Legal Cases (53)
All 53 of the cases in this file involve claims in legal proceedings. Some cases are criminal, some are civil, and a few are administrative or involve an estate. The criminal cases all resulted in either a guilty verdict or a guilty plea. The civil cases all resulted in either a civil judgment or a civil settlement. The cases included pre-trial discovery on the facts, and often full-blown adjudication. In short, the corroboration in these cases has been scrutinized and in many cases verified through a legal proceeding.
1. K.B.’s recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse by a neighbor and close family friend. K.B. v. Mathes (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington). Filed in 1982 (Docket No. C-82-56), decided January 5, 1984 by Judge Justin L. Quackenbush. Judgment for the plaintiff; no appeal by defendant.
“K.B.’s testimony is confirmed to some extent by her sister Lisa’s testimony. Then we have what I call the age fourteen alcohol incident…the incident when K. arrived home in an intoxicated state. (Oral decision, filed January 11, 1984, p. 2.) “Then we have Mr. Mathes’ own testimony that the only statement he made to Mrs. B was that ‘I wish it hadn’t happened.’” (Id. at p. 4.) [Additional evidence of financial payments by Mr. Mathes as indicating “some scienter or guilty knowledge on the part of Mr. Mathes” on p. 5] Finally, “based on the evidence presented in this case….I find that K.B. completely repressed her recollections of the defendant’s wrongful conduct from the time of her high school years when she was obviously a minor until she began seeking counseling for her depression and anxiety in late 1979.” (Id. at p. 9.) “I further find that it was not until at least April of 1981 that Ms. B. was able to fully recall the acts of misconduct by the defendant.” (Id. at p. 10.)
2. Dulaney Collins’ memories of childhood sexual abuse by her father. The memories first surfaced while she was hospitalized in 1984. Ms. Collins filed a criminal complaint several years later, and her father, Landon Carter Smith was charged. He later pled guilty and was placed on lifetime parole and ordered by the court to have no further contact with his daughter. Commonwealth v. Smith (felony criminal case: Petersburg Virginia, 1990).
3. Meiers-Post v. Schafer (Michigan Court of Appeals, 1988). A civil suit by Jan Meiers-Post against her former high school teacher for sexual abuse from 1970 to 1974. “We hold that the period of limitation is tolled where the child victim of an illicit sexual relationship psychologically represses the memory of the events and where, after the memory is revived there is corroboration that the events actually occurred.” “In his deposition, defendant admitted to having sexual intercourse with plaintiff, at various times, from 1972 to 1974.” 427 N.W. 2d 606, 607.
4. State v. Wilson (Polk County, Iowa; August, 1990). Criminal conviction of Thomas Dean Wilson for incest and third-degree sexual abuse of his daughter. “The trauma was so great that she was unable to remember for eight years—and then only after months of therapy.” (Marie McCartan, “‘Daddy Hurts Me’…The Horror of Incest,” Des Moines Register, February 17, 1991: 1E). The corroborating evidence uncovered through discovery included ‘inappropriate advances’ made by the defendant toward another minor in his role as a church chaperon and a former teenage babysitter for the family who had repeated sexual relations with the defendant. There was additional corroboration from M’s childhood medical records. Twelve jurors found Tom Wilson guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Id.
5. Nicolette v. Carey (Federal District Court, Western District of Michigan, 1990 judicial decision). Civil action by Suzanne Nicolette against her father, Joseph Carey, for childhood sexual abuse first remembered in adulthood. In denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss the case, Judge Benjamin F. Gibson noted that “plaintiff has submitted a letter addressed to plaintiff, signed by defendant and dated April 19, 1987, in which defendant discussed three or four incidents of sexual contact he had with the plaintiff when she was a child.” See Plaintiff’s Exhibit No. 5. Opinion dated November 19, 1990; District Court File No. 1:90-CV-159.
6. Pfiefle v. Hustwaite (King County Superior Court, Washington; civil settlement, 1991). Plaintiff, a 31-year-old woman, alleged that when she was a grade school student at Sky Valley Seventh Day Adventist School between 1969 and 1976 she was repeatedly raped and molested by a teacher. She recovered the memory as an adult. “Discovery revealed several other victims, whose testimony was helpful in establishing that the Seventh Day Adventist should have known of the teacher’s propensities.” Shepard’s/McGraw-Hill, Verdicts, Settlements & Tactics (1991).
7. D’s recovered memory (in 1991) of sexual abuse by her father, Stanley Huntingford, 20-34 years earlier. As summarized by Justice Thackray, “Mr. Huntingford was convicted by a jury on six counts of what is now generally called sexual assault. The charges were brought by three of his five children. Of the three, two had continuous memories of the abuse while the third, D., recovered her memory 34 years after the first assault.” Her Majesty the Queen v. Stanley Charles Huntingford (Supreme Court of British Columbia)(Vancouver Registry No. CC940539).
“The first woman [with continuous memory] said that her father regularly raped her, but stopped when she was 14 because she screamed when he came into her bedroom. She said she told her mother about the incidents in 1981….The accused’s wife, who testified for the defense, told the jury she never confronted her husband when the first daughter told her in 1981 about the abuse.” (Larry Still, “Father, 73, convicted of incest,” Vancouver Sun (February 4, 1995: A6).)
