abuse Case by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance
 • News reports
  6. Satanic abuse scandal kids take action (), Manchester Evening News (England), January 7, 2006
  7. Children sue in false abuse claim — Twelve children who were wrongly taken from their families because of false allegations of Satanic abuse, are suing the local council for compensation. — BBC News, January 9, 2006
  8. BBC wins removed children ruling — The BBC has successfully challenged an injunction blocking a programme about a group of children taken from families wrongly suspected of Satanic rituals. — BBC News (United Kingdom), January 11, 2006
Listed in: OCRT


Prescott, Ontario, Canada — February 1990 (charges)
Prosecution with imprisonment, some may still be in prison

“Here was a small community in which social workers, police and prosecutors claimed to find 119 pedophiles engaged in a multi-family, multi-generational orgy of child molestation. 275 children and adults were declared to be victims, 42 children were taken from their homes and 28 were eventually made wards of the crown.”3

  • Location: Prescott, Ontario, Canada
  • 65 Claimed Innocent: 65 people charged out of 119 perpetrators identified (97 men, 22 women)1
  • Accusations: 376 offenses against 162 children1 Sexually abuse children and make pornographic videos of them, make them drink "yucky juice," threaten them with guns and knives, and murder a baby named Joshua.3 (SRA3)
  • Outcome: 45 trials yielded 41 convictions1
  • Dates: Incident: August 19891, Charges: February 19901
  • Problems: Poor evidence. No pornographic videos or dead babies found.3
  • Latest information: January 20043
Source:
  1. Re: Prescott case by Bruce Robinson, Ontario Centre for Religious Tolerance, Doug Hill's website, February 23, 1996
  2. Ritual Abuse Cases in Prescott, Ontario, Canada by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, August 29, 2001 (Updated January 26, 2005.)
  3. Second Thoughts about Project Jericho by Lona Manning, Imaginary Crimes, January 2004
Listed in: Imag-Main, Imag-Out, OCRT, DHill


San Diego, California, US — 1990 (est.)
Prosecution

“The [San Diego Grand] Jury investigated a case brought by citizen complaint. The natural 18-year old son of a foster mother was accused by a 10-year old foster child of sexual molest. The child was immediately removed, the foster care license pulled, and the 18-year-old prosecuted for felony sexual assault. The only evidence in the case was the child's allegation. The 18-year-old adamantly denied the charge. The 18-year old pled "nolo" to a misdemeanor charge with the understanding that this would be removed from his record in one year.

“The foster mother had not been informed prior to the placement of this child that the child had a history of sexual molest, multiple placements, and false allegations against various parties. While in this home the child made allegations against his social worker and classroom teacher.

“The DSS file includes a long history of psychological problems and psychological evaluations which reported that the child was a pathological liar. The District Attorney and DSS had this information, the defense did not. There was no physical evidence and the decision to prosecute was based solely on the child's allegation. Defense costs bankrupted this family. The Department lost a foster care provider.”1

  • Location: San Diego, California
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Natural son of foster mother (18)
  • Accusations: Sexually molest a 10-year-old foster child of the family1
  • Outcome: Family cannot take foster children any more, and bankrupted by legal costs1
  • Dates: 1990 (est.)
  • Problems: Poor evidence. “There was no physical evidence … The only evidence in the case was the child's allegation.”1
         Judicial misconduct. Prosecutors did not provide the defense with information that they had, a “long history of … psychological evaluations … that the child was a pathological liar.”1
  • Case question: This case is described in a grand jury report1 but that description is refuted in a report of the following year's grand jury.2
  • Latest information: June 19932
Source:
  1. Child Sexual Abuse, Assault, and Molest Issues () — Report No. 8 — 1991-92 San Diego County Grand Jury, June 29, 1992. See section, Do Children Lie about Abuse and Sexual Trauma?, for description of this case.
  2. Protect the Child, Preserve the Family (SL) — Report No. 13 — 1992-93 San Diego County Grand Jury, June 23, 1993. See page 8 for this case.
 See also the other cases in San Diego: Dale Akiki, James Wade, and Melissa and Kimberly.


Bjeugn, Norway — 1990 (est.)
Prosecution

(No case description available)

  • Location: Bjeugn, Norway
  • 7 Claimed Innocent: 4 men, 3 women 1
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse children1
  • Dates: 1990 (est.)
Source:
  1. Ritual Abuse Cases in Muenster, Germany, Religious Tolerance. (Bjeugn case briefly mentioned.)


Marvin Mitchell — Suffolk County, Massachusetts, US — 1990 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Mitchell was convicted of abducting an 11-year-old girl from a Dorchester bus stop and raping her. The victim initially described her attacker as clean-shaven and cross-eyed, but Mitchell was neither. DNA tests exonerated Mitchell in 1997.”1

  • Location: Suffolk County, Massachusetts
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Marvin Mitchell
  • Accusations: Kidnap an 11-year-old girl at a bus stop and rape her2
  • Outcome: Sentence: 9 to 25 years2, Correction: “DNA … test showed that Mitchell's DNA did not match the semen sample obtained at the crime scene.”2, Incarcerated: 7 years2, Compensation: Settled lawsuit with City of Boston for $450,0003
  • Dates: Incident: September 22, 19882, Conviction: 19902, Exoneration: May 23, 19972, Release: April 23, 19972
  • Latest information: October 10, 20013
Source:
  1. Marvin Mitchell by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, October 2005
  2. Marvin Mitchell, Innocence Project
  3. Convictions of Innocent Persons in Massachusetts: An Overview by Stanley Z. Fisher, Boston University School Of Law, September 19, 2002. (Mitchell's case appears on page 17.)
Listed in: InnPr, VotS


Jack Broam et al. — Carson City, Nevada, US — 1990 (conviction)
Prosecution

“Jack Ray Broam, 38, and his co-worker, Jay Cee Manning, 37, were convicted of sodomizing Broam's 9-year-old son. The son testified that they sexually assaulted him as many as 50 times in one night. In 1998, the then 17-year-old son told a judge that his mother, Broam's ex-wife, locked him up and starved him until he was willing to falsely testify against the two.”1

  • Location: Carson City, Nevada
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: Jack Ray Broam, Jay Cee Manning
  • Accusations: Sodomize Broam's 9-year-old son1
  • Dates: Conviction: 19901
  • Problems: Recanted testimony. “[T]he then 17-year-old son told a judge that his mother, Broam's ex-wife, locked him up and starved him until he was willing to falsely testify against the two.”1
  • Latest information: 19981
Source:
  1. Broam Manning by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, October 2005
Listed in: VotS


James Parker — Monroe, North Carolina, US — 1990 (charges)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Parker was accused of molesting 19 children and convicted of molesting 4. Parker was sentenced to 3 life terms plus 60 years. No physical evidence linked him to the alleged crimes and he was charged even though children told stories of being tied to trees and fed poisoned ice cream. They also gave a wide range of descriptions of their attacker. In 2002, an investigation begun by a UNC journalism student brought forth 15 reported victims and witnesses who said the crimes never happened or that Parker was not the attacker. The only three boys who testified against Parker have since signed affidavits saying Parker did not commit the crimes. In 2004, Parker, who maintains his innocence, was coerced into pleading guilty to reduced sex crime charges in exchange for release from imprisonment.”1

  • Location: Monroe, Union County, North Carolina
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: James Bernard Parker
  • Accusations: Sexually molest 19 children1
  • Outcome: Sentence: 3 life terms plus 60 years1, Incarcerated: 14 years
  • Dates: Charges: 19901, Release: 20041
  • Latest information: 20041
Source:
  1. James Bernard Parker by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State
Listed in: VotS 

1989


George Franklin — Redwood City, California, US — November 28, 1989 (arrest)
Prosecution with imprisonment

“In the vivid scene that flashed into her mind, Eileen saw her best friend, eight-year-old Susan Nason, sitting on a rock in a wooded setting. Behind her, silhouetted by the sun, a man held a heavy rock above his head. Lifting her hands to protect herself as the man moved toward her, Susan glanced at Eileen, her wide eyes conveying her terror and helplessness. Seconds later, the man's arms came down with tremendous force. The rock crushed Susan's skull, and Eileen covered her ears against the sound of bones shattering.”1

  • Location: Redwood City, California
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: George Franklin
  • Accusations: Rape and murder his daughter's 8-year-old friend 20 years before1
  • Outcome: Correction: Conviction overturned3, Incarcerated: 6 years
  • Dates: Incident: September 22, 19691, Investigation: November 25, 19891, Arrest: November 28, 19891, Conviction: November 30, 19901, Exoneration: 19953, Release: July 19963
  • Problems: Recovered memory. Memory expert Elizabeth Loftus wrote: “Eileen's story is her truth, but I believe it is a truth that never happened.”1
         Poor evidence. “The only evidence against him was his daughter's [recovered] memory.”1
  • Latest information: July 3, 19963
Source:
  1. Truth or invention: Exploring the repressed memory syndrome by Elizabeth Loftus and Katherine Ketcham, 1994 (Chapter one of The Myth of Repressed Memory: False Memories and Allegations of Sexual Abuse by Elizabeth Loftus and Katherine Ketcham, St. Martin's Press, 1994 (Amazon))
  2. Court Hears State's Appeal in Repressed Memory Case (), San Francisco Examiner, October 20, 1995
  3. Repressed Memory Case Won't be Tried Again (), New York Times, July 3, 1996
  4. Sampling of Comments on the Decision Not to Prosecute George Franklin (), FMS Foundation Newsletter, September 1, 1996
 See also the other cases involving recovered memories: Frank Fuster, Paul Ingram, Michael Parker, Michael Kliman, Ray and Shirley Souza, John Quattrocchi, Timothy Smith, and Paul Shanley.
Listed in: DHill


Jerry Parker — Gerald, Missouri, US — August 30, 1989 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

“The girls said they were kidnapped at gunpoint from a gazebo in Gerald City Park and forced to walk to a woman’s rest room about a block away where they were molested. The girls’ story contains numerous implausible or impossible details.”1

  • Location: Gerald, Franklin County, Missouri
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Jerry Parker
  • Accusations: Sexually molest three girls aged 10 to 13
  • Outcome: Sentence: 195 years2, Other: In prison, Incarcerated: Since 1989
  • Dates: Incident: August 10, 19892, Arrest: August 30, 19892, Conviction: 19912
  • Problems: Poor evidence. “[T]here was no physical evidence connecting [Parker] to the crime scene; his facial and bodily features are utterly different from that given to the police by the victims at the beginning of the investigation; his car was different in several ways from the car driven to the crime scene by the assailant; at least two witnesses … swore he was more than 20 miles away from the crime scene at the time of the crime.”2
  • Latest information: 20052
Source:
  1. Jerry Parker by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, October 2007
  2. Eyewitness Error --Again: The Pathetic Legal Case Against Jerry L. Parker — How an Innocent Man was Convicted on Corrupt Eyewitness Evidence and Sentenced to Spend the Rest of his Life in Jail — by Alvin G. Goldstein, 2005 (Undated; date is of latest reference cited.)
Listed in: VotS


Old Cutler Presbyterian Church — Miami, Florida, US — August 28, 1989 (arrest)
Prosecution with acquittal at trial

“Miami prosecutors charged the 14 year-old boy with sexually molesting a group of children he baby-sat at church. He was held in the Miami Juvenile Detention Center for two years, refused the State's offer of a plea bargain, and finally went to trial. The jury acquitted him on all charges in May 1991.”1

“[A] defense psychologist described [Fijnje's] as the most inhumane and despicable case he had seen in 23 years.”3

  • Location: Miami, Dade County, Florida at Facility: Old Cutler Presbyterian Church
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Bobby Fijnje (14)
  • Accusations: Sexually molest several preschoolers at the church
  • Outcome: Found not guilty at trial, Incarcerated: 20 months in juvenile jail
  • Dates: Incident: 19892, Arrest: August 28, 19892, Trial: 19912
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “a constellation of ingredients [in the child interviews] that … produce inaccurate reports with preschoolers”2
         Poor evidence. “diagnosis indicated physical signs of sexual abuse … that medical residents had misdiagnosed [from] normal genital variations”2
  • Latest information: October 19981
Source:
 • Brief summary
  1. The Bobby Fijnje case, Frontline, PBS, October 27, 1998
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  2. State of Florida vs. Bobby Fijnje, Frontline, PBS, October 27, 1998
  3. Confirmation Chronicles — The Ashcroft hearings tell us more about the senators than the nominee. — Wall Street Journal, January 19, 2001 (Editorial). (Mentions Janet Reno's prosecution of Fijnje and Snowden.)
  4. Afflicting the 'Comfortable' — Either an innocent man spent nine months in jail or a guilty man went free. But at least Janet Reno feels OK about it. — Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2001 (Editorial). (Mentions the Fijnje and Snowden cases tangentially.)
 • Statement from the boy's father
  5. Open Letter to the American People by B. Fijnje, Sr., Doug Hill's website, 1993
 See also other Dade County cases prosecuted by Janet Reno: Grant Snowden, Fusters, Richard McKinley, and others.
Listed in: FL98, NCRJ-Exon, DHill, DN95-Out


Seabeach Kindergarten — Sydney, Australia — August 1989 (trial)
Prosecution with case dismissed

“As Tony Deren is striding to work through the concourse of Wynyard station he notices two men in business suits staring at him and talking to each other. He goes up to them and launches into the little speech he uses on these occasions.

“"I'm not guilty, you know," he pleads, looking into their eyes, trying to convince them. "We were set up. One of these days there will be an inquiry and the truth will come out."

“The men look embarrassed and turn away. Tony Deren knows nothing he says will convince them, but he still had to try. He walks on towards his office. It is the start of another bad day.”1

—————

An expert witness testified in the case, “By the process they have put them through, the authorities have taught three to five year olds about deviant sexual behavior of the most gross and irresponsible sort - and at a time when they have no ability to know what is proper behavior … They have been taught to associate violence, stabbing, cutting with sexuality and the effect is worse than if they had been abused.”3

  • Location: Sydney, Australia at Facility: Seabeach Kindergarten
  • 4 Claimed Innocent: Anthony and Dawn Deren (school owner), Louise Bugg (teacher), Rima Muir (teacher)
  • Accusations: 54 counts: Kidnap and sexually molest 17 children, aged 3 to 63
  • Outcome: Case dismissed by judge2, Compensation: $800,000 plus interest to the Derens4
  • Dates: Investigation: October 27, 19882, Trial: August 19892
  • Latest information: February 19984
Source:
  1. Tony Deren’s nightmare: ’There goes Mr Bubbles’ — Mr Bubbles. How false accusations of child sex abuse destroyed the lives of an innocent couple. — by Ben Hills, Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), October 26, 1992
  2. Life in the shadows of Mr Bubbles — Mr Bubbles. How false accusations of child sex abuse destroyed the lives of an innocent couple. — by Ben Hills, Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), September 17, 1997
  3. "Mr. Bubbles" Case: Sydney, Australia, Religious Tolerance
  4. $950,000 damages for couple in "Mr Bubbles" case, Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), February 21, 1998
Listed in: OCRT


Little Rascals Day Care Center — Edenton, North Carolina, US — April 1989 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“During winter 1988-89, Edenton police attended a satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) seminar. Shortly thereafter accusations of mass child abuse began to surface involving the Little Rascals Day Care in Edenton. More than 90 children accused 20 adults including the mayor and the sheriff with 429 instances of child sexual abuse. Seven adults were eventually charged. Charges were dropped against three. Two were allowed to plead no contest. Two, Bob Kelly and Dawn Wilson, were found guilty of multiple charges of child sex abuse and given long sentences. The convictions were overturned on appeal and new trials were ordered. The cases were finally settled in 1999 when all charges were dropped against Kelley.”2

  • Location: Edenton, Chowan County, North Carolina at Facility: Little Rascals Day Care Center
  • 7 Claimed Innocent: Robert (Bob, co-owner of day care) and Betsy Kelly (co-owner), Katheryn14 Dawn Wilson (cook at day care), Shelley Stone (teacher at day care), Darlene Harris (or Bunch4), Robin Byrum (teacher at day care), Scott Privott (Bob's friend) (4,8)
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse nursery students, including kill babies at the daycare, throw children overboard on a boat, and take children “to outer space in a hot air balloon”4
  • Outcome: Sentence: Robert Kelly: 12 consecutive life terms4, Betsy Kelly: 7 years4, Wilson: Life4, Correction: Robert Kelly: Convictions overturned, re-trials ordered, charges dismissed4, Wilson: Same4, Other: Stone: Charges dropped4, Harris: Same4, Byrum: Same4, Incarcerated: Robert Kelly: 7 years, Betsy Kelly: 3 years4, Wilson: 7 years, Stone: 1 year, Harris: 1 year, Byrum: 1 year4, Privott: 3 years4
  • Dates: Arrest: Robert Kelly: April 19894, Betsy Kelly: September 19894, Conviction: Betsy Kelly: January 19944, Exoneration: Robert Kelly: 19954, Wilson: 19954, Release: Betsy Kelly: 19954
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “… many [children] had to be led very carefully by the prosecution before they recounted the acts involved in the actual indictments.”5
         Poor evidence. “… the defense's medical experts … testified that the results … showed no evidence whatsoever of sexual abuse.”5
  • Latest information: September 19994
Source:
 • Brief summaries
  1. Little Rascals Day Care Center, Wikipedia (Section of Day care sex abuse hysteria, Wikipedia)
  2. Little Rascals Day Care by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, July 2005
  3. Little Rascals, Edenton, NC. by Jonathan G. Harris, Witchhunt Information Center (Section of Witchhunt Information Center by Jonathan G. Harris)
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  4. Little Rascals Day Care Center, Frontline, PBS, April 25, 2002 (Section of Outcomes of High Profile Day Care Sexual Abuse Cases of the 1980s, Frontline, PBS, April 25, 2002)
 • Analysis from a television documentary series
  5. Innocence Lost produced by Ofra Bikel, Frontline, PBS, May 7, 1991
  6. Innocence Lost: The Verdict, Parts I and II produced by Ofra Bikel, Frontline, PBS, July 20, 1993
  7. Innocence Lost: The Verdict, Parts III and IV produced by Ofra Bikel, Frontline, PBS, July 21, 1993
  8. Innocence Lost: The Plea produced by Ofra Bikel, Frontline, PBS, May 27, 1997 (40 Web pages, including a detailed review of the case)
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  9. Little Rascals Day Care Center, Wikipedia
  10. The "Little Rascals" Ritual Abuse Case, in Edenton, NC by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, April 1, 2003
 • Case documents and news reports
  11. Excerpts from testimony at Bob Kelly's trial compiled by Jonathan G. Harris, 1992 (Harris' page)
  12. Day-Care Owner Is Convicted of Child Molesting, New York Times, April 23, 1992
  13. North Carolina v. Robert Fulton Kelly, Jr.: Defendant-Appellant's Brief, North Carolina Court of Appeals, April 21, 1994 (Linked table of contents)
 • Skeletal information for citation reference only
  14. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: Wiki, FL98, FL02, NCRJ-Exon, Imag-Out, OCRT, VotS, DHill, WIC, DN95-In, DN95-Out


Nottingham, England, UK — February 1989 (conviction)
Prosecution with imprisonment, some may still be in prison

In 1987, seven children of an extended family in Nottingham, England, were removed from their families on suspicion of sexual abuse by their parents and relatives. “The children's foster parents were asked to keep diaries of anything they said or did that might be relevant to their future welfare. … The disclosures made in these diaries indicated very extensive sexual abuse … [and] more … as the children talked about witch parties, the murder of babies, the killing of animals, the involvement of strangers and of being taken elsewhere to be abused. Nothing like the content of these diaries had ever been seen before and they eventually gave rise to the suspicion that the children might have been involved in some form of organised [sic] ritualistic Satanic abuse or witchcraft cult. Adult members of the extended family were interviewed by social workers and appeared to support this view.”4

The use of these diaries created a rift between the city's social workers, who believed them, and its police, who doubted their validity. After just over a year, the diaries were used by prosecutors to charge ten adult members of the family with “53 offences of incest, indecent assault and cruelty against 21 of the children of their extended family and extensive terms of imprisonment were imposed.”4

To heal the rift in the city government, a special team from both departments was assigned to investigate. After five months of work,1 the team presented a confidential report of over 600 pages.4 A summary of the report was prepared for public dissemination at the request of the local member of parliament, but after its completion, the Nottingham County Council fought for seven years to keep it secret.3,5,6,7 One of the conclusions of the report was that the city's social workers “appear to have developed … a belief system in ritualistic Satanic abuse which is unwittingly resulting in children being encouraged to believe in and allege bizarre abuse. This could lead eventually to grave injustice and if unchecked it has the ingredients of a modern "witch hunt".”4[Report Part 5] The report did not comment on whether a grave injustice had already been committed in the ten convictions handed down in the case.

