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Author Topic: Witch Hunt in Wenatchee, WA - Lane Lawless' Old Stomping Ground  (Read 38763 times)
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lonemonkey
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« on: June 18, 2009, 03:16:29 PM »

Given Pastor Lane's likely connections to Wenatchee...
I thought we should look into the case a bit.  I for one had never heard of it.  The McMartin Pre-School case I studied back in college.
I find this particular case unsettling.
I also find it odd that the people of the church in Washington where Pastor Lane is accuses of child-molestation, are so nervous to speak about it.

There Was No Witch Hunt In Wenatchee Sex Probe

By Lucy Berliner
Special To The Times

THE recent verdict in the civil suit against officials in Wenatchee proved one crucial point. Ordinary citizens were charged with the duty of listening to evidence and argument by competent lawyers. They concluded that there were grounds for "reasonably cautious" professionals to pursue investigations and prosecutions on behalf of the children who reported abuse. They did not find evidence that rights were violated. In other words, there was no witch hunt.

That jury was not asked to decide the guilt or innocence of the plaintiffs. They had already been acquitted or had charges dismissed. But the central question of the Wenatchee cases still remains. How many children were abused and by whom? This we will never know for sure. Only the children and adults involved know the truth; the rest of us just decide whom to believe. Of all the people who have actually talked to the children or heard them testify, by far the majority have believed them; some have not.

There are certain undisputed facts about what happened in this complicated series of cases, some of which were connected and others that were unrelated. Scores of reports of maltreatment or neglect were made about many of the children. They came from citizens, schools, health and mental health professionals, and the police. One family had more than 50. Eventually, the allegations of sexual abuse that precipitated the cases in question arose, starting with a woman who accused her husband. Children were interviewed and reported abuse. Adults confessed and implicated other adults. These children and adults implicated others. Charges were filed in some cases. Some adults pleaded guilty, some were convicted in trials. Other adults were acquitted or had charges dismissed. A small minority of the children recanted their allegations, and of those, some later said the original allegations were true.

There is no doubt that some of the allegations were unusual. In many of the cases, mothers were accused; families were said to have gotten together and abused children; a few children accused very large numbers of adults. But in numerous instances, children independently reported consistent experiences and adults readily admitted to the accusations. In every case where charges were filed, more than one child had made reports, and/or there was an adult who confessed or reported witnessing abuse. These factors and the absence of evidence (as opposed to allegations) that the professionals acted in bad faith are probably what convinced the jury that rights were not violated.

I do not presume to know exactly what happened to the children in Wenatchee: how much of what the children said was true, partly true, or false. I do know that it is often hard for abused children to come forward, that they are sometimes inconsistent, or recant true allegations. There is rarely definitive corroboration. I also know that children can be misled and make false allegations. It is not always easy to sort it out. No doubt about it, we who respond to children who may have been abused sometimes make mistakes or stray from best practice standards. But I can say without hesitation that we strive to make the right decisions.

That is not what some journalists and editorial boards would have citizens believe. They say that counselors, doctors, CPS workers, police, prosecutors, jurors and judges were reckless and even malicious in their actions. For months, we have been bombarded with relentlessly one-sided stories and editorials. Inflammatory factual errors have been repeated endlessly. For example, was anyone charged with thousands, or even hundreds of counts of sexual abuse? Never happened. Was the foster child of the detective the instigator of the initial accusations? No. Convicted, admitted sex offenders are proclaimed innocent. Jurors who do not find wrongdoing are characterized as "small town" and lacking in "patience and an eye for detail." Clearly, some members of the press have taken a position about what happened that nothing is likely to change.

Where does all this leave us? For starters, what happened in Wenatchee in 1994 matters little to children who are brought to the attention of authorities in 1998. What counts today is that investigations are properly conducted and lead to just outcomes. It goes without saying that professionals should avoid conflicts of interest; that investigative interviews should be well documented; that investigations should be thorough and objective; that professionals should be scrupulous about adhering to their respective roles; and that they should be well trained and supervised. Professionals who respond to child abuse reports have been reminded of the importance of these principles.

It should also be of some comfort to citizens that there are numerous efforts under way to ensure good practice in Washington. Procedures and policies are being reviewed, standards set, training and consultation provided. Whatever lessons needed to be learned, have been.

Lucy Berliner is research director of the Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress, Harborview Medical Center.

Copyright (c) 1998 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.
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love4ever
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2009, 03:45:15 PM »

Yay!!!   And I agree..This has been something I have researched alittle. The most important aspects I have seen are those still incarcerated and those who have been acquitted but did not get their children back. Their children remained in foster homes. Also name changes, did some of those convicted, but acquitted change their names? And who were the foster parents of the so many children taken? The name change is what I was looking for. Noticing that even the city was voting to change the name of Wenatchee (see below).

Thursday, May 8, 1997 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

Pacific Northwest
Name Change Going To A Vote

Seattle Times Staff: Seattle Times News Services

EAST WENATCHEE, Douglas County - The City Council has agreed to a public vote in the fall on changing the city's name.

The council said Monday the issue could go on the September or November ballot. If voters approve a change, they'll be asked to choose from a list of names submitted by the council.

"Eastmont," the name of the local school district, is a possible favorite.

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19970508&slug=2538078

Or how about Roberson aka Robert "Roby" Roberson being charged with perjury and theft?

Saturday, March 23, 1996 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

Pacific Northwest
Pastor Sentenced For Fraud

Seattle Times Staff: Seattle Times News Services

KENNEWICK - An East Wenatchee pastor, acquitted earlier of child-rape and molestation charges, was sentenced yesterday in an unrelated welfare-fraud case.

Robert "Roby" Roberson was sentenced to 30 days of community service and two years of probation, and ordered to pay $684 in court costs.

A hearing was set for April 19 to determine if Roberson must pay back about $36,000 in welfare aid.

Roberson, 50, pleaded guilty to perjury and theft.


http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19960323&slug=2320391


(Edit to change color from red (used by admin/mods) to navy.  MuffyBee)
« Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 08:49:41 AM by MuffyBee » Logged
lonemonkey
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2009, 04:31:10 PM »

Yay!!!   And I agree..This has been something I have researched alittle. The most important aspects I have seen are those still incarcerated and those who have been acquitted but did not get their children back. Their children remained in foster homes. Also name changes, did some of those convicted, but acquitted change their names? And who were the foster parents of the so many children taken? The name change is what I was looking for. Noticing that even the city was voting to change the name of Wenatchee (see below).

Thursday, May 8, 1997 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

Pacific Northwest
Name Change Going To A Vote

Seattle Times Staff: Seattle Times News Services

EAST WENATCHEE, Douglas County - The City Council has agreed to a public vote in the fall on changing the city's name.

The council said Monday the issue could go on the September or November ballot. If voters approve a change, they'll be asked to choose from a list of names submitted by the council.

"Eastmont," the name of the local school district, is a possible favorite.

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19970508&slug=2538078

Or how about Roberson aka Robert "Roby" Roberson being charged with perjury and theft?

Saturday, March 23, 1996 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

Pacific Northwest
Pastor Sentenced For Fraud

Seattle Times Staff: Seattle Times News Services

KENNEWICK - An East Wenatchee pastor, acquitted earlier of child-rape and molestation charges, was sentenced yesterday in an unrelated welfare-fraud case.

Robert "Roby" Roberson was sentenced to 30 days of community service and two years of probation, and ordered to pay $684 in court costs.

A hearing was set for April 19 to determine if Roberson must pay back about $36,000 in welfare aid.

Roberson, 50, pleaded guilty to perjury and theft.


http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19960323&slug=2320391

(Edit to change color from red (used by admin/mods) to navy.  MuffyBee)

Interesting post, Love!
So...this Pastor and wife Connie have NO problem stealing form the members of their church and the Food Bank of the poor.  
Wonder what else they are OK with *stealing*...
They are fishy!

BTW, Sister is looking for a post about a lawsuit and the dairy...
Do you remember anything like that?  Having a hard time locating it!
« Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 08:50:55 AM by MuffyBee » Logged
love4ever
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2009, 04:41:13 PM »

What gets me is that some are still incarcerated...
Also, one that caught my eye was a lady by the name of "Sadie Mae Hughes" I do not
know why, I might be just being sill again.. ...There are other names that get me, but I haven't been able to figure it out, just yet...I know you intelligent monkeys can though!!!



