April 30, 2011 Comments Off on Utah authorities arrest dozens in child-porn investigation
Utah authorities arrest dozens in child-porn investigation
By Erin Alberty – The Salt Lake Tribune Apr 28 2011
After 114 sex crime investigations, 124 computer seizures, more than 36 million images, thousands of overtime hours and 39 arrests, Utah’s Internet crime investigators on Thursday offered a flat proclamation for their month-long, statewide child-pornography bust….
The suspected crimes range from possession of pornography to creating and disseminating child pornography.
Farnsworth said some of the 114 suspects are accused of filming or photographing their own illegal sex acts with children as young as toddlers, but she declined to discuss those cases. According to a press release, two suspects, a Utah County man and a Weber County juvenile, are accused of manufacturing child pornography.
Additionally, a Davis County man was charged with object rape and aggravated sexual abuse of a child after a federal conviction for producing pornography, and a Salt Lake County man faces two sex abuse charges along with his charge of dealing in material harmful to a minor. Farnsworth would not confirm whether those two men are suspected of committing those abuses in the creation of pornography.
Investigators will not know how many Utah children were victims in the cases until they review the images seized — the total number is estimated in excess of 36 million, according to figures provided by the Attorney General’s Office — and finish the pending investigations, Farnsworth said.
April 25, 2011 Comments Off on Victims Say Film on Molesters Distorts Facts
Victims Say Film on Molesters Distorts Facts
By SHARON WAXMAN February 24, 2004
for more information on this case:
”Capturing the Friedmans,” the Oscar-nominated documentary that raises questions about the guilt of a father and son convicted of child molestation, is being criticized by six of their former victims, who say the film omitted or distorted important information about their cases.
The six are suggesting that the director, Andrew Jarecki, created more ambiguity than actually existed about the case both to heighten the dramatic impact of the film and to elicit sympathy for the Friedmans. The film tells the story of the disintegration of a seemingly average Long Island family after the father, Arnold Friedman, and son, Jesse, were accused of molesting children in computer classes they held in the basement of their Great Neck home in the 1980’s….
The mother said that Mr. Jarecki’s film omitted a third co-defendant, Ross Goldstein, a teenage neighbor who also pleaded guilty to charges of child molestation and who corroborated some of the children’s accusations at the time and went to prison. She also said that Mr. Jarecki omitted a tearful confession by Jesse Friedman in prison on Geraldo Rivera’s talk show in 1989. Mr. Friedman detailed how his father had molested him as a child. In interviews Jesse Friedman has retracted his confessions, saying he pleaded guilty because he feared he could not get a fair trial and would get the maximum penalty….
Mr. Jarecki said the material on Mr. Goldstein was left out because it duplicated statements by the 13 children but was included in the just-released DVD. He said he considered the Rivera interview unnecessary, since the film showed Jesse Friedman’s confession in court….
Two former victims, including the son of the woman who spoke to The Times, wrote an open but anonymous letter last week to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which will give out the Oscars on Sunday. They said that the film portrayed the victims as if they had invented their stories to satisfy an overzealous Nassau County police force.
They wrote: ”We did not lie. We did not exaggerate. We were never hypnotized to tell our stories.” They said the director had twisted the facts in the film to make it appear that they had….
Mr. Jarecki denies that he has become an advocate for Jesse Friedman. Still, Mr. Jarecki has submitted an affidavit on his behalf to the court.
”One of the hallmarks of a balanced film on a controversial subject is that advocates on both sides will never be satisfied that the film supports their agendas,” he wrote by e-mail. ‘
April 23, 2011 Comments Off on Elizabeth Loftus – critiques of her research
The accuracy of Elizabeth Loftus’ research and its ethics have been critiqued by several people over the last two decades. Below is a brief synopsis of some of this research.
“Lost in a Shopping Mall” A Breach of Professional Ethics
Lynn S. Crook ETHICS & BEHAVIOR, vol. 9, #1, pp. 39-50
The “lost in a shopping mall” study has been cited to support claims that psychotherapists can implant memories of false autobiographical information of childhood trauma in their patients. The mall study originated in 1991 as 5 pilot experiments involving 3 children and 2 adult participants. The University of Washington Human Subjects Committee granted approval for the mall study on August 10, 1992. The preliminary results with the 5 pilot subjects were announced 4 days later. An analysis of the mall study shows that beyond the external misrepresentations, internal scientific methodological errors cast doubt on the validity of the claims that have been attributed to the mall study within scholarly and legal arenas. The minimal involvement or, in some cases, negative impact of collegial consultation, academic supervision, and peer review throughout the evolution of the mall study are reviewed.
