From: R.J.Whiston <rwhiston@rwhiston.demon.co.uk>

To: a Ivor Catt <Ivorcatt@electromagnetism.demon.co.uk>

Cc: Hillary Seddon <aafaa1@aol.com>

Subject: Fw: ACFC: Falsely accused pair win judgment

Date: 07 August 2001 01:18

Dear Ivor,

This is the case that John Knight brought to our attention a long time ago.

It also ties in with your concept of compensation crippling the state.

RW

-----Original Message-----

From: ACFC Website <acfclist@usa.net>

To: acfclist@svr2.marketrends.net <acfclist@svr2.marketrends.net>

Date: 06 August 2001 00:17

Subject: ACFC: Falsely accused pair win judgment

 

>

>Thanks to Frank Lindley for sending us the following.

>

>ACFC

>

>++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

>

>http://www.washtimes.com/national/20010804-79814904.htm

>

>The Washington Times

>Falsely accused pair win judgment

>By Valerie Richardson

>August 4, 2001

>

> Six years after a police child-sex-ring investigation spread terror

>through the rural apple-picking community of Wenatchee, Wash., those

>wrongly accused of holding satanic rituals involving rape and molestation

>are finally starting to see the money.

>

> On Tuesday, a Spokane County jury awarded $3 million to a Wenatchee

>couple, Honnah and Jonathan Sims, caught up in the now-discredited

>sex-ring allegations. The award is the largest to date in a case that has

>been compared to the Salem witch trials of the 17th century.

>

> "There is no doubt that child sex abuse happens, and it is tragic,"

>said John Stocks, an attorney who represented the Simses and three other

>defendants during the trial. "It is also tragic that people can be falsely

>accused of crimes and to go that far in the system without the checks and

>balances ferreting them out."

>

> The latest award brings to about $6 million court-ordered damages

>stemming from lawsuits brought so far by dozens of plaintiffs seeking to

>clear their names and pin the blame on the Wenatchee police department,

>the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and the state Child Protective

>Services.

>

> The Wenatchee case is considered the largest of several

>child-sex-abuse investigations since 1980 that have since been found to be

>based on coerced testimony from children. The jury foreman in one

>Wenatchee trial called the probe a "witch hunt," and the Seattle

>Post-Intelligencer described it as a "thoroughly discredited

>investigation."

>

> Still, winning monetary damages hasn't been easy, even for those who

>spent years in prison on false charges and saw their children placed in

>foster care. Before the Simses could win the award, they first had to

>change state law.

>

> In 1998, a Seattle judge dismissed the Wenatchee plaintiffs' claims

>against law-enforcement authorities, saying state law prohibited them from

>being charged with negligence. Later, the state Supreme Court declined to

>review a court of appeals ruling that such agencies could be held liable

>for financial damages resulting from their child-abuse investigations.

>That ruling cleared the way for Tuesday's decision, which found county and

>city law enforcement agencies negligent on 14 counts.

>

> In a mixed verdict, however, the jury decided against awarding

>damages to three of the plaintiffs: Pentecostal Minister Robert "Roby"

>Roberson; his wife, Connie; and Donna Rodriguez. The plaintiffs had been

>seeking between $12 million and $20 million.

>

> Chris Hrycenko, the presiding juror, said the jury decided that while

>law enforcement had been to blame for the harm in the Sims' case, it

>wasn't the "proximate cause" for negligence for the other plaintiffs.

>

> The difference was that Mrs. Sims, a Sunday school teacher at the

>Pentecostal Church in East Wenatchee, had to endure months of hearings

>that she was a suspect in the child-abuse investigation. Fearful of having

>her son taken away from her, she sent him to stay with relatives in

>Kansas. Once arrested, she was strip-searched and spent eight days in

>jail.

>

> "She [Honnah Sims] was scared. She didn't know when she was going to

>be arrested, and people all around here were being arrested," said Mrs.

>Hrycenko. "She shipped her child to live in Kansas so the Child Protective

>Services wouldn't take him. Then she went to jail and was strip-searched,

>and we didn't feel that was appropriate."

>

> The investigation was spearheaded by Detective Robert Perez, whose

>foster daughter and her sister were the source of much of the testimony

>against adults at the Pentecostal Church in East Wenatchee. In all, 43

>persons were arrested on child-molestation charges in connection with the

>probe.

>

> Mr. Perez has since left the Wenatchee police department and has said

>that he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from the

>investigation, sources said. He has been named in several civil suits,

>although he has never been convicted of a crime.

>

> Most of the accused were women. Many were poor and uneducated, and a

>few were considered mentally handicapped. Many saw their children placed

>in foster care or sent them out of the state to avoid having them taken

>away by authorities. All of the accused have since been freed from jail,

>either because they were acquitted by juries or because they agreed to

>plead to lesser, unrelated charges in order to win release quickly.

>

> The urgency of the case led to the creation of Innocence Project

>Northwest, a pro bono, legal-aid organization begun by lawyers and

>students at the University of Washington Law School. Lawyers affiliated

>with the project were instrumental in winning the release of many

>Wenatchee clients.

>

> Representatives for the city and county could not be reached for

>comment.

>

>[Background: http://seattlep-i.nwsource.com/powertoharm/ ]

>

>Copyright 2001 News World Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

>Washington Times Home: http://www.washtimes.com/

>

>+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

>Children Need BOTH Parents!

>

>The American Coalition for Fathers and Children

>

>For Membership information call 1-800-978-DADS

>or see ACFC's homepages at: http://www.acfc.org

>

>To subscribe send a message to: acfclist@usa.net

>Message in subject line: subscribe acfc

>

>To unsubscribe send a message to: acfclist@usa.net

>Message in subject line: unsubscribe acfc

>

>The ACFC List Serve provides timely information to fathers, second

>wives, and others seeking restoration of fatherhood in America and

>the world. ACFC does not endorse or approve the views or opinions

>expressed by contributors, which have been provided only as a

>service to our list serve subscribers.

>+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

>