As Justice Thackray explained at sentencing, on March 28, 1995, “The Crown retained the services of Dr. John Yuille. Dr. Yuille is a psychologist and a leading expert in retention and recovery of memory. He also has impressive credentials in the area of sexual abuse. Dr. Yuille interviewed D. and prepared a report….Dr. Yuille therefore gave oral evidence in which he, in my opinion, fairly set forth the opinions of the two opposing camps. Dr. Yuille did not in any way demean the opinion of Dr. Loftus or the opinions of others with whom he parts company on the subject. Rather, he showed an objectivity that allowed both the Crown and the defence to rely upon his evidence and recommend it to the jury.” Id.
8. Hewczuk v. Sambor (Civil Action No. 91-6562, Federal District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania). “Hewczuk’s attorney Nancy Wasser said her client experienced vivid memories of the alleged torture after she miscarried two years ago….Records from Catholic charities and hospitals helped corroborate her client’s recollections.” (Lisa Brennan, “Abuse Victim Gets $600,000 32 Years Later; Remembered Event Two years Ago,” Legal Intelligencer, November 6, 1992. See also, Lisa Brennan, “Judge Upholds $600,000 Award in Abuse Case; Memory Suppressed for 32 years,” Legal Intelligencer, February 26, 1993: 1).
In response to post-trial motions, the judge affirmed the verdict, summarizing the evidence and findings as follows: “Viewed in the light most favorable to plaintiff, the verdict-winner, the trial evidence established that, while in defendant’s foster case for a brief period in early 1960, plaintiff was horribly mistreated (forced to eat her own vomit and drink her own urine; smeared with fecal matter and forced to eat it; bathed in extremely hot water; nearly drowned when her face was held under water in a toilet bowl; and, on at least one occasion, sexually assaulted); and that her memory of these atrocities was totally suppressed for many years. It is also clear that she regained her memory of these events, more or less fully, by June of 1991, and that she had begun to have ‘flashbacks’ and partial awareness of the earlier trauma in the summer of 1990.” (Memorandum and Order, pp. 1-2; Hewczuk v. Sambor, C.A. 91-6562 (February 18, 1993).)
9. Leonard v. Estate of Cowles (Hillsborough Circuit Court, 1993). Frank Leonard’s recollection, in therapy, of childhood abuse by his uncle, Tampa publishing executive Frank Cowles, Jr. “Records were produced showing that Cowles had been convicted in 1959 of sexually abusing young boys in Clearwater….According to the lawsuit, Leonard’s uncle admitted the abuse and then killed himself. Leonard won a settlement from the estate.” (St. Petersburg Times, March 6, 1994. See also “Abuse lawsuit target’s uncle’s estate,” St. Petersburg Times, April 14, 1993: 1B.)
10. Herald v. Hood (Summit County, Ohio, jury verdict, 1992; affirmed 1995). Julie Herald sued her uncle, Dennis Hood, alleging sexual abuse from age 3 (in 1962) through 15. The memory returned while Herald was watching her 4-year-old daughter play with a friend. Herald presented a taped telephone conversation in which her uncle indicated that she “had been the only one.” Two therapists also testified that at a meeting with Herald in their offices, he admitted sexually abusing her. She was awarded $150,000 in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. The Ohio Supreme Court recently upheld the decision. (Reginald Fields, “Witness Says She Felt Confusion and Guilt; Memory of Sex Abuse Comes Back by Observing Daughter, Court is Told,” Akron Beacon Journal, July 25, 1992: C1.)
• Dennis Hood’s testimony verifying (a) that knew the subject matter of Julie Herald’s phone call and (b) that his voice and Julie Herald’s are the ones on the tape.
• Complete transcript of the telephone call in which Dennis Hood acknowledges abusing Julie Herald
• Dr. Devies’s testimony on the confrontation between Julie Herald and Dennis Hood in his office.
• Ms. Kepler-Didato’s testimony about the same meeting, including the events immediately thereafter.
11. R’s recovered memories of being raped as many as 20 times by her neighbor in childhood, Lorne Francois. “The woman testified that she was about 13 years old when she went to the accused’s home one evening to use his living-room telephone because her family had no phone….She said Francois pulled down her pants and underwear and had sexual intercourse with her. When it was over, she said, ‘he told me not to tell anybody, or else.’” (“Prescott Child Sex-Abuse Probe,” Ottawa Citizen (April 1, 1992: p. B2).) Mr. Francois did not take the stand, and the jury reached a unanimous decision of guilty. The verdict was upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal (1993), 14 O.R. 3d 191, with one judge dissenting due to concerns that the jury drew improper inferences from the defendant’s failure to take the stand. As stated by the majority: “The trial judge’s instructions were unimpeachable.” The verdict was also upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada ( R. v. Francois,  2 S.C.R. 827).
