How timely and what a coincidence. Recently in Fairfield Connecticut a mother of a two year old reports to her husband that the little girl spoke of being sexually molested by a next door neighbor. Some critics have questioned the ability of a young child to make such statements. That is the John Edington, Barry James case, which I have blogged about recently. I don't know what is true and what is not true in that case but I have been thinking about it after reading various newspaper articles reporting it.
Here is some food for thought on the topic of an alleged sexual molestation of a girl beginning at age 2 and continuing through her current age of 3.
Dr. Phil is doing an investigation of a story of an alleged sexual molestation of a girl, right now, the finale airs today.
(I am referring to this long story revealed in three parts (three shows) as Part One, Part Two and Part Three although the actual shows have their own titles given to them by the Dr. Phil show, see information at the end of my blog post for links and those titles.)
Part One of Dr. Phil’s series on this aired Friday November 3, 2006. In that show the story of the mother and the grandmother were told by their narration, by answering Dr. Phil’s questions and by showing video footage. Also the accused father gave his side of the story as did his wife.
(It is a very long story but in a nutshell in case you are wondering who is married to who, the father said he was 21 when he began dating the 14 year old who got pregnant at 15. I think they said she was 16 when she gave birth. They did not marry. The father was then estranged from the child’s life until her 2nd birthday party, which the mother invited the father to attend. At that party something happened with the father that I don’t feel like retelling the details of that began the whole mess).
At this point the girl is 3 or 3.5 years old and the biological father is now married to a woman who is now 7 months pregnant. The biological mother is still single and seems to live with her mother. This whole show was about telling stories and watching lots of video coverage of the interactions of the various adults with the child, the child saying that ‘they touched my pee-pee” and “he touched my pee-pee”, crying, refusing to go with the ones who are being accused of molestation. At the end of the show Dr. Phil got all 4 adults to agree to take a lie detector test that he’d arrange and pay for.
Something I want to point out from Part One was that the Department of Children and Families (or whatever the proper name of that department is in their state, different state departments have different names), had investigated these allegations and they were dismissed. The child on two occasions had visible problems in her genital area which were examined by physicians. The second being a 4:00 a.m. visit to the Emergency Room for a half inch tear to the child’s labia, in the 2nd day of a visitation with the father. Anyway, that department concluded that there was no abuse going on because, the mother stated, the child was unable due to her young age to differentiate between reality and make believe. The department, according to the mother, also alleged that they felt that the mother was making up these allegations to make a problem for the father with regard to his ability to have visitation rights with the child. The mother said that to her, that statement made no sense as after the father’s estrangement for nearly two years of the girls life it was the mother who invited him back into the child’s life by asking him to attend her second birthday party (at which the first incident took place)!
Part Two of the show aired Monday November 6, 2006 and revealed the lie detector results. The pregnant woman could not take the test as the heartbeat of the baby in her womb would interfere with the test. The bottom line (warning: spoiler) is that the accused father failed the test, failing specific detailed questions about specific actions done to the girl’s body by him. It was SO disgusting and upsetting to hear that. The biological mother and the grandmother passed the test with the exception of one vague question, but when the question was drilled down to a detailed level she was passing those, so that is questionable, which is what Dr. Phil said.
As to lie detector tests, Dr. Phil reported that in June 2006 a study by Johns Hopkins University was published stating lie detector tests have a 92% accuracy rate.
Lastly, they reported that on the Internet anyone can view ways to fool a lie detector test, to intentionally throw the test’s equipment off, and that the videotaped testing session revealed the biological father was doing actions that just happen to wreck the test results; after multiple requests to stop jiggling, to sit still, not tap his fingers, etc. he kept doing it! The tester also said that he was doing a weird panting breathing alternating with deep breathing which is another technique. Dr. Phil implied that he felt the father was intentionally doing things to ruin the test, despite the man’s denial. The tester made it clear that he thought that the man was intentionally trying to throw the test.
In Part Two the father also said he knows how to use a computer but not to use the Internet, but only to check email. He claimed to not own a computer but can use the one at the library. Then Dr. Phil asked him if he had an email account under the name an*lba**ard@--- and he answered ‘yes’ then the show cut to commercial where he was shown with no vocals, appearing angry and I thought I read his lips to say “how the hell did he find that out?”.
Also discussed in Part Two was that the mother claims the child’s father had said he was sexually molested by his own father when he was a child, something the father now denies (or has he blocked it out of his memory subconsciously?). Then the mother said that he also told her that his own father admitted to doing something improper, having improper discussions with a young boy about masturbation, and also he was arrested and pled guilty to other charges for another incident involving a minor aged boy. The father of the young girl denied ever hearing about this, which was very odd, and then Dr. Phil showed the court records showing that it was true, and the man proclaimed it was new to him, that he didn’t know it. (Is he lying or has he blocked that out of his memory also?)
Today is Part Three in which Dr. Phil will give his opinion on what to do next. There is also more video footage that will be revealed that was provided to Dr. Phil by the wife of the accused man. (By the way she said in Part Two she now doesn’t know what to believe about him or if her soon to be born baby will be put in harms way by her own husband.)
My thoughts that I’ll share at this time which I’ll keep brief are this:
1. Anyone who doubts that a child of age 2 or 3 can’t communicate about allegations of sexual molestation should watch this show and see the video footage of the girl making the accusations, and how upset she is, then reconsider their viewpoints.
2. It is amazing to watch the footage of what appears to be lies being told—you make your own judgment based on your instinct and your logic then by the test results and also by factual proof (court documents).
3. This is yet another interesting study in sociology, of the “he said/she said” issue, if you like seeing how that unfolds then compare it to video footage or lie detector tests.
4. Ponder the issue that perhaps the state agencies are not always right in their conclusions.
I am sickened by the whole child sexual molestation issue and feel that people need to wake up and stop pretending that it does not happen. It has been happening for a long time in our world and it is still happening. Increased media attention which seemed to start with Bill O’Reilly of the O’Reilly Factor on Fox News then followed by shows by Dr. Phil coverage over time, and then on Dateline NBS, and then a recent show by Oprah Winfrey are helping put this issue in front of American TV viewers. Oprah recently proclaimed that she wants the laws for sexual molestation to be Federal not a State issue so that uniform sentencing of child sexual predators and molesters can be uniformly punished.
I keep talking about this issue of child sexual molestation because I’d like it to end! I want this issue brought to the attention of people.
Dr. Phil stated that not 1 in 5 incidences of child sexual abuse are reported to anyone due to shame and other issues.
The subject is so depressing to me that although I’d like to write about it more and share more thoughts on it, I keep procrastinating on it. But today since Part Three of the Dr. Phil show will air I wanted to get the word out on my blog. Please consider watching Dr. Phil’s show today!
Part One of the series has the title of “Shocking Accusations”.
Part Two of the series has the title of “The Lie Detector Tests Part 1”.
Part Three of the series has the title of “The Lie Detector Tests Part Two”.
Today on Dr. Phil’s site you can watch a video segment called Dr. Phil ‘uncut’ in which he explains why he is doing shows on child sexual molestation. It is nice to hear things right from the source. I mention this because in Part Two the accused man shouted at Dr. Phil that he was doing the show for money and ratings. Anyone who cares about childhood sexual molestation and wants it to end would never point to that as a reason for doing such a show. Those of us who want it to end are sick and tired of people denying that it does happen in our world, even in this wonderful county of the United States of America! We are a powerful nation and an empowered people and I just cannot understand how our society allows this horrible thing to keep happening and also how our criminal justice system can get away with ridiculous sentences that in my opinion are not severe enough!
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