Sunday, December 19, 2010

Allegations of ritual sex with children may have been false

The San Antonio Express-News today published a story - which will be put online Wednesday - about four potential wrongful convictions following allegations of sexual abuse of a child against four women. Here's the overview:
In the fall of 1994, months after two young sisters spent a week visiting their aunt Elizabeth Ramirez, the girls told their grandmother, father and police that they had been ritualistically and sexually abused by the aunt and her three female friends, ages 19-21. The accused women were convicted after jury trials in 1997 and 1998 and went to prison. But an Express-News investigation that included a review of trial transcripts and police reports, and interviews with experts and key players in the case, questions the validity of medical evidence presented in the trials and the credibility of the accusers. Were the women wrongfully convicted?
Here's a website devoted to the case. The innocence claims were developed over the last couple of years by a group called the National Center for Reason and Justice, I'm told by their boardmember Debbie Nathan. NCRJ bills itself as "An innocence campaign for people wrongly accused or convicted of crimes against children," and Nathan informs me that the Innocence Project of Texas recently agreed to accept the four women involved as clients.

More on this after I've seen the full story.

19 comments:

Prison Doc said...

Here we go, Wenatchee and Fells Acres all over again.

Anonymous said...

So now IPOT is getting into bed with child molesters? That's nice.

Michael said...

Anonymous, if you read the story, it says that the accusations may have been FALSE! That means they MAY NOT be true and that these women would then NOT be child molesters. Would it be better, for your conscience sake, along with the prosecutors involved, the Governor, etc..., if we let people who were wrongfully convicted rot in jail nevertheless. Dude, get a clue.

Anonymous said...

Michael, no one in TDC is guilty. If you don't believe it, just ask them!

R. Shackleford said...

So, 7:46 and 9:18 ( I assume you're the same ...person), better to just stop the innocence investigation (which wouldn't be necessary if the da and his/her toadies had done a proper job to begin with)and let four possibly innocent chicks molder in prison? You are one sociopathic piece of work. If they're guilty, they deserve to be punished. But if the justice (ha) system put them into prison and labeled them child molesters wrongly, then they deserve to be exonerated. The da who put them there also deserves to be horsewhipped, but sadly that never seems to happen.

Anonymous said...

As far as I'm concerned whenever i hear the words "ritual" and "child abuse" together I pretty much assume innocence on the part of the accused/convicted.

Anonymous said...

Just read this story in the Express News. Very well writen and researched. I have no doubt that these four women were falsely accused and convicted. Wake up folks, you or your loved one could be next!

Shelomith said...

For those of us who grew up in the days of Perry Mason, the cops were always the good guys, Perry always uncovered the truth, and justice was always done--at least that's the way it seemed. Unfortunately, that isn't the case; false accusations are made, and in today's world of sex offender hysteria over the top, convictions are granted with no evidence whatsoever. An accusation is enough.
The mindset that automatically assumes these women guilty just because they were convicted is exactly what allows this travesty of justice to occur in the first place.
A further and thorough investigation is definitely called for.

Anonymous said...

Judge for yourself. Much of the story is published on www.fourliveslost.com

Anonymous said...

Prime Time TV 'Objectifies and Fetishizes' Underage Girls, Study Says
By Hollie McKay

Published December 16, 2010
| FoxNews.com


According to a new study conducted by the Parents Television Council (PTC), Hollywood is shockingly obsessed with sexualizing teen girls, to the point where underage female characters are shown participating in an even higher percentage of sexual situations than their adult counterparts: 47 percent to 29 percent respectively.

PTC’s report, entitled “New Target: A Study of Teen Female Sexualization on Primetime TV” is based on a content analysis drawn from the 25 most popular shows in the 12-17 demographic throughout the 2009-2010 television season.

“The results from this report show Tinseltown’s eagerness to not only objectify and fetishize young girls, but to sexualize them in such a way that real teens are led to believe their sole value comes from their sexuality," said PTC President Tim Winter. "This report is less about the shocking numbers that detail the sickness of early sexualization in our entertainment culture and more about the generation of young girls who are being told how society expects them to behave."

“Storylines on the most popular shows among teens are sending the message to our daughters that being sexualized isn’t just acceptable, it should be sought after,” Winter said

Anonymous said...

