By: JEFF FREEMAN Re: Wilcox 1/3 From WITCHHUNT@MIT.EDU Following is the first part of a le

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By: JEFF FREEMAN Re: Wilcox 1/3 *From WITCHHUNT@MIT.EDU Following is the first part of a lengthy article about the Jenny Wilcox case, which I have been promising to post for some time. I will post the rest of the article as soon as I am able to type it up. I felt it was urgent to tell Jenny's story as soon as possible, as she has a hearing coming up on March 10th. About this, Jenny wrote: "I'm a nervious wreck. Part of me is very optimistic because we have truth and evidence on our side, but another part of me is terrified! The courts view me as a peon who doesn't matter and who nobody cares about. What if the judge cares more about being politically correct more than justice?" A supporter of Jenny's, Carolyn Burgess, has told me that the judge in the case may not allow the Chronopoulos boys to testify, or allow their affidavits to be entered as evidence. Jenny has asked plaintively, if they believe that she is guilty, why are they trying to suppress evidence, and stack the deck against her? Jenny has asked that letters of support for her be directed to the Judge through her attorney. Judge John W. Kessler c/o Jay Milano 600 Standard Building Cleveland, OH 44113 I beleive that Jenny is innocent, and will do whatever I can to persuade other members of the list that she should be supported. Please note, this is a somewhat faith based position on my part; I don't know her case inside and out, as I do the Ingram case. I'm basing my judgement on newspaper articles about her case, Dr. Gardner's support for her, my assessment of her charactor from our correspondence, and the way her case seems to fit the classic hysteria pattern. I could be wrong, but the time is short, and what harm could come of her having another day in court - particularly when you consider that Laurence J. Rab, the attorney who "represented" her in 1985 has been suspended from practice for two years as a result of multiple counts of client neglect? She was never given a decent chance the first time out. Carolyn Burgess has been working for years on Jenny's behalf. She can be contacted at 663 Charlbury Road Lexington, KY 40505 1 (606) 253-1234 ext. 2081 (work) 1 (606) 293-6373 Home after 6pm Jenny's address: Jenny Wilcox #17815 - NC 1479 Collins Avenue Marysville, OH 43040 Unequal Justice: Child Witness says 'tears of truth' were..."Tears of lies" By Martin Yant The Ohio Observer January, 1994 It was Friday afternoon, Jan. 11, 1985. The week-long trial of Mary Jenny Wilcox and Robert Dale Aldridge on two dozen counts of sexually abusing children in he working-class Dayton suburb of Huber Heights was almost over. Detective Jennifer S. Bazell had testified about her investigation that lead to the charges against the couple. Six children had testified about the horrifying things they said the young couple had done to them. Assistant Prosecutor Angela Frydman had already given her closing argument. So had defense attorneys Lawrence Rab and Thomas Cox. The final moments in the emotionally charged drama played out before Judge John W. Kessler in the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court in Dayton belonged to Assistant Prosecutor James Connell. And Connell seized them with a vengeance. "You know the Constitution and all these laws. They were written to protect the innocent," Connell told the jury of eight women and four men. "I dare say, the only innocent people in this courtroom were those six children. The guilty were these selfish, self-indulgent and pleasure-seeking two," Connell said as he pointed to Wilcox and Aldridge. "You know, if you have any doubts at all of any kind, if you have any reservation at all in terms of your common sense and your reason, think about little John. When John took that stand and shed those tears of truth, and I think those tears stood for all the children." The jurors wasted little time showing they believed little John's "tears of truth." As bailiff Greg Findlay announced their guilty verdicts on all counts, Wilcox turned white, trembled and pulled her hair back on her head. Then she began screaming. As deputies rushed her out of the courtroom, a stunned Aldridge remained silently behind. "We did it! We did it! Our kids aren't as dumb as they thought they were, were they?" said the mother of one of what police estimated was 15 children allegedly abused between July 8 and Aug. 13, 1984. "I just praise God for it," another mother said. "If we don't start getting these people off the street, our kids are going to suffer for it." 