A Ludicrous “Television Review”

Dorothy Rabinowitz is apparently so worried that the #MeToo movement is enhancing the credibility of victims of sexual abuse that she wants to scare people into thinking that McMartin Preschool case (circa 1984-1990) — or at least her version to is, which omits *all* evidence of guilt — is some kind of cautionary tale for our time.

But the real caution is against “columnists” like Rabinowitz, whose work is never been subject to careful fact-checking. Her review of the McMartin film on Oxygen last weekend is chock full of errors. She even takes the film to task for not including a claim about Judy Johnson that is a figment of the reviewer’s imagination. 

But for starters, Rabinowitz claims that the McMartin case began “with a phone call” from a crazed mother. But the Manhattan Beach Police did not begin this case on the word of Judy Johnson. Instead, they were moved by the medical evidence of anal trauma on her son. Johnson did not come to the police station on August 12; she went to her family doctor who, after examining her son, referred the boy to an Emergency Room. That doctor recommended that the boy be examined by a specialist. The pediatric specialist is the one who reported to the Manhattan Beach Police Department that “the victim’s anus was forcibly entered several days ago.”

Facts like these are documented in court records and in the entire chapter devoted to the McMartin case in my book. Rabinowitz, like so many others who pontificate about the McMartin case, has never actually read the transcript. Instead, she provides endless assertions that are not borne out by the record. 

Yes, the McMartin case grew to encompass many false allegations. Those were all dropped before trial. But the notion that the entire case was a hoax or it all a witch-hunt is absurd, when one looks at the actual evidence in the case. 

The Unlearned Lessons of McMartin started this blog, more than 5 years ago. Sadly, that post remains an evergreen.