Skip to comments.Man Given Parole in Mass. Day Care Case
Posted on 10/17/2003 10:33:08 PM PDT by carlo3b
Oct 17, 8:38 PM (ET)Man Given Parole in Mass. Day Care Case
By JENNIFER PETER
BOSTON (AP) - A man convicted of raping eight youngsters in one of the nation's most lurid - and bitterly disputed - child-molestation cases has been granted parole and could go free next spring after 17 years in prison.
Gerald "Tooky" Amirault was found guilty in 1986 of abusing children at his family's suburban day-care center and was sentenced to 30 to 40 years in prison. His mother and sister were convicted in a separate trial.
The Amiraults argued that they were victims of sex abuse hysteria that swept the country in the 1980s.
In a decision announced Friday, the parole board said Amirault, 49, has already served a long prison term, has strong support from his family and the community, and had a minimal prior criminal history.
"It's been very difficult, but his innocence is what gave us strength to fight this through many battles," said Amirault's wife, Patti. "It's time to put this whole thing to rest for both sides and let everyone get on with their lives."
His earliest release date would be April 30, said Edward Principe, spokesman for the state Public Safety Department.
"I knew it was going to come someday," said Barbara Standke, 47, whose son was one of the victims. "The parole officer told me he would have to stay away from children, and at this point I guess that's all we can ask for. But it's not going to help my son any."
Under state law, Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley has six months to file a petition seeking Amirault's civil commitment as a sexually dangerous person. A spokeswoman said Coakley had not yet decided whether to do so.
The Amiraults claimed they were railroaded by questionable testimony from child witnesses.
One child told of being molested by a clown in a "magic room." Some told tales of being hung from a tree naked in front of their classmates, or of watching one of the women dismember animals. Their stories were never corroborated.
Amirault's sister, Cheryl Amirault LeFave, and mother, Violet Amirault, were freed in 1995 on appeal after claiming they were denied the right to literally confront their child accusers - who were allowed to face the other way while testifying.
Violet Amirault died in 1997, while the case was still winding through the courts. Her daughter's conviction was reinstated in 1999, but LeFave was allowed to go free anyway when a judge ruled the eight years she had served in prison were enough.
"I had a few breaks throughout my incarceration and only had to serve eight years, but he's been in for 17," LeFave said. "This is the first good news he's been able to get. And we're ecstatic."
In 2001, the state Board of Pardons unanimously recommended commuting Amirault's sentence, saying there was "substantial doubt" about his guilt. Acting Gov. Jane Swift refused.
The families of 16 children, including the eight who testified in the child abuse cases, received $20 million in damages.
A number of mass child-abuse convictions from the 1980s have been overturned; the Little Rascals day care center in Edenton, N.C., and the McMartin Preschool in Los Angeles were among the most notorious such cases.
What a travesty!
Exactly. Thomas MacKay, in his "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds", goes into the European witch hunts extensively. His descriptions of the testimony in those cases sounds amazingly similar to these modern cases.
It is related of the Duke of Brunswick that he invited two learned Jesuits to his house, who were known to entertain strong opinions upon the subject of witchcraft, with a view of showing them the cruelty and absurdity of such practises. A woman lay in the dungeon of the city accused of witchcraft, and the Duke, having given previous instructions to the officiating torturers, went with the two Jesuits to hear her confession. By a series of artful leading questions, the poor creature, in the extremity of her anguish, was induced to confess that she had often attended the sabbath of the fiends upon the Brockenthat she had seen two Jesuits there, who had made themselves notorious, even among witches, for their abominationsthat she had seen them assume the form of goats, wolves, and other animals; and that many noted witches had borne them five, six, and seven children at a birth, who had heads like toads and legs like spiders. Being asked if the Jesuits were far from her, she replied that they were in the room beside her. The Duke of Brunswick led his astounded friends away, and explained the stratagem. This was convincing proof to both of them that thousands of persons had suffered unjustly; they knew their own innocence, and shuddered to think what their fate might have been, if an enemy, instead of a friend, had put such a confession into the mouth of a criminal. One of these Jesuits was Frederick Spee, the author of the Cautio Criminalis, published in 1631. This work, exposing the horrors of the witch trials, had a most salutary effect in Germany: Schonbrunn, Archbishop and Elector of Menz, abolished the torture entirely within his dominions, and his example was imitated by the Duke of Brunswick and other potentates. The number of supposed witches immediately diminished, and the violence of the mania began to subside.
I guess I don't mean charade...the parents probably actually believe this crap, but its those evil interogators who seemingly coerced the children to make up stories....
Typical scum-sucking politican.
I'm sure the parents are all upset. but how could a group of people do these mystery room things and hang naked kids up without someone talking long before the wierd actions of these "doctors"? i'm not buying this especially after the details of the WSJ and frontline investigations showed how much junk was created to hound these adults.
I believe this to be even worse. We all have become more enlightened to the junk science and the wicked ways of the liberal BS. How could this kind of mumbo jumbo still happen. I really feel for these people and I damn those prosecutors for standing by their crime even years later.
I remember reading everything about these travesties as they were happening and thinking that no jury in America could ever convict these poor people based on the pipe dreams of these innocent kids, with stupid parents. BUT THEY DID!
Wonder if just one of these now-adults has questioned their wild accusations. Do any now second-guess the 'therapist' that drug these accounts out of them?
Can't remember the 'therapists' name, but didn't she have some tie to Reno? This therapist is the one that should be in jail, or at the very least, lose her license and be sued by Amirault family, but that won't happen.
Yes they did, and as I recall the entire psycho babble industry rallied around them because it was through them the left was doing this recall BS to attack fathers and casting suspicion on dads.. One of my daughter's was asked at school if her dad ever touched her inappropriately! She didn'tunderstand the question, but said that her ""Daddy kisses me good night a lot, is that ina..ina...bad?"" Those sick Filthy bastards!
I brought that teacher in front of the school board and fought the teachers union for the whole year.. Crowds filled those board meetings, but not a word hit even the neighborhood newspapers.. so only the folks with kids in school knew what was happening.
Nothing happened to that moron teacher either, except I and one other dad got elected to the School Board of Trusties the following year and was their nemeses throughout the 4 years we served.. we drove the liberals nuts and no kid was ever put through that BS again.. It is still talked about in that district and the union has stayed clear of the agenda since then..
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.