Monday, January 28, 2008

Disproving a Negative

"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once."
Charles Lamb
The criminal justice system holds that the burden of proof during a trial lies with the prosecution, and the onus falls on them to provide sufficient evidence to show beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of the alleged crime. Also, the accused is given the presumption of innocence until they have been proven guilty in a fair trial. Although that is the "theory" of criminal proceedings, there are two circumstances which are clearly exceptions to those rules - instances where no crime has in fact occurred. The first is being found with a large sum of cash in ones possession. The assumption is that the cash was accumulated through illegal means, and it is up to the owner to prove otherwise, or forfeit the money to the government. The second exception to these rules occurs in the case of false allegations of child abuse/sexual assault, where there is no physical or corroborating evidence - only the testimony of the alleged victim. Although the theory of the trial states that the prosecution must prove the accused parties guilty, the reality of these cases is that the defendant is placed in the position of being presumed guilty and having to prove their innocence - that no crime has occurred. This is a very difficult, if not impossible situation; exactly how does one go about producing evidence that will refute an imaginary crime? Disproving a negative is a logical impossibility, but it is also the blunt reality of the accused person's predicament.

In an interesting study by Neil Vidmar, a social psychologist at Duke University Law School (1997), a sample of over 800 potential jurors were questioned regarding their ability to maintain a presumption of innocence in cases of child sexual abuse. A full 36% openly admitted that they would be unable to do so for a variety of reasons, often related to personal beliefs or experience. That 36% was calculated before jurors had heard specific details of the alleged crime. Judges with extensive experience in child sex abuse cases believe it is very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to assemble a jury that is able to maintain the presumption of innocence and provide a fair trial for those on trial for child abuse.

In the case of Elizabeth Ramirez and her co-defendants, this difficulty in assembling a non-prejudicial jury was compounded by the fact that the prosecutors at both trials openly attempted to present the women as having a strong proclivity toward sexually abusing little girls because they were lesbians, in spite of the fact that there is no scientifically-based evidence to support that theory. Prosecutorial conduct specifically intended to erode any presumption of innocence of the accused on the part the jury not based in evidence, but rather homophobic fear-mongering, is irresponsible to say the least. It would have been difficult for the four women to get a fair trial under the best of circumstances. There seemed to be little interest in letting justice run it's course, and the prosecutors primary goal seemed to be to demonize the defendants in front of the jury to win the case.

Another factor leading to Elizabeth's conviction was the attitude of her lawyer, Freddie Ruiz, who had never before represented a client in a criminal trial of any description, let alone on the notoriously difficult charges of aggravated sexual assault on a child. Liz was upset that her lawyer failed to produce any defense witnesses. Ruiz told her not to worry because it was up to the prosecution to prove her guilty. Lawyers who have experience representing clients on charges of child sexual abuse are only too aware of the problems of presumption of guilt on the part of the jury members, and agree that the only successful strategy is an extremely aggressive defense, that includes expert witnesses capable of a convincing rebuttal of the prosecution's evidence. Based on experience, defense lawyers usually advise clients, including innocent ones, against going to trial even with a strong case and under favorable circumstances.

The effect of prejudice and ignorance amongst jurors is well documented in criminal trials. Black men accused of raping white women have traditionally been virtually assured of a conviction, even when there was considerable evidence supporting their innocence. This was a central theme in Harper Lee's classic novel "To Kill a Mockingbird". A common racist belief amongst many white Americans has been that black men are unable to control their sexual urges and when a white woman claimed she had been sexually assaulted a jury would almost invariably return a guilty verdict regardless of how questionable her claims might have been, or how strong the defense. Ignorance and preconception on the part of the jury meant that there was a presumption of guilt under those circumstances. The recent rash of convictions overturned by DNA evidence has clearly shown these prejudices against black men wrongfully convicted of violent sexual assaults on white women still persist in the criminal justice system

Texas has the highest rate of DNA exonerations of any State in America. Dallas County alone has now had more cases overturned by DNA than any State, except Illinois and New York. It is obvious that Texas has a very serious problem with wrongful convictions sending innocent people to prison or execution. Outside of the small percentage of cases supported by DNA evidence, there seems to be little will within the Texas criminal justice system to acknowledge the full scope of the problem and take measures to deal with it.

In the case of Elizabeth Ramirez and her co-defendants; in addition to Texas' unacceptably high rate of wrongful convictions, the problems involved in obtaining an impartial jury in child sex abuse cases, prosecutor's intimating to the jury that these women should be presumed guilty of sexual assault on two little girls simply because of their sexual orientation, lawyers who did not bother to provide expert witnesses for their defense, and it becomes obvious that they did not get anything remotely close to a fair trial.

For prosecutor's it was an easy victory, and an opportunity for political grandstanding as they were able to play to the fears and ignorance of a homophobic electorate, all under the noble guise of protecting children.


Vidmar, N. (1997). Generic Prejudice and the Presumption of Guilt in Sex Abuse Trials. Law and Human Behavior. 21(1)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

How Rare?