The most powerful corroboration of R’s claim came from Project Jericho, a massive investigation into child sexual abuse in the Prescott area. That investigation uncovered a host of other victims. Francois was found guilty in 1995 “of two sexual assault charges involving a 13-year-old boy more than 20 years ago.” (“Prescott man guilty of sexual abuse,” Ottawa Citizen (May 3, 1995: p.D1).) “He is already serving six years for sex crimes, including raping a teenage girl and sexually assaulting two teenage boys.” (Id.) Charges that Francois sexually assaulted two patients at the Royal Ottawa Hospital when he was there for a court-ordered psychiatric assessment in 1991 were dropped when the Crown failed to move with sufficient speed. (Jacquie Miller, “Child molester’s new charges quashed,” Ottawa Citizen (March 3, 1993: P. A1).)
Given Francois’s 30-year history of violent sexual attacks on children, the Crown moved in 1997 to have him declared a dangerous offender. An Ottawa court decided, however, that he was unfit to take part in the hearing. He was committed to a mental hospital instead. (Jeremy Mercer, “Pedophile unfit to take part in legal action: 69-year-old man faces hospitalization for dementia instead,” Ottawa Citizen (December 5, 1997: p. C3).)
12. Frank Fitzpatrick’s memory of prolonged child sexual abuse by Father James Porter. His personal investigation resulted in tape-recorded incriminatory statements by Porter, and eventual identification of dozens of other victims. Porter was prosecuted criminally in Fall River, Massachusetts, and he pled guilty. A civil suit against the Catholic Church was settled on terms favorable to the plaintiffs. (Robert Correia and Linda Borg, “‘I’m Sorry,’ Porter weeps; Victims, judge unmoved; he gets 18-20 years,” Providence Journal-Bulletin, December 9, 1993: 1.)
13. John Robatille’s memory of sexual abuse by Father Porter, triggered by reports about Frank Fitzpatrick. “His specific memories were confirmed by two classmates….Harvard psychiatrist Stuart Grassian surveyed 43 [of the Porter victims] in 1993 and found another 8—or 19 percent—who reported no thoughts or memories of the childhood abuse until the case broke in the media.” (Katy Butler, “The Latest on Recovered Memory,” Family Therapy Networker, Nov/Dec 1996: 36.)
14. Keene v. Edie (King County Superior Court, 1993). The jury “found that Ronald Edie, 57, of Auburn, had molested his former neighbor between 1973 and 1977….Her claims were bolstered by testimony of two of Edie’s daughters and a woman who testified he molested them when they were children.” (Richard Seven, “Psychiatry of Repressed Memories on Trial,” Seattle Times, July 9, 1993: A1.)
15. Cynthia Lewis’ memories of child sexual abuse by Rev. Alfred R. Desrosiers. Her memories were revived in 1993 when her mother, dying of cancer, expressed the wish to see Father Desrosiers, a long-time family friend. After a hearing to assess the reliability of the recovered-memory evidence, Judge Needham allowed the case to proceed. One reason “was corroborative evidence” in the form of “conversations Father Desrosiers had with Louis E. Gelineau, then Bishop of Providence, and the Rev. Normand Godin after Lewis reported her recalled memories to the diocese.” (Tom Mooney, “Why a court accept ‘recovered-memory’: While its legal validity is debate in one sexual-abuse case, a judge rules that it is reliable and admissible in a trial involving a Catholic priest,” Providence Journal-Bulletin (April 13, 1998: A1).)
16. Hoult v. Hoult (Federal District Court in Massachusetts; jury verdict, 1993). Successful civil suit against David Hoult for sustained child sexual abuse. Ms. Hoult’s claims were supported by something her mother witnessed (her father on top of another sibling in bed) and by a 13-year-old babysitter who testified that David Hoult had sexually molested her. “Other family members remembered Jennifer’s father grabbing her breasts.” (Minouche Kandel and Eric Kandel, “Flights of Memory,” Discover, May 1994: 32.) Ms. Hoult’s family sided with her, and the jury verdict was unanimous. David Hoult has since sued Ms. Hoult for libel over her subsequent statements that he had “raped” her. A federal district judge recently dismissed that suit after reviewing the trial record and concluding that “the issue of rape was decided [in Ms. Hoult’s favor] by the jury.” (Hoult v. Hoult (Civil Action No. 96-10970-RCL) (Slip opinion, p.6).)
Update: On May 13, 2002, the federal district court found that David Hoult had fraudulently conveyed over $130,000 in assets to avoid paying part of the $500,000 judgment that he owes to his daughter Jennifer. Two weeks later, the court entered an order requiring him to deposit all his income in a designated Massachusetts bank account and to limit his withdrawals from that account to cover his reasonable living expenses. David Hoult has since been found in civil and criminal contempt for refusing to comply with the order. This is the First Circuit’s most recent decision, which goes largely against David Hoult.
Jennifer Hoult has launched a website that documents the errors about her case that are contained in “Remembering Dangerously,” an oft-cited article by Elizabeth Loftus in the Skeptical Inquirer. (See Jennifer Hoult, “‘Remembering Dangerously’ & Hoult v. Hoult: The Myth of Repressed Memory that Elizabeth Loftus Created” (2005).)
