CA - Witchhunt victim freed after 20 years, Bakersfield

Discussion in 'Past Trial Discussion Threads' started by LovelyPigeon, May 1, 2004.

  1. LovelyPigeon

    LovelyPigeon Former Member

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    Man freed after 20 years
    Alleged victims recant stories of sexual abuse

    By Associated Press
    BAKERSFIELD -- A judge threw out the child molestation conviction of a man who spent 20 years in prison, siding Friday with the defense after most of the alleged victims claimed the assaults never happened.

    John Stoll, now 60, was convicted in 1985 on 17 counts of child molestation. Attorneys for two Innocence Project chapters in California have worked for his freedom, claiming authorities coerced false testimony from the victims, who were 6 to 8 years old at the time.

    Stoll was convicted of assaulting six children in a crime ring that allegedly included sodomy, group sex and pornographic photography.

    Prosecutors presented no physical evidence at the original trial. None of the children were ever examined by doctors, even though some of the allegations included forcible sodomy. The case rested on testimony alone.

    Four of Stoll's accusers, now adults, testified in January they were manipulated by investigators who dogged them for hours until they fabricated the stories. A fifth witness testified he has no memories from that part of his childhood.
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    http://www.oaklandtribune.com/Stories/0,1413,82~1865~2121079,00.html
     
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  3. Babcat

    Babcat Former Member

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    These stories are the absolute SHAME of the American justice system and the definition of tragedy. What makes this story so much more infuriating than it would otherwise be is that it is hardly one of a kind. When I read the thread title I thought the story was going to be about Gerald Amirault in Massachusetts who has sat in prison for over 20 years falsely convicted. THAT state has stayed true to its reputation for witch hunts, that's for sure. For a notoriously liberal state otherwise, the prosecutors must be hand picked from local asylums. :rolleyes:

    I only hope that we have learned from the past, and these type of convictions will no longer happen. It seems that people have not realized that this harms the children for life... probably as much as it harms the accused. Take a child who has not been violated and convince him that he has... and you have just created false memories that will haunt that child as much as an actual molestation does. That is child abuse just as sure as if you had molested that child yourself. In this case the children remembered that they had been coerced into fabricating things that never happened. That is most likely because they were between 6 and 8 years old. In the preschool witch hunts the children were still young enough to actually change what they perceived as reality. Some still have vivid "memories" of events that never took place because they were planted in the child's mind and given the legitimacy needed to become real to them. These children were most certainly abused... but it was not by the accused.
     
  4. SieSie

    SieSie Active Member

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    :clap: I agree and think whomever pushed these youngsters into making false claims should be punished. That poor man lost 20 years of his life, his reputation, possibly his family and friends. So sad.
     
  5. Justice4Sharon

    Justice4Sharon New Member

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  6. Trident

    Trident Well-Known Member

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    WOW, just "wow" is all I can say after reading the first url; I haven't even gotten to the second one yet.

    The best way for evil to hide, is to pretend it doesn't exist. I used to deny any such things could happen, but as more and more and more case come up, I can no longer hide my head in the sand.

    Thank you for these links.
     
  7. Justice4Sharon

    Justice4Sharon New Member

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    Ya wow....
     

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