While most people think the child sex abuse panic of the 80′s and 90s is behind us, there are still people suffering in prison because of it. The case of Nancy Smith and Joseph Allen of Lorain County, Ohio is a prime example of how lives were destroyed by ambitious prosecutors and incompetent judges incapable of delivering justice when accusations of child sex abuse were involved.
But what really sets up the Lorain, Ohio case as a crowning achievement of justice gone completely off the tracks is the fact that, after the sentence of these two was thrown out in 2009, they are now headed back to prison because the Ohio Supreme Court reversed that two year old decision last month.
Read the entire article and you will have a pretty clear picture of what was happening all over the country in the 80s and 90s but to see the same cruelty repeated twenty years later is a travesty. It’s incredible that current child sex abuse paranoia in this country isn’t met with more skepticism in the wake of the witch hunts that destroyed so many lives and families over those two decades.
When faced with any activity or proposal that is justified by claims of “protecting children”, the entire population of the U.S. suddenly gets gullible and stupid. And it’s for that very reason that nearly all moral crusades are presented in those terms. Sex offender registries are justified by the fear of pedophiles behind every tree and anti-prostitution groups try to convince the public that hundreds of thousands of children in the U.S. are being forced to be sex slaves. And it works. The media repeats it without a hint of skepticism, politicians exploit it to get headlines, and the public swallows it whole.
I guess I should stop referring to it as “the sex abuse panic of the 80s and 90s” because it didn’t end in the 90s. It’s still going as strong as ever.