The Accused:










Snipped:

http://www.seattlepi.com/powertoharm/accused.html
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doubledecker
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2009, 04:47:13 PM »

I wonder if these court records are public or sealed?

so I wonder how many children were taken away, and how many not returned.  Were they adopted out?  And how many people moved away and changed their names?  would be interesting to find out and see if any of them might be any of our missing people we can't find anything on.
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doubledecker
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2009, 04:50:33 PM »

I have always been meaning to go through all of those names and never got around to it ugh.  I guess maybe now is the time? 
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doubledecker
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2009, 04:57:52 PM »

the first name I notice is Laura Rebecca Holt

Cll's uncle, Richard Birdette Lawless first married Wilma Toots HOLT.

let me see if I can find out if they are related.
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love4ever
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2009, 05:05:08 PM »

Go here DD..lol..they may not all be him butt 99% are.. Monkey Devil!


Snipped:

http://dw.courts.wa.gov/index.cfm?fa=home.namelist


1      Roberson, Robert
Respondent    Chelan Co Dist Court    H97-00116    01-23-1997
2    Roberson, Robert
Plaintiff    King Co Superior Ct    98-2-07404-3    03-25-1998
3    Roberson, Robert
Judgment Debtor    King Co Superior Ct    98-9-04117-5    03-16-1998
4    Roberson, Robert
Judgment Debtor    King Co Superior Ct    98-9-15763-7    10-15-1998
5    Roberson, Robert
Defendant    Chelan Superior Ct    -2-37872-    01-01-1901
6    Roberson, Robert
Defendant    Lewis Co Superior    06-2-00437-8    04-04-2006
7    Roberson, Robert
Judgment Debtor    King Co Superior Ct    96-9-28092-1    11-12-1996
8    Roberson, Robert
Judgment Debtor    King Co Superior Ct    98-9-15764-5    10-15-1998
9    Roberson, Robert
Plaintiff    Chelan Superior Ct    96-2-00704-2    08-09-1996
10    Roberson, Robert
Plaintiff    Chelan Superior Ct    -2-37994-    01-01-1901
11    Roberson, Robert
Defendant    Skagit Superior    83-2-00189-0    05-06-1983
12    Roberson, Robert
Defendant    King Co Superior Ct    96-2-28568-4    10-31-1996
13    Roberson, Robert
Plaintiff    Thurston Superior    96-2-02273-7    06-26-1996
14    Roberson, Robert
Plaintiff    Spokane Superior    01-2-03683-6    06-26-2001
15    Roberson, Robert
Guardian Ad Litem    Thurston Superior    96-2-02273-7    06-26-1996
16    Roberson, Robert
Plaintiff    Douglas Superior    95-2-00125-1    06-06-1995
17    Roberson, Robert
Judgment Debtor    Chelan Superior Ct    98-9-00105-4    01-29-1998
18    Roberson, Robert
Judgment Debtor    Spokane Superior    01-9-05640-9    09-06-2001
19    Roberson, Robert
Plaintiff    Kitsap Superior    96-2-01890-4    06-17-1996
20    Roberson, Robert
Respondent    Lewis Co Superior    97-2-00179-8    02-13-1997
21    Roberson, Robert
Plaintiff    Chelan Superior Ct    96-2-01087-6    01-21-1997
22    Roberson, Robert
Defendant    Chelan Co Dist Court    88-000849    10-10-1988
23    Roberson, Robert
Defendant    Cowlitz District    1C0001649    11-20-2001
24    Roberson, Robert
Defendant    Cowlitz District    4C0000850    05-28-2004
25    Roberson, Robert
Respondent    Kcdc-so Div (swd)    96-073901    12-10-1996
26    Roberson, Robert
Defendant    Clark County Dist    309579-05    06-25-2007
27    Roberson, Robert
Plaintiff    Kcdc-so Div (rdc)    35089    06-09-1989
28    Roberson, Robert
Defendant    Cowlitz District    96C000818    08-26-1996
29    Roberson, Robert As
Plaintiff    Douglas Superior    96-2-00173-0    08-09-1996
30    Roberson, Robert As
Judgment Debtor    Douglas Superior    96-9-00228-6

88       Roberson, Robert H
Defendant    Chelan Superior Ct    84-2-00315-9    07-30-1984
89    Roberson, Robert H
Judgment Debtor    Chelan Superior Ct    84-9-00560-2    09-20-1984
90    Roberson, Robert H
Defendant    Chelan Superior Ct    84-2-00412-1    09-20-1984
91    Roberson, Robert H
Judgment Debtor    Chelan Superior Ct    84-9-00675-7    11-02-1984
92    Roberson, Robert H
Petitioner    Snohomish Superior    -3-13790-    07-25-1972
93    Roberson, Robert H
Defendant    Skagit Superior    84-2-00095-6    03-13-1984
94    Roberson, Robert H
Judgment Debtor    Skagit Superior    85-9-00035-6    01-21-1985
95    Roberson, Robert H
Judgment Debtor    Snohomish Superior    -9-48329-    01-22-1974
96    Roberson, Robert H
Respondent    Grant Superior Court    84-3-00250-6    06-25-1984
97    Roberson, Robert H
Petitioner    Chelan Superior Ct    -3-33944-    01-01-1901
98    Roberson, Robert H
Plaintiff    Chelan Superior Ct    84-2-00485-6    11-02-1984
99    Roberson, Robert H
Judgment Debtor    Skagit Superior    84-9-00409-4    06-25-1984
100    Roberson, Robert Harlan
Defendant    Chelan Co Dist Court    I00047657    04-27-2009
101    Roberson, Robert Harlan
Defendant    Douglas Superior    95-1-00056-1    03-31-1995
102    Roberson, Robert Harlan
Defendant    Douglas Superior    95-1-00147-9    10-06-1995
103    Roberson, Robert Harlan
Defendant    Benton Superior Ct    96-1-00026-8    01-11-1996
104    Roberson, Robert Harlan
Judgment Debtor    Benton Superior Ct    96-9-00431-9    03-22-1996
105    Roberson, Robert Harlan
Defendant    Wenatchee Vio Bureau    I00041733    08-23-2006
106    Roberson, Robert Harlan
Defendant    Douglas District    95-000064    03-29-1995
107    Roberson, Robert Harlan
Respondent    Douglas District
138       Roberson, Robert,
Plaintiff    Douglas Superior    96-2-00173-0    08-09-1996
139    Roberson, Robert,
Judgment Debtor    Douglas Superior    96-9-00228-6    08-29-1996
140    Roberson, Robertux
Judgment Debtor
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love4ever
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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2009, 05:12:37 PM »

Yay!!!   And I agree..This has been something I have researched alittle. The most important aspects I have seen are those still incarcerated and those who have been acquitted but did not get their children back. Their children remained in foster homes. Also name changes, did some of those convicted, but acquitted change their names? And who were the foster parents of the so many children taken? The name change is what I was looking for. Noticing that even the city was voting to change the name of Wenatchee (see below).

Thursday, May 8, 1997 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

Pacific Northwest
Name Change Going To A Vote

Seattle Times Staff: Seattle Times News Services

EAST WENATCHEE, Douglas County - The City Council has agreed to a public vote in the fall on changing the city's name.

The council said Monday the issue could go on the September or November ballot. If voters approve a change, they'll be asked to choose from a list of names submitted by the council.

"Eastmont," the name of the local school district, is a possible favorite.

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19970508&slug=2538078

Or how about Roberson aka Robert "Roby" Roberson being charged with perjury and theft?

Saturday, March 23, 1996 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

Pacific Northwest
Pastor Sentenced For Fraud

Seattle Times Staff: Seattle Times News Services

KENNEWICK - An East Wenatchee pastor, acquitted earlier of child-rape and molestation charges, was sentenced yesterday in an unrelated welfare-fraud case.

Robert "Roby" Roberson was sentenced to 30 days of community service and two years of probation, and ordered to pay $684 in court costs.