  • Location: Nottingham, England
  • 10 Claimed Innocent: 10 men and women in one extended family4
  • Accusations: 53 counts: Physically and sexually assault 21 children in the family4 (SRA4)
  • Outcome: Sentence: “extensive terms of imprisonment”4
  • Dates: Investigation: October 19874, Conviction: February 19894
  • Problems: Poor evidence. The investigating team reported, “[W]e could not find any evidence to support the children's disclosures and in our view the apparent corroboration by the adult members of the family was illusory.”4[Report Part 2]
  • Latest information: August 19977
Source:
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  1. The "Nottingham, UK" Ritual Abuse Cases by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, October 15, 1999
 • Dedicated website
  2. The Broxtowe Files by Nick Anning, David Hebditch and Margaret Jervis (12 Web pages)
  3. Introduction by the Author of the Revised Joint Enquiry Report by J. B. Gwatkin, Broxtowe Files, May 16, 1997
 • Case documents and press releases
  4. Revised Joint Enquiry Report — (“Jet Report”) — by Nottingham Police/Social Services Joint Enquiry Team (JET), Nottinghamshire County Council (England), June 7, 1990 (6 Web pages)
  5. Nottinghamshire v. John Gwatkin et al.: Order for Injunction, High Court of Justice, Chancery Division (Birmingham District, England), June 3, 1997
  6. UK Nottinghamshire County Council in bid to stop Internet publication of controversial child abuse report., Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (United Kingdom), June 3, 1997 (Press release)
  7. UK JET Report Controversy over - Notts CC backs down, Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (United Kingdom), August 4, 1997 (Press release)
Listed in: OCRT


Breezy Point Day School — Bucks County, Pennsylvania, US — 1989 (investigation)
Prosecution with charges dropped

“… for once, the DA did the right thing. Alan Rubenstein announced that the charges were baseless and that no charges would be laid. He said in [an] interview, years later, that "I wanted to try the case myself … I was convinced it would be the greatest case in the history of [Pennsylvania]. But there was no evidence at all … I was instead convinced this was the greatest hoax in the history of [Pennsylvania] … The parents thought I was some victim of Witchcraft … But it was all the product of a shared hysteria. … "We proved that none of this ever happened … This wasn't a question of maybe it happened and we just can't prove it. This was conjured up by the hysteria of the parents who bought into this. It never happened."”1

  • Location: Bucks County, Pennsylvania at Facility: Breezy Point Day School
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: Day school teacher, Others
  • Accusations: Penetrate girl students' vaginas with "cinnamon cream," beat and lock up students, make them eat feces, drink urine and watch rabbits being slaughtered, cut and stab students, photograph them nude (SRA1)
  • Outcome: Correction: All charges dropped, Compensation: “In a subsequent civil defamation suit, the accusers paid the teacher and school an undisclosed sum.”1
  • Dates: Investigation: 19891
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “Professionals … interviewed students … who all denied that any abuse had taken place. The interviews were repeated for months … [until] finally two additional four-year old girls disclosed that they had also been abused.”1
         Poor evidence. “There was no physical evidence … to support the children's accusations.”1 No nude photographs found.
  • Latest information: April 19971
Source:
  1. The Bucks County, PA Day School Ritual Abuse Case, Religious Tolerance
Listed in: NCRJ-Exon, OCRT


Dwayne Dail — Wayne County, North Carolina, US — 1989 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“The girl initially described her attacker as having shoulder-length light brown hair and a beard. Dail and others later testified that at the time of the attack his hair was bleached and cut in a "Billy Idol" style, and that he was incapable of growing anything more than patchy facial hair. Nevertheless, the girl identified Dail as her assailant and an expert testified that hairs found at the crime scene were microscopically consistent with those of Dail. Dail reportedly turned down an offer to plead guilty in exchange for three years of probation. A jury sentenced him to two life terms plus 15 years. In 2007, DNA tests proved that Dail was not the girl’s assailant, and he was released and pardoned.”1

  • Location: Wayne County, North Carolina
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Dwayne Allen Dail (20)
  • Accusations: Rape a 12-year-old girl during a burglary3
  • Outcome: Sentence: 2 life terms plus 15 years3, Correction: Conviction vacated, charges dismissed. Later also pardoned by governor3, Incarcerated: 18 years3
  • Dates: Incident: September 4, 19873, Conviction: 19893, Exoneration: August 28, 20073, Release: August 28, 20073
  • Latest information: October 20073
Source:
 • Brief summary
  1. Dwayne Dail by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, October 2007
 • Online video from mainstream press
  2. Dail: Life Unbarred, News & Observer (Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina), December 9, 2007 (Undated; date taken from news article that links to it.)
 • Article from inmate advocacy organization
  3. Dwayne Allen Dail, Innocence Project
 • News reports
  4. Man released after 20 years in prison, News & Observer (Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina), August 28, 2007
  5. Dail has always said he was not guilty (), Goldsboro News-Argus, August 29, 2007
  6. Bittersweet liberty — Dwayne Dail struggles to adapt to life outside prison -- and bond with his son — News & Observer (Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina), December 9, 2007
Listed in: InnPr, VotS


Jay Van Story — Lubbock County, Texas, US — 1989 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

Fifteen years into his life sentence, “Van Story received a startling letter from his 20-year-old cousin … "I hope that you understand and know that I was only a kid … I know I cannot make up for the time you have lost of your life, but I can try to make it up by getting you free."”2

  • Location: Lubbock County, Texas
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Jay Van Story
  • Accusations: Lie naked on top of his seven-year-old cousin2
  • Outcome: Sentence: Life2, Other: In prison
  • Dates: Conviction: 19892
  • Problems: Recanted testimony. “I am coming forward with the truth at this time because my heart has been burdened by the fact that an innocent man is imprisoned because of my false testimony.”2
  • Latest information: December 20042
Source:
  1. Jay Van Story by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, September 2005
  2. Abuse Victim Swears She Lied to Convict Her Cousin (), Houston Press, December 2, 2004
Listed in: VotS 

1988


Glendale Montessori — Stuart, Florida, US — March 1, 1988 (arrest)
Prosecution with civil commitment

The owner and office manager of a nursery school were accused of sexually abusing six (and later as many as 60) of their male students in sadistic rituals. Hearsay testimony was permitted at the trial. The doctor of several children in the case, including the first accuser, was sued several years later for implanting false memories of satanic ritual abuse and child pornography in an adult patient. The office manager completed her sentence, and the former school owner remains in civil commitment indefinitely.1

  • Location: Stuart, Florida at Facility: Glendale Montessori
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: James Toward (owner of school, 57), Brenda Williams (his office manager, 29)
  • Accusations: Kidnap and sexually abuse about 60 boys aged 2 to 53, including make pornographic photographs, force to participate in sadistic rituals, and threaten with guns and knives.1 “[T]he details of what had happened to the children … [were] too graphic to repeat in news accounts. It was information so disturbing that the judge who later presided in the case said he was very nearly physically ill listening to some of the testimony.”3
  • Outcome: Sentence: Toward: 27 years3, Williams: 10 years3, Other: Toward: Completed 12 years of sentence, then put in civil commitment3, Incarcerated: Toward: Since 1989, Williams: 5 years3
  • Dates: Investigation: June 19873, Arrest: March 1, 19883, Conviction: Toward: June 19893, Williams: May 19893, Sentence: Toward: June 19893, Williams: July 19893, Release: Williams: 19933
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “One parent [said] … about … her child: "I think he felt that he was being called a liar through most of the deposition [when he denied abuse took place]."”3
  • Case question: As of March 2008, 8½ years after completing his sentence, Toward is still waiting for the trial to confirm his civil commitment.3
  • Latest information: March 1, 20083
Source:
 • Brief summary
  1. Glendale Montessori, Wikipedia (Section of Day care sex abuse hysteria, Wikipedia)
 • Dedicated website
  2. Help Free James Toward! (5 Web pages)
 • News report
  3. Headmaster's evil lives on in 20-year-old abuse case, Palm Beach Post, March 1, 2008
Listed in: Wiki, FL98, NCRJ-In, Imag-In, DN95-In, DN95-Out


Leonard McSherry — Long Beach, California, US — 1988 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“McSherry was convicted of the kidnapping and rape of a 6-year-old girl. McSherry was a previously convicted sex offender with several arrests for loitering. Police kept McSherry under tight scrutiny and were predisposed to believe he was the attacker even though he did not match descriptions of the assailant. Witnesses identified him anyway. DNA testing identified the real attacker as an inmate serving a life sentence for a 1997 attack. McSherry served 13 years of a 48 years to life sentence. He was awarded $481,200 for his wrongful incarceration.”1

  • Location: Long Beach, Los Angeles County, California
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Leonard McSherry
  • Accusations: Kidnap and rape a 6-year-old girl2
  • Outcome: Sentence: 48 years2, Incarcerated: 13 years2, Compensation: $480,000 for wrongful incarceration1
  • Dates: Incident: 19882, Conviction: 19882, Exoneration: December 28, 20012
  • Case question: What is Dan Rastatter's source for additional information about the case?
  • Latest information: December 20012
Source:
  1. Leonard McSherry by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, June 2005
  2. Leonard McSherry, Innocence Project
Listed in: InnPr, VotS


Byron Halsey — Plainfield, New Jersey, US — 1988 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Byron Halsey spent 19 years in prison in New Jersey for two heinous child murders committed in 1985 by another man. Halsey, who was helping to raise the children, was interrogated by police for nearly two days straight before he falsely confessed to committing the crimes.”1

  • Location: Plainfield, New Jersey
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Byron Halsey
  • Accusations: Rape and murder his girlfriend's seven-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son1
  • Outcome: Sentence: Life1, Correction: Conviction overturned after DNA test1, Incarcerated: 19 years1
  • Dates: Incident: November 14, 19851, Conviction: 19881, Exoneration: July 9, 20071, Release: May 20071
  • Problems: Tainted confession. “Halsey, who has a sixth-grade education and severe learning disabilities, offered varying accounts of the crime that did not agree with the evidence. On every key fact of the crime, including the location of the bodies and the manner of death, Halsey initially gave incorrect answers and had to guess several times before answering correctly. The detective interrogating Halsey later said many of his answers were "gibberish" and that he seemed to be in a trance during the process. However, the final statement signed by Halsey mentions neither these inaccuracies nor the process that led to the statement. None of the interrogation statements were audio or video recorded.”1
  • Latest information: July 9, 20071
Source:
  1. Byron Halsey, Innocence Project
  2. Byron Halsey Exonerated, WPIX-TV, July 9, 2007
  3. A conversation about the Innocence Project: Barry Scheck, Byron Halsey — A conversation with Barry Scheck, Co-Director of the Innocence Project at the Cardozo School of Law and Byron Halsey, former inmate released from prison after DNA evidence changed the verdict. — Charlie Rose, June 11, 2007
  4. Byron Halsey Is Fully Exonerated in New Jersey after DNA Proves His Innocence in 1985 Child Rapes and Murders — Conviction was vacated in May; prosecutors today fully exonerate Halsey with DNA indicating that a man who helped convict Halsey is the actual perpetrator — Innocence Project, July 9, 2007


Felix's — Carson City, Nevada, US — 1988 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

(No case description available)

  • Location: Carson City, Nevada at Facility: Felix's1
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: Martha Felix, Francisco Ontiveros (her nephew) (2)
  • Outcome: Sentence: Life1, Correction: Convictions overturned, charges dismissed1
  • Dates: Investigation: 19851, Conviction: 19882, Exoneration: March 16, 19932
  • Latest information: October 19981
Source:
  1. Notorious Day Care Cases, Frontline, PBS, October 27, 1998
  2. Prosecutors Rebuked in Molestation Case, New York Times, June 3, 1994. (This case mentioned very briefly.)
Listed in: FL98, DN95-Out


Paul Ingram et al. — Olympia, Washington, US — 1988 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Paul Ingram, a Washington State deputy sheriff, Republican county leader and Pentecostal … was accused by his daughters Ericka and Julie of sexual abuse and of belonging to a satanic cult that allegedly included other sheriff's department members and that engaged in orgies and ritual sadistic abuse. Ingram confessed to having repeated sex with both daughters, and also to impregnating Julie at 15 and taking her to have an abortion. He subsequently retracted these statements, maintaining that all of his "recovered memories" were fantasies produced under pressure. Because he pleaded guilty to rape charges in 1989, he is serving a 20-year prison sentence. Yet months of investigation produced no physical evidence that any sex crimes or satanic practices ever took place.”1

  • Location: Olympia, Washington
  • 3 Claimed Innocent: Paul Ingram, Jim Rabie, Ray Risch
  • Accusations: Rape Ingram's two daughters numerous times, starting 16 years prior to the charges (SRA1)
  • Outcome: Ingram: Served sentence, Incarcerated: Ingram: 15 years
  • Dates: Investigation: 19883, Arrest: Ingram: 19883, Release: Ingram: April 8, 20032
  • Problems: Recovered memory. “Ericka had no memories of such abuse, but went into counseling with a therapist who used Recovered Memory Therapy to attempt to restore abuse memories that had been repressed.”3
         Poor evidence. “Julie and Erica both recalled having become pregnant and having abortions. They claimed that they had scars all over their body from the years of abuse. … A medical exam showed no evidence of abortions and no marks on either daughter except for Ericka's small scar which was caused by an operation.”3
  • Latest information: April 20032
Source:
 • Book
  1. Remembering Satan: A Case of Recovered Memory and the Shattering of an American Family by Lawrence Wright, Vintage, March 1994 (Amazon). (Quoted summary is from review on Amazon.)
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  2. The Prosecution of a False Memory: An Update on the Paul Ingram Case By Daniel Brailey
  3. The "Paul Ingram" Ritual Abuse Case, in Olympia, WA by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, March 29, 2003
 See also the other cases involving recovered memories: Frank Fuster, George Franklin, Michael Parker, Michael Kliman, Ray and Shirley Souza, John Quattrocchi, Timothy Smith, and Paul Shanley.
Listed in: NCRJ-Done, Imag-Out, OCRT 

1987


Jimmy Bromgard — Billings, Montana, US — December 1987 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Bromgard was convicted of raping an 8-year-old girl. The victim said she was "60%, 65% sure" that her attacker was Bromgard after seeing him in a lineup and said, "I am not too sure," when asked if he was her attacker at trial. Crime lab technician … testified that hairs found at scene matched Bauer and that there was only a 1 in 10,000 chance of them being from another person. DNA tests exonerated Bromgard in 2002.”1

  • Location: Billings, Yellowstone County, Montana
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Jimmy Ray Bromgard (18)
  • Accusations: Rape an 8-year-old girl2
  • Outcome: Sentence: 40 years2, Incarcerated: 14½ years2
  • Dates: Incident: March 20, 19872, Conviction: December 19872, Exoneration: October 1, 20022
  • Latest information: October 20022
Source:
  1. Jimmy Ray Bromgard by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, October 2005
  2. Jimmy Ray Bromgard, Innocence Project
Listed in: InnPr, VotS


Arnold Friedman et al. — Great Neck, New York, US — November 25, 1987 (arrest)
Prosecution with death in prison

“In total, there were thirteen boys who in 1987 accused me of molesting them. Just as I was not surprised to see three of these boys appear in the film, one of whom details his recollections of abuse, I am not surprised that any of the other boys would reiterate the statements they made in front of the grand jury in 1987. There has never been any dispute about the fact that these statements were made. While I know these claims are untrue, I respect their right to make them, and I believe it is likely that they continue to believe these events took place, just as many of the victims in similar cases, such as the McMartin Preschool case, continue to believe they were molested despite proof to the contrary.”3

  • Location: Great Neck, Nassau County, New York
  • 3 Claimed Innocent: Arnold Friedman, Jesse Friedman (his son, 18), Ross Goldstein
  • Accusations: 482 counts: Sexually abuse 13 boys and make pornographic pictures and videos of them2,4,3
  • Outcome: Arnold: Died in prison7, Incarcerated: Jesse: 13 years2
  • Dates: Arrest: Arnold: November 25, 19872, Jesse: November 25, 19872, Goldstein: June 22, 19882, Release: Jesse: 20012
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “suggestive and intimidating questioning of … children by detectives”2 “police "told" children they had been abused rather than asking them”3
         Poor evidence. No physical evidence of abuse, no pornography found4
  • Latest information: October 20071
Source:
 • Dedicated website
  1. Jesse Friedman's Web Site (Many Web pages). (Access in March 2008 indicated updated October 3, 2007.)
  2. Case Chronology, Jesse Friedman's Web Site
  3. Statement of Jesse Friedman released by his attorney, Jesse Friedman's Web Site, February 20, 2004
 • Case document
  4. Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Vacate Defendant's Conviction, Court of Nassau County, New York, January 7, 2004 (Jesse Friedman's Appeal Motion)
 • Refutation of innocence
  5. Busting the Kiddie Porn Underground interview of Jesse Friedman by Geraldo Rivera, Geraldo, February 23, 1989 (Leadership Council excerpts quote Jesse Friedman stating that he and his father physically abused 17 children.)
  6. Capturing the Friedmans: Annotated Bibliography, Leadership Council on Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence (Lists a large number of references that refute the innocence of Arnold and Jesse Friedman.)
 • Skeletal information for citation reference only
  7. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: NCRJ-Spons, Imag-Out, DN95-In, DN95-Out


Gene Bibbins — Baton Rouge, Louisiana, US — March 1987 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Bibbins was convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl. The victim initially described her attacker as wearing jeans and having long curly hair. Bibbins was arrested less than an hour after the attack. He was wearing gray shorts and had short-cropped hair. The victim was attacked in her apartment and the attacker took her radio when he left. Bibbins was in possession of the radio, and said he found it as he exited his apartment building. … DNA tests exonerated Bibbins … [and he] was awarded $150,000 … state compensation for wrongful imprisonment. However … there [was] no money in the compensation fund to pay him.”1

  • Location: Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Gene Bibbins
  • Accusations: Rape and rob a 13-year-old girl at knife-point4
  • Outcome: Sentence: Life3, Correction: Conviction reversed after DNA test3, Incarcerated: 15½ years3, Compensation: $150,000 from state for wrongful conviction, awarded but upaid4
  • Dates: Incident: June 19863, Conviction: March 19873, Exoneration: March 7, 20034, Release: December 20024
  • Latest information: December 20064
Source:
  1. Gene Bibbins by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, October 2005
  2. Gene Bibbins by Hans Sherrer, Innocents Database, Forejustice
  3. Gene Bibbins, Innocence Project
  4. Louisiana Makes First Wrongful Conviction Award of $150k To Gene Bibbins, Justice Denied, December 2006 (Article starts on page 22)
Listed in: InnPr, JustD, VotS


Rainbow Christian Daycare Center — Washington, US — January 29, 1987 (investigation)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“I spent 12 years in prison. In 1996 my daughter, Jennifer reunited with me and told the truth about how they forced her to lie.”1