17. People v. Hoffman. David Hoffman, sentenced in Poughkeepsie, New York, June 15, 1994 for sexually abusing the young daughter of his girlfriend 14-16 years earlier. “The woman’s first memory of the abuse came when she was typing a report regard a sexual abuse case,” working in a probation office in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (ErinMarie Medick, “Woman’s Repressed Memories of Abuse Leads to Conviction, Columbus Dispatch, June 14, 1994: A1). The woman eventually filed a police report, and a detective interviewed Hoffman, who had been convicted in 1986 of sexually abusing children at a children’s home in Duchess County, New York. Hoffman admitted he had committed the earlier crimes while a graduate student at Ohio State University and pled guilty as charged.
18. Gonzalez v. Boullon (Florida jury verdict, 1994). Dr. Nina Gonzalez successfully brought a civil suit against her stepfather, Luis Boullon, in Florida. “While a premed at Holy Cross College in Worcester [Massachusetts], she began to remember what she recalled as nighttime visits from her stepfather….Testimony of her little cousin and her stepmother who she told of the ‘massages’ years before also weighed with the jurors.” Gonzalez’s older brother, Ricardo, testified he had witnessed two instances of abuse. (John Lantingua, “$1 Million Award Over Repressed Memory of Abuse,” Miami Herald, February 14, 1994: 1A.)
19. Crook v. Murphy (Benton County Superior Court, Washington; Case No. 91-2-01102-5). Verdict for plaintiff by Judge Dennis Yule, February, 1994. Lynn Crook, the oldest of six children, successfully sued her father for recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse. One of her sisters testified to an abusive event she had always remembered. This decision is noteworthy for what it says about Richard Ofshe, a sociologist who testified against Ms. Crook: “Just as [Ofshe] accuses [therapists] of resolving at the outset [to find] repressed memories of abuse and then constructing them, he has resolved at the outset to find a macabre scheme of memories progressing toward satanic cult rituals and then creates them.” There is a detailed excerpt from the Los Angeles Times about how Ofshe and Watters misrepresented the facts of this case in their book, Making Monsters. Ms. Crook has written a response to Ofshe and Watters, which was published in the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse.
20. Alley v. Alley (King County Superior Court, 1994). Plaintiff successfully sued her father, William Alley, for sexual assault in her childhood. “No one in the Alleys’ family testified on the father’s behalf….[The plaintiff’s attorneys] used psychiatric records filed during William Alley’s 1970s divorce to support the family’s claim of incest and abuse.” (Richard Seven, “It Wasn’t the Money, It Was Principle; Jury says Father Raped Daughter,” Seattle Times, June 14, 1994: B1).) “In addition, an unexpected witness for the plaintiff came forward during the last week of the trial, after having read about the case in the paper, to offer testimony that when she was 12 and Julie Alley was 6, Ms. Alley told her that, ‘my daddy touched me,’ and pointed to her vagina.” (“Dentist Found Liable in Recovered Memory Case,” PR Newswire, June 13, 1994.)
21. People v. Lynch. California criminal charges against William Lynch. “Charged with 14 counts of lewd conduct with a child stemming from alleged attacks on four women when they were between 7 and 13 years old from March, 1967 to July, 1972.” One of the women repressed the memory; the others remembered the abuse ever since. (Julie Tamaki, “Abuse Case to Challenge New Law on Limitations,” Los Angeles Times, May 15, 1994: B1).
22. Chris White, whose repressed memories of sexual abuse at Ryerson Public School 20 years ago, resulted in a guilty plea by Robert Warren. “Now in his mid-50s and living in British Columbia, Warren had been with the Toronto Board of Education for 23 years and had two other convictions for sexual offenses against children. One dated back to 1965 in Lindsay; the other was in British Columbia in 1988.” (Judy Steed, “Abuse Victim…” The Toronto Star, May 7, 1995: A1).
23. Cheit v. San Francisco Boys Chorus and William Farmer (San Francisco Superior Court: civil settlement with SFBC, default judgment against Farmer, 1994) (Plumas County Criminal Court: warrant and criminal arrest, 1994). Corroborated by other victims and by tape-recorded admission. See Mike Stanton, “Bearing Witness” [three-part series] Providence Journal-Bulletin, May 7-9, 1995; see also, Miriam Horn, “Unlocking Hidden Memories,” U.S. News & World Report, November 29, 1993; “Update: Recalling the past, embracing the future,” August 4, 1997.
24. State v. Quattrocchi (Rhode Island Superior Court jury verdict; RI Supreme Court No. 95-343-C.A.). The first criminal case in Rhode Island involving recovered memory. The state presented evidence from two other girls who reported sexual assaults by Quattrocchi: one was his own goddaughter, who the defendant cornered naked in a shower when she was seven years old (in 1977). She told her parents about it when she was a sophomore in college. The other incident occurred four years later (in 1981) and resulted in a contemporaneous report to the police. The events at issue in this criminal case cover the same years as those incidents. [In Catch-22 reasoning, the Rhode Island Supreme court subsequently ruled that such evidence was “too prejudicial” and the defendant would have to be retried without such evidence. Without such evidence, many states considered this kind of testimony too unreliable—in absence of the kind of corroboration that the Rhode Island court now prohibits.]
25. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Crawford. (Guilty verdict in murder case, 1995). “Franklin Crawford, 49, of Dayton was charged in May, 1994 with the murder of Pearl Mae Altman after another man said that seeing a woman who resembled the victim brought forth repressed memories of witnessing Crawford throwing the woman off a bridge.” “John Reed cried as he testified Thursday that he was 16 on Oct. 22, 1971, when he saw Crawford throw Pearl Mae Altman into the Allegheny River.” (“Man Guilty in 1971 Slaying After Witness Recalls the Drowning,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 19, 1995: D15.) A woman’s purse and shoes were found 23 years ago near the spot where he said Altman was thrown in the river. Crawford also happened to have been the prime suspect at the time. Crawford’s then-wife testified “that her husband came home that night, removed his clothes, and put them in the washer. She said it was the only time in their marriage he put clothes in the washer. She said he got dressed again and, before leaving, told her to tell anyone looking for him that she hadn’t seen him.” Lawrence Walsh, “Murder Memory Misjudged by Judge,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 11, 1996: B6. [This case was reversed on the ground that the judge did not allow testimony of a psychiatrist who would have testified about the “unreliability” of recovered memory, the corroborative case notwithstanding. The case is still pending.]
26. Thomas v. Freeman (Lee County, North Carolina, unanimous jury verdict, June 22, 1995; Case No. 93 CVS 831; upheld by North Carolina Court of Appeals, November 19, 1996; No. COA96-226). Unanimous jury verdict for Shirley Thomas against her father, Velton Freeman, “for decades-old, once-repressed memories of horrific physical and sexual abuse….Witnesses corroborated Thomas’ claims with their own memories of Freeman hitting, bruising and cursing Thomas; of him carrying her out of her bedroom at night and her returning later in tears; of Thomas being terrified of his wrath; and of Thomas’ mother leaving [the] marriage and the household in 1962 or ’63, long before her mother and sister claimed it occurred in 1966.” (See five-part series by Jill Warren Lucas, beginning with “Jury Awards $600,000 in abuse case,” Sanford Herald, June 13, 1995.)
27. D.M.M, a 39-year old Canadian actress. “Remembered repeated abuse by her family doctor when she joined Alcoholics Anonymous after years of heavy drinking….[In March, 1996] a provincial justice ordered Leo Pilo, M.D. to pay her $95,000—despite the testimony of FMSF advisory board member and psychiatrist Harold Merskey, who suggested that D.M.M. was probably suffering from “‘false memories.’” D.M.M.’s accusations were supported by four other women who said Pilo had sexually abused them in childhood. Pilo’s medical license had been previously revoked in a separate proceeding in which he admitted the women’s charges.” (Katy Butler, “The Latest on Recovered Memory,” Family Therapy Networker, Nov/Dec 1996: 36, 37). Criticism by affiliates of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. Full text of the relevant legal documents in response.
28. Wilson v. Phillips (California jury verdict, 1996). LaDonna Wilson and her half-sister (who does not want to be identified) sued John Phillips for sexual molestation that occurred when each daughter was about 5 years old. A jury awarded $1.15 million in compensatory damages. “During the trial, Wilson, her sister and mother testified about a time when Wilson’s bed came crashing down on a box of kittens. When the others came into the bedroom, Phillips was there naked.” (David Reyes, “2 Daughters Win $1.15 Million in Sex Abuse Case,” Los Angeles Times, March 30, 1996: B1).
Update: the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Appellate District upheld the verdict of the jury, finding that Phillips sexually battered and intentionally inflicted emotional distress on his daughter and stepdaughter. Wilson v. Phillips, 73 Cal. App. 4th 250; 86 Cal. Rptr. 2d 204 (June 30, 1999).
29. Franklin v. Stevenson (Utah jury verdict, 1996). Cherise Franklin’s memories of sexual abuse by Kenton Stevenson. As documented at trial, Franklin was in and out of therapy; her flashbacks were not recovered during a therapy session. “After recording her [recovered] memories in a dated journal, Franklin hired a private detective, found Stevenson’s former wife and learned that Stevenson had been found to have abused his own children as well. At trial [in August 1996] in Salt Lake City, Stevenson’s 16-year-old daughter, Rayne Burtchin, testified that her father had sexually abused her. A stepdaughter testified that he had mutilated animals in front of her. The accounts were supported by a 1986 family court divorce and custody ruling, finding that Stevenson had sexually abused his son and two daughters and had raped one with a coat hanger.” (Katy Butler, “The Latest on Recovered Memory,” Family Therapy Networker, Nov/Dec 1996: 36, 37). The Findings of Fact established that Stevenson abused all three of his children in the other marriage. In a highly unusual move, the judge entered a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, in favor of the defendant. The case is on appeal. Note: Question No. 2 in the Special Verdict form asked “Did Cherise Franklin produce corroborating evidence in support of the allegations of abuse against Kenton Stevenson?” The jury responded: Yes.
