Thomas Kennedy, a Father wrongfully accused of child sexual abuse, sits with his daughter as she explains how very easy it was for her to tell the false tale of sexual abuse. Cassandra, only age 11, at the time she lied and accused her father of sexually abusing her, answers pointed questions by Katie Couric. When Katie asked Cassandra how she was able to concoct such a believable tale, she admits to weaving together fake details from television, a friend’s confiding in her that friend’s own experience with child sexual abuse, and the fact that she had been sexually active.
When asked by Katie how Cassandra could tell her tale so convincingly, Cassandra acknowledged that she made no effort whatsoever to try to be believable. She just made up the story, answered the questions posed to her and followed along with the authorities.
When Cassandra decided to come forward with the truth, she initially disclosed that she had lied to her mother, but feeling the shame of her original lie, she then recanted the truth! This second recantation made her mother believe that the recantation was really false. Unfortunately, this is an all too common occurrence. Recantation is often attributed to a child’s feelings of guilt over the molestation and its disclosure, rather than the child’s feelings of guilt over the lie.
Thomas Kennedy faults his attorney for tactical errors he feels contributed to his conviction. Handling the intricacies of child sexual abuse in the child welfare context undoubtedly requires skilled counsel. If you or someone you know have been accused of child sexual abuse, contact us at http://NewJerseyDYFSdefense.com.
I wrote a comment on your other blog, but the thing I would like to add is that forensic specialists can be called in to determine whether the accusations are true before it even goes to court. I wrote a blog about a woman married to a child molester and described it a bit on my post. There is a process, and when followed mistakes or false claims can be avoided.
In New Jersey, we have a series of Regional Diagnostic and Treatment Centers (RDTC) created to assess and treat child abuse victims – with a particular emphasis on treatment of child sexual abuse. Many times, these centers can weed out false positives.
However, the oftentimes altruistic motives of the professionals involved lead them to start with a referral, make assumptions about what has occurred, and “investigate” in a manner more likely to result in a clinical validation of abuse, rather than another result.
The RDTC does good work so often – and with proper motivation – that the less thorough analyses, the cases that are ambiguous – are cloaked in the righteousness of the RDTC and its mission. Thus, when a parent is wrongfully accused, those in positions to evaluate the parent are less inclined to even fathom that the allegation could be false because the RDTC has been rendered unassailable due to its “cause” being so laudable – i.e., the protection of children from predators.
I would very much like to follow your BLOG to gain more insights into your perspective. While we may not universally agree, this discussion is an important one and a value to our society, in and of itself. Again, thank you for sharing your views.
Allison C. Williams
I used to think that kids don’t lie but sadly and often enough, they do lie and have no real understanding of the magnitude of their lies …
It is unfortunate that children are often misguided and mislead to tell lies. Sadly, those that do tell tall tales hurt the children who have been victimized because the pendulum tends to swing in the direction of either extreme (over-reaction or under-reaction).
Hopefully, we can continue the work of exonerating the innocent and prosecuting the guilty, by bringing to light the issues presented on the Katie show.
Allison C. Williams
I am so sorry to hear of your circumstances. If you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your matter to see if I may be of assistance to you, please contact my assistant, Elaine.