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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Pendergrast’

“An uncritical review of an absurdly incomplete record”

February 9th, 2018 Comments off

Mark Pendergrast has written an entire book claiming that Jerry Sandusky might be innocent because, he asserts, all of the testimony was secretly based on therapeutically-induced “memories,” even though somehow that was unknown to everyone at trial. It is a fanciful theory, to say the least, but one that was advanced in a post-conviction hearing by the prominent psychology professor Elizabeth Loftus. The judge’s view of Loftus’s testimony is instructive. It neatly sums up the difference between a scientist, who considers all of the evidence, and a hired gun, who includes “only pieces of information tending to support” their pet theory, based on “an absurdly incomplete record.” 

 

The Disgraceful Discounting of a Larry Nassar Victim

February 3rd, 2018 Comments off

Most people who watched the Larry Nassar sentencing hearing were moved by the courage and pain of his victims. Some of the women could not bear to appear in person. A court official read Annette M. Hill’s letter. Hill, a former MSU athlete, was particularly critical of the MSU administration because, as her letter said: “If they had only taken action on the first report, it would have saved me and all the other athletes standing before us today from a life of pain and agony.” Hill reported being suicidal.

In a disgraceful essay just posted online, freelance writer Mark Pendergrast declared that Hill probably has “illusory memories.”

Why? Because Ms. Hill said she had “suppressed” her memories of these events for years. Pendergrast has been on a mission to discredit any abuse claim that might be associated with repressed memory since his two adult daughters cut him off in the early 1990s. But Hill did not say that she recovered her memory in therapy. (Nor is there any evidence that was true of his daughters.) Hill just used the word “suppress.” Which is probably what many other victims of Nassar did. 

In this cultural moment when it seems that victims of sexual abuse might stop being discounted and dismissed unfairly, Mark Pendergrast reminds us that there are still people all too willing to dismiss victims without cause.

Frank Fuster and Mark Pendergrast

January 28th, 2018 Comments off

Frank Fuster’s defenders, undeterred by the mountains of evidence against him (see the entire ch. 5 of The Witch-Hunt Narrative), continue to make false statements about his convictions (plural) for child sexual abuse. The most recent example is Mark Pendergrast’s claim that Frank Fuster’s conviction for lewd and lascivious conduct was wrongful because Fuster “passed two lie detector tests, but the jury was never told” (Memory Warp, p. 213). Pendergrast, who holds himself out as an “independent scholar,” provided no citation for this claim. In an earlier publication, however, he attributed this assertion to nothing more than an interview with Frank Fuster himself.

But there is no evidence in the court file that Fuster ever took a lie detector test or tried to get one entered at trial, where he declined to take the stand. The only test results in the court file are the MMPI tests that found him to be “compulsive and paranoid” with a “strong need to see himself as extremely virtuous.”

Moreover, a careful examination of court records in Fuster’s 1985 case demonstrates that Frank Fuster is a compulsive liar. Take his 1969 arrest for shooting man to death after a minor traffic accident, all witnessed by a off-duty police officer. Fuster pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in that case. But in the Country Walk case, he testified “when I was twenty years old, couple of months before becoming  New York City police officer, I’m accused of being a murderer.” He also claimed that the off-duty officer “set him up.”

But Fuster was not training to be a police officer; he was a salesman at the Minx Fur Company! As his parole report indicates: “much of the information [Fuster] provides differs from that available” in court records. “It does not appear that he accepts full responsibility for killing the victim.” (See pp. 339-341 of The Witch-Hunt Narrative for details and citations). Indeed, Fuster testified at his Parole Revocation Hearing in 1985 that his manslaughter conviction was actually “a crime that did not take place.”

There is much more. Fuster actually testified in the Country Walk case that there was no day care center in his house, even though there clearly was. He claimed not to own masks that were found in his home and that adults had seen him wear. This is the man who Mark Pendergrast accepts at face value. One wonders whether Pendergrast knew some of these facts and chose to ignore them, or whether he never did the research in the first place.