30. Shahzade v. Gregory (Massachusetts federal district court, Docket No. 92-12139-H). Civil suit by Ann Shahzade against an older cousin for molesting her for a five-year period beginning when she was 11 years old. “Her cousin, George Gregory, a California surgeon, acknowledges he fondled her, but says he did not sexually assault her.” (Judy Rakowsky, ”Memory Expert Supports Woman,” Boston Globe, April 1, 1996: 26.) In his deposition, Gregory admitted to a series of fondling incidents that occurred over a 12-to-16-month period. (Deposition of George Gregory, May 10, 1995, pages 80-83; he admitted to additional fondling on pages 133-135.) Note: “fondling” is sexual assault under the criminal laws of virtually every state. (The full text of the decision to allow recovered memory testimony is available through Jim Hopper’s site on “Recovered Memories of Sexual Abuse: Scientific Research & Scholarly Resources.”) The defendant settled the case after this decision was rendered; there is a gag order prohibiting release of the settlement amount.
31. Martinelli v. Diocese of Bridgeport (1997 Connecticut civil jury verdict). Frank Martinelli’s adult recollections of sexual abuse by Father Laurence Brett at St. Cecilia Church in Stamford between 1962 and 1964. “Martinelli, who is married and has a young son, testified during the eight-day trial that he repressed his memory of the abuse until 1991, when it all came back to him like a ‘wave’ while he was on the telephone with a friend who told him he had also been abused by Brett as a child.” (Daniel Tepfer, “Diocese must pay; Jury awards $750,000 to victim,” Connecticut Post (August 27, 1997): A1.) “Probably the most damaging evidence of the trial was a memo of a meeting that took place among diocese officials on Dec. 2, 1964, regarding an assault by Brett on a 19-year-old male Sacred Heart University student. The memo states the teen had gone to Brett to discuss a sexual problem and Brett ended up performing oral sex on him. The memo goes on to state that Brett was being sent away for treatment, and “‘A recurrence of hepatitis was to be feigned should anyone ask,’ it read.” Id.
32. Peter VanVeldhuizen’s memories of childhood sexual abuse from 1966 to 1968 by Reverend J. Van Zweden of the Netherlands Reformed Congregation Church. VanVeldhuizen v. Netherlands Reformed Church of Rock Valley (Iowa District Court for Sioux County; 1997). VanVeldhuizen repressed the memory and did not recall the abuse until February, 1991, while undergoing psychotherapy.
To avoid litigation, Dr. VanVeldhuizen agreed to the request of the Netherlands Reformed Church to submit the claim and all related evidence to the Institute for Christian Conciliation. In a 9-page letter, the Executive Director noted that, “[I]n the twelve years that I have been working in sexual abuse cases, I do not recall meeting a more credible witness.” Dr. VanVeldhuizen introduced a variety of corroborating evidence, including (1) testimony that Rev. Van Zweden sexually abused his grandson and (2) eyewitness testimony to one of the incidents of sexual abuse of Peter VanVeldhuizen by Rev. Van Zweden. The mediator concluded that “Peter has more than met the highest biblical standard of proof, which is actually required only in capital offenses, namely, that the sin be confirmed by the testimony of at least two witnesses.”
After insisting on Christian Conciliation, the Church refused to go along with the findings. Dr. VanVeldhuizen sued and proved his case (again) in court. A Sioux County jury awarded compensatory and punitive damages, after VanVeldhuizen proved that Albert Bakker, a church official at the time, witnessed the acts but did nothing to stop them or to report them to the appropriate officials.
33. Lee Roy Donnell’s conviction for sexual battery. “Father Guilty of Assault,” Washington Post (September 10, 1992): B3.
34. State v. Warner (July, 1998). Criminal conviction for first-degree rape and for first-degree rape by instrumentation. The victim, “now 18, was 12 years old when she was molested by Warner. She told counselors of the abuses in 1997.” She recalled the events only under intensive counseling. “Judge Sends Rapist Up for 20 years,” The Daily Oklahoman (July 13, 1998), p. 3.
35. The criminal conviction of a 67-year-old grandfather in Canada, whose name was blocked from publication, for sexually assaulting four daughters over 21 years. At least one of the daughters recovered her memory as an adult. One daughter told someone at the time and had a lock installed on her bedroom door. The father ultimately begged for mercy and told the court he “had changed.” He pleaded guilty to molesting three daughters and to “violating two daughters with a wooden hand file. He blamed Satan for his actions.” This undoubtedly helps explain the ritualistic elements in the daughters’ accounts. See Ciaran Ganely, “Incest Dad Jailed for 6 Years; Born-Again Christian Begs for Mercy,” Toronto Sun (August 8, 1996), p. 19. See also Philip Lee-Shanok, “‘Guilt’ Notes Sent to Sex Victims,” Toronto Sun (June 21, 1996), p. 4.
36. T. Jeffrey Haines’ recovered memory of sexual abuse by Rev. J. Faulton Hodge of the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina. “Haines, 35, claimed that Hodge repeatedly molested him and gave him drugs, alcohol and pornography for 12 years starting in 1969 when Haines was only 8, and offered assurances that ‘God will forgive you.’” Haines contended in his lawsuit, filed in August 1995, “that he repressed memories of the sexual abuse until they were brought out in therapy in 1993.” The case was corroborated by the successful claim of Jesse D. Hickan, who was molested by the priest in 1989 and 1990. Both men had evidence “that church officials—including Johnson, the bishop of the diocese, and Weinhaurer, the former bishop—knew about child sex abuse by Hodges, but conspired to hide it.” (Clark Morrison, “Lawsuit Accusing WNC priest of child sex abuse settled,” Asheville Citizen-Times (April 15, 1995), p. 1A.)