Elizabeth Loftus (from jimhopper.com)
Unfortunately, thus far reporters and journalists have almost completely failed to critically evaluate her claims. Nor have they addressed three crucial facts about her work:
1) Loftus herself conducted and published a study in which nearly one in five women who reported childhood sexual abuse also reported completely forgetting the abuse for some period of time and recovering the memory of it later.
3) Loftus is aware that those who study traumatic memory have for several years, based on a great deal of research and clinical experience, used the construct of dissociation to account for the majority of recovered memories. However, she continues to focus on and attack “repression” and “repressed memories,” which has the effect of confusing and misleading many people.
Consider the Evidence for Elizabeth Loftus’
Scholarship and Accuracy. “Remembering Dangerously” & Hoult v. Hoult: The Myth of Repressed Memory that Elizabeth Loftus Created
by Jennifer Hoult, Esq.
Elizabeth Loftus herself has published studies showing evidence of recovered memory. The 4 January 1996 issue of Accuracy About Abuse notes: Elizabeth Loftus, high profile FMSF advocate, published a paper with colleagues on Remembering and Repressing in 1994. In a study of 105 women outpatients in a substance abuse clinic 54 % reported a history of childhood sexual abuse. 81% remembered all or part of the abuse. 19% reported they forgot the abuse for a period of time and later the memory returned. Women who remembered the abuse their whole lives reported a clearer memory, with a more detailed picture. Women who remembered the abuse their whole lives did not differ from others in terms of the violence of the abuse or whether the violence was incestuous. [Psychology of Women Quarterly, 18 (1994) 67-84.]
Loftus has also discussed “motivated forgetting”, and has presented the documented study of a college professor who became unable to remember a series of traumas, but after some time was able to recover those memories. Loftus remarked “after such an enormously stressful experience, many individuals wish to forget… And often their wish is granted.” (Loftus, 1980/1988, p. 73)” http://web.archive.org/web/20030608221633/http://www.feminista.com/v1n9/false-memory.html
“The hypothesis that false memories can easily be implanted in psychotherapy (Lindsay & Read, 1994; Loftus 1993; Loftus & Ketcham, 1994; Ofshe and Watters, 1993, 1994; Yapko, 1994a) seriously overstates the available data. Since no studies have been conducted on suggested effects in psychotherapy per se, the idea of iatrogenic suggestion of false memories remains an untested hypothesis. (Memory, Trauma Treatment, And the Law Brown, Scheflin and Hammond (D. Corydon) 1998, W. W. Norton 0-393-70254-5)
Memory, Abuse, and Science: Questioning Claims About the False Memory Syndrome Epidemic Pope, K. (1996)
American Psychologist 51: 957. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.51.9.957
Does the trauma specified in the lost-in-the-mall experiment seem comparable to the trauma forming the basis of false memory syndrome? Loftus (1993) described the implanted traumatic event in the shopping-mall experiment as follows: “Chris was convinced by his older brother Jim, that he had been lost in a shopping mall when he was five years old” (p. 532). Does this seem, for example, a reasonable analogy for a five-year-old girl being repeatedly raped by her father? Pezdek (1995; see also Pezdek, Finger, & Hodge, 1996) has suggested that this may not be the case. In attempting to arrive at a more analogous situation-that of a suggested false memory of a rectal enema-her experimental attempts at implantation of a suggestion had a 0% success rate.
What is the impact of the potentially confounding variables in claiming the shopping-mall experiment to be a convincing analogue of therapy (Loftus, 1993; Loftus & Ketcham, 1994)? Is it possible that the findings are an artifact of this particular design, for example, that the older family member claims to have been present when the event occurred and to have witnessed it, a claim the therapist can never make? To date, replications and extensions of this study have tended to use a similar methodology; that is, either the older family member makes the suggestions in his or her role as the experimenter’s confederate, or the experimenter presents the suggestion as being the report of an older family member, thus creating a surrogate confederate.