  • Location: Washington at Facility: Rainbow Christian Daycare Center3
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Marilynn Malcom
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse her son, 12, her daughter, 9, three neighbor boys aged 4 and 6, and two boys aged 4 and 6 in her day care facility3
  • Outcome: Incarcerated: 12 years1
  • Dates: Investigation: January 29, 19874, Release: July 7, 19991
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “the interviewing/interrogation of the children … was so insistent, suggestive, and coercive as to render any accusations gleaned therefrom unreliable.”3
         Poor evidence. A doctor reported that Malcolm's daughter had “lax sphincter tone” and that her hymen was “completely dilated and gone”, indicating penetration of her anus and vagina, which analysis was flatly refuted later by a medical expert 3
         Recanted testimony. Malcolm's daughter “has recanted entirely her accusations against her mother made at trial, and now tells how she was badgered and duped into making them.”3
  • Latest information: September 24, 20062
Source:
 • Dedicated website
  1. The case of Marilynn (Lynn) Malcom (), National Center for Reason and Justice (U.S.A.) (7 Web pages. First page also on Bob Chatelle's website, except with prayer added at the end.)
  2. Letter From Mike Snedeker, Case of Marilynn (Lynn) Malcom, September 24, 2006
 • Case documents
  3. Marilynn Malcom: Petition for Clemency, (addressed to) Washington State Clemency and Pardons Board, 1997
  4. Dr. Maggie Bruck's Analysis () by Maggie Bruck, Departments of Psychology and Pediatrics, McGill University, Case of Marilynn (Lynn) Malcom, 1998
Listed in: NCRJ-Spons, Imag-Out, DN95-In


Kirk Malcom — Washington, US — January 29, 1987 (investigation)
Prosecution with juvenile jail time

“… his father and I were … told that it had been reported that Kirk had molested a 5 year-old neighborhood boy. … They wanted to interview Kirk alone and … I asked how long it would take and they said about 15-20 minutes. … Kirk came out of the sheriff's office 2 hours later in convulsions … screaming out "I did not do those things Mom. They cursed at me, pounded on the table and used foul language and I did not do those things." … within 3 months … Kirk went to juvenile jail.”1

  • Location: Washington
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Kirk Malcom (12)
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse four neighbor boys aged 3 to 6, including lick their penises and anuses, put screwdriver in their anuses, and threaten them into silence2
  • Outcome: Pleaded guilty2, Incarcerated: Juvenile jail (time not stated)1
  • Dates: Investigation: January 29, 19873
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “[T]he interviewing/interrogation of the children … was so insistent, suggestive, and coercive as to render any accusations gleaned therefrom unreliable.”2
         Poor evidence. “No evidence was found on any of these boys indicating that they had been sexually abused.”2
  • Latest information: 19983
Source:
  1. The case of Marilynn (Lynn) Malcom (), National Center for Reason and Justice (U.S.A.) (7 Web pages. First page also on Bob Chatelle's website, except with prayer added at the end.)
  2. Marilynn Malcom: Petition for Clemency, (addressed to) Washington State Clemency and Pardons Board, 1997
  3. Dr. Maggie Bruck's Analysis () by Maggie Bruck, Departments of Psychology and Pediatrics, McGill University, Case of Marilynn (Lynn) Malcom, 1998. Re Kirk, see sections • Patterns of Disclosure of Child Sexual Abuse: Disclosures in the Malcom Case and • Detailed Analyses of Disclosures of Child Witnesses in the Malcom Case: Kirk Malcom


Middlesbrough, Cleveland, England, UK — 1987 (investigation)
Prosecution

“The allegations of child sexual abuse were … made by … a pediatrician at a … hospital. Using a technique known as reflex anal dilatation, … she diagnosed 121 children as victims of sexual abuse. Once the allegations had been made, social workers were compelled by law to remove the children from their families and place them in foster care. Initially public opinion favored the doctor and the social workers but as the number of cases increased a public inquiry was enacted …. The courts dismissed some of the cases but others were tried and prosecuted.”1

  • Location: Middlesbrough, Cleveland, England
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse 121 children
  • Outcome: Courts dismissed cases involving 96 of the 121 children but others were tried and prosecuted1,2
  • Dates: Investigation: 19871
  • Latest information: October 20023
Source:
  1. Cleveland child abuse scandal, Wikipedia (Section of Day care sex abuse hysteria, Wikipedia)
  2. Cleveland child abuse scandal, Wikipedia
  3. The Cleveland Child Sexual Abuse Scandal — An Abuse and Misuse of Professional Power — Children (United Kingdom), October 2002
Listed in: Wiki 

1986


Michael Hall — Mississippi, US — July 1986 (trial)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“"Anonymous" reports were called in to the child abuse hot line that Mike was sexually abusing the youngest son. In a manner reminiscent of the Gestapo, the boys were hauled away from their daddy, the five-year-old kicking and screaming. Their father was not allowed to talk to them, and they were taken to a shelter.”1

  • Location: Mississippi
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Michael Alvin2 Hall
  • Accusations: Sexual battery of his six-year-old son2
  • Outcome: Sentence: 25 years1, Other: Released after half of sentence1, Incarcerated: 12½ years
  • Dates: Investigation: April 19851, Trial: July 19862, Release: October 5, 20041
  • Latest information: October 5, 20041,2,3
Source:
  1. The Story of Mike Hall by Fredna Hall, Bob Chatelle's website
  2. Destruction of a Family Through and By the System by Fredna B. Hall, Bob Chatelle's website
  3. The Mike Hall Story: The Coming of The Dream Killers, Mississippi Justice Project
Listed in: NCRJ-Done, Imag-Out


James Watt et al. — White Plains, New York, US — April 1986 (trial)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“It all started from one parent and it mushroomed. … The first allegation spark[ed] panic among the other parents, and children [were] questioned repeatedly by parents, social workers and detectives, who [did] not relent in their questioning until the child [said], “yes, something happened.””1

  • Location: White Plains, New York
  • 4 Claimed Innocent: James Watt, Harold and Jeanette Martin (51), Richard Freeman
  • Accusations: Rape and sodomize 12 children aged 5 to 9
  • Outcome: Sentence: Watt: 25 to 50 years1, Jeanette: 1 year1, Other: Watt: On appeal, sentence reduced to 15 years1, Harold: Charges dropped1, Freeman: Acquitted1, Incarcerated: Jeanette: 1 year1
  • Dates: Investigation: May 19851, Trial: April 19861, Conviction: 19871
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “… children … initially denied they had been abused. With repeated interviews, however, they began to tell "bizarre" stories about abuse that had been going on for years.”1
         Poor evidence. “…no medical or physical evidence contemporaneous with the time the abuse was allegedly happening”1
  • Case question: Imaginary Crimes lists Watt under “still in prison,” but their article1 says his sentence was reduced to 15 years, which would have ended in 2000.
  • Latest information: March 19871
Source:
  1. James Watt/Jeanette Martin, White Plains, New York, Convicted: 1987 by Lona Manning, Imaginary Crimes
Listed in: Imag-Main, Imag-In, DN95-In, DN95-Out


Westchester-Tremont Day Care Center — Bronx, New York, US — January 20, 1986 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Grady was accused of sexually molesting 6 three year-olds at nap time at the Westchester-Tremont Day Care Center run by his church. He was convicted after a 13-week trial. The primary witness against Grady was a three year-old boy. There were no notes or videotapes recording the hours of interviews with the boy. 26 character witnesses testified at his trial, including a bishop, a judge, and the Yonkers police commissioner. Nonetheless, he was convicted on January 20, 1986, and sentenced to 45 years in prison.”4

  • Location: Bronx, Bronx County, New York at Facility: Westchester-Tremont Day Care Center4
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Rev. Nathaniel Grady (Methodist minister, 47)
  • Accusations: Sexually molest six 3-year-olds at nap time in the day care center run by his church4
  • Outcome: Sentence: 45 years4, Incarcerated: More than 10 years4
  • Dates: Conviction: January 20, 19864, Exoneration: July 19967
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “Children who gave the "right" answers were rewarded with candy, badges and trips to the park.”6
         Poor evidence. “No physical evidence was introduced at his trial.”6
  • Latest information: May 19974
Source:
 • Brief summaries
  1. The Bronx Five, Wikipedia (Section of Day care sex abuse hysteria, Wikipedia)
  2. Bronx Five by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, November 2007
  3. Rev. Nathaniel Grady by Hans Sherrer, Innocents Database, Forejustice
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  4. Rev. Nathaniel Grady and The Bronx Five, Frontline, PBS, May 27, 1997 (Section of Other Well-Known Cases, Frontline, PBS, May 27, 1997)
 • Analysis from the legal community
  5. Just Who is the Victim Here? () by Zachary Margulis, Gauntlet, 1996
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  6. Ritual Abuse Cases in Westchester, New York State, Religious Tolerance
 • News report
  7. Minister is Released in Child-Abuse Case (), New York Times, July 12, 1996
Listed in: Wiki, Wiki, FL97, NCRJ-Exon, Imag-Out, OCRT, VotS, DHill, DN95-In, DN95-Out


Arthur Mumphrey et al. — Dobbin, Texas, US — 1986 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Mumphrey was convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl. He was convicted because of the testimony of his co-defendant, Steve Thomas, who testified in exchange for a reduced sentence. The victim claimed two men had raped her, but could not identify Mumphrey as one of them. DNA tests later implicated Thomas and an unknown male as the rapists. Mumphrey was released and pardoned in 2006 after 18 years of imprisonment. Because of Texas law, the Governor’s pardon does not erase his rape conviction.”1 The DNA tests were later shown to implicate Mumphrey's younger brother, who had been 15 years old at the time and confessed to the crime, but the police did not believe him.3,5

  • Location: Dobbin, Montgomery County, Texas
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Arthur Mumphrey
  • Accusations: Along with another man, rape a 13-year-old girl3
  • Outcome: Sentence: 35 years3, Correction: Pardoned by governor after DNA tests, Incarcerated: 17½ years3
  • Dates: Incident: February 28, 19863, Conviction: 19863, Exoneration: March 17, 20063, Release: January 27, 20063
  • Latest information: March 17, 20085
Source:
  1. Arthur Mumphrey by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, December 2006
  2. Arthur M. Mumphrey by Hans Sherrer, Innocents Database, Forejustice
  3. Arthur Mumphrey, Innocence Project
  4. Arthur Mumphrey Freed After 18 Years Wrongful Imprisonment For Sexual Assault, Justice Denied, December 2006 (Article starts on page 4)
  5. Arthur Mumphrey marks two years of freedom, Innocence Project, March 17, 2008
Listed in: InnPr, JustD, VotS 

1985


William Swan et al. — Seattle, Washington, US — October 1985 (charges)
Prosecution with imprisonment

Two three-year-old girls were said to have told the assistant in their nursery school about sexual acts committed with them by the parents of one of them.

At trial, the judge found by interviewing the toddlers that what they said was meaningless, and ruled that they could not testify. But instead, the nursery school assistant was allowed to relate what they had told her. This was deemed by the court to be reliable testimony of what actually happened to them. A Harvard Law School professor later said this was “the most extreme example of erosion of the confrontation clause [the rule allowing the accused to face their accusers in court] of which I am aware.”2

One source says that testimony was presented at trial that Bill Swan had “inserted his penis into the children's vaginas on several occasions to the point of pain,” that their hymens were missing, and that their vaginal openings had been stretched to three times their normal size.2 Several years later, a doctor who examined one of the girls found that her hymen was fully intact and unblemished. A federal judge reviewing the case found that “this new evidence is insignificant.”4

  • Location: Seattle, Washington
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: William Orr (Bill, 33) and Kathleen Rowland Swan (Kathy, 32)
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse their daughter and their best friends' daughter, both three years old, including play naked games in bed with them, oral sex, vaginal intercourse, and insert objects in their anuses2,4
  • Outcome: Sentence: 4 years2, Correction: Convictions overturned on appeal, but reinstated by state supreme court4, Other: Completed sentence1
  • Dates: Charges: October 19852, Arrest: November 19852, Trial: April 19862
  • Problems: Poor evidence. At the 1986 trial, a doctor, “who did not examine the child, told the court that the nurse's ability to examine the vaginal walls indicated that her hymen was missing.” But in 1991, “when an independent physician was able to examine Beth Anne, he determined that the nurse's testimony was wrong: Beth Anne's hymen was fully intact, unstretched, unscarred, unherniated, and undamaged in any way.” The prosecutor argued that “in 3-year-old rape victims … hymens routinely regenerate.”2
         Judicial misconduct. Information, that the child-care worker who had initiated the accusations had a history of incorrectly making such accusations, was withheld from the defense.2
  • Latest information: May 6, 19941
Source:
  1. The Swan case by Randal Whittle, Witchhunt mailing list, May 6, 1994
  2. The Bill and Kathy Swan Story (), Doug Hill's website, 1992 (Undated; date is estimate.)
  3. Washington v. Swan (), Washington Supreme Court, En Banc., May 3, 1990 (Clarified June 22, 1990 (per full decision from Westlaw).)
  4. Swan v. Peterson et al. by Eugene A. Wright, US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, October 6, 1993 (Peterson is warden of Washington Correctional Center)
Listed in: NCRJ-Done, Imag-Out, DHill, DN95-Out


Wee Care Nursery School — Maplewood, New Jersey, US — June 1985 (charges)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“A nurse took the temperature of a four-year-old boy with a rectal thermometer and the boy reportedly said: "That's what my teacher does to me at nap time at school." The comment was reported to the local authorities. The children were interviewed and the following accusations were heard from [them]: … Michaels had spread peanut butter on their genitals and licked it off; she had penetrated their rectums and vaginas with knives, forks, and other objects. … [A]fter 11 months of trial, she was convicted of 115 counts of sexual abuse and sentenced to 47 years in the New Jersey state prison. After five years in prison her appeal was successful and she was released. The New Jersey Supreme Court upheld the lower court's decision and declared "the interviews of the children were highly improper and utilized coercive and unduly suggestive methods."”1

Law professor Douglas Linder says in his review of the case, “Investigators repeatedly interviewed three and four-year-olds, suggesting through their graphic and disturbing questions that the children had been sexually molested. The suggestions finally worked: children who initially denied that they were abused in any way finally said that they had been. Children try hard to find answers that please adults. One child said that Michaels "made us eat boiled babies," another said that "she put a sword in my rectum."”5

Noted conservative commentator Rich Lowry said in the year after the exoneration, “The irony in the Michaels case is that it was Kelly Michaels who was in the dock, though there was no evidence against her, while there are pages and pages documenting how [youth services investigator] Lou Fonolleras and his colleagues tried to corrupt the Wee Care children.”2

  • Location: Maplewood, Essex County, New Jersey at Facility: Wee Care Nursery School
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Margaret Kelly Michaels (23)
  • Accusations: 131 counts (convicted of 115): Sexually abuse nursery students, aged 3 to 5, including play piano for them naked, lick peanut butter off their genitals, make them drink her urine, and rape them with spoons, knives, and Lego blocks5
  • Outcome: Sentence: 47 years1, Correction: Conviction overturned1, Incarcerated: 5 years1
  • Dates: Investigation: April 19851, Charges: June 198511, Conviction: August 19881, Exoneration: 1993
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “The New Jersey Supreme Court … declared "the interviews of the children were highly improper and utilized coercive and unduly suggestive methods."”7
         Poor evidence. “Physical evidence included a jar of peanut butter, found in the day care's kitchen, and the lyrics to Joni Mitchell's [song] "Both Sides Now" written in Michaels' attendance book.”7
  • Case question: Religious Tolerance10 says that Michaels was charged with 235 counts, whereas Linder5 says it was 131.
  • Latest information: April 20024
Source:
 • Brief summary
  1. Wee Care Nursery School, Wikipedia (Section of Day care sex abuse hysteria, Wikipedia)
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  2. Creating victims: False charges of sexual abuse of children () by Rich Lowry, National Review, December 5, 1994
  3. Wee Care Nursery School, Frontline, PBS, May 27, 1997 (Section of Other Well-Known Cases, Frontline, PBS, May 27, 1997)
  4. Wee Care Nursery School, Frontline, PBS, April 25, 2002 (Section of Outcomes of High Profile Day Care Sexual Abuse Cases of the 1980s, Frontline, PBS, April 25, 2002)
 • Analysis from the academic community
  5. The Kelly Michaels Case by Douglas Linder, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
  6. State v. Michaels: A New Jersey Supreme Court Prescription for the Rest of the Country by Karol L. Ross, Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, Institute for Psychological Therapies, 1997 (V. 9, # 1)
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  7. Wee Care Nursery School, Wikipedia
  8. Nightmare at the Day Care: The Wee Care Case by Lona Manning, Crime Magazine
  9. Excerpts from Transcripts of Interviews with Children in the Wee Care Day Care Case — With Comments Taken from some of the Legal Briefs — compiled by Lona Manning, Crime Magazine
  10. "Kelly Michaels" Ritual Abuse Cases in Maplewood, NJ by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, September 2, 2001
 • Case documents and news reports
  11. Day-Care Worker Held in Assaults on Children, New York Times, December 8, 1985
  12. Former Day-Care Teacher Denies Sexually Abusing Schoolchildren, New York Times, February 28, 1988
  13. Legal Arguments End in Jersey Child-Abuse Trial, New York Times, March 29, 1988
  14. Ex-Preschool Teacher Sentenced To 47 Years in Sex Case in Jersey, New York Times, August 3, 1988
  15. New Jersey v. Margaret Kelly Michaels (), Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, March 26, 1993 (Dated by year only; date inferred from Child-Abuse Conviction Of Woman Is Overturned, New York Times, March 27, 1993.)
  16. Child-Abuse Conviction Of Woman Is Overturned, New York Times, March 27, 1993
  17. Court Rejects Bid to Restore Abuse Verdict, New York Times, June 10, 1993
  18. In Retrying Abuse Case, A New Issue, New York Times, February 1, 1994
  19. Amicus brief: New Jersey v. Michaels by Maggie Bruck and Stephen J. Ceci, Committee of Concerned Social Scientists, 1994 (Undated; date is of latest references cited in bibliography)
  20. New Jersey v. Margaret Kelly Michaels (), New Jersey Supreme Court, June 23, 1994
  21. Prosecutors Drop Charges In Abuse Case From Mid-80's, New York Times, December 3, 1994
  22. Charges Dropped, Michaels Blames Child Abuse `Panic' for Imprisonment, Associated Press, December 5, 1994 (Date is estimate.)
  23. Margaret Kelly Michaels v. New Jersey (), US Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit, July 16, 1998
  24. Margaret Kelly Michaels v. New Jersey (), US Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit, March 21, 2000
Listed in: Wiki, FL97, FL02, NCRJ-Exon, Imag-Out, OCRT, VotS, DHill, WIC, DN95-Out


James Rodriguez et al. — California, US — May 1985 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Eddie, then 13, told a … Sheriff’s deputy that he had been repeatedly raped by Rodriguez, his father, his uncle Delbert and two other men. One Thanksgiving … Eddie said, he watched his father, his cousin and another man take turns raping his grandmother, then in her 80s, while his mother cooked a turkey in the other room. Also … he said, he was sodomized by his father while his eldest brother, Frankie, held him down and his mother watched. On another occasion, Eddie alleged, his father and Rodriguez forced him at gunpoint to have sex with his mother and with Rodriguez’s sister Cookie. He would later testify in court that his father and Rodriguez had also murdered two children.”1

  • Location: California
  • 5 Claimed Innocent: James Rodriguez, Henry and Nancy Chapman, Delbert Chapman (Henry’s brother), Richard Harrison
  • Accusations: Rape Henry's sons aged 14 and 12, inject drugs in penis of one, make other have sex with his mother and another woman at gunpoint
  • Outcome: Incarcerated: Rodriguez: 19 years
  • Dates: Arrest: Rodriguez: May 19851, Henry: May 19851, Release: Rodriguez: 2004
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. Eddie Chapman said “his aunt … and the district attorney coerced them into testifying … and subjected them to lengthy interviews, not letting them leave to use the toilet until they said what the D.A. wanted them to say. … The D.A. threatened to separate him and his brother, he says, and he was put on drugs — Ritalin, lithium, Haldol, Thorazine. He stopped fighting. When he finally testified in late 1987, Eddie says, "I was like a tape recorder."”1
         Poor evidence. A year after the boys no longer lived near Chapman and Rodriguez, a medical exam found “evidence of sexual abuse on both Eddie and Randy, including repetitive forced sodomy.”1
         Recanted testimony. In 2004, Eddie Chapman “revealed to investigators … that everything he and his brother had told them back in the '80s had been false”1
  • Case question: Rodriguez was released in 2004, but NCRJ is still soliciting funds for his defense.
  • Latest information: August 20041
Source:
  1. Predator or Prey? — For James Rodriguez, the only way to freedom was to confess to sex crimes he — and one of his alleged victims — says he did not commit. — LA Weekly, August 19, 2004
  2. Freedom for James Rodriguez (), National Center for Reason and Justice (U.S.A.) (3 Web pages plus 2 audio files)
Listed in: NCRJ-Spons, Imag-Out


Small World — Niles, Michigan, US — April 1985 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Mrs. Barkman operated a preschool at Niles. After she reported the mother of one of her pupils for neglect, that mother in turn accused Mr. Barkman of sexually abusing her child. There was no physical evidence on any of the children which would confirm the abuse, even though it would have been present if the abuse had actually occurred. …[A]fter … intensive and leading questioning … [m]any children disclosed that they were taken to barns, a church and tunnels where [Mr.] Barkman took pornographic pictures of them, sexually abused [them], tore the head off a chicken, gave them drug injections, raped them with objects, etc. They also mentioned that Barkman's wife once dressed up as a Witch. He was given a 75 year jail sentence.”2

  • Location: Niles, Michigan at Facility: Small World
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: Allan Richard3 Barkman, Rebecca Barkman3
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse many children, including take pornographic pictures of them, give them drug injections, and rape them with objects2 (SRA2)
  • Outcome: Sentence: Allan: 50 to 75 years1, Correction: Allan: Conviction overturned, released on probation, Incarcerated: Allan: 5 years
  • Dates: Conviction: Allan: April 19852, Exoneration: Allan: 19902, Release: Allan: 19902
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “Children's disclosures occurred after … intensive and leading questioning.”2
         Poor evidence. “There was no physical evidence on any of the children which would confirm the abuse.”2 No pornography found.
         Revenge. “After [Mrs. Barkman] reported the mother of one of her pupils for neglect, that mother in turn accused Mr. Barkman of sexually abusing her child.”2
  • Latest information: October 19981
Source:
  1. Notorious Day Care Cases, Frontline, PBS, October 27, 1998
  2. The Barkman Ritual Abuse Case: Niles, MI, Religious Tolerance
  3. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: FL98, OCRT, DN95-Out


Brian Taugher — California, US — January 1985 (trial)
Prosecution with acquittal at trial

In January 1985, “Brian Taugher, a special assistant to California Atty. Gen. John Van de Kamp, was acquitted on a charge of molesting a 9-year-old girl at his daughter's slumber party in July.