37. A criminal case based on a 28-year-old woman’s flashbacks of repeated rape by her stepfather during the 1970s. “On April 15, 1996, Associate Justice Frank J. Williams denied a motion to block certain evidence derived from the alleged victim’s ‘repressed’ memories, saying that the credibility of the evidence is a matter for the jury to decide.” (C. J. Chivers, “Ex-police captain’s rape trial set to begin this summer,” Providence Journal (April 16, 1996.) The defendant pleaded no contest to Indecent Assault of a Child on May 30, 1996. See case P1-1995-1329A in the online database on Rhode Island criminal court records.
38. Kelly Scaglione’s recovered memories of a sexual assault by Master Cpl. Harold MacLean of the Canadian Armed forces. “After repressing the memories of the assault for years, Scaglione pressed charges against McLean in 1995. McLean was convicted of indecent assault in April 1997.” McLean subsequently settled a civil case for damages. (Philip Lee-Shanok, “Army Blamed in Assault; Private Held NCO Attacker in Awe, Trial Court Told,” Toronto Sun (February 26, 1999), p. 48.’)
39. Henry Bachmann’s recovered memories of being sodomized in 1964 by Rev. James Gummersbach in the basement of the Church of Immaculate Conception in St. Louis. In March, 1999 a jury awarded $1.2 million in this repressed memory case, the first such civil trial in Missouri. The plaintiff’s lawyers introduced corroborating evidence that the archdiocese “knew of Gummersbach’s propensity to harm children and did nothing about it.” (“Man Awarded $1.2M in Abuse Case” (AP-NY-03-02-99 1504 EST).)
40. Diane Bowman’s “long-buried memories of her mother’s death [which] resulted in her father being convicted of murder.” (Adam Powell, “After 24 years a daughter’s memory sends killer to jail.” (London) Daily Mail (July 24, 2002), p. 37.)
41. Tommy Burt’s “repressed memories of abuse” by Kenneth Eugene Ward at the Eastside Baptist Church seventeen years earlier. (Kassabian, “Time lets molesters get away, mom says,” Austin American-Statesman (March 13, 2005), B1.) “William Brown, an investigator in the Rusk County District Attorney’s Office, obtained a written confession from Ward.” He pleaded guilty in 1996 to indecency with a child.
42-43. Two women in their forties whose recovered memories of sexual abuse by James A. Rogers in 1964 were corroborated by a third woman who never forgot the abuse and by Rogers’ own admission that he sexually assaulted all three girls in 1964. (See Jackman, “Man Gets Prison for ’64 Assaults,” Washington Post (August 29, 2001), B2. See also Jackman, “Man Accused of ’60s Child Abuse,” Washington Post (October 14, 2000), B2.)
44. Lt. Commander Kenneth Whitwell v. Rev. Edward J. Smith (New Castle County, DE). When Kenneth Whitwell had an argument with his wife in 2000, memories of being sexually abused as a child began to emerge. In 2003, he traced his emotional problems back to incidents of rape and sodomy. Whitwell remembered that in 1982, when he was 14 years old, Edward Smith—his religion teacher at Archmere Academy, where Whitwell was a freshman—sexually abused him. After the incident, Whitwell repressed the memory of the abuse for 18 years. When he went to confront church officials, Smith allegedly admitted to the abuse in a meeting with his supervisor, Reverend James Bagnato. Smith, who did not respond to Whitwell’s 2007 suit, in which Whitwell also sued Archmere Academy, the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, and Rev. Michael A. Saltarelli, had started teaching at Archmere after having been removed from his position as principal at St. John Neumann High School in Philadelphia, where he was also accused of child sexual abuse. The outcome of the case: “Smith defaulted. Plaintiff’s verdict for $41 million including $6 million in compensatory damages and $35 million in punitive damages against Smith only. The Court dismissed Archmere, the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington and Bishop Michael Saltarelli as defendants in the lawsuit.” (Kenneth Whitwell v. Archmere Academy, Inc., et al.; District Court File No. 1:05-CV-00796-SLR.)
45. Brian v. Rev. Fred Lenczycki (DuPage County, IL). In 1983, when Brian was 10 years old, he was molested by his priest, Rev. Fred Lenczycki, at St. Isaac Jogues Elementary School in Hinsdale. In 1997, when Brian was in his mid-twenties, Brian started to dream about the abuse and remembered what had happened to him. Brian is not Lenczycki’s only victim—the priest admits to having molested over 30 boys in six parishes in Illinois, California and Missouri from 1974 to 1999. Over a dozen have now sued the Joliet Diocese. In response to the allegations, Lenczycki told his victims that he had been confused about his sexuality. He contends that he did not want to break his celibacy by sleeping with a woman and was not aware of the extent of his wrongdoings. After retiring and being held in custody, Lenczycki was released in 2009. He will continue his sex-offender treatment. “Brian said he settled his suit for a ‘couple hundred thousand dollars.’ He used the money to pay off his education and for a small down payment on a house. He said it wasn’t about the money, but rather to try to hold [Bishop] Imesch accountable.” (See Gutowski, “Pedophile priest’s victim: ‘You can’t have 30 victims and have remorse,’” Daily Herald (March 25, 2008).)