Since slavery is mainstream now, what are the limits? Who knew slavery was so cool these days?

Last weekend, the Players Ball—a yearly celebration of players and the pimp lifestyle—honored P. Diddy with a Lifetime Achievement Award and Snoop Dogg for being the “Hardest Working Player”. According to Serious Pimp Founder Damian Kutzner’s quote in The Boom Box, Snoop Dogg invited “all of Hollywood's elite to party with Bishop Don Magic Juan on his birthday and celebrate the Serious Pimp swagger, attitude and lifestyle." Indeed, among the other awards handed out that night was for “pimp of the year.” Because of the mainstream publicity and the inclusion of well-known celebs like P.Diddy and Snoop, the Players Ball is not some grotesque or aberrant event, but a legitimatized celebration of men who sell girls’ bodies.


Hip-hop needs to take responsibility for glamorizing the pimp life, and admit to what pimps are really doing to very young and vulnerable girls.

Like the pimp who kidnapped a ninth grader and sold her body to 12 different men a night, ignoring the girl’s constant pleas to go home to her family and go to school like any other 14-year old girl. Or the pimp who “inducted” a 15-year old girl into the life of prostitution by having his buddies gang rape her, again and again. And the pimp who tortured an 11-year old girl by breaking tables over her small body.

Don’t try to dismiss these stories as being about a few, bad pimps. These are typical stories of what girls owned by pimps endure. Stories told to the Rebecca Project, anti-trafficking organizations, runaway youth shelters, and child welfare workers by countless girls subject to commercial sexual exploitation. Sadly, there are even more stories of girls coerced, raped, and murdered by pimps that we will never know.

Maybe I believe that hip-hop can still redeem itself, that P. Diddy and Snoop (who are also fathers to young daughters) can recognize how pimping destroys our girls—especially poor Black and Brown girls—and denounce this form of 21st century slavery. But maybe that is just wishful thinking from someone who was once in love.

Anonymous said...

Slavery is Cool These Days?


Last weekend, the Players Ball—a yearly celebration of players and the pimp lifestyle—honored P. Diddy with a Lifetime Achievement Award and Snoop Dogg for being the “Hardest Working Player”.

According to Serious Pimp Founder Damian Kutzner’s quote in The Boom Box, Snoop Dogg invited “all of Hollywood's elite to party with Bishop Don Magic Juan on his birthday and celebrate the Serious Pimp swagger, attitude and lifestyle." Indeed, among the other awards handed out that night was for “pimp of the year.”

Because of the mainstream publicity and the inclusion of well-known celebs like P.Diddy and Snoop, the Players Ball is not some grotesque or aberrant event, but a legitimatized celebration of men who sell girls’ bodies.
Hip-hop needs to take responsibility for glamorizing the pimp life, and admit to what pimps are really doing to very young and vulnerable girls.

Despite that, hip-hop needs to take responsibility for glamorizing the pimp life, and admit to what pimps are really doing to very young and vulnerable girls.

Like the pimp who kidnapped a ninth grader and sold her body to 12 different men a night, ignoring the girl’s constant pleas to go home to her family and go to school like any other 14-year old girl. Or the pimp who “inducted” a 15-year old girl into the life of prostitution by having his buddies gang rape her, again and again. And the pimp who tortured an 11-year old girl by breaking tables over her small body.

Don’t try to dismiss these stories as being about a few, bad pimps. These are typical stories of what girls owned by pimps endure. Sadly, there are even more stories of girls coerced, raped, and murdered by pimps that we will never know.

justme said...

As a person considered to be an expert on this topic; child and adolesccent sexual abuse, female sex offenders and psychopaths, this story scares the hell out of me!
I'm not saying the 4 woman are guilty or innocent but there are so many discrepancies from the "outcry", the lack of a forensic interview, possibly a forensic exam done by someone not trained to do one, there's a difference in doing a forensic exam and a gynecological exam and a difference between an adult forensic exam and a pediatric forensic exam, the biases against sexual orientations and the list goes on and on.
To you naysayers, if the women are guilty, why would you be against further investigation? Further investigation would only substantiate guilt, right?
The case does a huge disservice to all of the professionals that work very hard to maintain integrity. From the many law enforcement officers, the D.A.'s, judges, forensic interviewers/examiners, counselors and yes, to the jurors, we only want the truth. We all want to see the guilty punished but only a psychopath would settle for innocent people being punished and their lives being destroyed.
I'm curious about how the two girls are doing now that they are adults.

