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VOL . X X X I I I

N O . 3 1 ' T HE WEEXL Y NEWSPAPER OP N E W Y OR X ' A U GU S T 2. 1988'S l .OO

THuhru
OFTHU
PnRTY
TheDems
After Atlanta

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E HI LY P RAGE R ,J A T ET R ID G E WA Y,
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UIcTIMIIER
ORUIOTI
M?
WasKeIIyMichaelsUnjustlyConaicted?
I Ar ttr to . r ta !. th e
mother of four-year-old
Kyle lott, a preschooler at a parent-owned
day-carecooperetivein
Nes Jersey, took hin
to his pediatrician to
check a chicken porlike rash. A nuree told
Kyle she was going to
take his temperature
and put a thermometr
in his rectum. Kvle lav
quietll .for
quietl)
for about
aboul 30 secondsbefore
befoie sayssr;ing,
- "That's what m.,'kacherdoesr,ome
at nap time at school."When the nuree
asked him what he me&nt, Kyle er-

swered,"Her lal.es my tcmperature."His


t2cher was 2S-year-oldMargaret Kelly
Michaels.
Three months ago, Michaels, no* 26,
was convicted on ll5 counts of eeruai
abuse against 20 three- to 6ve-year-old
children at the WeeCare prexhool-the
largestnumber of such chargesany individual has beenconricted of in the United States.Accordingtn the children, Michaels raped and assaultedthem on a
daily basis for sevenEonths witb forks.
knives, spoons. twigs. and l*go blocks.
Thel' also describedher licking peanut
butter off their genitals,forcing them to
eat and drink her fecesand urine, playing
the pimo in the nude, making them un-

dressand play sexualgames,and tenorizing them into eilence.All of this was


ssid to have occurredat an etclusivepreschool in Maplewood, New Jersey, a
small suburban community less than 20
niles from New \brk Citv.
Michaels insists she is innocent, a rrctim of a ffawed investisation that aped
-preschool
California's McMartin
cise,
shere investigators reported that hundredsof chi.ldrenwere udisticallv abused
by seven defendants in satanii rituals.
The McMartin case, which eurfaced ir
1983.is still in court, bul chargesagainst
6ve defendants were droooed afuJ the
Los AngelesD.A. calledthe'evidence
"incottrtuao

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credrbl) weEk " An r3srstrnt D.A *tnt


fu n h e r. ra vrn g th a t thc leadr ng.cm r cr ve
q u e sti o n i n t o f th e childr en mad the cas
''a hoax " Dozens of rimilar ca*s have
srn ce d e ve l o p e d n ationwide against
tf,achers. camp counselom. and "neifh.
hxrrhrrd *r rings.'' Tlpicalli, thex ritual
abuse cases rell on children's Btories that
often turn bizzare. with detgils about u!anic ceremonies and barbecued babies.
Aftrr studling 36 euch cass,Tom Charlier and Shirlel' Downing of The Memphu Commercnl Appeal. a Scnpps-How.
ard ne*spaper. concluded there was no
material evidence 1o ruppon any of them.
Many researchen noq'believe these
ca*s are based on "urban myths" about
devil-worshipping conspirscies. In 19&,
McN{artin eocial worher Kee MacFarlane
told a congressional eubcommittee that
there was a nationwide conspiracy by
molestars to infiltratt day-care centers.
McManin parents and laq enforcexoent
officials larer formed national networks
to ghsre information about how to develop and prosecutr ritual abuse caos.
Such theories have apparentJy fueled
cases like Michaels's. but the oedia has
virtuallf ignored this Dodem phenomenon. Tht Neu' Yorh Tlmes, for instsnce,
wrole only three brief articles about her
lo-month trial. ?irus reportcr Alfonso
Nawaez, who did two of the stories, told
me he had never heard of McMartin or
ary related cases. Tiru.e euburban Metro
editor George Judson said the Michaels
case was treated as a "geogrsphic" Btory
and thus didrl merit coverage by a "eocial issues beat" reportr; he ad-itted
later, "W'e probably undercovered it."
Kelly Michaels refusd to speal to the
press throughout the trial. When she was
convicted, she agreed to do an intniew
with the Voice. Becauee I had covered a
similar cese in El Paso, Tbras ["Are
I'l/omen Child Molestcrs?" Voice,
Ther
September 29, 198?1, I was asked t take
the assignment. I krew it would be im-

fcrre the tnal. laulers. joumalrrt-r. rnd


ercn crril libenier groupr rm rfraid rhat
rlrndrng up for an rccused child molester
on legal groun& labelr them r-c pcople
rho condone child ebus