A hearing was set for April 19 to determine if Roberson must pay back about $36,000 in welfare aid.

Roberson, 50, pleaded guilty to perjury and theft.


http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19960323&slug=2320391

(Edit to change color from red (used by admin/mods) to navy.  MuffyBee)

Interesting post, Love!
So...this Pastor and wife Connie have NO problem stealing form the members of their church and the Food Bank of the poor.  
Wonder what else they are OK with *stealing*...
They are fishy!

BTW, Sister is looking for a post about a lawsuit and the dairy...
Do you remember anything like that?  Having a hard time locating it!

The only lawsuit I remember finding was a sexual harassment against a supervisor from Harris Farms..The lady Won!

John C. Harris    
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Harris Farms, Inc.
   (Edit to change red (used by admin/mods) to navy.  MuffyBee)
101
101
Age   Total Annual Compensation   This person is connected to 3 board of directors in 3 different organizations across 0 different industries.



See Board Relationships
--   --
BACKGROUND
John C. Harris serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Harris Farms, Inc. Mr. Harris is Owner and Chairman of Harris Ranch Beef Company. He serves as Trustee of University of California, Merced (UC Merced). .
CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS
27366 West Oakland Avenue
Coalinga, California 93210

United States

Phone: 559-884-2859
Fax: 559-884-2855
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEMBERSHIPS
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Harris Farms, Inc.

Trustee
University of California, Merced (UC Merced)

Owner and Corporate Chairman of the Board
Harris Ranch Beef Company

http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=1444432

In Relation to the above business:

EEOC and Plaintiff's Counsel Score Victory for
Latina Farmworker Sexually Assaulted By Her Supervisor

http://www.eeoc.gov/press/1-21-05.html
« Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 08:53:44 AM by MuffyBee » Logged
lonemonkey
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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2009, 06:25:58 PM »

Snipped:
http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=7065


Wenatchee Witch Hunt: Child Sex Abuse Trials In Douglas and Chelan Counties

HistoryLink.org Essay 7065 : Printer-Friendly Format

Wenatchee, Washington, got world attention in 1994-1995, when it found itself in the midst of what was characterized as history’s most extensive child sex abuse investigation. Three years later, the investigations had fallen apart amidst accusations of abuses by police and state social workers, and alleged false confessions, badgered child witnesses, and evidence based on the generally discredited “recovered memory” theory. The cases eventually came to be known as the Wenatchee Witch Hunt.

Sensational Allegations, Questionable Confessions

Sensational allegations included the existence of a group called “The Circle” made up of mothers and fathers trading their children for ritual sex abuse, and black-clad adults in sunglasses holding large scale orgies around Wenatchee.

Forty-three adults were arrested and accused of 29,726 counts of sexually abusing 60 children. Some were released. Eighteen pleaded guilty, mostly on the basis of signed confessions. Ten were convicted at trial. Three were acquitted. Eighteen went to prison.

Many witnesses and defendants later said they were pressured into making false confessions and accusations by caseworkers from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and by Wenatchee Police Department Lieutenant Bob Perez.

All who confessed later recanted. Some defendants said that when threatened with life imprisonment, they pled guilty to lesser charges. Some said they were told that if they confessed they wouldn’t go to jail but would be treated in the community. Many were told they would never see their children again unless they signed a confession. Those questioned also said they were told that their children wouldn’t be placed in foster care or put up for adoption if they signed confessions.

Children Grilled, Called Liars

Child witnesses, mostly from 9 to 13 years old, were often taken from their families and placed in foster care. Many said later that they were subjected to hours of frightening grilling and if they didn’t believe they had been sexually abused, they were told they were “in denial” or had suppressed the memory of the abuse. They were also told that siblings and other children had witnessed their abuse, or that that their parents had already confessed.

Interrogators called some children who denied abuse liars. Children were told that if they agreed to accusations they wouldn’t be separated from parents or siblings. Many of them later recanted. Lieutenant Perez neither recorded nor kept notes of his interrogations.
*In 1995...What would the authorities possibly have to gain by putting these ideas into the childrens' heads???????

Recantations were ignored. "It's well known that children are telling the truth when they say they've been abused," Wenatchee Child Protective Services (CPS) supervisor Tim Abbey later told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "But (they) are usually lying when they deny it." Abbey also told an investigator that CPS interviews in the Wenatchee cases were not taped because tapes of the interviews in the California’s notorious McMartin pre-school case, in which no one was convicted, had been thrown out on “technicalities.” In fact, the McMartin tapes showed investigators browbeating and prompting children, and successfully getting them to weave fantastic stories.

Some children and adolescents were involuntarily committed by DSHS to Pine Crest Hospital across the Washington state line, in Idaho where laws allowing involuntarily commitment of juveniles are more lax. One teenaged girl was taken to Pine Crest strapped to a gurney. There, they say they were drugged and pressured to testify against parents and other adults before they could be released.
* If true... would this family not have grounds for a fat lawsuit against the authorities???

Many of the accused were poor, and some were developmentally disabled, and illiterate. These defendants mostly relied on public defenders. The few with private attorneys fared better.

How It All Began

It began in February of 1992, when school authorities questioned Donna Everett, the seven-year-old daughter of Harold and Idella Everett. The Everetts were a large, poor family. Harold was illiterate and Idella was developmentally disabled with an IQ of 58.

When questioned, Donna said two six-year-old boys had touched her genitals, a statement corroborated by her brother. Child Protective Services (CPS), a division of the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), and police investigated. Suspicious of sex abuse in the Everett home, the authorities convinced the Everetts to voluntarily put Donna in foster care.

A month later, after repeated questioning, Donna said she had been molested by a family acquaintance. This man initially denied molesting Donna, but then signed a confession, which he may not have understood, as he spoke little English. He was later convicted.

Nevertheless the Everett family continued to be questioned and investigated. A year later, Donna’s twin brothers told authorities their father had hit them with a belt. Everett was then ordered out of the home, leaving Idella to manage the family alone.

The twins were placed in separate foster homes. At one point, three of the children were sent to the mental hospital in Idaho, and CPS placed another child in therapy. Donna was placed in foster care with Robert Devereux, the divorced foster-father of several girls. Eventually, Devereux said he couldn’t handle Donna. She was then placed as a foster child in the home of Lieutenant Bob Perez.

Perez had recently been put in charge of sex abuse cases by the Wenatchee Police Department as part of a routine rotation system.

In August 1994, one of the girls at the Devereux home tried to poison the foster-father with iodine after he grounded her. She was taken to juvenile hall. While there, Bob Perez interviewed her, and she accused Devereux of molesting her. The other girls in the Devereux home didn’t back up her story, and the accuser later recanted to her DSHS caseworker, Paul Glassen, saying Perez had pressured and intimidated her.

Devereux was arrested, however, and another foster daughter in his home was re-interviewed by Perez. After several hours of questioning, she changed her story and said she too had been molested.

Devereux hired a lawyer and the charges against him were eventually dismissed after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault for spanking a child and for warning two people that they were about to be arrested. He later received a settlement of $290,000 from the city of Wenatchee in exchange for his dropping a malicious prosecution and negligent investigation lawsuit.

Dissenters Fired and Arrested

Also arrested was caseworker Paul Glassen. After he had reported the recantation of the child witness who first accused Devereux, Glassen was handcuffed at work and arrested for witness tampering.

Those charges were eventually dropped, but Glassen was fired and was later investigated for being a participant in the alleged orgies run by “The Circle.” After Glassen moved with his family to Vancouver, Canada, Perez and a CPS worker told the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that he was being investigated for 50 counts of child abuse, and he lost his job there. Glassen later received a $295,000 settlement from the city of Wenatchee, and a letter clearing him of any charges.


Glassen’s supervisor, Juana Vasquez, who questioned the investigation and the placement of children in foster care to facilitate criminal investigations, was also fired. A jury later awarded her a judgment of $1.57 million in her suit against the state for wrongful termination and retaliation.