46. Jane Doe v. Philbert G. Pargas (Arapahoe County, Denver, CO). Between July 1997 and June 2001 Philbert Pargas allegedly assaulted a young girl who lived on his street. She did not recall the incidents until she studied recovered memories in her high school psychology class. She is one of two women to speak out against Pargas, who often had young girls over to his house between 1997 and 2007. He allegedly began to abuse the other young woman in 2003. During police questioning, Pargas admitted massaging one girl and hugging and kissing at least one other. However, he denies that the contact was sexual in nature. Pargas was arrested on November 28, 2008. In May of 2010 he was sentenced to 5 years in prison. (See Illescas, “‘Grandpa’ to neighbors, suspect to cops,” Denver Post (December 21, 2008).)
47. John Doe v. Claude Edward Foulk (LA County, CA). One of Claude Edward Foulk’s alleged victims is his foster child, whom Foulk began abusing several months after taking him into his home. Another is a 45-year-old man, who was nine years old when Foulk cared for him as a nurse. According to the first alleged victim, he and Foulk became friends, and Foulk eventually took him in as a foster son. Foulk allegedly began abusing the boy shortly after he moved in. His memories of the abuse began to reappear when he visited Napa State Hospital through his job. He spotted Foulk at the hospital, remembered the abuse, and went to the authorities. A third man also testified against Foulk, and reports of 13 more abuse cases, which involve Foulk and date back to 1965, have been reported to the authorities. In April 2010, Foulk was ordered to stand trial and was held on a $3.5 million bail. (See Deutsch, “Claude Edward Foulk: Three Men Testify to Hospital Director Molestation,” Huffington Post (April 14, 2010).)
48. Mark Blackowiak v. Richard Kemp (Supreme Court of Minnesota). Blackowiak claims to have been abused by Richard Kemp, his school counselor at Sheridan Junior High School in 1970 or 1971, when Blackowiak was 11. While the plaintiff could not remember the abuse for years, he hinted at it to his friend at the time. According to Smith Law Firm documents, “the plaintiff told his friend Steven Mayfield to “watch out for” Kemp, with whom Mayfield had been seen, because the plaintiff did not want Mayfield to be abused.” Although Blackowiak was too ashamed to elaborate further, when his mother asked him if “Kemp was doing anything “wrong” to him,” he answered that Kemp was. Even in therapy Blackowiak could not speak about the incidents and did not want anyone to know. However, when he ran into Kemp in 1981, he “freaked out”: he assumed that “Kemp was sexually abusing the boy and… felt sorry for the boy because ‘that shouldn’t happen to little kids.’” After the encounter, he “insisted he did not think anymore about the abuse he had suffered until 1991 when a conversation with Mayfield caused him to realize that his problems with drugs and alcohol, crime and with personal relationships were all the result of Kemp’s abuse.” The Supreme Court of Minnesota heard the case. (See Blackowiak v. Kemp, 546 N.W.2d 1, Review of Court of Appeals (Minn. 1996).)
49. A jury in Dover, Delaware found St. Elizabeth Roman Catholic parish grossly negligent in its failure to properly supervise then-priest Francis DeLuca and responsible for $3 million of $30 million in damages awarded to John M. Vai, who was repeatedly molested as a teenager in the 1960s. According to the Wilmington News Journal, the jury found that Vai only became aware of the sexual abuse he suffered as a child in 2007 after reading an article about a different priest sex abuse case brought against DeLuca. (See blog post.)
50. Calvin Huss, of Port Deposit, Delaware, pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl over a seven-month period in 1993. The victim, now in her 30s, contacted a police after a repressed memory arose in therapy. Huss also confessed to sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl and a 17-year-old girl between 2008 and 2010. (See blog post.)
51. Bryan Bacon vs. Marianist Province of the US (St. Louis County Court). Bryan Bacon recovered memory of 1985 abuse by his Catholic high school teacher Brother William Mueller in a 2004 therapy session and filed suit in 2005. The judge ordered Mueller to pay Bacon $0.5 million dollars. Mueller has been accused of sexual abuse in 24 separate civil suits in 3 states. (See Garrison, “Bro. William Mueller: Ordered to Pay $500,000 for Sexual Assault of Vianney Student in 1980s,” Riverfront Times (August 26, 2010).)
52. Gregory Guggemos filed a suit in Lansing, Michigan against the Lansing Diocese claiming that he was abused by priest Monsignor John Slowey in the 1950s, when Guggemos was 5 or 6 years old, during his time at St. Vincent Orphanage. Guggemos received a $225,000 settlement from the Diocese in 2008. (See “Lawyer brings repressed memory action,” Michigan Lawyers Weekly (September 3, 2010).)
53. Colorado v. Marshall Adam Walker. Walker was convicted in 2007 on 30 of 35 counts of sexual abuse in the late 90s. Then a teacher at Bell Middle School in Jefferson County, CO, he abused three male students, one of whom recovered memory of the abuse in 2006 while watching a movie. The charges related to the other two victims’ abuse were added subsequently. (See judgment and sentence affirmation.)