According to the FBI, and a roundup other resources on the subject (Lanning, 1992), outside of the category of female sex offender known as "male-coerced", one of the salient features of women who molest children is that they are always single perpetrators. After enlisting the help of several professional researchers, and reviewing the contents of every database we could access from Lexus Nexus to Google and more, we were unable to identify a single case, outside of this one, where a group of women cooperated in the sexual molestation of a child. Sexual assaults on pre-pubertal children by women are rare occurrences to begin with. If you can provide evidence of a verified case of a "gang" sexual assault against a child by adult women please let us know. We would be very interested.

When the realities of criminal profiles and demographics are brought into argument at a sexual assault trial, lawyers will rebut by saying that "anyone can be a sex offender". In the strictest terms, that is true. An eighty year old woman is physically capable of walking into a bank with a sawed-off shotgun and yelling "stick-em-up"; but it doesn't happen, and common sense tells us it doesn't happen. Bank robbers are almost invariably young men with some distinct personality traits. That is why law enforcement agencies such as the FBI spend so much time and energy developing criminal profiles. Behaviors and personality traits of those who carry out various types of crimes are predictable. A group of well-adjusted and intelligent women are physically capable of getting together and cooperatively molesting a child - but it doesn't happen. Women who molest pre-pubertal children display a distinct set of characteristics. They are seriously mentally ill and/or of limited intelligence and/or have social and interpersonal problems. Also, probably because they are such a rarity, they act alone.

Why was the Texas Justice System and mainstream media willing to accept without question that 4 lesbians would participate in the sexual assault two little girls? The case had more to do with fear-mongering, ignorance and opportunities for political grandstanding, than trying to hold the realities of the situation up to the light of reason. And there was little attempt to do so.

A multi-perpetrator sexual assault by adult women on two little girls is someone's sick sexual fantasy, and not an accurate reflection of reality.


Lanning, K. V. (1992) Investigators Guide to Allegations of "Ritual" Abuse. Behavioral Sciences Unit. FBI Academy. Quantico, Virginia 22135.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Nice People

"All that is required for evil to flourish is for good men to sit idly by and do nothing."
Martin Luther King Jr.

I disagree with that statement. Not primarily because it has become politically incorrect over the course of the last 4 decades. But rather because good people, by definition, are those who refuse to do nothing, and take action against "evil". It is nice people who stand idly by and do nothing, that are the problem.

There are far too many nice people in the world, and not enough good people. When you talk to nice people they will generally agree with your opinions, and right on cue harp on about the injustices in society and piss and moan about the government and have all the "right" insights and arguments. But if you ask them "What are you going to do about it?" they stop, and give you a look of total bewilderment. They have no intention of "doing" anything about it - rocking the boat- because, well, that just wouldn't be nice. Nice people are vapid mental masturbators oblivious to their own moral impotence.

As kids we are told "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all". Apparently it is important not to offend, or hurt people's feelings. But what about when we are faced with those who distort truth and manipulate or harm others for their personal gain? Do we continue to smile politely because we are nice people and don't want to offend? Are their feelings more important than the truth? The blunt reality is there are people in this world who are so devoid of personal ethics that they will continue to serve their own purposes at the expense of others until they are faced with serious consequences for their behaviors. They will persist until we take the initiative to stop them.

We live in a democracy. If we fail to participate actively in the democratic process there are those who will hijack and use political machinery for personal and professional gain. Democracy only works when the government is afraid of the people. But there is no reason to be afraid of nice people, they will continue to eat shit endlessly. Our governments are increasinngly no longer afraid of us. Over the course of the last four decades they have become extremely proficient at managing us, and seem do so with little or no impunity. Nice people complain, but do nothing, and eventually many even stop complaining.

Nice people do have their merits. In daily life they lubricate social interactions and make our days more pleasant - nobody wants to interact with the abrasive and the obnoxious. But when their days are numbered and they leave this world what have nice people accomplished? They leave no legacy and have changed bugger all, because they lack the courage to fight to raise or maintain the moral integrity of their society. They disconnect from the community and sit hypnotized in front of their big screen televisions, overeating and expecting someone else to do something about society's problems. They are pathetic and apathetic.

The criminal justice system has increasingly become a refuge for scoundrels. Police and prosecutorial misconduct have become far more commonplace than most people imagine. While there are many honest and ethical people working in the justice system, there are those whose career and political ambitions supercede their desire to seek justice. They have appear to have no qualms about convicting and imprisoning their fellow citizens wrongfully. Their only goal seems to be to win cases and improve arrest and conviction records to further professional aspirations and bolster their egos.

In the past there was widespread denial regarding the number of citizens wrongfully convicted. The ever accumulating numbers of DNA-driven exonerations has fully exposed the extent of this horrible problem. But wrongfully convicted people who are able to prove their innocence through DNA represent a very small minority of the total number of wrongfully convicted in prison or on death row today. They are merely the tip of the iceberg.

