THE EXPERT WITNESS: Political correctness v. due process

Dear Mr. Brock,

I have just read your article “False Allegations of Sexual Abuse, What Can Be Done?”  ( and I’m in shock. You have outlined in this article a pattern that we have witnessed firsthand in the case of my boyfriend, who sits in a maximum security prison with a harsh 35 year sentence on bogus molestation charges against his own daughter (who was age 3 at the time of the allegation). Dad was never married to the birth mother, and in fact they lived in different states.

This nightmare began in 2011 when the false allegation was made just 3 days after a court ordered counselor had reinstated full visitation of the [the child] with her father, determining that it was in the best interest of the child and that he was no threat to her in any way. (The birth mother had previously suspended visitation because she claimed the child had anxiety around Dad...the counselor determined that her anxiety was not specific to her father and that it was best for them to resume visitation.)

The child’s birth mother and new husband had been attempting to alienate Dad from [the child]’s life for two years and finally used a false allegation to accomplish their goal. After awaiting trial for 3 years, during which time the child was being coached by a state counselor, Dad’s conviction came in February 2014.  Professional misconduct of the female detective assigned to the case, who was working with prosecutors, along with incompetent defense counsel contributed to the false conviction. There was withholding of exculpatory evidence by prosecuting attorneys and 22 months of inappropriate interviewing tactics (coaching) with [the child]. In fact, in a similar case, an expert is on the record criticizing these tactics of the same counselor that interviewed [the child]:

“Ms. Smith, an expert in the assessment and treatment of sexual behavior issues in children, testified before the family court.  Ms. Smith reviewed the DSS files; the written reports from [the child’s] sessions with [the therapist Ms. Jones]; the written reports and videos from [the child’s] sessions with Ms. Jones; treatment records from [the child’s] pediatricians; Father’s polygraph results; interview reports and affidavits from Mother, Father, and Father’s two daughters; and the GAL’s reports.  Ms. Smith disproved of the therapist’s interviewing techniques, specifically her continuing to have therapy sessions with the child about the sexual abuse allegations until a full assessment was conducted.  Ms. Smith stated a child of this age is easily influenced, and repetitive sessions and questions about the allegations could inadvertently and inappropriately reinforce those allegations with the child.  Ms. Smith also opined that Ms. Jones inappropriately led the child, and continued to repeat the same questions to the child until she was satisfied with the child’s responses” (

Of course, there are many details of the case (too intricate and complicated to explain here), that were complete travesties of justice and that would make most Americans wonder how it could ever happen in our justice system.

Dad is of course pursuing appeal but just had his conviction affirmed through direct appeal and must raise it to the State Supreme Court of Appeals before pushing it through as a PCR Appeal, which is really his best changed of a reversal of conviction due to the extreme negligence of his defense council in this case.  All the while, he sits in a cage as convicted child sex offender absolutely devastated and heartbroken over the losses. He’s lost his parental rights to [the child], visitation with his other 3 children, his successful career, his belongings, his reputation and much more. His parents and sister are broken and exhausted from this experience.

I’m reaching out to you to see if you have any suggestions at this point that could help Dad and his family.  If you can help us in any way by providing resources or guidance, it is most appreciated. I’m so thankful you are raising awareness of this particular type of injustice and I pray that it will help other families as well.

Please let me know if you need any other information and I hope to hear from you soon.


Dear Candace,

The article you cited was written many years—perhaps 20 years ago—and I still receive at least weekly letters like yours from people who say they have been wrongly convicted, or from loved ones who feel their loved ones have been wrongly convicted.  Are they all innocent?  I doubt it.  But I believe a substantial number are because of my own experience handling these cases in the courts.

I write a monthly article for the Legal News.  I wrote this one when I was doing some expert witness work regarding child custody recommendations
and forensic interviews of children suspected of being sexually abused.  I no longer do this work, but refer these cases to this organization:

National Child Abuse Defense and Resource Center, PO Box 638 Holland OH 43528, 419-865-0513

If anyone can help you, they should be able to.  They will help you find lawyers and experts who testify in these cases and know what they are doing.  I wish you well, but I am not optimistic.  Unfortunately, these cases depend mostly on evidence provided by the child, and children can easily be coached by malicious parents or guardians.  Once the child believes that he or she has been molested, there is little that can be done to convince the child, a jury, or a court otherwise.  Moreover, there are rarely any penalties for making false allegations, so people keep doing it.  It is like being able to go down into the street and shoot anyone you want with impunity.

And this is America, where in a sex abuse case you are “presumed guilty until proven innocent beyond all doubt,” as one of my attorney friends likes to say.  I am truly sorry for your situation, and for the many people who now sit in prison on false allegation charges.  I also feel badly for the students who are being kicked out of college without any semblance of due process of law.  But our presumptive next president has stated that, “Survivors of sexual abuse have a right to be believed.”  (

I guess she means all except those who have been victimized by her husband.  However, regardless of the allegations made by those who have been victimized by our next “First Man,” the simple statement that someone claiming to be a victim deserves to be believed reverses the fundamental principle of due process of law that says the accused of any crime has a right to be presumed innocent.