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XILLY, TOHI. atllli,

possibletn determine sbether Michaels


sas inn@ent,but I told the VoiceI would
writf, a 8tory if I found reasonabledoubt
about her guilt.
I erpected a routine task, especially
when
ren I begm eramining discovery
diecovery mat"matrgreat oeal
quesrial lnal
naj
that ncluoeo
included a SEal
deal ol
of que6.
tionable inbruiewing techniques and evi.

d e n ce o f wh a t l aw yers cal l "croesg e !m in a tio n " b etw een i nvesti gators,


parnts, and the children. I aleo learned
that eome Wee Care parents had joined
"Believe the Children," a group founded
b;..McMartir parents that promotes satanic conspiracytheories; Eseer County
ssistant prosecutorGIennGoldberg,wbo
tried Michaels,keepsa "Believethe Children" buttnn pinned tn his office bulletin

lltl,

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board. One llbe Care child raid Miehaels


forced gtudents to form a Btar Bhap
while naled, s Btorythat echoesconspiracy theories of ritual geometry. During
iaterviews, psychologist Eileen Tfeacy
asked \Abe Care children whether Michaels used black robes ald crucifires
during her allegedaesaults:md University of Chicago professorJon Conte told
xoelast year that Tfeacywm "working on
a big casout of Nes Jersy crith ritua.l
elements."
Thi6 kind of preconceivedapproach,
conbined with the fact that child eer
abusechargesmakefor senutional trials,
produces a potnt alchemy. The reprehensiblenatureof the crimeBtainsevenone connectrdto Lhedefen.tqnt,eu"n bi-

The
IrT q il:fr:t,ix'
46a1477
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Village
Voice

Afirr readingdrroven materialsand


neus clrps and lirtening to the publrr
pronouncementa
of prosecuton.ps5chologiers.mial worlem, parents.and one
juror involvedln Mlchaels'scas.I was
convinced I had romething to sritf,
akrut. But as I tried t intnie$ sme of
thes peoplernd eramine the court rerord I found that thingSin Essrr Countl'
worl in anllhing but E strsightfonard
fashion.Neither the pro*cutor'B o6ce
nor the $be Care parents *ould epea-!to
rte on the record;eomeElothersssid they
had "checkedup" on ne by calling parents involved in the El Paso casI criti'
cized. The judge who presidedat Michaels's trial rejectBd my request to
conduct I jailhouee intenieq *'ith the
defendantthat would last more than an
hour {he would only ertend my visit 30
minutes past the half-hour any visitor is
allowed).Even more damaging has been
his refusal t dat to unseal the tnsj
transript even though he had never
realed the courtr@m proceedings and
had allowed local media to attnd the
entire trial.
First Amendment rertrictions lile ttri6
one didnt Hm to concem local reporters
euch as Elliot Pineley, who covered the
tria) regularly for Bergen County's ?fu
fiecord. Pmsley told me he felt he would
be able to "go into the prosecutor'eoffice
and read" the eealedtranscripts anl'time
becaux the pro*cuto! "likes" him. PinsIey and other reportrsalso didn't protret
the judge's debatable d*isions. For irstance,the judge orderedthe pressnot to
print that the New Jereey Division of
Youth and Family Seruices(D\TS) irvestigator who conductedsome of the most
questionableint,eniewswith the child.ren
tstified that he had been molesteda,sa
child-ard ihat he had told a child this.
This was 8 cnrcial revelation ir light of

faI
Education
Supplement

d*dso'*$g'
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PERFOR.IITINGARTS.
place
To
your ad call Denise Robert
for theater arts ads;
^t212/460-1438
or
call Judith Doren at ZtZ/460-1441
for dance ads.
Rsv. Deadiine: Aug. 5
Art Deadline: Aug. 8
On Sale Date: Aug. 17