The question now is, how will society address this problem? What will we do knowing full well that a substantial number of the claims of innocence being put forward due to wrongful convictions are legitimate? Innocent fellow citizens have been illegally deprived of their freedom or their lives. To protect personal interests, the immoral or "evil" in the system will continue to deny the existence of wrongful convictions through nonsense rationalizations. The nice will gripe about the injustice but do little or nothing, and effectively allow the problem to persist.

Evil people may be the enemy, but nice people are the problem. We need to stop raising our children to be nice people and start raising them to be good people if we are to address these problems and improve the quality of our society.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Lesbian Pedophiles

"...I want to cover something and I'm not going to mention it again. The alternative lifestyle. The only significance that has in this case is to show why we would have female abusers and female victims".
Mary Kay Delavan -prosecutor at second trial.

The above statement implies a direct link between lesbianism and the sexual abuse of girls.

That idea is patently and categorically false.

During the 1980's the media regularly reported that boy's were being sexually molested by "gay priests". The notion being that Catholic priests who molested (usually adolescent) boys were homosexuals. By definition a homosexual is an adult whose sexual interest is adults of their own gender. These priests were not homosexuals but rather pedophiles, as their only sexual interest was in children, and they had never had any sexual interest in either male or female adults. The tabloid media gave extensive coverage to these cases involving "gay priests" and the connection had been made in the minds of a large portion of the public.

Those who are morally opposed to homosexuality have long asserted a connection between homosexuality and child molestation. That belief has had many effects including the Boy Scouts of America barring gay men from scouting, and attempts to bar gay men from positions as school teachers. A 1970 survey showed 70% of Americans believed homosexuals were inclined toward sexual abuse of youth and should not be allowed to work with them. That percentage has decreased steadily, and by 1999 the numbers of people still holding that belief had dropped into the mid-teens with respect to gays, and approximately 7% for lesbians.(Herek, G. 2008)

There have been published reports claiming to show a positive correlation between homosexuality and child molestation. Peer-review of these articles shows a common flaw in research methodology. In these studies when a male perpetrator assaults a boy it is considered to be "homosexual" molestation and when a girl is abused, "heterosexual" molestation. In fact the majority of these assaults are carried out by pedophiles who tend to offend against a specific age group of children, and in many, if not most instances have no gender preference. What is critical to recognize is that most of these pedophiles have no sexual orientation and are therefore categorized as "fixated" child molesters. Another group of child molesters categorized as "regressed" have previously shown a capacity to form adult sexual relationships, but have returned to an earlier developmental stage in terms of their sexual interests. This regression is often associated with extreme levels of stress.

An important investigation in this area was conducted in Massachusetts by Groth and Birnbaum (1978). They studied 175 adult males convicted of child molestation. Interestingly, none were classified as homosexuals. 47% were classified as "fixated"pedophiles, 40% as "regressed" heterosexuals, and 13% as regressed bisexuals. Other researchers conducting similar studies have found very low rates (less than 1%) of child molestation by homosexuals, and no positive correlation in terms of sexual interest in boys. (Jenny et. al., 1994; Freund et. al. 1989)

Today, professionals and academics working in the child abuse field no longer believe homosexuals pose an elevated risk to the sexual abuse of children relative to heterosexuals. Regarding the relationship between lesbianism and child molestation, verified cases are so rare valid statistical inferences cannot be made.

In both Elizabeth Ramirez' trial, and the trial of the other 3 women, prosecutors inferred that their lesbianism predisposed them toward molesting girls. Sexual assault on pre-pubertal girls by adult women is a rare event. As lesbians represent a small subsample of all adult women and show no disposition toward child molestation, their involvement in these types of assaults can only be described as extremely rare. Women who assault younger children are usually seriously mentally ill and/or have very limited social skills and other problems. The four women convicted in this case are all well-adjusted and high functioning. All had shown the ability to form and maintain adult sexual relationships. Another salient characteristic of women who sexually assault prepubescent girls is that they always act alone.

While it is possible, all research findings indicate the odds of a multi-perpetrator sexual assault on prepubertal girls by four high functioning lesbians is, at best, extremely remote. Several searches have failed to find reference to another verified case. Because of this, the question arises: "Why didn't this case raise red flags, and draw significant media attention?"

Lesbian pedophiles is a myth - a figment of a homophobic imagination, and not based in reality.


Freund, K., Watson, R., & Rienzo, D. (1989). Heterosexuality, homosexuality, and erotic age preference. The Journal of Sex Research, 26 (1), 107-117.

Groth, A.N., & Birnbaum, H.J. (1978). Adult sexual orientation and attraction to underage persons. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 7 (3), 175-181.

Herek, Gregory. Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation. Retrieved Jan. 6, 2008.

Jenny, C., Roesler, T. A., & Poyer, K. L. (1994). Are children at risk for sexual abuse by homosexuals? Pediatrics, 94(1), 41-44.