In September 1994, Donna Everett, now living as a foster-daughter with Bob Perez and his wife Luci, accused her parents, Idella and Harold Everett, of molesting her. The next day Perez got a similar accusation from her sister Melinda. Idella and Everett were arrested and duly signed confessions. Their conviction was overturned in 1998, and they got back parental rights to four of their five children. The oldest had been adopted by a family in Wisconsin, and had become a legal adult. Melinda and Donna have now both recanted and say they were pressured by Perez to lie. The Everetts received an undisclosed settlement from the city of Wenatchee.

After the Everetts were arrested, their pastor, un-ordained Pentecostal minister, Robert “Roby” Roberson, tried to get custody of the oldest Everett child. Roberson had originally become involved when DSHS personnel asked them to keep an eye on the family look for signs of abuse. He believed the Everetts were innocent. A CPS caseworker told Roberson that Perez would arrest him if he attempted to contact his parishioners, the Everett children. At Idella Everett’s sentencing, Roberson spoke up in her defense. Roberson later reported that Perez said, “We warned you, Roberson, we warned you,” at the sentencing hearing.

Some of the Everett children were at the Children’s Home Society, but Perez urged that they be moved since the counselors there wouldn’t make good prosecution witnesses. State authorities went along with his request.

Perez continued to interview two Everett girls -- his foster daughter Donna and her sister Melinda, who was also a foster child in the Perez home for a time. Eventually, Donna accused almost every adult she knew in Douglas and Chelan counties. She named many children she knew as victims. Some of these children were then interviewed, and later said they were pressured to accuse their parents.

The sisters described adults standing in line to have sex with children. They named foster parent Robert Devereux and Paul Glassen -- the social worker who had been arrested earlier when he reported a child’s recantation. Eventually, the girls named over a hundred abusers.

At one point, Perez drove Donna around Wenatchee in Douglas County and East Wenatchee, in Chelan country, in his police car and she pointed at 22 homes where she said had been abused in orgies. She also pointed at a taxi driver and a deliveryman. In the back seat, CPS caseworkers took down all the names and addresses.

Arrests were made, and although some of the 43 arrested had charges dismissed, others confessed, were sentenced, and went to prison or were tried and found guilty. In 1995, when the investigations were at their height, Douglas county commissioners and Douglas and Chelan county prosecutors asked for a grant of state funds to pay for the burgeoning costs of foster care, counselors, expert witnesses, and more prosecutors and police. They received $141,098. Public defenders, however received no extra funds.

Questions

But some Wenatchee citizens began questioning the investigation. Pastor Roberson attended a city council meeting and afterwards gave a television interview about the cases. The day after the interview aired, Douglas County police and the State Patrol searched the church and Roberson's home, removing carpet samples to look for semen. About a week later, the Roberson’s four-year old daughter Becky was taken from them and held as a material witness.

Eventually, Roberson and his wife Connie were accused of running organized ritual sex abuse from the East Wenatchee Pentecostal Church and House of God and food bank. At their December 1995 trial, which featured little Becky as a defense witness, a Chelan county jury acquitted them in three hours. The jury foreman characterized the prosecutions as “a witch hunt.” A Sunday school teacher, Honnah Sims, was also acquitted, and charges were dropped against the driver of the church van. The Robersons and their codefendant settled a lawsuit with the state for $850,000 in December 1999.

Innocence Project Northwest

In 1998, law students and faculty at the University of Washington formed Innocence Project Northwest and took up the cases of the convicted and incarcerated. Eventually, all 18 had verdicts overturned, or made plea bargains to reduced, often unrelated charges. Some, however, had served their full terms while appeals were underway. The last of the 18 defendants was released in December 2000.

More than a dozen civil lawsuits filed by those arrested and by child witnesses against the city of Wenatchee, DSHS, Bob Perez, and other individuals involved in the investigations and prosecutions continue to work their way through the courts.

Sources:
Andrew Schneider and Mike Barber, "The Power to Harm: A Record of Abuses in Wenatchee: Part One,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 23, 1998; "Children Sacrificed for the Case...," Part Two, Ibid., February 24, 1998; "Children Hurt by the System..., Part Three," Ibid., February 25,1998; "With Every Step, Rights Were Trampled...," and "Lies, Lies and More Lies,' says jailed man...," Part Four Ibid., February 26,1998; "'They Robbed me of my Childhood'..." Part Five Ibid., February 27,1998; "Lives Ruined Because Lessons Ignored..." and Andrew Schneider, “Freedom for Wenatchee Couple 'But Everything Else is Gone'” Ibid., September 28, 1998; Andrew Schneider and Mike Barber, "For Many, Wenatchee Sex-case Trauma Continues,” Ibid., December 1, 1998; Mike Barber, “Ex-defendant in Sex-ring Case Settles Lawsuit for $290,00," Ibid., February 24, 1999; Mike Barber, “Wenatchee Suit Settled for $850,000” Ibid., December 31, 1999; Mike Barber, “Now Wenatchee Girl Can Call Parents 'Mom and Dad' Again,” Ibid., January 14, 2000; “Reduced Plea Frees Man Convicted in Wenatchee Sex Case, AP, Ibid., March 16, 2000; Mike Barber, “Once Wrongly Accused, Wenatchee Suspect Now 'a Free Guy,'” Ibid., April 12, 2000; John K. Wiley, "Two Wenatchee Sex Abuse Defendants Released AP, Ibid.,, June 8, 2000; Mike Barber, “Wenatchee Couple Settle Suit in Child-sex-abuse Case,” Ibid., October 5, 2000; “Couple Win Back Four of Five Children...," AP, Ibid., December 21, 2000; “Last Child-sex Ring Defendant Released from Prison After Court Action,” Ibid., December 27, 2000; Mike Barber, "Wenatchee Must Pay $718,000 in Sanctions Over Abuse Case...," Ibid.,, August 4, 2004.

By Kathrine Beck , October 28, 2004
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« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2009, 06:46:10 PM »

Snipped:
http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=1400

A very long article but detailed...
Snipped:
http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=1400

From AJR,   June 1996
Witch Hunt in Wenatchee? 
To local TV reporter Tom Grant and the national media, a child sex scandal in the small Washington town was actually a credibility-straining prosecution run amok. The Wenatchee World took a pounding for what some called its unquestioning coverage. Where does the truth lie?

By Jim Kershner
Jim Kershner is a columnist and media reporter for the Spokesman-Review in Spokane. (The Spokesman-Review is owned by Cowles Publishing Co., which also owns KHQ-TV.)       

The "sex ring" story spilling out of Wenatchee, Washington, in 1995 sounded like something out of a lurid psychological thriller.

The problem was: Which lurid psychological thriller? The one about the evil sex ring? Or the one about the rogue cop? It all depended on which media outlet was telling the story.

One plot featured a group of adults systematically preying on dozens of innocent children in this apple-cheeked town (population 25,000) in north central Washington. These monsters allegedly committed despicable adult-child sex acts, sometimes right on a fundamentalist church altar while the entire congregation watched.

The other plot featured a supposedly out-of-control detective coercing child witnesses into making up fantastic stories of sexual abuse and leading an entire town on a witch hunt of "Crucible"-like proportions. It seemed nobody was safe; critics of the investigation became suspects. Dozens of innocent people were jailed.

The media, of course, were not interested in plotting a novel. They were just trying to get at the truth. But before long their search led them in two divergent directions. Wenatchee's local paper generally followed the official line from the police department, while one Spokane television station soon began raising disturbing questions about those conducting the investigation. By the fall, reporters from "Dateline NBC," the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Time and Newsweek all had descended‚ on Wenatchee. Given the subject matter, the coverage was often sensational, breathless and shocking. And sometimes baffling.

Whom were readers and viewers supposed to believe? On one hand, the Wenatchee World (circulation 32,000) and Spokane's KHQ-TV (Wenatchee has no TV station of its own) continued to cover the story as one of rampant sexual abuse. On the other hand, Tom Grant of Spokane's KREM-TV raised the possibility early on that innocent people were being accused because of improper police techniques and an atmosphere of hysteria. The national news organizations followed Grant's lead.

The truth still hasn't been sorted out, but it probably lies somewhere in between. The hard facts show that 45 adults were charged with child sex abuse, 10 were convicted and 18 pled guilty. Yet the two highest-profile trials involving the alleged church – sex cases ended in acquittal. According to news reports, jurors in those cases came away convinced that the church orgies, at least, never happened.

