Guilty plea by ‘Capturing the Friedmans’ sex offender Jesse Friedman was just: official review, Rape culture punishes boys too, Berlusconi Sex Trial Verdict: Italy’s Former Prime Minister Convicted, Sentenced To 7 Years
June 25, 2013 Comments Off on Guilty plea by ‘Capturing the Friedmans’ sex offender Jesse Friedman was just: official review, Rape culture punishes boys too, Berlusconi Sex Trial Verdict: Italy’s Former Prime Minister Convicted, Sentenced To 7 Years
– Teenager’s 1988 Sexual-Abuse Conviction Was Justified, Report Says
– Guilty plea by ‘Capturing the Friedmans’ sex offender Jesse Friedman was just: official review
– Jesse Friedman’s Child Abuse Conviction Backed Despite Documentary’s Claim
Were L.I. Man and Dad Computer Class Sex Fiends?
– Rape culture punishes boys too – A Colorado case shows boys can be assaulted too — and too often, teachers have ignored or even laughed about it
– Italy court convicts Berlusconi on sex charges
– Berlusconi Sex Trial Verdict: Italy’s Former Prime Minister Convicted, Sentenced To 7 Years
Teenager’s 1988 Sexual-Abuse Conviction Was Justified, Report Says
By PETER APPLEBOME June 24, 2013
Jesse Friedman, the Great Neck, N.Y., teenager whose role in a sexual abuse case a quarter-century ago was portrayed in the Oscar-nominated documentary “Capturing the Friedmans” and came to symbolize an era of sensational, often-suspect accusations of child molesting, was properly convicted and should not have his status as a sexual predator overturned, according to a three-year review that was released on Monday.
In a 155-page report written with very little ambiguity, the Nassau County district attorney, Kathleen M. Rice, concluded that none of four issues raised in 2010 in a strongly worded ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit were substantiated by the evidence.
Instead, it concluded, “By any impartial analysis, the reinvestigation process prompted by Jesse Friedman, his advocates and the Second Circuit, has only increased confidence in the integrity of Jesse Friedman’s guilty plea and adjudication as a sex offender.”
The review concludes another chapter in a case that came to national attention after the 2003 release of the film, which portrayed both the breakup of a deeply troubled family and what was characterized as a flawed, biased police investigation and judicial process. The case led to guilty pleas in 1988 by Jesse Friedman, then 18, and his father, Arnold Friedman, who ran a popular computer class at his house on Piccadilly Road in the affluent Long Island community of Great Neck.
The report’s conclusion was not entirely unexpected, even by Mr. Friedman and his advocates, given the explosive nature of the charges, the impossibility of a definitive finding on many of the allegations more than 25 years in the past and the high bar for prosecutors to overturn convictions, especially those based on confessions.
Still, Mr. Friedman’s lawyer, Ron Kuby, and the film’s director, Andrew Jarecki, reacted with disappointment and anger, saying the report was a biased whitewash by the office that originally botched the case. Mr. Kuby promised to pursue appeals…..
Yet Ms. Rice’s report, in all instances, found that the preponderance of evidence pointed toward upholding the conviction. And her report comes with a limited, but potentially powerful, seal of approval in a case that is also being played out in the court of public opinion.
When she began her review, Ms. Rice, a Democrat first elected in 2005, appointed a four-member independent advisory panel to guide and oversee the work. It included Barry Scheck, a founder of the Innocence Project and one of the country’s leading advocates for overturning wrongful convictions….
The report centered on four points raised in the film and by the appeals court: that the case may have been tainted by repeated police interviews that pushed children toward confessions; that children may have been hypnotized to recover memories not based on fact; that the case was distorted by a “moral panic” that created false accusations and a predisposition toward conviction; and that Jesse Friedman’s guilty plea may have been unlawfully coerced by the police, prosecutors and a hostile judge.
The review rejected them all. It said that though some interviews late in the case may have been flawed, the rapid pace and early flow of accusations from children in the classes indicated that the allegations arose from spontaneous accounts, not from investigators pushing children toward accusations. It said the first child interviewed reported improper behavior, 12 children leveled accusations of illegal sexual behavior at Arnold Friedman in the investigation’s first two weeks and, five weeks into the investigation, 13 boys described criminal behavior by Jesse Friedman.