“… When his case drew widespread publicity, he said, he heard from dozens of people "with various horror stories about being falsely accused of child abuse."”1

  • Location: California
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Brian Taugher
  • Accusations: Sexually molest a 9-year-old girl at his daughter's slumber party1
  • Outcome: Acquitted1
  • Dates: Trial: January 19851
  • Latest information: February 19851
Source:
  1. Careers, Reputations Damaged False Molesting Charges Scar Lives of the Accused, Los Angeles Times, February 11, 1985 (Excerpt with buy link)


Concourse Day Care Center — Bronx, New York, US — 1985 (sentence)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Alberto Ramos was a 21 year-old college student working at the Concourse Day Care Center. He was accused and convicted of raping a five year-old girl. Critics of the prosecutors noted that during his trial, prosecutors did not reveal potentially exonerating evidence to the defense: the fact that in her first interview, the girl denied that he had raped her, that she often masturbated at the day care center which could have explained her vaginal irritation, and the fact that she was often exposed to adult movies on television, which could have expalined [sic] her inappropriate sexual knowledge.”3

  • Location: Bronx, New York at Facility: Concourse Day Care Center3
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Alberto Ramos (college student, 21)
  • Accusations: Rape a 5-year-old girl3
  • Outcome: Sentence: 25 years6, Correction: Conviction overturned3, Incarcerated: 7 years6, Compensation: $5 million from the city6
  • Dates: Sentence: 19856, Exoneration: 19926
  • Problems: Judicial misconduct. “City child abuse investigators said that they had referred the Ramos case to the Bronx district attorney's office for prosecution even though they believed that Mr. Ramos was innocent and that the child's story was false. Day care center officials said the child had a history of sexual behavior in the classroom. They testified that they not only told the trial prosecutor about evidence favoring Mr. Ramos but had also informed other prosecutors before Mr. Ramos was arrested. No prosecutor disclosed the information to the defense.”6
  • Latest information: May 19973
Source:
 • Brief summaries
  1. Bronx Five by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, November 2007
  2. Alberto Ramos by Hans Sherrer, Innocents Database, Forejustice
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  3. Rev. Nathaniel Grady and The Bronx Five, Frontline, PBS, May 27, 1997 (Section of Other Well-Known Cases, Frontline, PBS, May 27, 1997)
 • Analysis from the legal community
  4. Just Who is the Victim Here? () by Zachary Margulis, Gauntlet, 1996
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  5. Ritual Abuse Cases in Westchester, New York State, Religious Tolerance
 • News report
  6. City Gives $5 Million to Man Wrongly Imprisoned in Child's Rape, New York Times, December 16, 2003


East Valley YMCA — El Paso, Texas, US — 1985 (investigation)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

(No case description available)

  • Location: El Paso, Texas at Facility: East Valley YMCA1
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: Michelle Noble, Gayle Dove (2)
  • Outcome: Sentence: One: Life plus 311 years. Other: 20 years1, Correction: Convictions overturned. One retried and not guilty, other charges dismissed1
  • Dates: Investigation: 19851
  • Latest information: October 19981
Source:
  1. Notorious Day Care Cases, Frontline, PBS, October 27, 1998
  2. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: FL98, DN95-Out


Craig's Country — Clarksville, Maryland, US — 1985 (investigation)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

(No case description available)

  • Location: Clarksville, Maryland at Facility: Craig's Country1
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: Sandra Graig, Jamal Graig (2)
  • Outcome: Sentence: One: 10 years1, Correction: One: Conviction overturned, charges dismissed. Other: Charges dropped during trial1
  • Dates: Investigation: 19851
  • Latest information: October 19981
Source:
  1. Notorious Day Care Cases, Frontline, PBS, October 27, 1998
  2. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: FL98, DN95-Out


John Chronopoulos et al. — Dayton, Ohio, US — 1985 (est.) (arrest)
Prosecution with charges dropped

“John, then 12 …, said he was charged with rape, hand-cuffed and taken to the county's youth detention center, where he stayed overnight. He said he told [a police woman] the next morning that he was willing to tell her "the truth" she demanded about being molested by Wilcox and Aldridge even though it was a lie.

“Jason, then 10 …, said he also agreed to tell … "the truth" after he was placed in a holding cell at the … police station.

“Justin, 8 then …, said he followed the lead of his brothers because he was told he would also be thrown in jail if he didn't.

“The boys' statements ended up being similar to rumors running rampant in the Glenburn Green apartment complex.

“All three of the brothers said they didn't even know who Wilcox and Aldridge were until they saw them in the courtroom, and they were told where to point when asked to identify them.

“… [T]he court receive[d] proof to back up the recantation by each of the Chronopoulos boys.”1

  • Location: Dayton, Ohio
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: John Chronopoulos (12), Jason Chronopoulos (10)
  • Accusations: Rape, presumably another minor
  • Outcome: Charges dropped when agreed to give false testimony against adult defendants1
  • Dates: Arrest: 1985 (est.)
  • Latest information: March 19961
Source:
  1. Free at Last (), Ohio Observer, March 1996. (Mentions the Chronopoulos brothers' cases briefly.)
 See also the related Aldridge and Wilcox case.


Donna Hubbard et al. — Kern County, California, US — 1985 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

Hubbard “became a suspect after a paid informant "accused her of receiving money for allowing others to molest her son."”2 She “and two men were convicted in 1985 of the molest of Hubbard's 9-year-old son and two other boys. She was sentenced to 100 years. Hubbard's son later recanted much of his testimony.”3 Her conviction was overturned in 1995.

  • Location: Kern County, California
  • 3 Claimed Innocent: Donna Sue Hubbard, 2 men
  • Accusations: Sexually molest Hubbard's 9-year-old son and two other boys3
  • Outcome: Sentence: 100 years2, Correction: Conviction overturned2, Incarcerated: 11 years1
  • Dates: Conviction: 19852, Exoneration: August 7, 19953
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. The appeals court ruled that “investigators repeatedly used leading questions”3 and “"There is substantial likelihood that the children's resulting testimony was false and thus unreliable."”2
         Recanted testimony. “Hubbard's son later recanted much of his testimony.”3
  • Latest information: August 19961
Source:
  1. Kern County/Congressional Hearings, Justice Committee, August 11, 1996 (News release). (Brief mention of Hubbard case)
  2. Appeals Court Overturns Child-Molestation Conviction, Fresno Bee, August 10, 1995
  3. Many Kern County Molestation Convictions Overturned, Fresno Bee, August 30, 1995
 See also the other 1980s Kern County cases: McCuans, Kniffens, et al. (13 defendants), Ricky Pitts, et al. (7), Jeffrey Modahl, et al. (6), John Stoll, et al. (4), Howard Weimer, and others (27).
Listed in: DN95-In


Ricky Pitts et al. — Kern County, California, US — 1985 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

The seven defendants were convicted of 377 counts of child abuse and conspiracy. Their convictions were overturned five years later due to unprecedented misconduct of the prosecuting attorneys in the trial and closing arguments. Within four more years, all of the child witnesses had recanted their testimony and claimed it was coerced.

  • Location: Kern County, California
  • 7 Claimed Innocent: Ricky Lynn Pitts, Marcella Pitts, Wayne Dill Jr., Grace Dill, Wayne Forsythe, Colleen Forsythe, Gina Miller (1)
  • Accusations: 377 counts of child abuse and conspiracy2
  • Outcome: Sentence: Ricky Pitts: Life with 373 year minimum2, Correction: All seven convictions reversed due to “unprecedented” prosecutorial misconduct2, Incarcerated: Ricky Pitts: 6 years2
  • Dates: Conviction: 19851,2, Exoneration: 19901,2
  • Problems: Judicial misconduct. Prosecutor “present[ed] improper evidence, [made] improper and disparaging remarks about the defendants and defense counsel throughout the trial, and [made] improper remarks during closing arguments.”2
         Recanted testimony. “By 1994 all of the child witnesses had recanted and claimed their testimony was coerced.”2
  • Latest information: 19992
Source:
  1. Pitt Seven by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, July 2005
  2. Ricky Lynn Pitts by Hans Sherrer, Innocents Database, Forejustice. and the listings there for Marcella Pitts, Wayne Dill Jr., Grace Dill, Wayne Forsythe, Colleen Forsythe, and Gina Miller.
 See also the other 1980s Kern County cases: McCuans, Kniffens, et al. (13 defendants), Jeffrey Modahl, et al. (6), John Stoll, et al. (4), Donna Hubbard, Howard Weimer, and others (27).
Listed in: JustD, VotS, DN95-Out


Robert Aldridge et al. — Dayton, Ohio, US — 1985 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

After Jennifer Wilcox and Robert Aldridge had spent nine years in prison for child abuse, three boys who had testified against them came forward and described how they had been coerced to lie on the witness stand. Two years later, an appeals judge considered their recantations together with evidence that the prosecution had withheld important evidence from the defense attorney, and set the couple free.

  • Location: Dayton3, Ohio
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: Robert Aldridge (20), Jennifer Wilcox (24)
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse at least six children under 13
  • Outcome: Correction: Convictions overturned1, Incarcerated: 11 years1
  • Dates: Conviction: 19851, Release: March 8, 19961
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “John, then 12 and now 23, said he was charged with rape, hand-cuffed and taken to the county's youth detention center, where he stayed overnight. He said he told [a police officer] the next morning that he was willing to tell her "the truth" she demanded about being molested by Wilcox and Aldridge even though it was a lie.”1
         Judicial misconduct. “[P]rosecutors had received a 29 page report from police on the case but only provided defense attorneys with a sanitized eight page report that left out details of the Chronopoulos boys' coerced statements, wildly varying statements by other children and denials by others that they had been raped or witnessed rapes, [and] … results of medical exams … that showed that none of the children allegedly molested showed any signs of sexual abuse.”1
         Recanted testimony. “[T]hree of the six children who testified against the couple … [recanted, saying] they were coerced into giving false testimony”1 “Defense lawyers said a court order had barred them from interviewing the other alleged victims.”3
  • Latest information: March 24, 19972
Source:
  1. Free at Last (), Ohio Observer, March 1996
  2. Update by Jenny Wilcox, Doug Hill's website, March 24, 1997
  3. Article (), Associated Press, March 1996
 See also the related Chronopoulos case.
Listed in: NCRJ-Exon, Imag-Out, DHill, DN95-In


Larry Youngblood — Pima County, Arizona, US — 1985 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Youngblood was convicted of abducting a 10-year-old boy from a church carnival and repeatedly sodomizing him. Youngblood fit the description provided by the victim and the traumatized child identified Youngblood in court as the perpetrator. Youngblood lived alone, had a history of mental illness, and had had previous run-ins with the law. He seemed like a likely suspect and was convicted. However, in 2000, DNA tests exonerated him and implicated another man.”1

  • Location: Pima County, Arizona
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Larry Youngblood
  • Accusations: Kidnap and sodomize a 10-year-old boy2
  • Outcome: Sentence: 10½ years2, Correction: Charges dismissed after DNA tests2, Incarcerated: 9 years2
  • Dates: Incident: October 19832, Conviction: 19852, Exoneration: 20002, Release: August 20002
  • Latest information: August 20022
Source:
  1. Larry Youngblood by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, May 2005
  2. Larry Youngblood, Innocence Project
Listed in: InnPr, VotS


Harold Snowden — Miami, Florida, US — 1985 (charges)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“At his homecoming party the day of his release, former Miami police officer Grant Snowden suddenly stopped at the fence of the house while everyone else in the group walked through. He laughed, recognizing the reflex--a former prisoner who did not yet walk easily through barricades. Nor would much else come easily, not sleep, relationships, finding a job, or any other aspect of life other, perhaps, than his long morning runs. Freedom had come after he had given up all but the frailest hope. Sentenced to a remarkable five life terms, he had served 12 years, and seen all his state appeals denied when, in March 1998, a federal appeals court threw out his conviction.”4

  • Location: Miami, Dade County, Florida
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Harold Grant Snowden (policeman)
  • Accusations: 5 counts: Put finger and penis in a preschooler's vagina and penis in her and her 6-month-old brother's mouth, kiss penis of a three-year-old boy, and sexually molest another three-year-old girl3
  • Outcome: Sentence: 2 consecutive life terms (parole only after at least 50 years)3, Correction: Conviction reversed7, Incarcerated: 12 years3
  • Dates: Incident: 19773, Charges: 19853, Conviction: March 7, 19863, Exoneration: February 18, 19987
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “[I]nterviews [of the children] were overtly suggestive and coercive.”1
         Poor evidence. “[T]he medical evidence presented to the jury was unsubstantiated.”1
  • Latest information: December 20004
Source:
 • Brief summary
  1. The Harold Grant Snowden Case, Frontline, PBS, October 27, 1998
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  2. Through the Darkness () by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, April 8, 1998 (Date from a citation.). (First part is about Snowden.)
  3. State Of Florida V. Harold Grant Snowden, Frontline, PBS, October 27, 1998
  4. Afterwards () — Freedom is never the same for those who've been to prison on phony chages [sic]. — by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, December 30, 2000 (Op-ed, with photos at Pulitzer). (First section is on Snowden.)
  5. Confirmation Chronicles — The Ashcroft hearings tell us more about the senators than the nominee. — Wall Street Journal, January 19, 2001 (Editorial). (Mentions Janet Reno's prosecution of Fijnje and Snowden.)
  6. Afflicting the 'Comfortable' — Either an innocent man spent nine months in jail or a guilty man went free. But at least Janet Reno feels OK about it. — Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2001 (Editorial). (Mentions the Snowden and Fijnje cases tangentially.)
 • Case document
  7. Snowden v. Singletary, US Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, February 18, 1998 (Singletary is secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections)
 See also other Dade County cases prosecuted by Janet Reno: Bobby Fijnje, Fusters, Richard McKinley, and others.
Listed in: FL98, NCRJ-Exon, Imag-Out, DHill, DN95-In 

1984


Dade County, Florida, US — 1984 to 93
Many prosecutions with long imprisonment; some may still be in prison

“Miami-Dade County, Florida state's attorney Janet Reno crafted a "children's rights" approach to the prosecution of several suspected child abusers during her reelection campaign in 1984. Hundreds of prosecutors nationwide patterned themselves after her systematic style, ….

Starting in 1984, Reno used Joseph and Laurie Braga, two self-styled experts at interviewing children, to gain most of the "confessions" [i.e., accusations] from the children. The Bragas coerced numerous children into confessions that were thrown out on appeal in both state and federal courts years later. One federal judge described the confessions as "fundamentally unfair." Some of the kids later admitted that they confessed only because they were told other children claimed abuse, and that they were tired of being told "I don't believe you," and "because I was getting tired … [that] I told a lie."”1

  • Location: Dade County, Florida
  • Outcome: Correction: Many convictions overturned1,4
  • Dates: 1984 to 931,9
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “… coerced numerous children into confessions [i.e., accusations] that were thrown out on appeal in both state and federal courts years later.”1
  • Latest information: April 20027,8
Source:
 • Brief summary
  1. Dade County Day Care Center, Wikipedia (Section of Day care sex abuse hysteria, Wikipedia)
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  2. Janet Reno's Coerced Confession () by Alexander Cockburn, Nation, March 8, 1993
  3. Janet Reno's Child Abuse () by Robert Rosenthal, Penthouse, May 1996 (Link)
  4. The Child Terror, Frontline, PBS, October 27, 1998
  5. Confirmation Chronicles — The Ashcroft hearings tell us more about the senators than the nominee. — Wall Street Journal, January 19, 2001 (Editorial). (Mentions Janet Reno's prosecution of Fijnje and Snowden.)
  6. Afflicting the 'Comfortable' — Either an innocent man spent nine months in jail or a guilty man went free. But at least Janet Reno feels OK about it. — Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2001 (Editorial)
  7. The Prosecutors — A little sunshine on Janet Reno's pre-Clinton legacy. — by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, April 25, 2002 (Op-ed)
  8. Reno owes the public answers, St. Petersburg Times, April 28, 2002 (Editorial)
 • Background information
  9. Janet Reno: Attorney General, Washington Post
 See also other Dade County cases prosecuted by Janet Reno: Bobby Fijnje, Grant Snowden, Fusters, and Richard McKinley.
Listed in: Wiki


Early Childhood Development Center — Pittsfield, Massachusetts, US — October 7, 1984 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

The judge who granted a new trial in 2006 described the genesis of this case: “In 1984, Bernard Baran worked at the Early Childhood Development Center ("ECDC") as a teacher’s assistant. The allegations in this case emanate from his contact with pre-school children who were enrolled in this facility. The first family to bring accusations against Mr. Baran was that of Boy A. Previously, the boy’s father had filed a complaint with ECDC objecting to Mr. Baran being allowed to work with children because he was a homosexual. On September 12, 1984, the ECDC Board of Directors discussed Mr. Baran’s sexual orientation and his possible termination. On October 5, 1984, this family contacted the police to report that Mr. Baran had molested their child. The next day, this child was brought to the Berkshire Medical Center for an examination. That night, the mother of Girl B got a telephone call informing her about the pending investigation against Mr. Baran. She was on the ECDC board when the complaints were made about Mr. Baran’s homosexuality. Additionally, this woman had previously been abused herself. She contacted a friend who was a captain on the police department and reported that her daughter may have been molested. This captain in turn contacted two other detectives who, with [a] Department of Social Services ("DSS") worker …, eventually visited this residence that same night at 10:50 p.m. Mr. Baran was arrested the next day on two counts of indecent assault and battery upon these two children.”20 (citations omitted)