Since the investigation began more than two years ago, dozens of Wenatchee-area adults have been accused of raping or molesting up to 50 children in two loosely organized sex rings. Child witnesses told investigators of sex parties in which they were passed around like party favors. In the most sensational of the charges, Pastor Robert "Roby" Roberson of the East Wenatchee Pentecostal Church of God House of Prayer, along with his wife, Connie, were charged with first degree rape and molestation of children on the church altar while the entire congregation watched and sometimes joined in.

Police had several child witnesses and victims but, by far, the majority of the accusations came from one 11-year-old girl who, according to news reports, named over 80 different molesters. On one occasion, she says, she was driven around Wenatchee by police while she pointed out 21 houses where she was molested. This drive-through soon entered local legend as "The Parade of Homes."

But one fact explains why this case raised such powerful questions of police propriety: The 11-year-old girl is the foster daughter of Robert Perez, the lead detective in the investigation.




Insider access, or lack of it, may have had an impact on the direction of the coverage. Grant says he was "squashed by the police in terms of access" after an incident when he asked some pre-interview questions the police didn't like. They declared the interview over before it had even started.

"They shut me out," says Grant. "All my information from the police comes from documents, or testimony in court." This forced Grant to seek out other sources, and he says that's how he ended up digging out the story. Grant concluded that the story was not about sex abuse, but rather about the failings of government.

"It was good intentions, driven to hysteria, and then funneled through some people, particularly Perez, who did not use the correct techniques in investigating these cases," says Grant. "There's no doubt that there was some child abuse in Wenatchee. Was there a sex ring? I think there's very little evidence that there was ever a sex ring."

The national media got wind of the Wenatchee saga in the fall of '95. Rabinowitz, who has written many stories debunking child sex abuse cases for the Wall Street Journal, did a series of scathing articles beginning in September about "spurious evidence and extorted confessions." Her story summarized what other critics had been saying: Despite numerous convictions and guilty pleas, the methods used to obtain them raised some disturbing questions.

"Some [suspects] have plea-bargained or confessed, they attest, under police threats of a lifetime in prison and loss of their children if they don't tell the investigator what he wanted to hear," wrote Rabinowitz on September 29. "Many would soon recant their confessions, often studded with elaborate descriptions of orgies with children and, more important, the names of all the townspeople supposedly involved in these activities."

Time magazine's Margaret Carlson concluded in November that while some of the suspects "may have actually committed child abuse of the more familiar variety – for example, an older male accosting a child – there is no credible proof of a Pentecostal sex ring."

Carlson noted that many of those who pled guilty were those least able to defend themselves: poor, illiterate or with IQs so low as to be functionally +++++++. "No one who has hired private counsel and fought the charges has gone to jail," wrote Carlson.

"Dateline NBC" aired an hour-long investigation on November 8, hammering hard at the possibility of questionable police techniques and conflicts of interest. Minutes later, NBC affiliate KHQ opened its 11 p.m. news broadcast and proceeded to rebut the investigation it had just carried from its own network.

"Q-6's own investigation into the child sex abuse cases reveals parts of the story that 'Dateline' didn't tell you," said reporter David Okarski. "..'Dateline' glossed over the fact that scores of those accused in Chelan County have pleaded guilty to child sex abuse."

KHQ News Director Patricia Clemm-McRae says she was simply trying to tell the station's side of the story. KHQ anchor Randy Shaw says that whenever anybody confuses the issue they need to be corrected, even one's own network. Rabinowitz, however, puts it another way. "They're in deep denial that anything was wrong," she says.

Grant of krem believes that too many reporters took the easy road by simply reporting what the authorities were saying.

"This troubles me a great deal," says Grant. "All along there was easy access to all of the people who were accused, the neighbors, the church members. All you had to do was go ask. And the kids. Again and again they say, 'Believe the children.' Well I went out and talked to as many as I could find. Not one of them said anything bad was going on [at the church]."

KHQ, on the other hand, had access problems of its own. Authorities and prosecutors would speak with the station but Roberson and many of the defendants were giving most of their interviews to Grant. This one-sided sourcing, experienced by both sides, may have served to polarize coverage even more: You report what you can get. Meanwhile, Grant was having a more ominous problem with sources. He says five people he interviewed were arrested, three others were named as suspects in police documents.

"I talked to Pastor Roberson...and five days later, he gets arrested," says Grant. "Larry Steinborn, I talked to him two days before he got arrested. I talked to Honnah Sims, I put her on TV, and she said it was 'guilt by association' and shortly thereafter she gets arrested. (Steinborn's charges were eventually dropped; Sims and Roberson were eventually acquitted.)

"It's hard to say who got in trouble for talking to me...," says Grant. "But for a while, it was very frightening for me. It was like, I shouldn't be talking to these people and having them go to jail. For a while there I had to tell people, there may be certain risks in going on camera with me."

Even Grant found himself the victim of a whispering campaign. "There were rumors going around that, 'Oh, geez, this guy must be some kind of molester to be doing this,' " says Grant. "In fact, we were told by two people in a public meeting that somebody stood up there and said I must be a molester to be doing this kind of stuff." Rabinowitz later reported in the Wall Street Journal that Grant "may also soon come under investigation for sexual abuse, according to a high state official."

Nothing ever came of it, but it served to strengthen Grant's resolve. "I know what I've done and what I haven't done," says Grant. "I know if they're saying that stuff about me, what could be happening to the people I questioned and put into the public eye, who don't have the resources I do to protect myself?"

Still, Grant says, his health suffered, and he would wake up at night worrying about his coverage, especially after seeing other reporters pursuing what seemed to be an entirely different story. He and cameraman Duane Regehr would talk about their doubts on those three-hour excursions to Wenatchee. Their response was to dig even harder.

"If I could have found one single bit of evidence that said this happened, I would have turned my back on Pastor Roby and all of his people in a heartbeat," says Grant. "It didn't exist."

The Roberson acquittal in December took the pressure off Grant, but some vindication had already come with the avalanche of national media coverage in the fall, most of it echoing what he had been reporting. The national media attention also granted relief to some local critics of the investigation. Kathryn Lyon, a Tacoma, Washington, public defender, was in Wenatchee spending her own time and money to write the massive "Wenatchee Report," which detailed alleged misconduct in the investigation. She too feared she might be arrested for witness tampering. "After the national media came into it, I was much less frightened of being arrested," says Lyon. "I stopped being afraid, stopped parting my curtains when a car pulled up. We were protected, because someone would listen when we got arrested."

The national coverage also raised questions about the quality of the local coverage. NBC producer Geoffrey Stephens, who produced the piece for "Dateline NBC," says he couldn't give his opinion about KHQ's rebuttal for reasons of affiliate relations. However, he made it clear what he thought of the overall coverage.

Stephens credits Grant, who works for a CBS affiliate, with getting the story right. "Tom Grant got that story. Tom Grant is responsible for uncovering that story. Tom Grant did award-winning reporting on that story," says Stephens. "He was the only one who was really digging into that story, asking the hard questions."

Rabinowitz refers to Grant as a "lonely hero." Yet according to the Wenatchee World's Lachowicz, many in the regional and national media failed to notice that this story had two sides, or that there might be gray areas. In November, Lachowicz wrote an angry column about "shameless pretensions at journalism," and "so many national journalists (and I am forced to use the term loosely)" who have failed "to get so many of their facts straight, ignoring credible evidence of abuse presented in numerous trials....

"The stream of twisted, one-sided reports might have our newsroom laughing every morning were we not so busy shaking our heads in depressed dismay at the conduct of some of our peers," Lachowicz continued. In a later interview, he said that most of the media glossed over the gray areas in order to "simplify things and make a comprehensible story." "They came in and did their big splash," says Lachowicz. "We didn't really do a big splash. We did it bit by bit, day by day, following the trends and the developments in the whole thing. And we trusted in the end that all of the material we reported on both sides would somehow lead to some conclusions."

KHQ's Randy Shaw, who did a three-part investigation in May 1995, says the child victims became "the forgotten story" once the detective and the defendants became the main story.