It said, that despite one student’s account in “Capturing the Friedmans” of making allegations after being hypnotized, any use of group therapy or hypnosis came after all the indictments were filed. It disputed the one account of hypnosis in the film….
It cited other evidence damaging to Mr. Friedman’s case — students and parents who stuck by their accounts and added fuller details, a psychiatric evaluation conducted for his defense that labeled him “a psychopathic deviant” and a telephone interview with Arnold Friedman’s brother, Howard Friedman, in which, according to the report, he said: “Jesse is guilty and you’re going to ask me how I know. Because Arnold told me.” He said Arnold Friedman had confessed that both he and his son had “misbehaved” with children in the class, but it is not clear from his statements what that misbehavior might have entailed….
Most glaring of the conflicting accounts was the one given by Mr. Goldstein, who said that “every single thing” in his grand jury testimony had been a lie and that he had been “coached, rehearsed and directed” by a prosecutor and a detective to tell the story they wanted, which was devastating for Jesse Friedman’s defense. The review said his recantation was unreliable.
Ms. Rice said in a statement that “instances of wrongful conviction are real and exist in far greater numbers than any of us would like to admit.” But she added: “The case against Jesse Friedman is not one of them.”
Guilty plea by ‘Capturing the Friedmans’ sex offender Jesse Friedman was just: official review
By KENNETH GARGER and BRUCE GOLDING June 24, 2013
They captured the Friedmans — and they were right.
Jesse Friedman — who proclaimed his innocence in the Oscar-nominated documentary “Capturing the Friedmans” — “was not wrongfully convicted” in the notorious child-molestation case that sent him and his pedophile father to prison, according to an official report released today.
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said a comprehensive review guided by a blue-ribbon panel of legal experts had affirmed Friedman’s 1988 guilty plea, which he now disavows.
The three-year probe was spurred by a federal appeals court ruling that upheld Friedman’s conviction on a technicality, but urged the Nassau DA to conduct a “complete review” of his claim that he was railroaded when cops used questionable tactics to obtain “recovered memories” from his accusers.
“We were fully prepared to exonerate Mr. Friedman if that’s where the facts led us,” Rice said.
“But the facts, under any objective analysis, led to a substantially different conclusion.”
“This exhaustive and impartial process has only strengthened the justice system’s confidence that Jesse Friedman was involved in the sexual abuse of children,” she added.
Friedman and his late father, Arnold, both pleaded guilty to shocking charges that they sexually abused more than a dozen underage boys who took computer classes inside the Friedman’s home in Great Neck, LI….
The 155-page report from a “Review Team” led by three senior Nassau prosecutors says that Jesse’s allegations regarding “aggressive” police interrogations of his accusers are “exaggerated,” and that the cops’ interview techniques were “appropriate.”
The report also says the claim that four of the accusers have since recanted “is simply not accurate,” and that “Capturing the Friedmans” used selectively edited interviews to suggest that Jesse was the victim of public hysteria, police misconduct and judicial bias.
“The Review Team committed itself to follow the facts wherever they might lead, and found that the whole truth diverged significantly from the edited version of events portrayed in the film,” the report concluded.
Jesse Friedman’s Child Abuse Conviction Backed Despite Documentary’s Claim
Were L.I. Man and Dad Computer Class Sex Fiends?
Published June 24, 2013.
A New York man who spent 13 years in prison for the sexual abuse of minors in the 1980s was rightfully convicted, prosecutors said on Monday, a legal setback in a decade-long campaign to exonerate Jesse Friedman after an Oscar-nominated documentary questioned his prosecution and guilt.
An extensive three-year review “has only increased confidence in the integrity of Jesse Friedman’s guilty plea and adjudication as a sex offender,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a 155-page report.
Friedman was 18 in 1988 when he and his father, Arnold Friedman, were accused of molesting more than a dozen boys during computer classes taught in their home in the upscale Long Island town of Great Neck.
Both Friedmans pleaded guilty, and Jesse served 13 years in prison before being released on parole in 2001.
In 2004, he began efforts to overturn his conviction, saying he had been railroaded by the criminal justice system amid a fervor to jail child molesters….
Supporters of Friedman, hoping to clear his name, say five of the 14 children who accused him of molestation have recanted.
The review panel referred to “misleading film portrayals” of the judge and detective who helped prosecute the case.
“Thirteen children accused Jesse Friedman of criminal misconduct within the first five weeks of the investigation,” the report said.
