The San Antonio Four Show the Injustice of Sexual Abuse Witch-hunts

Americans of a certain age will recall the child sexual abuse hysteria that swept the nation in the 1980s and 90s, dealing mainly with day care centers and other such institutions. Starting in California with accusations that day-care workers were molesting and raping children as part of Satanic cult rituals, the hysteria led to dozens of similar prosecutions. It is a testament to the absurdity of the hysteria that almost all the accused have since been exonerated.

I worked directly on the infamous Fells Acres/Amirault and Bernard Baran cases here in Massachusetts, the latter of which involved a defendant prosecuted largely because of his homosexuality. The surviving Amiraults are now out on parole, and Baran was exonerated by the courts when tapes surfaced showing social workers planting false memories of abuse into the minds of children who attended the day care center he worked at.

Just as egregious is the case of the San Antonio Four, in which four women have languished in prison for twelve years for allegedly molesting two children. Long thought to be settled, the case has sprung back to life now that one of the accusers has recanted and one of the defendants has been released on parole. The National Center for Reason and Justice, on whose board of directors I serve, has taken up the women’s cause, helping fund the women’s defense team and paying for a polygraph attesting to their innocence.

In our latest article for’s “Injustice Department,” my research assistant Zachary Bloom and I examine the egregious facts of the case, and discuss the necessity of overcoming the courts’ bias towards “finality” rather than justice in cases like that of the San Antonio Four.

Continued after the jump...

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