'Forced to Lie' Nine years later, "little" John M. Chronopoulos - now 21 and almost six feet tall - still does, in fact, suffer from the events surrounding this tearful testimony. But he suffers not for what Wilcox and Aldridge did to him, but for what he says those parents, the police, and the prosecutors forced him to do to Wilcox and Aldridge. For his "tears of truth," Chronopoulos now admits, were actually tears of lies. Chronopoulos claims he and this two brothers, who also testified at the trial, originally told Detective Bazell that they had not been abused by Wilcox and Aldridge. In fact, they didn't even know the couple, Chronopoulos says. John, Jason and Justin Chronopoulos also say in affidavits that Bazell and members of the prosecutor's office forced them to make false statements against Wilcox and Aldridge. They also say - and investigative reports confirm - that Bazell got them to talk by placing John, then 13, in the Juvenile Detention Center until he and his brothers told her "the truth." The boys' mother, Marsha Menke, backs their statements in an affidavit. She also claims Bazell threatened to charge her with sex abuse if her boys didn't cooperate. Bruce Menke, who married the Chronopoulos boys' mother shortly after the trial, said he and Marsha had gone to sleep "many a night" since then agonizing over what they could do to set the record straight. "But who could we go to?" Mr. Menke asked. "We couldn't go to the police, because they were part of the problem. We couldn't go to the prosecutors, because they were part of the problem, too. We thought about going to the judge, but we didn't think that was proper. Se we finally decided there wasn't much we could do." Christopher Barnett, who talked to police after learning his then-best-friend John Chronopoulos had, wasn't as eager to discuss his testimony. After he and his mother evaded phone calls, letters and visits for three months, Barnett finally stayed on the phone long enough to hear details of the Chronopoulos' recantations. Asked for his reaction, Barnett replied: "It makes sense to me." He promised to talk about the case two days later, but repeated attempts to reach him were unsuccessful. (The names of the six witnesses are used because they are now young adults; their testimony is seriously disputed by three of the six, their identities were widely known at the time, their parents took highly public postures, and they are a matter of >>> Continued to next message * Origin: Why Telecommunications [(817)261-6642 (metro)] SEEN-BY: 102/2 850 851 890 270/101 280/1 333 359 396/1 3615/50 @PATH: 130/212 3615/50 396/1 280/1 102/2 851 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (6) Sun 12 Feb 95 2:56 By: JEFF FREEMAN To: ALL Re: Wilcox 2/3 St: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ @EID:3e23 1e4c1700 >>> Continued from previous message public record). Barnett's mother, Jill, said she still believed Wilcox and Aldridge were guilty. She added, however, that many of the rumors that summer were outlandish. One of the two girls who testified, Angelina Rodriguez, insisted the crimes occurred. James and Janice Picklesimer, the parents of witness Valerie Picklesimer, insisted their daughter had told the truth and would not allow her to be interviewed. But police and prosecution documents obtained through the Ohio Public Records Act and the statements of former neighbors and visitors to Wilcox's apartment at the time the alleged abuse took place raise doubts that the crimes for which the two were sentenced to multiple life sentences ever occurred. Among other findings: * What started as a complaint of children having sex with children mushroomed into an "investigation" conducted by parents and a baby-sitter in which at least 24 adults were said to have abused up to 22 children in seven apartments. * Some adults who were cleared by police ware assaulted by angry parents * Many of the children named as victims strongly denied that they were. * Most of the adults named as participants or who rented apartments where the children said they were abused apparently never were interviews. Other than Wilcox and Aldridge, those who were questioned were never fully investigated. * Detective Bazell made several statements during the trial that contradicted her own report. Court-appointed defense attorneys Hanna and Rab spent little time investigating the case, and failed to challenge most of the false or contradictory testimony. They also failed to call numerous potential witnesses, leaving Wilcox and Aldridge to stand alone in their defense. Rab also didn't obtain medical records showing Wilcox was undergoing heavy menstrual bleeding at the time - something not one of those she allegedly forced to have sex ever mentioned. Rape arouses concern According to former residents of Glenburn Green, the low-income apartment complex where the crimes allegedly occurred, the seeds that grew into the sensational charges that summer were planted in April, when a 16-year-old boy was charged with raping a 4-year-old girl. Several parents, including Wilcox, were so concerned abut the alleged assault that they asked representatives of Children's Services to talk about child sex abuse and its prevention at a community meeting later that month. "A lot of people couldn't afford baby-sitters and brought their kids with them," said a former resident. "the meeting was supposed to clam things down, but it just got parents more upset, and made the kids more curious." The parents concern turned to outrage when Juvenile Court Judge Robert Nolan released the girl's accused rapist to the custody of his mother until officials could place him in a mental institution. On June 13, the girl's mother and about 30 other adults protested Nolan's decision at Montgomery County Juvenile Court. Patricia Logsdon, the victim's mother, criticized Nolan and assistant prosecutor Sandford Edelman for their handling of the case. Logsdon asked that her name be used. "You've got to come out and say 'my daughter was raped,'" she told reporters. Rumors warrant unsuccessful search Two-and-a-half months later, Nolan approved a search warrant for Wilcox's apartment and Edelman participated in its execution. But, contrary to the believe of many current and former residents of the Glenburn complex, no evidence of child pornography or the needs, cream and sedating liquids used during the alleged abuse were found. On August. 