"If anything troubled me more than anything else, in reference to the overall coverage by everybody, it was the lack of talk about these alleged victims, and make no mistake, there were victims," he says. "People have been convicted, people have confessed. Some have been acquitted, but indeed there were victims."

However, Lyon says that some reporters were wearing blinders of their own. Lyon says she was told early on by reporters and editors that "they wanted to take the side of protecting children: that is, children would not lie about something of this kind." She said this attitude made reporters reluctant to question authorities, which is exactly why she thought that Grant's work was so important.

"What struck me, as someone from outside, is he was doing hard-hitting documentaries every night, and it was virtually ignored," Lyon says. "..And when the other media started to look into this, which was really surprisingly far into it, a lot of the work had been done, and a lot of that was Tom Grant."

In one sense, the Wenatchee story was a classic clash of local vs. national media. In this case almost all of the media were from outside.

The central Washington city, known for its apples, sunny climate and beautiful setting at the foot of the Cascades on the Columbia River, is a long way from any metro paper. It's 138 miles from Seattle and 165 miles from Spokane. It has no TV station and is on the farthest edges of both the Seattle and Spokane TV markets. So for local news, the locally owned Wenatchee World is practically all there is.

From the beginning the paper's staff felt patronized, criticized and demonized by its outside colleagues. "We were generally regarded as backwoods country hicks who didn't know what the heck was going on, and dismissed as generally incompetent," says Lachowicz. "I don't think that was particularly fair."

Washington Times columnist Paul Craig Roberts went so far as to accuse a local reporter of being "Officer Perez's tool" at the Wenatchee World.

Lachowicz says his paper was never given credit for covering all aspects of the story on a day-by-day basis, months before anyone else showed any interest. He says that back in February and March 1995, his paper reported the concerns about Detective Perez and his foster daughter. "It wasn't until seven months later the Wall Street Journal and others seemed to find this such a big deal," says Lachowicz.

Wenatchee reporters and editors say they were amazed at how wrong many of the stories were, even in the small details, such as place names. "I was shocked, in a way, at how a lot of inaccurate information was passed around," says Wenatchee World Editorial Page Editor Tracy Warner. "It seemed to me that a lot of reporters were writing their stories after reading other reporters' stories, who had read other reporters' stories." It wasn't just the newspaper; the community as a whole felt as if it were under siege. A Wenatchee radio talk show host said that critics of the investigation were "waging a media war on the community."

"Those East Coast reporters can make you look like a complete goober," Chelan County Prosecutor Gary Riesen told a Spokane reporter. For her part, Rabinowitz has nothing but scorn for the small-town attitude she found in Wenatchee. She says media all over the country have already learned the hard way from similar cases to be skeptical of sweeping, logic-defying charges. The Wenatchee World, she says, "comes a bit late with its head buried in the sand."

"You have the Wenatchee World, this little cabal, used to having it their own way," says Rabinowitz. "..When you're in this tight little island, you really are immune from other pressures, and you don't feel that you can do any wrong."

On the contrary, says Warner of the Wenatchee World, local reporters have to be more careful because they have to live in the community they cover. "If you come in to cover a story with a point of view, and you're from out of town, you can listen to one side of the story, whatever side you want, and you can go home and write whatever you want, and nothing ever happens," says Warner. "But if you live in the town where it's happening, everything's different. I can walk out of my office here, and Pastor Roby might be there, or a policeman."

That begs the question: Were local reporters too entrenched in the community establishment to see the real story? Rabinowitz thinks so. She accuses one Wenatchee World reporter of being so tied in to the Child Protective Services agency as to be "hysterical on the subject" of the Wenatchee cases. Emotions had been spilling over the brim since the beginning. This was a story drenched in supercharged elements: sex, religion and, most emotional of all, children in danger.

Add the high legal stakes into the mix, and journalistic detachment could be tough to maintain. Lyon, in fact, believes that emotionalism drove some of the pro-prosecution reporting. The alleged crimes were so heinous, reporters may have been loath to give the suspects anything resembling comfort. Lyon says the media were provided with some of the witnesses' statements. "They are extremely detailed, and extremely disgusting," says Lyon, "and it gets hard to read that and not be concerned for the kids."

Kerry Tomlinson, who covered the story for a third Spokane TV station, KXLY, remembers how shocking some of those statements were. "They did have police reports that were extremely graphic," says Tomlinson. "It was nauseating at some points. Our newsroom is very 'anything goes,' but when I brought those back, I didn't want to share them with anybody."

In response to increasing cries of "witch hunt," the Wenatchee World decided in November to be much more explicit in printing details of the abuse charges. Lachowicz explained this step to readers in a November 12 column: "We have generally tried to skirt around the graphic details of various sexual penetrations to this point, but several readers have told us they now feel the need to know more of the details so they can better evaluate the truth of various charges – those against both the alleged molesters and against the various media."

Meanwhile, Grant was felt by many to be blinded by a different kind of emotionalism. He was so close to the defendants that he no longer seemed to be a detached ******* – he was seen as being in their camp.

Grant is willing to concede that something like this might have happened during his long months in Wenatchee. "As is common in this business, as you develop close relationships with your sources, they're willing to tell you things they won't tell other people, and too, you may tend to see things through their eyes," says Grant. "I frankly considered that with my stories, whether I wasn't being fair because I had such good access to people on the other side. That's a very fair criticism of my work. Was I too close to the other side?"

But he came to the conclusion that some of these people had been falsely accused, and he began to feel a sense of mission. He remembers cameraman Regehr saying to him during the long drive to Wenatchee, "Maybe this is the story we were put here to do."

The awards are already coming in. In April, Grant won a George Polk Award for his Wenatchee investigation. Rabinowitz was a Pulitzer finalist this spring for her columns on the case and other alleged child abuse cases.

Lachowicz is not impressed. "I'm not particularly surprised that a lot of journalism juries will look at this coverage and draw some conclusions that I don't think will be justified," he says.

Yet Lyon, an attorney who had never considered herself much of a fan of the media, found that this whole experience gave her much more respect for journalism. "Without the media involvement there would have been a lot more prosecutions and a lot more convictions," says Lyon. "Maybe this comes close to the pure motive behind journalism: Accurately record information so people can learn from it, and this information can affect a change."

Maybe so, but Warner of the Wenatchee World said the media's "trial by columnist" had little effect on the trials themselves. "Journalism had a big impact on this town, but how much it had on the criminal cases, it's hard to say," says Warner. "The jurors in the Roberson trial, the highest profile trial, seemed to be saying it didn't have much impact at all. They acquitted Roberson for very good reasons: There was not enough evidence to convict him. In fact, they said the controversy over Detective Perez made very little difference to them."

Nonetheless, Rabinowitz says the press is "extraordinarily important" in these cases, and that all journalists by now should have learned a few lessons from similar cases around the country: Children do lie, people can be led, and reporters should take care that they are not among the ones being led.

Yet one disturbing fact remains: Most child-sex crimes don't take place on an altar in front of a whole congregation. They take place in secret, where proof or disproof can be impossible. That's a hard truth for journalists dedicated to seeking the truth. l


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doubledecker
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« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2009, 08:01:15 PM »

you know I just about want to laugh, not because any of this is funny, but because it is so crazy... but then again, you have to wonder just how much of this is true, or is something like this really going on? 

I have heard some really bizarre things that supposedly happened at certain churches and at the time I was like "huh?  are you nuts!", but over the years I have realized there are a LOT of sickos out there who are capable of anything.  If they have child porn rings sharing videos of children being tortured etc, how do we know there is not a group who actually participates in this kind of stuff.  When we sit and laught it off without ever looking to see if it might just be true, then we are making it easy for them.  If no one believes this kind of thing might exist, then they can do it all they want and no one will bother investigating it. 

I have come to the belief that anything is possible and everything needs to be looked at.  I for one believe there is a "group" of killers who are connected who are out there killing all over.  I use to laugh at that idea too.  But I don't anymore.

