Thursday, August 22, 2013

Child molesting . . . how much evidence do you want?

Have an upcoming child molest trial.  Well, probably two trials.

Five year old has been having yeast infections for three years.  Mother has been taking her to the doctor all that time.  Doctor says child doesn't keep her area . . . clean . . . and that's what's causing the discomfort.  Mother says child "wiggles" in discomfort but, no, NEVER scratches. Over the years, mother regularly asks child about "bad" touched.  Child denies.  Over and over and over.

One fine October day, five year old comes home from grandma and grandpa's, and REALLY starts fidgeting.  Mother takes her bottoms off and notices . . . redness.  Asks if anyone touched her.  Child denies.

Two days later, child returns from school, complaining about pain and trouble urinating.  Mother takes her bottoms off again, and notices . . . more redness and sores.  "Did anyone touch you?"  Child denies.  Mother insistently repeats.  Finally, five year old caves and says, "grandpa."

Mother takes child to ER.  Doctor suspects herpes.  Department of Family & Children called in. Cops called in.  DFC social worker asks that all members of five year old's family be tested for herpes.  Every single one tests positive.

Doctor says, "someone" had to touch her . . . "there" . . .  to give her herpes . . . "there."  [Well, ummmm, since she's had cold sores, couldn't she have touched herself . . . "there" . . . while scratching another of the plethora of yeast infections?  Naw, nobody thinks of that.]

Forensic interview with "trained" [well, semi-trained . . . I've dealt with her before] detective NINE DAYS LATER.  Mother denies talking to child, per instructions of DFC social worker and detective assigned to case.  Nineteen year old son [half-brother of five year old] testifies under oath during deposition that mother is questioning and going over five year old's "story" night before the interview.  For an hour.  Mother, naturally, denies ever discussing it with five year old prior to interview.  Under oath.

Now it gets good.  Five year old has 16 year, 11 month old half-sister.  For years, both five year old's father [father of the almost 17 year old] and step-mom and birth mother [divorced from father] have been asking the teenager if she's EVER been touched.  Every single time, for years, she's denied it.  For almost three full weeks, every adult in the family is bugging big sis, asking her, "Did grandpa touch you?  Ever?"  No. No.  No.  A hundred times . . . NO.

Finally, just before Halloween on her 17th birthday, in the evening, all the parents and other family have a veritable intervention, pretty much surrounding the now 17 year old and incessantly asking her, "Did grandpa touch you, too?"

Ultimately, you guessed it . . . she says . . . yes.  Says it happened in . . . about the years 1999 or 2000.  When she would have been about 4 or 5.  But she can't give details.  She can't remember.  She blocked it out.  She tells her step-mom, the five year old's mother, that it happened "a couple of times."  That's what step-mom says, under oath.

She tells her birth mother it happened "three or four times."  That's what birth mom swears to, under oath.

They keep on pushing.  They keep asking to "try to remember."  They remind her that she practically lived with grandma and grandpa until age 9.  In a forensic interview two weeks later, she tells a trained [much better] detective that it happened "several" times.

A month later, she's questioned by the lead detective in a police interrogation room.  How many times did it happen, she's asked.  "Over a hundred."

So there you have it.  Two wholly uncorroborated stories . . . one from a five year old who communicates more with her fingers and hands than with her mouth . . . and one from a 17 year old eight to twelve years after the alleged event(s) occurred.

Oh, wait.  Gets better.  Mother of five year old says that, after the forensic interview by the five year old, in early November, she later asks her [can't remember when, but about a week to three weeks] if granda touched her with anything else, other than his hand.  Kid, according to mom, sticks out her tongue.  So that means, grandpa put his tongue on her privates, right?  I mean, it couldn't mean the kid was just sticking her tongue out and playing, right?

Why isn't it in the police report?  Mom insists she called the detective and told him.  But in a twelve page, single-spaced narrative of his investigation, that ends after the December interrogation of the 17 year old, nary a mention of it.

You're a juror.  What say you?

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