Allegations of ritual abuse in day cares, etc.
The "Country Walk" case in Maimi,
Francisco Fuster, of Miami, FL, aged 36, was convicted in 1985
on 14 counts of child abuse. This MVMO (Multi-Victim, Multi-Offender) case
involving Francisco and his wife Iliana as perpetrators, and more than
50 children as victims. Children disclosed stories of being forced to eat
feces, pose for pornographic pictures, take mind-altering drugs, kill
animals and submit to anal rape with a crucifix. The children described the
chanting of prayers to Satan, eating someone's head, and riding on sharks.
They said that Francisco Fuster threatened to kill the children's parents if the
told. This case was unusual, as there appeared to be some hard evidence that
supported the allegations: Jamie Fuster, their 7 year old son, tested
positive for gonorrhea of the throat.
This is the famous Country Walk Case, named after the affluent
suburb of Miami where Iliana Fuster operated a small baby-sitting
service. The case was triggered by a boy who was baby-sat by Iliana. He
said to his mother that Iliana kisses the babies' genitals. Apparently
this is or was common behavior in the culture or family in which Iliana
had been raised. She admitted to the kissing. A police investigation
followed in which investigators Joseph and Laurie Braga interviewed
dozens of children. After what have been called "...patently leading, deceptive, and coercive
questioning methods" the children disclosed large numbers of
allegations of bizarre and violent acts. 1
Janet Reno, then head prosecutor,
took a personal role in prosecuting the case. Ileana Fuster, then aged 17,
was arrested and allegedly kept in solitary confinement in a tiny cell with 24 hour
illumination. After 6 months, she was depressed and felt terrorized. She was
suffering from inadequate medical attention, insomnia and sores on her skin.
She was given relaxation and visualization treatments, and was highly
manipulated by psychologists. A year later, she broke down. She had been offered
two alternatives: to plead guilty and testify against her husband and receive
a light sentence, or plead innocent, be found guilty and spend the rest
of her life in jail. She still maintained her innocence, but pleaded
guilty in order to "get all of this over....for my own good".
Medical experts found no anatomical evidence of sexual abuse, even though
signs would have been present if the abuse had actually occurred. All of the
children were tested for gonorrhea of the throat. One test came back
positive, and provided the only "hard" evidence at the trial. After 7 hours
of grilling, the 6 year old boy finally broke down and said that his
father had abused him. He retracted his "confession" as soon as he was free
from the interrogation; he maintains to this day that there was no abuse at
Country Walk. Three years after the trial, the test used to detect gonorrhea
was found to be unreliable; at least one third of the positive STD
results were "false positives." The test could not differentiate between
gonorrhea and benign bacteria that are often found in children's throats.
It is highly unlikely that the boy actually had gonorrhea.
Ileana was tried, convicted and served 3 years and 6 months in a juvenile
prison before being deported. She later recanted her confession
and issued a lengthy sworn deposition, citing the abusive isolation and
interrogation as reasons for having previously lied about the abuse.
husband received a sentence of 6 life terms and 165 years in prison having served over 25 years. 3 According to the National Center for Reason and Justice he is still in prison, sentenced to a crime for which he is innocent -- in fact for a crime that never happened. 4
It is only in recent years that research studies have indicated the ease
with which children can be persuaded to describe
events that never happened and later internalize those statements as false
memories. All that is required is an interview by an adult who asks direct
questions repeatedly. Probably any police force in North America could randomly
select a 17 year old baby-sitter and 50 of the children that she baby-sat,
interrogate the woman and the children using the same techniques as were
found at Country Walk, and obtain with the same confessions and convictions.
In our opinion, fondling did occur at Country Walk. Ileana's "body kissing" was apparently widely used in the family or culture in which she had been raised as a methof of soothing young children. It
is considered a non-sexual act. However, it was not a criminal
act in this case because the laws of Florida require that sexual touching must
be done with the intent by the adult of sexually arousing either her/himself or
We suspect that no other
form of abuse happened.
Debbie Nathan & Michael Snendeker, "Satan's Silence",
New York NY (1995), P. 170
Mark Pendergrast, "Victims of Memory", 2nd Edition, Upper Access
Books, Hinesburg VT (1996), P. 367
S.J. Ceci & M. Bruck, "Jeopardy in the Courtroom: A Scientific
Analysis of Children's Testimony", American Psychological Association,
Washington DC (1995)
W.L. Whittington et al., "Incorrect Identification of Neisseria Gonorrhoeae from Infants
and Children", Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 7 #1 (1988), P. 3 - 10. (As quoted
in Debbie Nathan & Michael Snedecker, "Satan's Silence", Basic Books, New York, NY (1995),
"Frank Fuster's Story," National Center for Reason and Justice, at: http://ncrj.org/
"State-sanctioned Murder," National Center for Reason and Justice, at: http://ncrj.org/
Copyright © 2000 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2000-NOV
Latest update: 2012-MAY-19
Author: B.A. Robinson
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