  • Location: Pittsfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts at Facility: Early Childhood Development Center
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Bernard Baran (19)
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse two 3-year-olds
  • Outcome: Sentence: Life20, Other: Granted new trial and released on bail in 2006, Incarcerated: 22 years
  • Dates: Investigation: October 5, 198420, Arrest: October 7, 198420, Trial: January 21, 198520, Conviction: January 30, 198520, Sentence: January 31, 198520
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “[Prosecutor] Ford also used the McDonald's bribe when kids were on the witness stand. … Whenever a child gave the wrong answer, Ford persisted until they gave the right one.”9
          “Interviews of the children were videotaped … Some interviews last up to forty (40) minutes. … The [version shown to the] grand jury …, however, shows only a small portion of each of these entire interviews. … The unedited versions contain statements in which the children deny that Mr. Baran had done anything to them and statements where they accuse other persons of abuse [and] … statements which accused other people of witnessing these alleged acts …”20
         Poor evidence. “The boy tested positive for gonorrhea [by a] test … shown to have a high false-positive rate. … In any case, Bernie tested negative. … [A] doctor … claimed that one girl had a … tear on her hymen [which is] common in girls who have not been abused.”9
         Recanted testimony. “One girl, a few months after Bernie's conviction, even told her therapist that nothing had really happened and that her mother … had told her to say that it had so they could get a lot of money.”9 “… this information was never made available to Mr. Baran for his appeal.”7
  • Latest information: January 28, 200825
Source:
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  1. Justice for Bernard Baran by Katha Pollitt, Nation, February 3, 2000
  2. Lost Innocents by Katha Pollitt, Nation, June 26, 2003
  3. Free At Last — Bernard Baran talks about how he survived 21 years in prison and the gay community’s unwillingness to take up his fight — Phoenix (Boston, Massachusetts), July 14, 2006
  4. The Bernard Baran Saga — Two decades later, the convicted child molester's legal battle continues — by Noah Schaffer, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, August 7, 2006 (Requires subscription; free trial available)
  5. Using a ban on pre-trial publicity to avoid embarrassing prosecutors, judges () by Harvey A. Silverglate and James Fallows Tierney, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, November 5, 2007 (Op-ed)
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  6. The Baran Sexual Abuse Case: Pittsfield, MA by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, July 10, 2001 (Updated August 12, 2006.)
  7. Bernie Baran, of Pittsfield, MA (serving three concurrent life terms). by Jonathan G. Harris, Witchhunt Information Center
  8. Berkshire County, Massachusetts: How Not to Investigate Child Sexual Abuse by Lona Manning, Imaginary Crimes
 • Dedicated website
  9. Help Us Free Bernard Baran!, National Center for Reason and Justice (U.S.A.) (67 Web pages)
 • Case documents and news reports
  10. Some Documents in the Baran Case, Help Us Free Bernard Baran!
  11. Press Accounts of the Case, Help Us Free Bernard Baran!
  12. Public Awareness Credited for Day Care Abuse Reports, Associated Press, November 11, 1984 (Fee to access)
  13. Mass. Continues to Get Reports of Day Care Abuse, Associated Press, January 20, 1985 (Fee to access)
  14. Day-Care Aide Found Guilty of Child Molesting, Associated Press, January 31, 1985 (Fee to access)
  15. Life Sentence in Child-Rapes Case, Associated Press, February 1, 1985 (Fee to access)
  16. Summary of News Clips From The Berkshire Eagle — 1984, 85, 86, and 95 — Help Us Free Bernard Baran!
  17. Pittsfield Abuse Case is Settled, Boston Globe, April 8, 1995 (Fee to access)
  18. Convicted molester bids for new trial — Says prosecution was deeply flawed — Boston Globe, June 16, 2005
  19. Interview excerpts, Boston Globe, June 16, 2005
  20. Massachusetts v. Bernard Baran () by Judge Francis R. Fecteau, Massachusetts Superior Court, June 13, 2006 (Searchable but incomplete version)
  21. Man is granted new trial in 1985 molestation case, Boston Globe, June 22, 2006
  22. Judge sets bail for man convicted of daycare abuse in 1980s, Associated Press, June 22, 2006
  23. Convicted molester to receive new trial, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, July 3, 2006 (Requires subscription; free trial available)
  24. Judge: comments 'crossed the line', Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, October 30, 2006 (Requires subscription; free trial available)
  25. Appeal set in child molestation case, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, January 28, 2008 (Requires subscription; free trial available)
 See also the other cases in Berkshire County, MA: Robert Halsey and Bruce Clairmont.
Listed in: NCRJ-Spons, Imag-Out, OCRT, VotS, WIC, DN95-In


Anthony Cox et al. — Kern County, California, US — October 1984 (investigation)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Jeffrey Modahl … was a single dad of two daughters who suspected two relatives had molested his girls. After Modahl asked Velda Murillo for help, Murillo's suspicions turned to him. He was sentenced to 48 years in prison for running a family sex ring that included tying his preadolescent daughters to hooks in a bedroom. (No evidence of hooks was ever found.) "Velda said, 'Tell us what happened and you'll go home,'" remembers Carla Jo Modahl, who was 9 when she testified against her father and subsequently tried to commit suicide several times after his conviction. "I didn't understand what would happen. I didn't realize it until everyone was in prison." Carla was scared that if she recanted her testimony, she, too, would be imprisoned. Still, when she was 12, she told a judge she'd lied on the witness stand. The judge didn't believe her, and her father remained in prison for a dozen more years -- until his conviction was finally reversed.”1

  • Location: Kern County, California
  • 6 Claimed Innocent: Anthony and Teresa Cox (19), Leroy Cox, Richard Cox, Ruth Taylor, Jeffrey Modahl (4)
  • Accusations: Tie up and sexually molest three girls aged 9 to 124
  • Outcome: Sentence: Modahl: 48 years1,4,5, Correction: Most convictions overturned4, Other: Teresa: Divorced while in prison, addicted to meth after release3, Incarcerated: Teresa: 6 years1, Modahl: 15 years5, Compensation: $4.25 million by the county in 20043
  • Dates: Incident: June 19834, Investigation: October 19844, Conviction: Modahl: 19864, Release: Modahl: May 19994,5
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “The children were threatened that if they did not provide "good" testimony (not "true" testimony) they would not be returned to their parents.”4
         Poor evidence. “Carla's testimony was unsupported by any medical examination or physical evidence. No ropes, no nails, no nail hole in the wall, and no pictures were presented as evidence.”4
         Judicial misconduct. “An investigation by the California attorney general revealed … prosecutorial misconduct. Before some of the children appeared in court, prosecutors took them shopping for toys and new clothes, rehearsing their testimony with them until they sounded convincing. At Modahl's trial, the DA's office deliberately withheld two key pieces of evidence: a medical exam revealing that Carla had not been sodomized and a tape of a social worker inventing explicit descriptions of sexual abuse by Modahl and pressuring Teresa to affirm them. Prosecutors also pressured Carla's foster parents to put her on Thorazine, the pharmaceutical equivalent of a straitjacket, keeping her hazy and compliant during the false testimony they elicited from her.”3
         Recanted testimony. “Carla Jo Modahl, … when she was 12, … told a judge she'd lied on the witness stand.”1 She “explained that a social worker had tricked her, grilling her every day for weeks and promising her that she would be reunited with her father if she would simply "admit" that Modahl had abused her.”3
  • Latest information: April 20053
Source:
  1. Who Was Abused?, New York Times magazine, September 19, 2004. (Brief description of Modahl case in the article)
  2. Jeffrey Modahl by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, June 2005
  3. Mean Justice's Dirty Secrets () by Kimberley Sevcik, Rolling Stone, April 2005 (Date is date of link page.) (Link)
  4. Conviction Without Evidence: A Police Witch Hunt Case in Kern County California, Nicholas Peters’ website
  5. MVMO ritual abuse cases: Bakersfield / Kern County, CA by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, April 11, 2005. (Has a short section about Modahl's appeal.)
 See also the other 1980s Kern County cases: McCuans, Kniffens, et al. (13 defendants), Ricky Pitts, et al. (7), John Stoll, et al. (4), Donna Hubbard, Howard Weimer, and others (27).
Listed in: Imag-Out, VotS, DN95-In, DN95-Out


John Stoll et al. — Kern County, California, US — September 24, 1984 (trial)
Prosecution with civil commitment

“Sampley and three other former accusers returned to the courthouse where they had testified against Stoll. This time they came to say Stoll never molested them. They are in their late 20's now. They have jobs in construction, car repair, sales. A couple of them have children about the same age as they were when they testified. Although most of the boys drifted apart after the trial, their life stories echo with similarities. Each of them said he always knew the truth -- that Stoll had never touched them. Each said that he felt pressured by the investigators to describe sex acts. A fifth accuser isn't sure what happened all those years ago but has no memory of being molested. During the court hearing to release Stoll, only his son Jed remained adamant that his father had molested him, though he couldn't remember details of the abuse: "I've been through many years of therapy to try to get over that," he told the court.”2

  • Location: Kern County, California
  • 4 Claimed Innocent: John Stoll, Grant Self, Timothy Palomo (Tim), Margie Grafton
  • Accusations: Sexually molest four boys
  • Outcome: Sentence: Stoll: 40 years3, Correction: Stoll: Conviction overturned2, Palomo: Conviction overturned4, Grafton: Conviction overturned4, Other: Self: Completed sentence, now in civil commitment2, Incarcerated: Stoll: 20 years3, Self: Since 1984, Palomo: 8 years4, Grafton: 8 years4
  • Dates: Investigation: June 19842, Trial: September 24, 19844, Conviction: 19952, Exoneration: Stoll: January 30, 20042, Palomo: 1992, Grafton: 1992, Release: Stoll: May 20044
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “Judge John Kelly … said the children had been improperly interviewed, making their testimony unreliable.”2
         Poor evidence. “There was no physical evidence to support the charges.”4
         Recanted testimony. 20 years later, “Sampley and three other former accusers returned to the courthouse …. This time they came to say Stoll never molested them. … Donald Grafton drove 17 hours from Idaho to recant his testimony.”2
  • Latest information: April 20053
Source:
 • Brief summary
  1. John Stoll by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, June 2005
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  2. Who Was Abused?, New York Times magazine, September 19, 2004
  3. Mean Justice's Dirty Secrets () by Kimberley Sevcik, Rolling Stone, April 2005 (Date is date of link page.) (Link)
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  4. MVMO ritual abuse cases: Bakersfield / Kern County, CA by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, April 11, 2005
  5. Frame up through Fantasy: A Look at a Kern County `Sex Ring', Nicholas Peters’ website
  6. Kern County child abuse cases, Wikipedia. (Brief mention of Stoll and Self)
 See also the other 1980s Kern County cases: McCuans, Kniffens, et al. (13 defendants), Ricky Pitts, et al. (7), Jeffrey Modahl, et al. (6), Donna Hubbard, Howard Weimer, and others (27).
Listed in: NCRJ-Exon, Imag-In, Imag-Out, VotS, DN95-In, DN95-Out


Country Walk child care — Miami, Florida, US — August 1984 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

“In 1984, Frank Fuster was living the American dream with a nice house in the Miami suburbs and a new wife who was helping him raise his 5-year-old son. Then, Fuster's world fell apart. He and his wife found themselves charged with sexually abusing more than 20 children who attended their unlicensed home day care center.

“Fuster -- who it was soon learned had prior convictions for manslaughter and child molestation -- seemed to be the classic perpetrator. Branded a "monster" by parents and the local media, he was convicted and sentenced to 165 years in prison. His case would establish a successful method for prosecuting similar day care abuse cases nationwide, while also boosting the political fortunes of a state attorney named Janet Reno, whose office would go on to prosecute additional cases of multiple sexual abuse at day care centers in the Miami area.

“… Frank Fuster is serving his 165-year sentence. He says he turned down a deal from the state in which he was offered a sentence of fifteen years if he would plead guilty. "If I had taken [it], … I would have been home ten years ago." He refused the deal, he says, "Because I am innocent."”7[Intro]

  • Location: Miami, Dade County, Florida at Facility: Country Walk child care
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: Francisco (35) and Ileana Flores Fuster (17)
  • Accusations: 14 counts with 50 children, including their son: Kiss babies' genitals, anally rape children with a crucifix, make them eat feces, pose for pornography, take drugs, pray to Satan, and kill animals, threaten the children into silence11 (SRA4,11)
  • Outcome: Sentence: Francisco: 165 years (life without parole)7[Summary], Ileana: 10 years7[Summary], Other: Francisco: In prison, Ileana: Served part of sentence, released, and deported7[Summary], Incarcerated: Francisco: Since 1984, Ileana: 3 years7[Summary]
  • Dates: Arrest: August 19847[Summary], Trial: 19857[Summary]
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “[T]he taped evaluations of children have received repeated scrutiny from child psychologists who, based on more contemporary research, argue the methods utilized by the Bragas (who were not psychologists) were highly leading, suggestive and unreliable.”7[Summary]
         Tainted confession. Ileana “recounts a harrowing tale of being kept naked in her Dade County jail cell, forcibly held under cold showers, and subjected to repeated psychological badgering … She even recalls late-night visits from Janet Reno.” 7[Summary]
         Recovered memory. “Ileana was visited [in jail] nearly 30 times by … two … therapists … from Behavior Changers, Inc., who used relaxation … [and] visualization … techniques to help Ileana "recover memories."”7[Summary]
         Poor evidence. “[C]ritical lab evidence was destroyed after just three days and before the defense had any opportunity to retest.”7[Summary] No pornography found.
         Recanted testimony. “Now 24, Noel [Fusters' son] talks about the … interviewing tactics and how they "were playing games with a 6-year-old's head."”7
  • Latest information: April 20025,6,7
Source:
 • Brief summary
  1. Country Walk, Janet Reno's case by Jonathan G. Harris, Witchhunt Information Center (Section of Witchhunt Information Center by Jonathan G. Harris)
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  2. Janet Reno's Coerced Confession () by Alexander Cockburn, Nation, March 8, 1993
  3. Janet Reno's Child Abuse () by Robert Rosenthal, Penthouse, May 1996 (Link)
  4. Country Walk, Florida, Frontline, PBS, May 27, 1997 (Section of Other Well-Known Cases, Frontline, PBS, May 27, 1997)
  5. The Prosecutors — A little sunshine on Janet Reno's pre-Clinton legacy. — by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, April 25, 2002 (Op-ed)
  6. Reno owes the public answers, St. Petersburg Times, April 28, 2002 (Editorial)
 • Website based on, and excerpt from, television documentary
  7. Did Daddy Do It?, Frontline, PBS, April 25, 2002 (37 Web pages)
  8. Video Excerpt: Did Daddy Do It?, Frontline, PBS, April 25, 2002
 • Analysis from the academic and legal communities
  9. Untying the Gordian Knot: A Return to Reason () by Ralph Underwager and Hollida Wakefield, Issues In Child Abuse Accusations, Institute for Psychological Therapies, September 1994 (V. 6, # 4)
  10. News Bulletin, Frank Fuster Defense Team, March 1995 (Undated; date is month of latest event mentioned, Ileana's letter.)
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  11. The "Country Walk" Ritual Abuse Case, Miami, FL by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, November 25, 2000
 • Case documents
  12. Statement of Ileana Flores Regarding Florida vs. Fuster (, ), October 15, 1994
  13. Letter to Miami Herald by Ileana Flores, March 10, 1995
 See also the other cases involving recovered memories: Paul Ingram, George Franklin, Michael Parker, Michael Kliman, Ray and Shirley Souza, John Quattrocchi, Timothy Smith, and Paul Shanley.
 See also other Dade County cases prosecuted by Janet Reno: Bobby Fijnje, Grant Snowden, Richard McKinley, and others.
Listed in: FL97, FL98, NCRJ-Spons, Imag-In, OCRT, DHill, WIC, DN95-In, DN95-Out


Praca Day Care Center — Bronx, New York, US — August 1984 (arrest)
Prosecution with imprisonment

“In August 1984, a mother approached the DA's office, claiming that her four year-old daughter had been abused at the center. In interviews with the police, the little girl named the three men as her abusers. Based on her testimony as well as that of other children, all three men were convicted and imprisoned with maximum sentences.”4

  • Location: Bronx, New York at Facility: Praca Day Care Center4
  • 3 Claimed Innocent: Albert Algarin (21), Jesus Torres (29), Franklin Beauchamp (27)
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse 30 children, aged 4 to 88
  • Outcome: Sentence: Algarin: 50 years (parole eligible after 25 years)7, Torres: 40 years8, Beauchamp: 25 to 75 years9, Correction: Beauchamp: Conviction overturned by state supreme court, then case dismissed9, Others: Convictions overturned later4, Incarcerated: Beauchamp: 3 years3
  • Dates: Incident: April 19847, Investigation: August 19844, Arrest: August 19841, Conviction: Beauchamp: 19861, Sentence: Algarin: January 15, 19867, Torres: May 1, 19868, Exoneration: Beauchamp: May 19899, Release: Beauchamp: September 19899
  • Problems: Judicial misconduct. “[T]he indictment had been so vague [legalese: “duplicitous”5] that it was impossible to prepare an adequate defense.”4,9
  • Latest information: May 19974
Source:
 • Brief summaries
  1. Praca Day Care, Wikipedia (Section of Day care sex abuse hysteria, Wikipedia)
  2. Bronx Five by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, November 2007
  3. Albert Algerin by Hans Sherrer, Innocents Database, Forejustice. and the listings there for Jesus Torres and Franklin Beauchamp.
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  4. Rev. Nathaniel Grady and The Bronx Five, Frontline, PBS, May 27, 1997 (Section of Other Well-Known Cases, Frontline, PBS, May 27, 1997)
 • Analysis from the legal community
  5. Just Who is the Victim Here? () by Zachary Margulis, Gauntlet, 1996
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  6. Ritual Abuse Cases in Westchester, New York State, Religious Tolerance
 • News reports
  7. Day Care Worker Gets 50 Years for Sex Crimes, Associated Press, January 16, 1986
  8. Day-Care Sex Assaults Bring 30-Year Sentence, New York Times, May 2, 1986
  9. 1

  • Location: Orange, California at Facility: Yorba Junior High School
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: William Gillett (8th-grade teacher)
  • Accusations: Sexually molest a girl in his 8th-grade class1
  • Outcome: Arrested, publicly accused, but never charged. Lost his job.1
  • Dates: Arrest: May 19841
  • Latest information: February 19851
Source:
  1. Careers, Reputations Damaged False Molesting Charges Scar Lives of the Accused, Los Angeles Times, February 11, 1985 (Excerpt with buy link)


Jack Barnes et al. — Clermont County, Ohio, US — April 18, 1984 (sentence)
Prosecution with death in prison, others still in prison

“Jack and Linda were poor, and barely had a place to live …. After their children were put in a foster home, they would be punished if they did not say that their parents had abused them … and … say so in a courtroom. Now that they are grown, they have recanted the … testimony …. The affidavits of these boys tells [sic] the horrifying story of how the foster parents were the real abusers. …”1

  • Location: Clermont County1, Ohio
  • 4 Claimed Innocent: Jack and Linda Barnes, Ronnie Humfleet, Earl Barnes (2)
  • Accusations: Perform fellatio on Jack and Linda's sons and rape all their children4
  • Outcome: Sentence: Jack: Life2, Linda: 38 years to life2, Humfleet: 30 years to life2, Earl: Life2, Other: Earl: Died in prison2, Motions for new trial based on sons' recantations turned down3
  • Dates: Sentence: Jack: April 26, 19842, Linda: April 26, 19842, Humfleet: April 18, 19842, Earl: April 24, 19842
  • Problems: Recanted testimony. “After a month or so of living with the Pierces, they started questioning us about things that were strange to us then - physical and sexual child abuse. … After denying them enough, it seemed to aggravate them. We began to be told to say what they wanted us to say or we would be punished. Punishment would be going to bed extremely early with no dinner, being yelled at constantly, or no TV or toys to play with. Yet when we would say what they wanted us to say, we would be treated with respect and given privileges like staying up late, extra food, and watching TV. … Eventually we were aquainted [sic] with two lawyers who would treat us extra nice. … That's when we started going on mock court trials.”5
  • Latest information: July 15, 20003
Source:
 • Brief summary
  1. Clermont County, Innocent Inmates Association of Ohio
 • Dedicated website
  2. Jack Barnes, et al., Innocent Inmates Association of Ohio (12 Web pages)
  3. Statement by Linda Barnes, July 15, 2000
  4. Affidavit by Linda Barnes
  5. Statement by Jack Anthony Barnes, August 24, 1992 (Jack and Linda's oldest son)
Listed in: Imag-In


McMartin Preschool — Manhattan Beach, California, US — March 1984 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“The case began in August 1983 when the mother of a 2½-year-old boy reported to police that her son had been abused by Raymond Buckey at the McMartin Preschool in Manhattan Beach, California, an affluent community on Santa Monica Bay. … Ray was the only male teacher at the preschool.