Anonymous said...

All four women passed their polygraph. I wonder if the children EVEN took such a test ......... If suspects who pass polygraph tests are going to be prosecuted anyway, then what's the use? The fact that one of the prosecutors in the case is now a Judge means that the cover up will continue. Absent a DNA exoneration (which there will be none) or a recantation (probably too late), these women will have to do their time--every calendar day.

Anonymous said...

"Technically" innocent, right? The title to the story is very misleading.

Anonymous said...

Many of these "ritualistic abuse" cases do turn out to be false. We've seen it over and over again. Prison Doc mentioned a couple of cases in the first comment. There was also the McMartin Preschool Case from California many years ago. Then in, I think, the early 90s there was a case in Gilmer where a teenage girl, Kelly Wilson, disappeared. Some overzealous foster parents and CPS workers began interveiwing some foster kids and came up with some wild stories of ritualistic abuse that supposedly involved the abduction and murder of Wilson. Several people, including a local police officer were indicted. AFter the AG's office took over and brought in Dr. Bruce Perry to investigate, the charges were dismissed. It was all a bunch of garbage. You'd think by now we'd learn to be very careful about these cases. Yet, right now we have the Mineola Swingers club case in Smith County in which it is very likely that 4 innocent people have been sent to prison.

Child sexual abuse usually happens in secret. It's not really a group activity. Anytime you see a sensationalized case with bizarre allegations with multiple perpetrators you should be suspicious. It could happen and maybe has happened but most of the time it turns out to be false.

Child sexual abuse cases are probably the most difficult types of investigative work and the people doing it need to be well trained, experienced and follow established protocols. "justme" was right, when you see things that should not be done in these types of investigations, such as improper interviewing techniques, it raises huge red flags.

matthewhobbs444 said...

False or not, our first priority should be the welfare of our children. This said, there is way to much information, and political game playing, it is like there is only one crime, a sex crime. While media and wanna be politicians keep it going, does anyone stop to think what they are feeding Americas youngest citizens??????? Children are very vulnerable at times in life, especially if there is dysfunction around them. They here the news, they read it, and if they don't like someone for a particular reason, they could make a comment, without having any idea of what the eternal consequences are. It is the parents responsibility to see that their children are safe, and free from harm. People like to blame others and that releaves the guilt and effort it takes in being a parent. That goes for legislators, and all political figures. You are our voice. Are you telling us that our constitutional rights are to be taken away by starting with societies most discriminated against. Then what? One way or another other groups will be exploited, until will are a communist country, and owned by the government? Suttle but very effective?

Anonymous said...

Mathewhobbs444 said:
"False or not, our first priority should be the welfare of our children..."

I am wary anytime someone brings this out as their first statement. Because everything they say afterwards usually goes completely against any Constitutional statute out there.

My take on this is False or not, a defendant should not be found guilty in the public eye before they have their day in court. If you want to keep children safe, we need to put them in a box away from anyone they know, as that is where 90% of all child sexual abuse occurs. Keeping children safe is obviously a priority, but we have twice now seen where blind following of an 'outcry' can create many thousands of criminals where none should be. The second time this happened has been over the last 15 years, the first? Anyone ever heard of Salem, Mass? Courts and population believed solely the words of a child there, and we see how that worked out.

Protect your kids, but investigate with your brain.

Anonymous said...

"Michael, no one in TDC is guilty. If you don't believe it, just ask them!"

Actually, many of them will admit they did something wrong. However, anyone who has been paying attention now knows that there is ample evidence that a significant number of innocent people do end up in prison. Anthony Graves is the most recent, best example. So, maybe, just maybe, sometimes we shouldn't be so quick to dismiss claims of innocence. It's really dumb, given the DNA exonerations and all the other evidence to assume the system is perfect and no innocent people end up in prison. Of course, the esteemed governor of Texas just said the Anthony Graves case proves the system works. You'd think the governor of such a large state would have a higher IQ than that.