8{2 B road* av
N e q Y orh. N Y 10003

c h l i d p r('l e ctl o n p l o fess) r ) nals concer ns


t h a l p e ,'p l e u i th th rs hlst( ln m8\ h8\' e r
p s rch {'l t,F ca ) n e e d to find lbuse. ?\' en
s he rt n o n e e xi sts A s late as this l\lond ar, th t i n re srtg a !o r's 6uPen' ls( ' rtaid he
$ as u n a u a r th sl th e intestr gator had
n r e a l e d h e $ a : a vl c t tm
The media's decisions mar hsve been
p a n h d u e to u h a t 7 'h r Rccor ds tncom tng
i u strcee d rl ',t. S te ve l rl ar sh. cr iticized as a
i ' cl ro u e
me n ta l i tr" 'i n th counr oom that
e r te n d e d to th e p re ss . Because the com'
munitl discussion seemed closed from
l h e b F i n n i n g . th o se who questioned M i'
chaels s guilt kept their doubts to thems el re s. A fo rme r p o l i ce detective told m e
he beheves Mrchaels is innocent but
sould lose his job if he said so publich. A
jail official expressed similar fears aboul
divulgrng information damaging to the
state's case. A da]'care worker who
knoss Michaels raid she and her colleaguesbeheve sh s lnnocent. but "we've
been told nol to 68t an)1hing: I've been
told by a lauaer I shouldn'1 even visit her.
I'm afraid to speak out because I worrl
about stofing in tbe profession. And I
feel totollt alone. lihe no one else feels
ehe's innocent."
The isolation of Michaels and her defenders even before the trial extnded to
the Catholic Church. Father John Hark,
a local priest. recalled hos Michaels and
her famill were unable to aford hotels
when thel traveled from Pittsburgh for
pretria) hearings. Father Hank invited
them to 6tr) at his church's rectory but
after the prosecutor's office called the
Newark Archdiocese, the famill was or'
dered to leave (the archdiocese now denies this). "The Michaelses are average,
midd.le-classpeople." says Father llank.
"the beckbone of the Church. I sas told
re have our public image to deal *'ith
and don't want to be seen as condoning
child abuse. So the official Church turned
its bacl on the Michaelses."
Things haven't improved since Mi'
chaels's April conviction. Bob Miller, a
reporkr for \\'*'OR TV. recentll told me