“After the initial accusation, Ray was arrested, but released due to lack of evidence. The mother continued her allegations, claiming that her son returned home from pre-school with his anus red and sore and surmising from that that he had been sodomized, and claiming that he had witnessed bizarre satanic rituals at the school. At the beginning of the investigation, police wrote letters to 200 parents of current and former students telling them that the pre-school was being investigated and questioning them about possible molestation of their children.

“After the letters went out, parents began questioning their children and the children began telling stories of abuse at the preschool; that they had been touched inappropriately, that their pictures had been taken, that they had had been forced to engage in anal and oral sex, and forced to play a game called "Naked Movie Star."

“… Although none of those charged were ever convicted, the 28-month trial was the longest and costliest criminal prosecution in U.S. history. …”4

  • Location: Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles County, California at Facility: McMartin Preschool
  • 7 Claimed Innocent: Ray Buckey (preschool teacher), Peggy McMartin Buckey (his mother, administrator), Virginia McMartin (his grandmother, founder of the preschool), Peggy Ann Buckey (his sister, public school teacher) (4), Mary Ann Jackson, Bette Raidor, Babette Spitler (preschool teachers) (20)
  • Accusations: 208 counts: Sexually abuse 40 nursery students, including take them on long trips and abuse them in public places, make pornographic pictures and movies of them, force them to participate in killing babies and drinking their blood, bury them temporarily in coffins, flush them down toilets, and threaten them into silence11 (SRA2,4,11)
  • Outcome: Ray Buckey: Jury deadlocked twice4, Peggy McMartin Buckey: Jury deadlocked, not retried4, Others: Charges dropped before trial4, Incarcerated: Ray Buckey: 5 years4, Peggy McMartin Buckey: 2 years4
  • Dates: Investigation: August 19834, Arrest: March 19844, Trial: April 19874, Exoneration: Ray Buckey: 19904, Peggy McMartin Buckey: April 19894, Others: 19864
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “Children were pressured by parents; … interviewers used leading, suggestive, and repeated questions … [and] gave rewards to the kids for disclosing the "right" answers.”11
         “The dolls were pasty white and had hair where the private parts were. They wanted us to take off their clothes. It was just really weird. … I remember them asking extremely uncomfortable questions about whether Ray touched me and about all the teachers and what they did–and I remember telling them nothing happened to me. I remember them almost giggling and laughing, saying, "Oh, we know these things happened to you. Why don't you just go ahead and tell us? Use these dolls if you're scared."”19
         Poor evidence. “There was a complete lack of the type of physical evidence that is normally seen with sexually abused children.”11 No pornography or dead babies found.
         Recanted testimony. Twenty-one years later, Kyle Zirpolo explains “I remember thinking to myself, "I'm not going to get out of here unless I tell them what they want to hear." … Anytime I would give them an answer that they didn't like, they would ask again and encourage me to give them the answer they were looking for. … I felt uncomfortable and a little ashamed that I was being dishonest. … And everyone was saying how proud they were of me.”19
  • Latest information: October 30, 200519
Source:
 • Brief summaries
  1. McMartin preschool trial, Wikipedia (Section of Day care sex abuse hysteria, Wikipedia)
  2. McMartin Preschool, Frontline, PBS, April 25, 2002 (Section of Outcomes of High Profile Day Care Sexual Abuse Cases of the 1980s, Frontline, PBS, April 25, 2002)
  3. McMartin Preschool by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, June 2005
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  4. The McMartin Preschool, Frontline, PBS, May 27, 1997 (Section of Other Well-Known Cases, Frontline, PBS, May 27, 1997)
  5. The McMartin Nightmare and the Hysteria Puppeteers, Crime Library, Court TV, Time Warner (11 Web pages)
 • Analysis from the academic community
  6. The McMartin Preschool Abuse Trials by Douglas Linder, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
  7. The Dark Truth About the "Dark Tunnels of McMartin" by John Earl, Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, Institute for Psychological Therapies, 1995 (V. 7, # 2)
 • Analysis from the alternative press and Internet community
  8. McMartin preschool trial, Wikipedia
  9. The Ritual Sex Abuse Hoax (, ) by Debbie Nathan, Village Voice, January 12, 1990
  10. McMartin Preschool Tunnel Claims: Evidence of a Hoax by Debbie Nathan, June 1994
  11. "McMartin" Ritual Abuse Cases in Manhattan Beach, CA by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, October 29, 2005
  12. The underground "tunnels" of the McMartin Preschool by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, February 9, 2002
 • Analysis from the conspiracy theory community
  13. McMartin Preschool Revisited by Alex Constantine, Mind Control Forum, 1996
 • Book
  14. The Abuse of Innocence: The McMartin Preschool Trial by Paul Eberle and Shirley Eberle, Prometheus Books, November 1993 (Amazon)
 • Movie dramatization
  15. Indictment: The McMartin Trial, Abby Mann Productions (for HBO), May 1995 (Amazon. Video)
  16. Criminal Injustice — 'McMartin Trial' indicts overzealous prosecutors for pressing unsubstantiated case — by Michael Kilian, Chicago Tribune, May 18, 1995 (Movie review)
 • News reports
  17. Los Angeles Pressing Inquiry into Sexual Abuse of Children, New York Times, April 1, 1984 (excerpt with buy link)
  18. Virginia McMartin Dead At 88 (), Associated Press, December 18, 1995
  19. I'm Sorry — A long-delayed apology from one of the accusers in the notorious McMartin Pre-School molestation case — by Kyle Zirpolo, as told to Debbie Nathan, Los Angeles Times Magazine, October 30, 2005 (Excerpt; fee for full text.)
 • Skeletal information for citation reference only
  20. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: Wiki, FL97, FL98, FL02, NCRJ-Exon, Imag-Out, OCRT, VotS, DHill, DN95-Out


Sylvester Smith — Brunswick County, North Carolina, US — 1984 (trial)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Smith was convicted of raping two girls, ages four and six. The conviction was based on the testimony of the girls. In 2004, the girls came forward and revealed that their grandmother had pressured them into accusing Smith in order to protect the actual perpetrator, their 9-year-old cousin. Smith was released, …”1

  • Location: Brunswick County, North Carolina
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Sylvester Smith
  • Accusations: Rape two girls, aged 4 and 61
  • Outcome: Incarcerated: 20 years
  • Dates: Trial: 19841, Release: 20041
  • Problems: Recanted testimony. “… the girls came forward and revealed that their grandmother had pressured them into accusing Smith in order to protect the actual perpetrator, their 9-year-old cousin.”1
  • Latest information: 20051
Source:
  1. Sylvester Smith by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State
Listed in: VotS


Manhattan Ranch — Manhattan Beach, California, US — 1984 (investigation)
Prosecution with acquittal at trial

(No case description available)

  • Location: Manhattan Beach, California at Facility: Manhattan Ranch
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Micheal Ruby2
  • Outcome: Found not guilty1
  • Dates: Investigation: 19841
  • Latest information: October 19981
Source:
  1. Notorious Day Care Cases, Frontline, PBS, October 27, 1998
  2. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: FL98, DN95-Out


Rogers Park Jewish Community Center — Chicago, Illinois, US — 1984 (investigation)
Prosecution with acquittal at trial

(No case description available)

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois at Facility: Rogers Park Jewish Community Center
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: Deloartio Parks, Sandra Fabiano (2)
  • Outcome: One defendant found not guilty1
  • Dates: Investigation: 19841
  • Latest information: October 19981
Source:
  1. Notorious Day Care Cases, Frontline, PBS, October 27, 1998
  2. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: FL98, DN95-Out


Georgian Hills — Memphis, Tennessee, US — 1984 (investigation)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

(No case description available)

  • Location: Memphis, Tennessee at Facility: Georgian Hills
  • 4 Claimed Innocent: Frances Ballard, Betty Stimpson, Rev. Paul Shell, Jeffery Stimpson (2)
  • Outcome: Sentence: One: 5 to 35 years1, Correction: One: Convictions overturned, charges dismissed.1, Other: Two others: Charges dropped. Fourth: Found not guilty1
  • Dates: Investigation: 19841
  • Latest information: October 19981
Source:
  1. Notorious Day Care Cases, Frontline, PBS, October 27, 1998
  2. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: FL98, Imag-Out, DN95-Out


John Roseman — California, US — 1984 (est.)
Prosecution with acquittal at trial

“John M. Roseman, who was a highly regarded elementary school principal, is no longer in the education business.

Roseman was declared innocent of molesting a 5-year-old girl at a Fullerton elementary school when the judge learned that the principal had removed the girl's underwear only after she told him that she had wet herself. The detective who had interviewed the girl did not include that fact in the police report.

Although exonerated, Roseman was demoted to teaching status and left the school district to start his own business.

"He loved being a principal," his attorney, Ron Talmo, said. "He was a very content, satisfied principal. It just all billowed up on him."”1

  • Location: California
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: John M. Roseman (elementary school principal)
  • Accusations: Sexually molest a 5-year-old girl in his school1
  • Outcome: Acquitted. Demoted to teacher. Quit education career.1
  • Dates: 1984 (est.)
  • Latest information: February 19851
Source:
  1. Careers, Reputations Damaged False Molesting Charges Scar Lives of the Accused, Los Angeles Times, February 11, 1985 (Excerpt with buy link)


Michael Hailey — Glendale, California, US — 1984 (est.)
Prosecution with acquittal at trial

“Michael Hailey, a sergeant in the Glendale Police Department, is no longer wearing the uniform. He was fired from the force when he was accused of molesting three teen-age boys at a YMCA where he did volunteer work.

“He was found innocent of the charges, was reinstated and awarded $80,000 in a settlement from the city. But he chose to leave police work.

“"It just wouldn't be the same," he said. "I'm glad there's nothing still hanging over my head. But there are 15 years of my life that have sort of been edited out."”1

  • Location: Glendale, California
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Michael Hailey (police sergeant)
  • Accusations: Sexually molest three teen-age boys at a YMCA where he did volunteer work1
  • Outcome: Acquitted1, Compensation: Job reinstated and $80,000 from the city1
  • Dates: 1984 (est.)
  • Latest information: February 19851
Source:
  1. Careers, Reputations Damaged False Molesting Charges Scar Lives of the Accused, Los Angeles Times, February 11, 1985 (Excerpt with buy link)


Helen Brown et al. — Jordan, Minnesota, US — 1984 (est.)
Prosecution with acquittal at trial

“25 adults were charged with molesting 40 children in the small town of Jordan [Minnesota]. James Rud, 27, was sentenced to 40 years in prison on the charges, but two of the other adults were acquitted, and the charges against the remaining defendants were dropped.”1

  • Location: Jordan, Minnesota
  • 24 Claimed Innocent: Helen Brown, Tom Brown, Robert Benz, Lois Benz (2), 20 others1
  • Accusations: Sexually molest 40 children1
  • Outcome: Two acquitted. Other 22: Charges dropped.1
  • Dates: 1984 (est.)
  • Problems: “… the children revised, recanted and expanded their stories.”1
  • Latest information: February 19851
Source:
  1. Careers, Reputations Damaged False Molesting Charges Scar Lives of the Accused, Los Angeles Times, February 11, 1985 (Excerpt with buy link)
  2. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: DN95-Out


Edward LaBois et al. — Minnetonka, Minnesota, US — 1984 (charges)
Prosecution; fugitives for 19 years

“The LaBoises who operated a child day care in their home were accused in 1984 of abusing their four-year-old daughter. After learning [she would be removed from their home2], they fled the state with their daughter. In 2003, an informant tipped off police that the couple was living in a Salt Lake City suburb. The couple was arrested on Nov. 10, 2003. As a four-year-old, the daughter testified on videotape that she was abused after being asked leading questions. However, as a [23]-year-old she remembered no such abuse. Parents who sent their children to the LaBois’ daycare remember no allegations of abuse by their children. On Nov. 26, prosecutors dropped charges.”1

  • Location: Minnetonka, Hennepin County, Minnesota
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: Edward and Karri LaBois
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse their 4-year-old daughter2
  • Outcome: Correction: Charges dropped2, Incarcerated: Fugitives for 19 years2
  • Dates: Investigation: 19842, Charges: 19842, Arrest: November 10, 20032, Exoneration: November 25, 20032
  • Latest information: November 26, 20032
Source:
  1. Edward Karri LaBois by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, December 2005
  2. Abuse Charge Dropped, Couple Freed () — 19 Years Spent on the Run from False "Fad" Allegations — Associated Press, November 26, 2003
Listed in: VotS


Fells Acres Day Care Center — Malden, Massachusetts, US — 1984 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“The incident began in 1984, when a 5-year-old boy told a family member that Gerald Amirault, administrator and handyman at the Fells Acres day care center, had touched his penis. The boy's mother notified the authorities, and Gerald was arrested. The children told stories which included being abused by a clown and a robot in a secret room at the day care center. They told of watching animals being sacrificed, and one girl claimed Gerald had penetrated her anus with the twelve-inch blade of a knife (which left no injuries).

“"All nine children testified in a broadly consistent way … The children testified to numerous instances of sexual abuse … The children testified that the defendant threatened them and told them that their families would be harmed if they told anyone about the abuse"
“In the 1986 trial, Gerald was convicted and sentenced to thirty to forty years in state prison. He was released in 2004. In 1995 the chief prosecutor of both of the Amirault cases responded to a critical series of articles in the Wall Street Journal by Dorothy Rabinowitz. He stated that "the children testified to being photographed and molested by acts that included penetration by objects" and "the implication … that the children's allegations of abuse were tainted by improper interviewing is groundless and not true."”1

  • Location: Malden, Middlesex County, Massachusetts at Facility: Fells Acres Day Care Center
  • 3 Claimed Innocent: Gerald Amirault, Cheryl Amirault LeFave (his sister), Violet Amirault (his mother)
  • Accusations: Sexually molest 19 children aged 3 and 4, including touch boys' penises, penetrate a girl's anus with a long knife blade, sacrifice animals in a secret room, and threaten the children into silence1,8
  • Outcome: Sentence: Gerald: 30 to 40 years8, Cheryl: 8 to 20 years8, Violet: 8 to 20 years8, Other: Violet: Died two years after release8, Incarcerated: Gerald: 18 years26, Cheryl: 8 years8, Violet: 8 years8
  • Dates: Incident: 19848, Arrest: 19848, Conviction: Gerald: 19868, Cheryl: 19878, Violet: 19878, Release: Gerald: April 30, 200426, Cheryl: 19958, Violet: 19958
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “Over and over … the children say nothing happened …. But the interviewer persists. … children are to be believed only when they say abuse took place.”9
         Poor evidence. “no evidence whatsoever that the Amiraults had engaged in such crimes”9
  • Latest information: May 200426
Source:
 • Brief summaries
  1. Fells Acres Day Care Center, Wikipedia (Section of Day care sex abuse hysteria, Wikipedia)
  2. Fells Acres Day School by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, May 2005
  3. Fells Acres. Malden, Massachusetts' daycare witchhunt by Jonathan G. Harris, Witchhunt Information Center (Section of Witchhunt Information Center by Jonathan G. Harris)
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  4. Massachusetts Justice (), Wall Street Journal, March 26, 1997 (Editorial)
  5. Fells Acres Day School, Frontline, PBS, May 27, 1997 (Section of Other Well-Known Cases, Frontline, PBS, May 27, 1997)
  6. Un-Swift Justice — Massachusetts' acting governor puts politics over an innocent man's freedom. — Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2002 (Editorial)
  7. Justice, Not So Swift by Katha Pollitt, Nation, February 28, 2002
  8. Fells Acres, Frontline, PBS, April 25, 2002 (Section of Outcomes of High Profile Day Care Sexual Abuse Cases of the 1980s, Frontline, PBS, April 25, 2002)
 • Op-eds in Wall Street Journal by Dorothy Rabinowitz, plus an official response to her first one
  9. The Amirault Case: A Darkness in Massachusetts by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, January 30, 1995 (Op-ed)
  10. The Real Darkness Is Child Abuse () by Laurence Hardoon, prosecutor, Wall Street Journal, February 24, 1995 (Letter to the editor, refuting Rabinowitz op-ed of January 30, 1995)
  11. The Amirault Case: A Darkness in Massachusetts--II by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, March 14, 1995 (Op-ed)
  12. The Amirault Case: A Darkness in Massachusetts--III by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, May 12, 1995 (Op-ed)
  13. The Children Behind the Glass by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, May 15, 1996 (Op-ed)
  14. A Citizen of Massachusetts by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, September 11, 1997 (Op-ed)
  15. Through the Darkness () by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, April 8, 1998 (Date from a citation.). (Quotes sample child interrogation from Cheryl Amirault's trial.)
  16. 'Finality' for the Amiraults by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, June 30, 1999 (Op-ed)
  17. Judgment in Massachusetts () by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, August 24, 1999 (Op-ed)
  18. The Pursuit of Justice, Continued by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, October 7, 1999 (Op-ed)
  19. Cheryl Amirault Is Freed by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, October 22, 1999 (Op-ed)
  20. Only in Massachusetts by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, December 29, 1999 (Op-ed)
  21. A Juror Has Second Thoughts — "I am convinced that Mr. Amirault was innocent." — by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2000 (Op-ed)
  22. A Hearing in Boston by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, October 31, 2000 (Op-ed)
  23. Afterwards () — Freedom is never the same for those who've been to prison on phony chages [sic]. — by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, December 30, 2000 (Op-ed, with photos at Pulitzer). (Third section is on Cheryl Amirault.)
  24. Gerald Amirault Has Reason to Celebrate — One of the nation's toughest parole boards calls for commutation. — by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2001 (Op-ed)
  25. Justice at Last — Dorothy Rabinowitz on the Amirault case. — Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2001 (Editorial)
  26. Homecoming — Gerald Amirault enjoys his first days of freedom in 18 years. — by Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2004 (Op-ed)
 • Analysis from the academic community
  27. Letter to Governor William Weld () by Ralph Underwager and Hollida Wakefield, March 24, 1997
 • Article from inmate advocacy organization
  28. The Fells Acres Scandal, National Center for Reason and Justice (U.S.A.) (2 Web pages)
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  29. Fells Acres Day Care Center, Wikipedia
  30. Gerald Amirault, Wikipedia
  31. The Amirault Case: The Outrage () by Nicholas Peters, March 26, 1997
  32. The "Fells Acre" Ritual Abuse Case in Malden, MA by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, March 17, 2003 (4 Web pages)
  33. The Return of the Witch Hunts by Jonathan G. Harris, Witchhunt Information Center
  34. Junk Science. Junk Justice. The Fells Acres Daycare Case by Jonathan G. Harris, Witchhunt Information Center
 • Case documents and news reports
  35. Day Care Workers Get Retrial, As Accusers Did Not Face Them, New York Times, August 30, 1995
  36. Massachusetts v. Violet and Gerald Amirault, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, March 24, 1997
  37. Massachusetts SJC reinstates convictions on Fells Acre defendants (), Associated Press, March 24, 1997
  38. Violet Amirault, 12-year defendent in day care case, dies at 74 (), Associated Press, September 12, 1997
  39. Youths' 'Tainted' Testimony Is Barred in Day Care Retrial, New York Times, June 13, 1998
  40. Massachusetts v. Cheryl Amirault Lefave (), Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, August 18, 1999
  41. Lawyers ordered to court by judge in Fells Acres case (), Boston Herald, August 25, 1999
  42. LeFave pardon bid would get `serious look' from Cellucci (), Boston Herald, September 2, 1999
  43. Fells Acres lawyers ask SJC to reconsider (), Associated Press, September 2, 1999
  44. Mass. Victims Fight Commutation Plea (), Associated Press, August 2, 2001
  45. Amirault's accusers reveal their faces, and their pain, Boston Herald, August 7, 2001 (Excerpt with buy link)
Listed in: Wiki, FL97, FL98, FL02, NCRJ-Spons, Imag-Out, OCRT, VotS, DHill, WIC, DN95-In 