“None of the five individuals who Friedman advocates suggest ‘recanted’ have,” it concluded.
Friedman’s attorney Ron Kuby said the report was “disappointing but hardly surprising.”….
The review panel included a half dozen prosecutors and an independent review team.
“The four principal concerns raised by the Second Circuit are not substantiated by the evidence,” the report said. “In fact, by any impartial analysis, the re-investigation process prompted by Jesse Friedman, his advocates, and the Second Circuit, has only increased confidence in the integrity of Jesse Friedman’s guilty plea,” it concluded.
Rape culture punishes boys too
A Colorado case shows boys can be assaulted too — and too often, teachers have ignored or even laughed about it
By Mary Elizabeth Williams
Monday, Jun 24, 2013
The endlessly repeated argument that rape is just one of those things that guys can’t help doing because girls can’t stop provoking them ignores a simple, brutal reality: Males don’t just perpetrate sexual violence – they are the victims of it as well. And when they come forward, male victims often face a raft of suspicion, bullying and blame, as a heartbreaking recent case out of Colorado proves….
After the victim’s father reported the incident to police, the assailants pleaded guilty to sexual contact without consent and third-degree assault — but it was the victim and principal who were tormented at school. The man says students taunted the boy on his Facebook page, verbally berated him, put “Go to hell” stickers on his locker and wore shirts supporting the perpetrators – shirts paid for by the mother of one of the accused. And he says the coach, who was also president of the school board, shrugged off the attack, telling him, “This happens 1,000 times a day around the U.S.” The father subsequently resigned from his position as principal. His family has since moved to a town 200 miles away, where his son continues to wrestle and play football. The school, meanwhile, gave the coach a letter of reprimand for leaving the students alone and then renewed his contract….
The hostile responses a teenage boy has had to endure in the wake of a vicious assault are truly stomach-turning. What makes the story far more depressing, however, is that it’s not unique. As PRI reports Monday, as many as 10 percent of high school boys report they’ve been the victims of “rape, forced oral sex or other sexual assault.” And Bloomberg News reports that “More than 40 high school boys were sodomized with foreign objects by their teammates in over a dozen alleged incidents reported in the past year” — a sharp rise from a decade ago. Recent incidents involved boys being violated with “a broken flagpole outside Los Angeles; a metal concrete-reinforcing bar in Fontana, Calif.; a jump-rope handle in Greenfield, Iowa; and a water bottle in Hardin, Mo.” And, Bloomberg adds, “In at least four cases of sodomy hazing last year, the coach or supervising teacher was alleged to have known about it, ordered it, witnessed it or laughed about it.”….
Italy court convicts Berlusconi on sex charges
By Silvia Aloisi and Sara Rossi
MILAN Mon Jun 24, 2013
(Reuters) – Silvio Berlusconi was handed a seven-year jail sentence on Monday for abuse of office and paying for sex with a minor, adding to the complications facing Italy’s fragile left-right government.
The former prime minister will not have to serve any jail time before he has exhausted an appeals process that could take years, but the conviction angered members of his centre-right party who questioned whether he should continue to support the coalition.
The 76-year-old media tycoon expressed outrage at the verdict which he said was politically motivated….
Berlusconi was found guilty of paying for sex with former teenage nightclub dancer Karima El Mahroug, better known under her stage name “Ruby the Heartstealer”, during “bunga bunga” sex parties at his palatial home near Milan.
The panel of three women judges also convicted him of abuse of office by arranging to have El Mahroug released from police custody when she was held in a separate theft case.
The verdict closes a two-year trial that has mesmerized Italy with its accounts of wild sex parties at the billionaire’s villa outside Milan while he was premier in 2010….
Berlusconi Sex Trial Verdict: Italy’s Former Prime Minister Convicted, Sentenced To 7 Years 6/24/2013
Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been convicted in a sex-for-hire trial, the Associated Press reports on Monday.
According to Reuters, Berlusconi was sentenced to seven years in jail and the Milan court banned the 76-year-old politician from holding public office.
More from the Associated Press:
MILAN — A Milan court on Monday convicted former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi of paying for sex with an underage prostitute during infamous “bunga bunga” parties at his villa and then using his influence to try to cover it up.
Berlusconi, 76, was sentenced to seven years in prison and barred from public office for life – a sentence that could mean the end of his two-decade political career. However, there are two more levels of appeal before the sentence would become final, a process that can take months….