I have been to wenatchee, it is a little apple valley where anything could be going on.  You have a lot of migratory people in and out of there too.  Some stay.  Many don't, they just return each year.  What really goes on up there, or has gone on? 

maybe some of these people really were guilty.  Maybe some of them moved off and do the same thing somewhere else?  we can't just laugh and say oh this kind of thing can never happen, because it CAN, and it just MIGHT BE.  And it is possible it could happen anywhere.  Weirdos are all over the place.  They are certaily on the net all sharing really sicko child porn.  There are small groups of people arrested for torture and child sex acts all the time.  How do we know they don't hide in plain sight as some "church".  Is anyone really going to look at a church and think or there those people probably all molest chidren.  It sounds nuts, but it imight just be happening.
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« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2009, 09:15:18 PM »

DD
I am in 100% agreement with you so eloquently stated....and I am really starting to miss Wyks!!!!
 Her insight is very helpful! an angelic monkey

I feel like if we keep monkey-digging it will be helpful at the end of this all!!!
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« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2009, 10:53:39 PM »

Wow interesting stuff. This story is very confusing. I can see this happening, why not, god knows there are crazy things which happen everyday.

Well said DD, I completely agree with you 100%
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« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2009, 11:12:38 PM »

Snipped:
http://www.avoiceforchildren.com/articles/witchhunt.html
Hmmm...I'm not sure WHO this is a voice for.

The Oregon *******
May, 1998

Oregon's Own...
"Wenatchee Witch Hunt!"


Jury Finds Judges, Police, State Employees & Agents Conspired Against Gaston And Meziere
By The Oregon ******* Staff

Salem, Oregon - A Marion County jury on April 10, 1998, after a four day trial, found Will Gaston (Santa Claus to many people in the Salem, Oregon area) not guilty on all charges brought against him by the State. The State had charged Gaston with contempt and violating two restraining orders, plus refusing to submit to a court ordered mental health examination.

The same jury also found Pamela Meziere, Gaston's fiancee, not guilty of violating a restraining order and not guilty of refusing to submit to a court ordered mental health examination.

Gaston and Meziere repeatedly admitted that they violated the court orders because they were sham documents issued in furtherance of an ongoing conspiracy to stop Gaston and Meziere from exposing the child pornography ring and black market baby selling ring being run out of the State agency known as the SOSCF (State Office of Services to Children and Families).

Among the 53 conspirators named by Gaston and Meziere in a Racketeering complaint are Marion Court Judges: "Gregory West, Paul Lipscomb, Don Dicky, Joseph Ochoa, Connie Haas, Pamela Abernethy, Loraine Anglemeier, Terry Leggert" and Silverton police officers Gay Robertson and Jack Mattingly. Numerous other state employees and individuals rounded out the 53 named conspirators.

During the trial, Meziere, with indignation, told the jury how she was abruptly run out of the courtroom of Connie Haas when she tried to speak. She told the jury that Lipscomb was so frightened of her and Gaston that he would hide when they went to his office to pick up papers or find out about a court date.

During the trial Meziere, showing complete outrage, charged Robertson with lying, falsifying documents, sexual abuse of children, perjury and racketeering. He admitted under oath to committing some charges made against him. He sat red-faced and silent as Meziere repeatedly asked him if he did not in fact falsify documents and then use those falsified documents to wrongfully remove Melissa Gaston from the care of Will Gaston. He continued to sit red-faced and silent as Meziere asked him if he and defendant Hazel Spees had not in fact, on their own, decided to issue a criminal complaint for stalking against Gaston and Meziere. Robertson also admitted on the witness stand that as a Silverton police officer he had no authority to issue stalking complaints to Gaston and Meziere, who live in Mt. Angel, Oregon.

The stalking complaints were issued because Gaston and Meziere had printed a flier, The Voice For Children, which described Spees, foster mother of Melissa Gaston, as a child pornographer and pedophile for taking video pictures of Melissa while she was nude and masturbating. Spees was charged with instructing and encouraging Melissa.

Senior Judge Duane R. Ertsgaard repeatedly blocked Meziere's attempt to introduce as evidence the fact that Robertson's partner, Officer Mattingly, had been sent to jail three weeks earlier by Judge Guimmond for falsifying police reports and for abuse of power. Reportedly, the only way Robertson had avoided going to jail was by Mattingly plea bargaining. Ertsgaard also refused to let Meziere tell the jury that she and Gaston had to get 26 signatures on a petition to remove Judge Gregory West from hearing the Mattingly case because both Judge West, Mattingly and Robertson are defendants in the Racketeering complaint that Meziere and Gaston filed January 6, 1998, against Spees, West, Lipscomb, Ochoa, Haas, Dickey and 52 other defendants. That complaint, describing the abuse that Gaston and Meziere have been subjected to for exposing the child pornography and black market baby selling activities of the defendants was the feature story in the February 1998 edition of The Oregon *******.

When Hazel Spees took the witness stand she first admitted, then later denied she had taken the nude video movies of Melissa masturbating. Spees sat nervously as Meziere read to her from her own report, that what she was doing was pornography and that she wanted SOSCF case worker Larry Lawson to give her a letter protecting her from any liability. Spees denied on the stand that Gaston was the biological father of Melissa. She had a blank look on her face when Meziere read to her prior court testimony where she acknowledged Gaston was the biological father of Melissa.

On the witness stand Spees admitted she lied when she said she found The Voice For Children on her front door. Not once did she or prosecuting attorney Atcheson (brought in specially from Columbia County, Oregon), deny the repeated charges leveled against her by Meziere and Gaston; that she was a "vile, shameless, pedophile and child pornographer." When Will Gaston first took the stand he could not speak as he was so choked with emotion. Then he related how Melissa had been taken, after defendants Bruno and Vega had suborned perjury by having Judy Strom falsely say that Gaston had molested Melissa. She later testified, under oath, in Judge Sullivan's (Deschutes County) court that she had lied. Gaston testified that Judge Leggart had ordered SOSCF to charge him or return Melissa to his care.

Gaston learned in October of 1997, that Spees and Lawson had made the pornographic movie of Melissa. It was then necessary for SOSCF to bring new charges against Gaston so Melissa would be unable to tell Gaston what SOSCF caseworker Larry Lawson and foster mother Spees were doing. So without any credible evidence, SOSCF filed new false charges, claiming that Gaston had molested Melissa's half sister Amanda.

Gaston testified that through the Freedom Of Information Act he was able to get the documents showing that Melissa had in fact been sexually molested in three foster homes, then burned, as a form of punishment in one of the homes.

He went on to say that when he learned from the documents that SOSCF caseworker Tim Airmen was a registered sex offender, and when he learned that Hazel Spees was a child pornographer and pedophile, he began to publish these facts in his newsletter, The Voice For Children, in order to alert the public.

Gaston testified he is 71 years old and hard of hearing and therefore could not hear what was being said when he was brought into the courtrooms of Haas and Dickey. Meziere testified that she was standing in the hall, after being kicked out of Haas' court, and overheard the caseworkers and D.A. laughing over the fact that Gaston couldn't hear as they left the courtroom where Gaston had appeared.

Gaston said that after the restraining orders were issued he went to the school where Spees teaches to take pictures of other parents protesting the way that Spees was abusing their children. One of the witnesses said Gaston was sitting 60 yards from the school and across the street on the grass when he was arrested for violating the stalking order. Gaston said he was left handcuffed in the back seat of a hot police car for over an hour with the windows rolled up before being transported to jail. He was released on $500 bail, then re-arrested four days later in court, when he appeared for arraignment on orders of Judge Lipscomb. His bail was then raised to $20,000. At one point while Gaston was on the witness stand he stood up and with indignation pointed a finger at Spees and said, "These child pornographers and pedophiles should all be hung." He then walked over to the jury box and said to each juror, "What would you have done if this had been your daughter or granddaughter."

In her closing argument, Meziere stated, "This is the first time in two years that I have been allowed to speak in court" and she thanked Judge Ertsgaard in front of the jury for conducting a fair trial. She made this statement even though she had criticized Ertsgaard in front of the jury for not allowing her to read to the jury the hundreds of pages of Spees reports, wherein she describes in detail the sexually explicit language Sprees used, over and over again in talking to Melissa.