Has this line of research assumed that verbal reports provided to researchers are the equivalent of actual memories? Spanos (1994) suggested that changes in report in suggestibility research may represent compliance with social demand conditions of the research design rather than actual changes in what is recalled. In what ways were the measures to demonstrate actual changes or creations of memory representations validated and confounding variables (e.g., demand characteristics) excluded? Given that being lost while out shopping is apparently a common childhood experience, how is the determination made that the lost-in-the-mall memory is not substantially correct? What supports the claim that “Chris had remembered a traumatic episode that never occurred” (Garry & Loftus, 1994, p. 83). That is, is there any possibility that Chris’s family had forgotten an actual event of this type?
If the experiment is assumed for heuristic reasons to demonstrate that an older family member can extensively rewrite a younger relative’s memory in regard to a trauma at which the older relative was present, why have false memory syndrome proponents presented this research as applying to the dynamics of therapy (e.g., Loftus, 1993; Loftus & Ketcham, 1994) but not to the dynamics of families, particularly those in which parents or other relatives may be exerting pressure on an adult to retract reports of delayed recall? Is it possible that older family members can rewrite younger relatives’ memories in regard to traumatic events at which they were present? Might this occur in the context of sexual abuse when the repeated suggestion is made by a perpetrator that “nothing happened” and that any subsequent awareness of the abuse constitutes a false memory?
Quotes: Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D.
A Brief History of the False Memory Research of Elizabeth Loftus
“The lost- in- a-shopping-mall study (Loftus and Pickrell, 1995) provided initial scientific support for the claim that child sexual abuse accusations are false memories planted by therapists. However, the mall study researchers faced a problem early on—the participants could tell the difference between the true and false memories.” http://bit.ly/dH9uST
The Alleged Ethical Violations of Elizabeth Loftus in the Case of Jane Doe “In conclusion, I believe Loftus made several ethical breaches during her research and when publishing her study. The right to freedom of speech and academic debate does not allow for the kind of ethical breaches that were made. The violating of Jane Doe’s confidentiality without her written consent around such a sensitive issue appears to have been unnecessary and inappropriate.”
April 21, 2011 Comments Off on Frontline – Catholic Church sex abuse story of Native Americans in Alaska
FRONTLINE reveals a little-known chapter of the Catholic Church sex abuse story: decades of abuse of Native Americans by priests and other church workers in Alaska. In The Silence, FRONTLINE producer Tom Curran and reporter Mark Trahant examine the legacy of abuse by a number of men who worked for the Catholic Church along Alaska’s far west coast in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They would leave behind a trail of hundreds of claims of abuse, making this one of the hardest hit regions in the country. video of show is at: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/the-silence/
April 19, 2011 Comments Off on Frontline Investigates Church Sex Abuse in Alaska
The Silence – Tuesday, April 19, 2011, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS
FRONTLINE reveals a little-known chapter of the Catholic Church sex abuse story: decades of abuse of Native Americans by priests and other church workers in Alaska.
In The Silence, the first of two magazine segments airing Tuesday, April 19, 2011, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS, FRONTLINE producer Tom Curran and reporter Mark Trahant examine the legacy of abuse by a number of men who worked for the Catholic Church along Alaska’s far west coast in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They would leave behind a trail of hundreds of claims of abuse, making this one of the hardest hit regions in the country….
“This was 1970,” says Anchorage attorney Ken Roosa, who represented the Alaska victims in a class action law suit against the church. “It was absolutely unthinkable that the Catholic Church could be involved in the sexual abuse of children. There was nowhere for the kids to hide. There was no one they could talk to. The adults believed the abusers over their own children. It was a perfect storm for molestation.” As part of the church’s class action settlement with the victims, the bishop of Fairbanks, Donald Kettler, was asked to do something that no other bishop in the country had done on this scale: return to all of the villages where the abuse occurred and apologize to the victims in person.
In December 2010, FRONTLINE gained unique access to Bishop Kettler’s visit to the village of St. Michael — frequently referred to as “ground zero” for the abuse — where the bishop would come face-to-face with the reality of the abuse that the church had refused to acknowledge for years.