16, 1984, two Huber Heights police officers were dispatched to the residence of Sandra Rodriguez, where they were met by Rodriguez, Janice Picklesimer and two other parents. Rodriguez and Picklesimer became major forces behind the investigation. All four parents reported that one of their children had been molested by older boys. The officers then talked to the accused boys' mothers, who said their sons denied the allegations. They also went to the vacant apartment at 4501 Bufort Blvd. where the abuse allegedly occurred. Maintenance man Jim Picklesimer, who lived next door with his wife, Janice, and daughters - both of whom would claim to have been abused there - told the officers the apartment had been vacant for about two months. The officers said they found several mattresses leaning against the walls but "no evidence of any sexual activity. Only one mattress was mentioned at the trial.) When the four children were taken to Children's Medical Center in Dayton, they reported being molested by other children. No physical signs of sexual activity were found, records show. Bazell began her investigation the following day. By then, however, the parents' own investigation was well under way. The key investigator, records show, was Florence Swanger, a frequent baby-sitter in the complex. Bazell's report shows she was greatly influenced by the parent's parallel probe and the parents conclusion "that all of the children would be considered as victims as the adults had shown these older boys how to commit the sex acts on the younger kids." Yet Bazell's original list of suspects included nine boys and no adults. "Apparently what we had was several different situations in several different locations." Bazell wrote. "Sometimes all of these kids were present, sometimes just part of them were present. Basically, what we had was the suspects were forcing through threats the younger children to have sexual acts with older kids and also... trying to force the younger kids to have sexual acts with each other." And that is exactly what one former Glenburn resident believes actually happened. In a signed statement, she claims that shortly before the rumors started, "I observed some children 'playing doctor' behind some bushes outside my apartment. My daughter and I followed the boys home and I informed their mother what I had observed. She became quite upset and told me she did not appreciate having her boys accused of such thing." Like many others interviews, the woman asked not to be identified out of fear of retaliation. As the rumors spread, parents began taking statements, and, it appears, trying to shift blame to adults. Of the 22 adults named, only Wilcox and Aldridge were charged. Such behavior is not uncommon. In his book True and False Accusations of Child Sex Abuse, Richard A. Gardner, a clinical professor of child psychiatry at Columbia University, notes that if a parent acts alarmed when a child mentions sexual activity, it is common for the child to blame another child. At that point, Garner writes, it is not uncommon for an inquiry to be conducted into where the other child learned to do such things, and "it is not long before an appropriate 'perpetrator' is identified. The notion that the child may have ...acquired some of the sexual verbalizations from prevention programs, television programs, sex-abuse -prevention books and audiotapes... is not given consideration by such parents and the overzealous evaluators to whom they bring the children." The first child to give a statement, on Aug. 22, 1984, didn't mention adults. Neither did an 8-year-old boy named Ryan. According to Bazell's report, the boy "listed as much as he could remember about what went on between the children." But what Ryan remembered and what his sister >>> Continued to next message * Origin: Why Telecommunications [(817)261-6642 (metro)] SEEN-BY: 102/2 850 851 890 270/101 280/1 333 359 396/1 3615/50 @PATH: 130/212 3615/50 396/1 280/1 102/2 851 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (7) Sun 12 Feb 95 2:56 By: JEFF FREEMAN To: ALL Re: Wilcox 3/3 St: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ @EID:fe72 1e4c1700 >>> Continued from previous message remembered varied greatly. "Ryan stated that he was not involved, that they tried to force him to have attempted sex with the other kids but he refused," Bazell wrote. "Ryan's sister Tya advised that Ryan was involved, that he did have attempted sex with other children and also attempted to have sexual intercourse with her." Adults' names finally surface Three other statements by children named even more children, one of whom supposedly threatened them with a knife. It was not until Aug. 27 - 11 days after the first complaint - that the focus changed to adults. That is when an officer was dispatched to Swanger's apartment to pick up several statements. The officer said Swanger told him "some of the suspects have been following (the mothers) around the neighborhood and that the ladies felt threatened."

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