1983


Ronnie Bullock — Chicago, Illinois, US — May 1983 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Bullock was convicted of raping a nine-year-old girl. Bullock was identified by the victim and lived in the area where the rape occurred. DNA tests exonerated him in 1994.”1

  • Location: Chicago3, Cook County2, Illinois
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Ronnie Bullock (27)
  • Accusations: Rape a 9-year-old girl2
  • Outcome: Sentence: 60 years2, Correction: Charges dismissed and governor's pardon after DNA testing3, Incarcerated: 11 years3
  • Dates: Incident: March 18, 19833, Arrest: May 19833, Conviction: May 19842, Release: November 23, 19943
  • Latest information: 19983
Source:
  1. Ronnie Bullock by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, September 2006
  2. Ronnie Bullock, Innocence Project
  3. Ronnie Bullock — Convicted of rape on the strength of mistaken identification by two little girls — Center on Wrongful Convictions
  4. Ronnie Bullock, National Institute of Justice (US DoJ) (Section of Convicted by Juries, Exonerated by Science: Case Studies in the Use of DNA Evidence to Establish Innocence After Trial by Edward Connors, Thomas Lundregan, Neal Miller, and Tom McEwen, National Institute of Justice (US DoJ), June 1996 (Link))
Listed in: InnPr, VotS


Richard McKinley — Homestead, Florida, US — 1983 (trial)
Prosecution with long imprisonment, still in prison

“McKinley was convicted of raping an eleven-year-old girl. Prosecutors told the jury that recovered semen matched his blood type. A police officer testified that he saw McKinley on top of the victim with his pants down. DNA tests later showed that [the] semen … could not have come from McKinley. Prosecutors are still fighting his release.”1

  • Location: Homestead2, Dade County, Florida
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Richard McKinley
  • Accusations: Rape an 11-year-old girl2
  • Outcome: Sentence: Life2, Other: Prosecutor arguing against new trial based on DNA evidence.2
  • Dates: Trial: 19832
  • Problems: Poor evidence. DNA tests show the semen recovered from the girl was not his.2
  • Latest information: August 29, 20032
Source:
  1. Richard McKinley by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, October 2005
  2. Prosecutors Fight DNA Use for Exoneration, New York Times, August 29, 2003
 See also other Dade County cases prosecuted by Janet Reno: Bobby Fijnje, Grant Snowden, Fusters, and others.
Listed in: VotS


James Waller — Dallas, Texas, US — 1983 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Waller was convicted of raping a 12-year-old boy, identified as Jay S. Jay initially described his assailant as a black man, 5 foot 8 inches tall and weighing 150 lbs. He said a red bandanna concealed his assailant’s face. Later that day at a 7-Eleven, Jay heard his assailant’s voice, and turned to see Waller. Waller is nearly 6 foot 4 inches tall and was heavy. Waller’s family was the only black family living in Jay’s apartment complex. At trial, Waller presented witnesses stating he was home at the time of the assault, but Waller was convicted anyway. Waller was paroled in 1993. DNA tests exonerated him of the crime in 2007, making him the 12th person in Dallas County to be exonerated by DNA tests.”1

  • Location: Dallas, Dallas County, Texas
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: James Waller (25)
  • Accusations: Rape a 12-year-old boy5
  • Outcome: Sentence: 30 years5, Other: Released on parole. Exonerated later.5, Incarcerated: Almost 11 years2
  • Dates: Incident: November 2, 19825, Conviction: 19834, Exoneration: March 9, 20074, Release: 19935
  • Latest information: March 27, 20072
Source:
 • Brief summary
  1. James Waller by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, February 2007
 • Radio and television coverage
  2. Exonerated by DNA, Story, American Public Media, March 27, 2007 (Audio interview)
  3. Life after 10 mistaken years in prison, MSNBC, January 20, 2007 (Video report)
 • Article from inmate advocacy organization
  4. James Waller, Innocence Project
 • News reports
  5. A 12th Dallas Convict Is Exonerated by DNA (), New York Times, January 18, 2007
  6. James Waller Exonerated through Pardon from Governor; One of 13 Dallas Men Proven Innocent By DNA Testing, Innocence Project, March 9, 2007 (Press release)
Listed in: InnPr, VotS 

1982


Alvin McCuan et al. — Bakersfield, California, US — March 1982 (charges)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“In 1982 in Kern County, California, Debbie and Alvin McCuan were accused of abusing their own children. The initial charges were made by Mary Ann Barbour, the children's step-grandmother. Barbour had a history of mental illness. The authorities used coercive techniques to get the children to tell of abuse by their parents. In 1982, the girls further accused McCuan's defense witnesses: Scott Kniffen, his wife Brenda, and his mother. Mary Ann Barbour reported that the children had been used for prostitution, used in child pornography, tortured, made to watch snuff films. The McCuans and the Kniffens were each sentenced to over 240 years in prison in 1984. Their convictions were overturned in 1996.”1

  • Location: Bakersfield, Kern County, California
  • 13 Claimed Innocent: Alvin and Debbie McCuan, Scott and Brenda Kniffen, Scott's mother, 8 others
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse, prostitute, make pornography of, and torture the McCuans' children (SRA7)
  • Outcome: Sentence: McCuans and Kniffens: Over 240 years each1, Correction: Convictions overturned, not re-tried10, Other: Alvin: Stabbed while in prison4, Incarcerated: McCuans and Kniffens: 14 years10
  • Dates: Charges: Alvin: March 19827, Debbie: March 19827, Arrest: Scott: April 8, 19827, Brenda: April 8, 19827, Conviction: 19832, Sentence: 19841, Exoneration: August 12, 199610, Release: August 199610
  • Problems: Tainted testimony. “Questioning … went far beyond the definition of leading and was, in fact, coercive, threatening, brainwashing of young children.”7
         Poor evidence. Discredited "wink response" tests. “There was no other hard evidence of sexual abuse.”7 No pornography found.
         Recanted testimony. Brian and Brandon Kniffen “stated that the abuse never occurred and that they were led and coerced to testify as they did.”7
  • Latest information: September 20043
Source:
 • Brief summaries
  1. Kern County child abuse cases, Wikipedia (Section of Day care sex abuse hysteria, Wikipedia)
  2. Kniffens McCuans by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, July 2005
 • Analysis from the mainstream press
  3. Who Was Abused?, New York Times magazine, September 19, 2004. (Brief mention of the Kniffens)
  4. Mean Justice's Dirty Secrets () by Kimberley Sevcik, Rolling Stone, April 2005 (Date is date of link page.) (Link). (Brief mention of Alvin McCuan)
 • Article from inmate advocacy organization
  5. Kern County/Congressional Hearings, Justice Committee, August 11, 1996 (News release)
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  6. Kern County child abuse cases, Wikipedia
  7. MVMO ritual abuse cases: Bakersfield / Kern County, CA by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, April 11, 2005
 • Book chapter
  8. The Witchhunt (Excerpt from Mean Justice: A Town's Terror, A Prosecutor's Power, A Betrayal of Innocence — The war on crime has gone terribly wrong in America's heartland – and the unintended casualty of war is innocence. — by Edward Humes, Simon & Schuster, February 1999 (Amazon))
 • News reports
  9. Kniffen Sons Want Parent Back — Sons of Convicted Parents Tell How Testimony Was Coerced — Bakersfield Californian, July 26, 1996
  10. Judge Frees 2 Couples Imprisoned 14 Years in Child Molestation Case, Union-Tribune (San Diego, California), August 14, 1996
 See also the other 1980s Kern County cases: Ricky Pitts, et al. (7 defendants), Jeffrey Modahl, et al. (6), John Stoll, et al. (4), Donna Hubbard, Howard Weimer, and others (27).
Listed in: Wiki, NCRJ-Exon, OCRT, VotS, DHill, DN95-In


Calvin Willis — Shreveport, Louisiana, US — 1982 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

“Willis was convicted of raping a 10-year-old girl and sentenced to life without parole. Willis was convicted because he is a type O secretor as is 60% of the male population and because he wears a cowboy hat as did the rapist. The assailant left behind a pair of size 40 boxers, but Willis only wears a size 30. DNA tests exonerated Willis in 2003.”1

  • Location: Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Calvin Willis (22)
  • Accusations: Rape a 10-year-old girl5
  • Outcome: Sentence: Life without parole5, Incarcerated: 21½ years2
  • Dates: Incident: June 19812, Conviction: 19822, Exoneration: September 21, 20032, Release: September 18, 20032
  • Latest information: March 9, 20056
Source:
  1. Calvin Willis by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, October 2005
  2. Calvin Willis, Innocence Project
  3. Shreveport man freed from prison (), Associated Press, September 20, 2003
  4. Cleared inmate: 'I should be compensated' (), Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), September 24, 2003
  5. A Crusade Pays Off — Calvin Willis is exonerated -- and Janet Gregory has reason to celebrate. — Gambit Weekly (New Orleans, Louisiana), September 30, 2003
  6. New youth program provides motivational speakers, tutoring and jobs (), Shreveport Times, March 9, 2005. (Brief mention of Willis)
Listed in: InnPr, VotS


Wilton Dedge — Sharpes, Florida, US — 1982 (conviction)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

The girl first said the man who attacked her was six feet tall, 200 pounds, and almost bald. She later identified the rapist as Wilton Dedge, who stood five-foot-six, weighed 125 pounds, and had a full head of hair. Tests indicated that pubic hairs found were consistent with Dedge's. She testified that the only people who could have left pubic hairs in her sheets were herself, her sisters, and the man who raped her. When DNA tests showed that those hairs were not Dedge's, the prosecutor appealed a court order to give Dedge a new trial. But when further tests also showed that semen used in evidence was not his, he was finally released after 22 years in prison.

  • Location: Sharpes2, Brevard County, Florida
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Wilton Dedge (19)
  • Accusations: Rape and mutilate a 17-year-old girl2
  • Outcome: Sentence: Life plus 30 years2, Other: Conviction overturned in 1983 or 84, retried, and reconvicted.3 Granted new trial in 2003 based on DNA tests of pubic hair; prosecutor objected,1 but relented when DNA tests of semen in 2004 confirmed the misidentification.3, Incarcerated: 22 years3, Compensation: $2 million from state5
  • Dates: Incident: December 19813, Conviction: 19822, Release: September 20044
  • Problems: Poor evidence. The victim told police the rapist was six feet tall, weighed 200 pounds, and was nearly bald. She identified Dedge as her attacker weeks later when she saw him in a store. He was 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighed 125 pounds, and had a full head of hair.1,2 DNA tests 20 years later indicated the pubic hairs and semen used in evidence were not his.1,3
  • Latest information: December 20055
Source:
  1. Prosecutors Fight DNA Use for Exoneration, New York Times, August 29, 2003
  2. Case Closed?, Orlando Weekly, August 5, 2004
  3. Senate to look at compensation for wrongly convicted, Associated Press, February 9, 2005
  4. Innocent ex-con wants state to pay, Orlando Sentinel, March 24, 2005
  5. DNA Exonerates Florida Man After 24 Years in Prison (), Associated Press, January 23, 2006. (About another case, mentions $2 million award to Dedge.)
 

1981


Alan Crotzer et al. — Tampa, Florida, US — July 10, 1981 (arrest)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

Three men robbed two couples at gunpoint and kidnapped one of the women and the 12-year-old daughter of the other couple. The next day, the woman identified Alan Crotzer as the ringleader from a photograph. Police ignored information that pointed to another man in his place, and Crotzer was convicted and sentenced to 130 years in prison. He was exonerated by DNA tests 22 years later, and finally released from prison two years after that.

  • Location: Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Alan Crotzer (20)
  • Accusations: Along with two other men, rob two couples and kidnap and rape one of the wives and her friend's 12-year-old daughter3
  • Outcome: Sentence: 130 years2, Correction: Conviction overturned, released2, Incarcerated: 24½ years2
  • Dates: Incident: July 8, 19813, Arrest: July 10, 19813, Conviction: April 22, 19823, Exoneration: January 23, 20062, Release: January 23, 20062
  • Latest information: January 23, 20064
Source:
  1. Alan Crotzer by Dan Rastatter, Victims of the State, September 2006
  2. Alan Crotzer, Innocence Project
  3. DNA Tests, Word On The Street Agree: The Alan Crotzer Story, St. Petersburg Times, December 11, 2005 (Article starts on page 7)
  4. DNA Exonerates Florida Man After 24 Years in Prison (), Associated Press, January 23, 2006
Listed in: InnPr, VotS 

1980


Lee Fogel et al. — Cincinnati, Ohio, US — 1980s (est.)
Prosecution

Debbie Nathan listed the defendants below in 1995 for Cincinnati, OH as either dismissed, acquitted, conviction overturned, completed sentence, or died in prison.1 No other case information.

  • Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 4 Claimed Innocent: Lee Fogel Jr., Edward Sukol, John Schroeder, Kim Garmarnik
  • Dates: 1980s (est.)
  • Latest information: 19951
Source:
  1. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: DN95-Out


Al Blanche — Washington County, New York, US — 1980s (est.)
Prosecution

Debbie Nathan listed the defendant below in 1995 for Washington County, NY as in prison or out on bail.1 No other case information.

  • Location: Washington County, New York
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Al Blanche
  • Dates: 1980s (est.)
  • Latest information: 19951
Source:
  1. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: DN95-In


Neil Shumate — Pleasanton, California, US — 1980s (est.)
Prosecution

Debbie Nathan listed the defendant below in 1995 for Pleasanton, CA as in prison or out on bail.1 No other case information.

  • Location: Pleasanton, California
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Neil Shumate
  • Dates: 1980s (est.)
  • Latest information: 19951
Source:
  1. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: DN95-In


Debbie Runyon — Washington, US — 1980s (est.)
Prosecution

Debbie Nathan listed the defendant below in 1995 for Washington as in prison or out on bail.1 No other case information.

  • Location: Washington
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Debbie Runyon
  • Dates: 1980s (est.)
  • Latest information: 19951
Source:
  1. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: DN95-In


Cora Priest et al. — Sequim, Washington, US — 1980s (est.)
Prosecution

Debbie Nathan listed the defendants below in 1995 for Sequim, WA as either dismissed, acquitted, conviction overturned, completed sentence, or died in prison.1 No other case information.

  • Location: Sequim, Washington
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: Cora Priest, Ralph Priest
  • Dates: 1980s (est.)
  • Latest information: 19951
Source:
  1. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: DN95-Out


Denise Perrigo — Lafayette, New York, US — 1980s (est.)
Prosecution

Debbie Nathan listed the defendant below in 1995 for Lafayette, NY as either dismissed, acquitted, conviction overturned, completed sentence, or died in prison.1 No other case information.

  • Location: Lafayette, New York
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Denise Perrigo
  • Dates: 1980s (est.)
  • Latest information: 19951
Source:
  1. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: DN95-Out


Ruben Babayan — Reno, Nevada, US — 1980s (est.)
Prosecution

Debbie Nathan listed the defendant below in 1995 for Reno, NV as either dismissed, acquitted, conviction overturned, completed sentence, or died in prison.1 No other case information.

  • Location: Reno, Nevada
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Ruben Babayan
  • Dates: 1980s (est.)
  • Latest information: 19951
Source:
  1. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: DN95-Out


Gallup Christian Day Care Centers — Roseburg, Oregon, US — 1980s (est.)
Prosecution

The Gallups “are fundamentalist Christians who operated three Gallup Christian Day Care Centers in Roseburg OR. They were charged and convicted on multiple counts of improper sexual activity with children. Over 100 children disclosed stories of ritual child abuse and sexual molestation. Included were many activities found in other Satanic ritual abuse cases: the killing of animals, posing for pornographic pictures, ritual sexual abuse by robed adults. A unique feature of this case was that children said they were forced to go on a boat on the farm pond and shoot sharks -- apparently freshwater sharks.”1

  • Location: Roseburg, Oregon at Facility: Gallup Christian Day Care Centers
  • 3 Claimed Innocent: Ed Sr. and Mary Lou Gallup, Ed "Chip" Gallup Jr. (their son)
  • Accusations: Sexually abuse over 100 children, including making pornographic videos (SRA2)
  • Dates: 1980s (est.)
  • Problems: Poor evidence. No pornographic videos found
Source:
  1. The Gallup family ritual abuse case in Roseburg, OR by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, January 28, 2007
  2. Nightmare at the Day Care: The Wee Care Case by Lona Manning, Crime Magazine. (Brief discussion of Gallup case near end of article)
Listed in: OCRT, DN95-In


Darren Nottensteiner — Essex County, New Jersey, US — 1980s (est.)
Prosecution

Debbie Nathan listed the defendant below in 1995 for Essex County, NJ as either dismissed, acquitted, conviction overturned, completed sentence, or died in prison.1 No other case information.

  • Location: Essex County, New Jersey
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Darren Nottensteiner
  • Dates: 1980s (est.)
  • Case question: Is this connected with Kelly Michaels' case?
  • Latest information: 19951
Source:
  1. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: DN95-Out


Herminia Albo — Bronx, New York, US — 1980s (est.)
Prosecution

Debbie Nathan listed the defendant below in 1995 for Bronx, NY as either dismissed, acquitted, conviction overturned, completed sentence, or died in prison.1 No other case information.

  • Location: Bronx, New York
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Herminia Albo
  • Dates: 1980s (est.)
  • Case question: Was this case prosecuted by Mario Merola, like the Bronx Five?
  • Latest information: 19951
Source:
  1. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: DN95-Out


Howard Weimer — Kern County, California, US — 1980s (est.)
Prosecution with long imprisonment

(No case description available)

  • Location: Kern County, California
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Howard Weimer
  • Outcome: 75 years old when released from prison1
  • Dates: 1980s (est.)
  • Latest information: 20051
Source:
  1. Mean Justice's Dirty Secrets () by Kimberley Sevcik, Rolling Stone, April 2005 (Date is date of link page.) (Link). (Brief mention of Weimer)
 See also the other 1980s Kern County cases: McCuans, Kniffens, et al. (13 defendants), Ricky Pitts, et al. (7), Jeffrey Modahl, et al. (6), John Stoll, et al. (4), Donna Hubbard, and others (27).


Gary Dill et al. — Sacramento, California, US — 1980s (est.)
Prosecution

Debbie Nathan listed the defendants below in 1995 for Sacramento, CA as either dismissed, acquitted, conviction overturned, completed sentence, or died in prison.1 No other case information.

