This case fits in perfectly with the day care sex abuse hysteria of the 1980s and 1990s. In 1994, four women were accused of molesting two young sisters ages 7 and 9, convicted, and sentenced to decades in prison, but on closer examination, these convictions are yet another monument to the lynch mob mentality typical of a public that imagines sex criminals hiding behind every tree.
The case was largely decided on the testimony of pediatrician and child advocate Nancy Kellogg who immediately suspected the case was a satanic abuse case after examining the victims when the accusations were made, two months after the incident occurred. By the mid 1990′s the impossible claims made during the satanic ritual abuse panic were already being discredited wholesale, but that didn’t stop Ms Kellogg from proceeding with this case.
Kellogg’s theory of Satanic ritual abuse was not directly presented to the jury, but the language of Prosecutor Philip Kazen certainly seemed to be tying the case to teh notoriety of the nationwide day care cases:
“We’re going to ask you,” Kazen told jurors, “to believe a 9-year-old little girl who was sacrificed on the altar of lust.”
Typical of other sex abuse cases or the era, teh case was aggressively prosecuted and guilty verdicts were reached despite the ample room for doubt. The first warning sign was the fact that pediatrician Kellogg was pushing the Satanic ritual abuse angle in spite of its having been discredited. Secondly, the children’s stories were perpetually changing. Physical medical evidence was hardly conclusive. The two girls had a history of making rape accusations.
Typical of innocent people, the four women rejected plea deals, opting to go to trial. There is little comment from the actors in the ordeal. Reviving this case won’t doing them any good.
Two advocacy groups, the Lubbock-based Innocence Project of Texas, or IPOT, and the National Center for Reason and Justice in New York, or NCRJ, have taken up the women’s case.
Let’s wish them luck. The child sex abuse witch hunts of the 80s and 90s are proof of the utter cruelty people are capable of when given an excuse. The fact that there are still victims of that crusade of languishing in prison is an example of the indiscriminate destruction that can be wrought under the mantra of “protecting children”.