Meziere was allowed to read Spees' reports into the record, while out of the presence of the jury. The records documented Spees prurient obsession with deviate sexual discussions with children. Meziere also complained that Judge Ertsgaard would not read the entire stalking statute to the jury. Meziere stated that she and Gaston had done nothing to violate the stalking statute. Those in the courtroom sat silent and riveted as an intense and indignant Meziere told the jurors that in this country they are the sovereign authority in the courtroom, with the duty to judge both the facts and the law.

She said that the judge and the prosecutor are public employees who have taken oaths to uphold the constitution, which recognizes that the citizens are the sovereign authority in this county and that nothing can he taken from them without due-process of law. She said that all the good citizens have been asleep and have allowed a group of corrupt and perverted individuals to take over our courts. She added that a group of corrupted and perverted militant lesbians and pedophiles have taken over SOSCF.

During her closing argument she held up the February issue of The Oregon *******, which carried the front page story about what SOSCF was doing to Gaston, Meziere and Melissa. She told the jury as she pointed to the paper, "This is the reason we are being prosecuted. They are trying to shut us up for good." She closed her final argument by saying that everything she said in court was true and then she thanked the jury for their attention during the trial.

Judge Ertsgaard instructed the jury that they must find the defendants guilty, unless the jury found by the greater weight of the evidence that the judges were involved in a conspiracy. Judge Ertsgaard told the jurors that even if someone lies to a judge and the judge issues an order, that order must be obeyed. But if the judges are involved in a conspiracy then the order is a nullity and of no force or effect.

The jury was given a verdict form with five charges, three against Gaston and two against Meziere. After deliberating four hours, the jury returned and was asked by the judge if they had reached their verdict. The jury responded that they had. The judge then asked if it was unanimous. The jury responded that it was. The judge then asked for the verdict and sat visibly shaken.as the six jurors said, "Not guilty" five times.

Also visibly shaken were the six Marion County Deputy Sheriffs present: Sgts. McMullen and Cornforth and officers, Papenfus, Lumley, Price, Melgard and Nieholson.

Present continuously during the hearing was State Senate candidate Jesse Lott. Lott had appeared before a Oregon State Senate hearing two months earlier with Gaston and others, demanding that immediate Senate oversight hearings be convened to expose the widespread corruption in the courts, state government and specifically SOSCF

Since the jury found Meziere and Gaston not guilty of the trumped up charges brought against them by the "police state" agency, SOSCF and their accomplices, the state has retaliated. They have arrested Pamela Meziere on morc trumped up charges. They maced her, falsely arrested her and they even went to her house and performed absolute harassment against her, as well as against her child and Will Gaston.

Our readership should be fully aware that Will Gaston's daughter, Melissa, was taken from him for over two years without the state ever charging him with a crime. Since Gaston and Meziere have attempted to speak out and inform others of the atrocities that are routinely conducted by Oregon's Children's Services Division (with the help of abusive police officers and prosecutors), they have been subjected to absolute police state tactics and abuse. Remember, the jury found that the judges and officials involved were conspiring against both Meziere and Gaston.

Don't miss the June edition of The Oregon ******* as we intend to publish the names of the current abusers and the facts surrounding their illegal attempts to stop Meziere and Gaston from exposing them and their crimes.
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« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2009, 11:25:36 PM »

Snipped:
http://abusearticles.wordpress.com/category/articles-on-wenatchee/

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« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2009, 11:32:12 PM »

Snipped:
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nformation from articles :

At the trial, one girl showed “definite medical signs of sexual abuse”
while “it could not be ruled out for two others.

In 1996, a consultant, retired Bellevue Police Chief D.P. Van
Blaricom, hired by a city insurer who looked into how the Wenatchee
police ran the child abuse investigations stated that the cases were
handled properly. A U.S. Department of Justice investigation also
found that there was no evidence of civil rights violations.

Cops Win Wash. State Sex Ring Case - June 29, 1998 - Aviva L. Brandt
AP Online - Seattle “A jury on Monday rejected claims of police
misconduct brought by four people who say they were falsely accused of
child rape and molestation. After deliberating for more than five
days, the King County Superior Court panel decided that the central
Washington town of Wenatchee, the town’s police officials and three
members of the Douglas County sheriff’s department did not violate the
civil rights of the four, who said they were falsely accused in
1994-95. Douglas County Sheriff Dan LaRoche said the verdict allows
police to keep investigating sex abuse and molestation cases without
fear of lawsuits.

Debate Rages Over Wenatchee Sex-Ring Allegations -
November 6, 1995-
Aviva L. Brandt, Associated Press Writer - Wenatchee, Wash.

Excerpts:

A line divides this town. On one side are those who believe dozens of
children were raped and molested over seven years by adults in two
loosely organized sex rings. On the other are those who assert a rogue
cop and obsessed social workers created a whirlpool of sexual
hysteria- coaxing children into accusations and bullying bewildered,
poorly educated adults into confessions. Gov. Mike Lowry, petitioned
by critics who believe the case is a witch hunt, has asked for a
Justice Department review and is awaiting a decision from U.S.
Attorney General Janet Reno. Authorities say as many as 50 children
were forced to have sex with adults since 1988 - sometimes alone,
sometimes in groups. In the last year, 28 adults have been charged
with child rape and sexual abuse. Five have been convicted, 10 have
pleaded guilty.

“Every female victim had physical evidence of sexual abuse and the
majority of the males did,” Smith said. “Clearly it’s pretty good
evidence to show that this is occurring.”

Douglas County Prosecutor Steve Clem sounded frustrated when asked
about allegations that his office hasn’t bothered to look for the
truth. “The defense attorneys are using what I’m sure … some day in
the future will be called the O.J. defense, where they sling mud, make
wild accusations and see conspiracies all around them,” he said.”
There’s physical evidence consistent with the stories they (the
children) tell. There’s more than one person talking about the very
same things going on,” said Tim Abbey, a regional supervisor with the
state Child Protective Services. “And there are a lot of confessions,
and many times they’re confessing to more than the kids said
happened.”
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« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2009, 11:39:36 PM »

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http://www.ra-info.org/resources/ra_cases2.shtml


Please note that this list was compiled and copyrighted by "Believe the Children" in 1997.
It has not been updated since then.
Conviction List: Ritual Child Abuse (continued)

Copyright © 1997. Believe The Children

Washington

Thurston County
Paul R. Ingram, a sheriff's deputy, confessed in 1988 to sexually abusing two of his daughters in the context of satanic rituals. Ingram pleaded guilty to six counts of third-degree rape and was sentenced to 220 years in prison.

Later, he attempted to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming he had been coerced and had confessed while in a "trance-like state" to crimes he never committed. In September 1992, the Washington State Supreme Court rejected Ingram's motion to withdraw his guilty plea. (Wright, 1993).

 

Wenatchee
Five adults were convicted and 11 pleaded no contest in a child sex-ring investigation involving 48 child victims.

Selid Holt, 34, was convicted and sentenced to 14 years in prison; Michael Rose, 26, was convicted on 5 counts of child rape and molestation and sentenced to 23 years; Doris Green, 34, who confessed and then recanted her statement, was convicted at trial and sentenced to 23 years; Randall Reed, 43, pleaded guilty on two counts of child molestation and was sentenced to 80 months; Meredith Town, 37, an ex-convict who pleaded no contest on 62 counts of child rape and 4 counts of indecent liberties, was sentenced to 18 years and 4 months; Cherie Town (Meredith Town's wife), also pleaded nolo contendere and was sentenced to 10 years; Harold and Idella Everett both pleaded guilty to molesting their own children, with Harold sentenced to 23 years and Idella to 4 1/2 years. (Newton, 1996).

Child victims referred to the offenders as "The Circle" and described being sexually assaulted and "swapped" in orgies that allegedly took place at a Pentecostal Church. (Sunde, 1995).

Despite defendants' criticism of the investigation, a review by the U.S. Justice Department found no evidence that defendants' civil rights were violated. (Sex Crimes Digest, 1996).
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« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2009, 12:14:19 AM »

hmmm I wonder why they were known as THE CIRCLE?
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doubledecker
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« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2009, 12:17:03 AM »

hmm we had a Laura Rebecca Holt and now we have a Selid Holt. 

I'll work on these two names.  Try to see if they are related to Wilma Toots Hold who married Richard Birdette Lawless.
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