  • Location: Sacramento, California
  • 2 Claimed Innocent: Gary A. Dill, John Homan
  • Dates: 1980s (est.)
  • Latest information: 19951
Source:
  1. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
Listed in: DN95-Out


Gerardo Gonzalez et al. — Kern County, California, US — 1980s
Many prosecutions with long imprisonment, death in prison; some may still be in prison

“In three years during the 1980's, [district attorney Ed] Jagels and his predecessor prosecuted eight sex rings involving 46 defendants.”1 “The prosecutors and sheriff's investigators...spiced up the cases with allegations of satanic sacrifices, and said as many as 29 babies had been killed.”2

“Further investigations and charges ceased … [when] the children started to accuse some of the social workers, deputy sheriffs and deputy district attorneys of being perpetrators of sexual and ritual abuse. … One is … reminded … the witchcraft cases in Salem, MA, in the 1790's … also only ceased when the children accused the wife of the Governor of being a witch.”2

“In many cases, young children were interviewed numerous times by authorities until they finally admitted to being molested. In one case an alleged victim had been interviewed 35 times before giving the 'right' answer that his parents had molested him. … A 10-year-old boy was hypnotized after denying that he had been molested by his family. The boy was in county protective custody for almost two months when he was administered 'reassuring hypnotic messages,' according to investigative files. He finally told investigators what they wanted to hear -- he'd been molested by his parents and others. … [T]he Attorney General … investigation … severely criticized … techniques used by the DA's office, sheriff's department and social workers. … Unfortunately, the inquiry did not take the logical step of urging judicial review of the [convictions].”2

Debbie Nathan listed the defendants below in 1995 for Kern County, CA as either dismissed, acquitted, conviction overturned, completed sentence, or died in prison.3

  • Location: Kern County, California
  • 27 Claimed Innocent: Gerardo "Johnny" Gonzalez, Cheryl Gonzalez, ill Thomas, Leroy Stowe, Bradford Nokes, Mary Nokes, Kathy Ann Scott, Colleen Bennett, Clifford Pitts, Clovette Pitts, Betty Palko, Steven Wong, George Wong, Hazel Wong, Victor Surber, Lyman Leavitt, Johanna Cox, Stephanie Jenkins, Pamela Weatherly, Melvin Weatherly, Ralph Lopez, Allen LeCain, Kelly Leroy, Idalena Lopez, Larry Walker, Rod Phelps, David Duncan (3) (SRA2)
  • Outcome: Cox: Died in prison3
  • Dates: 1980s
  • Case question: (1) Colleen Bennett and Clifford and Clovette Pitts are listed immediately after Ricky and Marcella Pitts, Wayne Forsythe, Gina Miller, and Grace Dill. Is Colleen Bennett the Colleen Forsythe of the "Pitt Seven" and were Clifford and Clovette Pitts from that same case? (2) Johanna Cox is listed immediately after Theresa Cox. Is she part of that case? (3) Who else in this list is from the other Kern County cases?
  • Latest information: 19953
Source:
  1. Who Was Abused?, New York Times magazine, September 19, 2004
  2. MVMO ritual abuse cases: Bakersfield / Kern County, CA by Bruce Robinson, Religious Tolerance, April 11, 2005
  3. Child Sexual Abuse Cases with Compelling Evidence of False Charges and Convictions: 1983 1995 () compiled by Debbie Nathan, 1995
 See also the other 1980s Kern County cases: McCuans, Kniffens, et al. (13 defendants), Ricky Pitts, et al. (7), Jeffrey Modahl, et al. (6), John Stoll, et al. (4), Donna Hubbard, and Howard Weimer.
Listed in: DN95-Out 

1935


Arthur O'Connell — Suffolk County, Massachusetts, US — May 1935 (trial)
Prosecution with imprisonment

“In May, 1935, twenty-six-year-old Arthur O’Connell was tried in Boston for a sexual attack on a thirteen-year-old girl. Convicted on the testimony of the alleged victim and that of her thirteen-year-old companion, who testified that she had witnessed the crime, O’Connell was sentenced to a term of not less than eight and not more than twelve years. In June of the same year the “victim’s” companion confessed that the crime had never occurred. O’Connell had merely stopped to talk to the girls for a moment. They had perjured themselves “just for fun.” After a month’s imprisonment O’Connell was released.”1

  • Location: Suffolk County, Massachusetts
  • 1 Claimed Innocent: Arthur O'Connell (26)
  • Accusations: Sexually attack a 13-year-old girl1
  • Outcome: Sentence: 8 to 12 years1, Incarcerated: 1 month1
  • Dates: Trial: May 19351, Exoneration: June 19351, Release: June 19351
  • Problems: Recanted testimony. A month after the trial, “the "victim's" companion confessed that the crime had never occurred. O’Connell had merely stopped to talk to the girls for a moment. They had perjured themselves "just for fun."”1
  • Latest information: 19351
Source:
  1. Convictions of Innocent Persons in Massachusetts: An Overview by Stanley Z. Fisher, Boston University School Of Law, September 19, 2002. (O'Connell's case appears on page 17.)
Listed in: VotS 

1731


Faan, Netherlands — September 1731 (conviction)
Prosecution with execution

“Rudolphe De Mepsche … undertook a campaign to find and eliminate sodomites from his tiny village. At first, only a few sodomites could be found, but they were tortured and asked to name accomplices. They complied, perhaps to avoid the rigors of further torture, and De Mepsche ended up with as many as 36 accused sodomites incarcerated in his horse stables. … Many didn't know what sodomy was, but … confessed to indecencies with other men or boys in the barn or in a ditch … The villagers were not convinced … did not believe that their husbands, sons, and brothers were part of a secret underworld in Faan. Frightened of a revolt, De Mepsche called in soldiers to help in the executions. The 24 men and boys that De Mepsche found guilty were publicly strangled, then burned at the stake in September 1731. … De Mepsche was accused of political motivations, … and popular legend held him to be a brutal killer of innocent people.”2

  • Location: Faan, Netherlands
  • 24 Claimed Innocent: 24 men and boys
  • Accusations: Sodomize other men and boys, including mutual masturbation and anal intercourse2
  • Outcome: Sentence: Death2, Incarcerated: A short time before being executed2
  • Dates: Conviction: September 17312
  • Problems: Tainted confession. Many of the accused may have confessed in the hopes of avoiding further torture.1
Source:
  1. 1730: Dutch Sodomite Massacre: Summary by Andrew Wikholm, 1998
  2. Dutch Sodomite Massacre: In Depth by Andrew Wikholm, 1998
 

1620


New England (especially Salem, MA), U.S.A. — 1620s to 1690s
Prosecution with execution

The 17th-century witch trials in Salem and other New England towns are not presented here as cases of false accusation of child sexual abuse. There is a lot in common between these trials and their analogs in Europe, but whereas the latter offer clear evidence of the sexual basis of the accusations, the same is not true in New England. This entry is provided here to offer information about the trials because they are often cited as an analog for the day care center sex abuse cases of the 1980s.

There are some indications of sexual issues and corruption of youth coming into play in the accusations. “Bridget was accused of making spectral [i.e., in dreams] nighttime visitations to certain men. It was told that she would lie upon them as in the case of Richard Coman. This resulted in the man being unable to speak, move, or wake his wife. Another gentleman, thirty-two-year-old John Louder, told that Bridget sat upon his stomach. She then grasped his throat, nearly choking him.”8 “[W]omen such as Bridget Bishop were accused of sending their spirits into men's bedrooms to lie on them. In that period, women were perceived as the lusty, sexual creatures whose allure men must guard against!”11 “Bishop's "dubious moral character" and shameful conduct caused, "discord [to] arise in other familes [sic], and young people were in danger of corruption."”9 “Young girls lived in dread of a spectral rape by the devil and of giving birth to a demon child, while young men (and older) were haunted by the "shapes" of comely matrons who at midnight dropped down from a beam and snuggled close.”10 “Jurors were told that unusual protuberant growths proverbially represented signs of a witch's nipple through which the defendant had ostensibly consummated intimate relations with the devil or lesser demons.”2

However, the court documents do not reveal overt charges of sexual or sexually motivated activity. There is no indication that the Malleus Maleficarum (see Europe) was in use here, and the corresponding documents written by New England clergy made little if any overt reference to anything sexual. One is left to speculate about what was not being said, but without speculation there is little to support the notion that the Salem and other New England witch trials were about allegations of sex crimes.

It seems likely that the New England witch trials were, like contemporaneous events in Europe, at least partly rooted in concerns about “loose” women corrupting the morals of both young girls and adult men. But if that is true, the people in New England managed to keep it at the level of innuendo and not leave solid evidence of it in the historical record.

  • Location: New England (especially Salem, MA), U.S.A. (SRA1)
  • Dates: 1620s to 1690s4
Source:
 • Articles
  1. Salem witch trials, Wikipedia
  2. Salem Witch Trials, West's Encyclopedia of American Law
  3. Salem Witchcraft Trials: 1692 by Douglas Linder, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
  4. The Salem Witch Trials by Donna M. Campbell, Washington State University, May 21, 2007
  5. Children, Salem document archive (Regarding eight children under the age of twelve accused of witchcraft in the Salem trials)
 • Articles raising sexual aspects
  6. Tituba: The Black Witch of Salem by Rev Irene Monroe, Bilerico Project, March 12, 2008
  7. Sexuality and Female Friendship in Maryse Condé's I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem by Larysa Mykyta, North Carolina State University, International Journal of Sexuality and Gender Studies, October 2004 (Abstract)
  8. Bridget Bishop of Salem: The Witch with the Scarlet Bodice by Mary Trotter Kion, Suite101, October 21, 2006
  9. Bridget Bishop by Douglas Linder, Famous Trials
  10. "Ye Old Boy", Time, September 12, 1949 (Book review of The Devil in Massachusetts: A Modern Enquiry into the Salem Witch Trials by Marion L. Starkey, 1949 (Amazon. Review in Time) by Marion Starkey)
  11. The Crucible, Wikipedia (About the Arthur Miller play loosely based on the Salem witch trials, but really more a critique of McCarthyism)
 • Books
  12. The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege by Marilynne K. Roach, Taylor Trade Publications, 2004 (Google Books). See, for example, the testimony of two 14-year-olds, based on court records for Will Barker, Jr. and Stephen Johnson.
  13. Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England by John Putnam Demos, Oxford University Press, November 1983 (Amazon. Review in New York Times)
  14. The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England by Carol F. Karlsen, Norton, 1998 (Amazon. Review)
 • Case documents
  15. The Salem Witchcraft Papers — Verbatim Transcriptions of the Court Records — edited by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Da Capo Press, 1977 (Use search tool to find 28 instances of testimony by or about people under 18 years of age, and to find testimony about nocturnal spectral visitations. Unlike in Europe, a search for "sex" or "virgin" turns up no relevant results.)
 

1450


Europe — 1450s to 1782
Prosecution with execution

Renaissance-era Europe was plagued with a fear of witchcraft, not so much as sorcery, as alleged sexual licentiousness. Witches were believed to corrupt the morals of young girls who, it was then feared, spent the rest of their lives corrupting adult men. In early modern Europe, witchcraft “became associated with wild Satanic ritual parties in which there was much naked dancing, orgy sex, and cannibalistic infanticide.”1,4 Fears of sexual license combined with misogyny to form the concept of the witch. While men were sometimes accused, the vast majority were women.1,4

The Malleus Maleficarum5 (“Witch's Hammer”), the preeminent handbook of the era for the identification and prosecution of witches, helped to fuel public hysteria about witches and the dangers they presented to society. Part II of the book, about the methods of witchcraft, starts out with Chapter I on … Methods by which Devils through Witches Entice and Allure the Innocent …, and the charges are specifically sexual. After that come the sundry other alleged crimes, such as penis-snatching, murder, and hailstorms.

Following are a collection of relevant excerpts from the Malleus Maleficarum.5

On the requirements of witchcraft:
     [I]n the practice of [witchcraft], four points in particular are required. First, most profanely to renounce the Catholic Faith, …; secondly, to devote themselves body and soul to all evil; thirdly, to offer up unbaptized children to Satan; fourthly, to indulge in every kind of carnal lust … and all manner of filthy delights.
[Malleus Maleficarum,5 Part I, Question II - P.3, PDF page 59]

On women:
     All wickedness is but little to the wickedness of a woman. … What else is woman but a foe to friendship, an unescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, a domestic danger, a delectable detriment, an evil of nature, painted with fair colours! … When a woman thinks alone, she thinks evil. … [T]he word woman is used to mean the lust of the flesh.
[Malleus Maleficarum,5 Part I, Question VI - P.1, PDF page 100..1]

     All witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which is in women insatiable.
[Malleus Maleficarum,5 Part I, Question VI - P.2, PDF page 114]

On child sexual abuse (mostly of girls) by witches:
     [W]e show the various methods of initiation of witches, and how they entice innocent girls to swell the numbers of their perfidious company.
[Malleus Maleficarum,5 Part II, Question I - P.2, PDF page 196]

     [Witches recruit] young girls [who are] more given to bodily lusts and pleasures … [by] working through their carnal desires and the pleasures of the flesh. … [Yet] the devil tries all the harder to seduce all the more saintly virgins and girls.
     And here is an example. [A witch who was later] burned in Ratisbon … was a bath-woman, had confessed … [t]here was a certain devout virgin … and the witch was ordered to seduce her by inviting her to her house on some Feast Day, in order that the devil himself, in the form of a young man, might speak with her.
     [A] virgin … was alone on a certain Sunday in her father's house, when an old woman of that town came to visit her and, among other scurrilous words, made the following proposition; that, if she liked, she would take her to a place where there were some young men unknown to all the townsmen.
     It can be seen from this how craftily that old enemy labours in the seduction of souls. For it was in this way that the bath-woman whom we have mentioned, and who was burned, confessed that she had been seduced by some old women.
[Malleus Maleficarum,5 Part II, Question I, Chapter I, PDF page 202..3]

     [A] young girl witch who had been converted, whose aunt also had been burned … [said] that she had become a witch by the method in which her aunt had first tried to seduce her. For one day her aunt ordered her to go upstairs with her, and at her command to go into a room where she found fifteen young men clothed in green garments after the manner of German knights. And her aunt said to her: Choose whom you wish from these young men, and he will take you for his wife. And when she said she did not wish … any of them, she was sorely beaten and at last consented, and was initiated …
[Malleus Maleficarum,5 Part II, Question I, Chapter II, PDF page 207]

     [T]he devil … observes certain times when his object is not pollution, but the causing of venereal pleasure on the part of the witch; and these are the most sacred times of the whole year, such as Christmas, Easter, Pentacost, and other Feast days. … [One reason] is that they have greater opportunity to observe many people, especially young girls, who on Feast Days are more intent on idleness and curiosity, and are therefore more easily seduced by old witches.
     [D]evils … try with all their might, by means of witches who are bawds or hot whores, to seduce all the devout and chaste maidens in that whole district or town. … [W]hen certain witches were burned, these wretches affirmed, before their final sentence, that they had been commanded by their Masters to use ever[y] endeavour to effect the subversion of pious maids and widows.
[Malleus Maleficarum,5 Part II, Question I, Chapter IV, PDF page 232..3]

     [T]hey entice young virgins and boys into their power … by magic mirrors and reflections seen in witches' finger-nails, and lure them on in the belief that they love chastity, whereas they hate it.
[Malleus Maleficarum,5 Part II, Question I, Chapter XIII, PDF page 293]

     [Devils] seem chiefly to molest women and girls with beautiful hair.
[Malleus Maleficarum,5 Part II, Question II, Chapter I, PDF page 350]

  • Location: Europe
  • 40000 Claimed Innocent: 40000 (moderate estimates1)
  • Accusations: Entice young girls to have sex with men, often tricking them into it by guile or sorcery5[Pt II, Q I, Ch I]. Also kill sperm and fetuses5[Ch VI], babies5[Ch XIII], and cattle5[Ch XIV] and make men's penises disappear5[Ch VII]. (SRA5)
  • Outcome: Sentence: Death by burning
  • Dates: 1450s to 17821
Source:
 • Analysis from the Internet community
  1. Witch trials in Early Modern Europe, Wikipedia
  2. Case Study: The European Witch-Hunts, c. 1450-1750 — and Witch-Hunts Today — Gendercide Watch
  3. From the Mouths of Babes: Children as Witches by Shantell Powell, 1998
  4. Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Woman to Live: The Reasons Behind the Hiding of Women's Sexuality During the Witchcraze by Shantell Powell, 1998
 • Handbook used by prosecutors
  5. Malleus Maleficarum (SL) — (The Witch Hammer) — by Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, Dominican Inquisitors, 1487
  6. Malleus Maleficarum, Wikipedia
 

Explanatory Notes on the Listing

The entries in the listing of cases may have the following parts:

Heading. The first line has up to three elements separated by long dashes (“—”).

  • The first element gives either the name of the child-care facility where the activity was alleged to have occurred, if any, or the name of one primary claimed innocent in the case, if any is known, plus “et al.” if there are more than one. If neither a facility nor a person's name is known, then the first element is omitted.
  • The second element gives the location of the case in the form of the city or county, if known, the state or province, if known, and the country.
  • The third element is a date for the case, which will be the first known item from the following list: the date of first charges filed, of first arrest, of first trial, of first conviction, of first sentencing, of initial investigation or formal accusation, of first alleged incident, of first exoneration, or of first release.

The second line gives a brief designation of the type of case, indicating, for example, if it was a criminal prosecution or vigilante action and whether imprisonment or death was involved. Five years or more is designated as a “long” imprisonment.

Case description. This may be either a brief summary of events in the case, or a brief retelling of some poignant detail. Pictures, where available, show the claimed innocents as close to the time of their initial arrest in the case as possible. Clicking on the pictures will go to the Web pages where they were obtained.

Case details. An itemized list of as much of the following as is known:

  • Location: The city, county, state or province, and country, plus the name of any child-care facility involved.
  • Claimed Innocent: The number and names of defendants or attack targets who are reputably claimed to be innocent.
  • Accusations: The acts alleged to have been committed. This is not a list of crimes, such as “statutory rape” or “child abuse,” but as much as possible indicates the actual acts that were said to have taken place, such as touching a child's penis, taking naked pictures, etc. If there were said to be satanic or ritualistic aspects of the alleged acts, this is indicated by “(SRA)” with footnote indicators to specific sources that mention them.
  • Outcome: Details of the case disposition, including the length of any prison sentence, whether a conviction was overturned, how long innocents spent incarcerated (in jail, prison, and/or civil commitment), and whether any money was paid to the innocents in compensation of the injustice.
  • Dates: Dates of important events in the case, including alleged incident, investigation or formal accusation, filing of charges, arrest, trial, conviction, sentencing, exoneration, and release from prison.
  • Problems: Identified problems in the prosecution of the case, including tainted testimony, a tainted confession, use of recovered memories as evidence, other types of poor evidence, judicial misconduct, recanted testimony, and others.
  • Case question: Unresolved contradictions found in reported information.
  • Latest information: The most recent date of information about the case, with a footnote indicator to the source of that information.

Footnote indicators. In the case description and details, quotes and facts may have superscripted numerals, like this,1 referring to a specific item from the “Source” list. If the source of the quote or fact was a subsidiary page not directly linked in the “Source” list, then the superscripted numeral is followed by a link in small text and square brackets, like this.2[link]

“Source.” A numbered list of online references where information about the case was obtained. Some cases have only one source, while others have several or dozens of sources. Types of sources are indicated by the following symbols:

  • : a brief summary of the case,
  • : a more detailed description or analysis of the case,
  • : an audio or video recording available online,
  • : a timely news report about a specific event in the course of the case,
  • : an official, legal case document,
  • : a listing of cases in which there is some information on the given case.
Sources are usually listed in order of these types, except that news reports and case documents are listed together chronologically. If there are more than a few items, then the list of sources is broken into sections, which usually include Brief summaries, Analysis from the mainstream press, Analysis from the Internet community, and Case documents and news reports.

Related cases. If the case is one of several undertaken by the same prosecutor or prosecutorial team, the list of sources concludes with a set of links to the other cases in the same group.

“Listed in.” If the case is cited in other online listings of cases of false accusations, a list of links to those citations is given. The listings covered are:

 
This report posted on April 23, 2008, updated February 6, 2009, June 17, 2009, June 20, 2009, June 23, 2010.
This page copyright © 2007–2014, Marshall Burns. All rights reserved.