Sex abuse cases: ‘I have a personal stake in this’ (Video)
Mar 28, 2013 Jeff Blumenthal Reporter- Philadelphia Business Journal
Last week, I interviewed Marci Hamilton, a lawyer representing victims in the Sandusky and Philadelphia Archdiocese child abuse scandals, as part of our Inside the Reporters Notebook series….
Hamilton’s pointed response explained what she says is a personal reason for her involvement. She is a professor at Cardozo School of Law and not a litigator by trade. But she said she was incensed on February 10, 2011, when a Philadelphia Grand Jury released a report following an investigation into allegations that two priests and a teacher sexually abused a 10-year-old boy at St. Jerome Parish in Philadelphia, and that another priest assigned to St. Jerome sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy.
It was that report, Hamilton said, that caused her to contact her co-counsel Jeff Anderson, and say she wanted to participate in the litigation.
“I have a personal stake in this,” Hamilton said. “My children are Catholic. My daughter was baptized by a pedophile priest. I have family pictures with a pedophile at one of the most important ceremonies of a child’s life. So I am in it, yes, in Philadelphia. Because its the only way to make this Archdiocese to do the right thing.”
Capturing the Friedmans
At a time when child sexual abuse has been identified as a major public health crisis, the new film “Capturing the Friedmans” takes a skeptical attitude regarding believing children. The 1989, Arnold Friedman and his son Jesse plead guilty to multiple charges of sodomy and sexual abuse against young boys who took computer classes taught in the basement of their home. Jesse now claims he was wrongly convicted.
Our research into the case shows that the director of the film sacrificed truth in favor of creating artistic ambiguity. Clear evidence is omitted and facts are distorted. In addition, the film relies on popular but erroneous myths about child sexual abuse. As a result, uncertainty is created about the guilt of two confessed pedophiles — who are recast as victims — while the real victims — the boys and their families — are portrayed as untrustworthy.
In Their Own Words: Jesse’s Victims Speak Out
….The Film “Capturing the Friedmans” about a case of child molestation in Great Neck, Long Island has been nominated for an Academy Award. We are two of the victims of Arnold and Jesse Friedman writing to you, asking you to hear out side of the story, writing on behalf of the other victims and ourselves. We were abused, tortured, and humiliated by Arnold and Jesse Friedman in computer classes in Arnold’s basement. Many of us have physical scars from what was done to us; all of us have psychological scars. Although it has been 16 years, we live with the knowledge of these crimes every day of our lives. Some of us have had bad dreams, some of us slept with baseball bats under our bed for years for fear of reprisals. Many years ago, we thought we could not tell what was happening to us because we felt too guilty and embarrassed and were constantly threatened. Our parents thought Arnold was calling our houses so often because he was such a concerned teacher. His calls were to make sure we were not telling and to repeat the constant threats.