l v n Il r i - hael s . En r ns ur an( r r ?[) r ar entai r \e


and e r ens t?r ed nur x Xel l r r Kal l i r t.
tendr ng C athol r c m as s r egul ar l r r r th her
four brolhen and lFterF as r voung grrl
"l\'lr father rtill Fms dailr but m\ mother
i r m or e l i ber al ." r he r a1s . " l l e'r r not ps r .
ti c ul ar l l pi ous peopl e: ue'r e m or r hum an.
i s ti c al l l i nc hned. \l e r ead c tuff br . l i k e.
Thomas \lenon and Teilhard de Chardrn
and dr s c us s them .' T he fam i l l i s c l os e.
psrenls,reporter6,snd k ni t and eanhl - w hen tel hi ng ther i n.
The prosecution.
othersin the communitl repeatedlltold trrupl each other and ure lheir hands:
me I would be acting"irresponsiblr"if I thel meet and part with wsrm embraces
"\bu probabll noticed we all hke food.
$ro!e I ston withoul studling the trial
trsnscripts.But sincethe5 kneu this *as too." rmiles Kellr. As a ltenager. she was
impossible(Vbrcclaqlers sre still trying elf-conscious about her 6gure. but she
to hsle the transcdplsunsealed).
the real dated throughout high rchml She atsas. "This is noneof your busi- ttnded St. Benedict': Academl rhere she
messsg
just
go
competd in forensics. wrok for the
ness so
home."
On T[resda\.Michaelswill return to echool paper. and made the National
coun in Ne$ark for sentencing.
Shefaces Honor Societl.'.But her real love was the?30vearsin pnson.Michaels's
conviction &ter; as a tenior, she $as voted best acwill be appealedon mveral grounds.in. tress. and her parents tool out a J-earcludinga recenlU.S. SupremeCoun rul- book ad saling "See )bu on Broadwa]."
She went on to a Catholic $omen s
ing maintainingthat an allegedchild mo.
lester,like anl defendant,has the Sirth college near Pittsburgh, Seton Hill. where
Amendment nght to face accusersin ahe actd in 1l plavs. She rribbled poco u r t ( e r ce p t in excepti onalci rcum- ems on notebooks. read Adrienne Rich
Btances).Michaels'sparents have etartcd and Sylvia Plath, and listrned to tsob
a defensefund to pey for her appealbut D5'lan and Joni Mitchell. By eenior year,
it mal be years before il will be finally Michaels considered herself part of what
decided.I'm writing this article eo that ehe calls "the arts world" and dressed the
part: "Ml eister and I were irto rhineher sto4 can be heard noq.
stone jewelry from eecond-hand stores,
T H:tt a r l f:w tEotLt on the streets long peasant skirts, and old jackets."
When she was 22. ard a fec credits
of Maple*ood.Neu Jersel',and the little
in the Mall are dec- short of her B.A. in theat2r. Michaels
storesnot ensconced
oratedwith the white cornicesand colo- decided actressesdidn't need degrees and
nial pillars appropriateto placesthat call she should gel out into the real world. A
"townships."The 25,000resi- college friend invited her to share an effithemselves
dents of Maplewoodand the 17,000in cienc) apartment in a poor neighborhood
neighbonngSouth Orangeare a racial in East Orange. When Michaels mored
and ethnic mix \\'hat thel havein com- in. during the summr of 198.{. ehe was
mon is that thej aresomeof EsserCoun- delighted to find that a bus to New lbrk
t!'s most afiuent citizens.A locallan-rer stopped right on her corner. "I'd go in all
describes
the communityas "a collection the time-l sau Sundo-r in the Porh lilith
of peoplewith small'tos'nattitudes."
George. The Best Little ll'horehowe in
Kelll l{ichaelsis not from Maplewood Tens. Little Shop of Horrors. The reason
or SouthOrange.Shewasraisedin Pitts- I didr't live in New \brk $&s economrcs.
bureh.the oldestchild of John and Mari- Once. eome friends from Philadelphia

thal hr : st6lr on san l s !( r r ntenr ec M r .


chaels.not t( ' eir her r i de of the c ar e. but
because 'people rn the lrecarl, lrea $8nl
to Re ?r actl) r hat h nd of fr eal c he i r '
After rpeeking for rteral hours with
Xellr Nlr chaels in jai l and br phone, I
bgan to suspect she *'as less a freak than
an outcast in g closed communilr.. As o
visitor to Essex Counlr tDing to corer
her case. I sas tr eated hos ti l el l m l s el f.

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Care on April 26. she had I stormr- partco r tttu a o

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find worli silh('ut I degree. She finallr
ans qer ed an a d f o r a t e a c h e r' s a i d e ,
thi nk i ng the j o b i n ro l l e d ma rk rn g p s per s . and r as su rp ri s e d w h e n i t t u rn e d
out to b * or k r n g u i t h p re s c h o o l e rs . S h e
had no expenence tn the field but tbe
director of the \4ee Care Da! Nursen. a
par enl - ouned c o o p e ra t i I e t h a t re n t e d
s pac e fr om S t . G e o rg e ' s E p i s c o p a )
C hur c h i n l r l ap l e w o o d . s a i d h e r c re s t i v e
ans background uould be a hit $ith the
kids. She *as hired. at about ${ an hour.
M r c hael s r oo k a b u s a n d t ra i n e \ e n
dal from East Orange to her job. She
dressed "basicalll linl oldjeans. overalls.
had en old
T - s hi ns . a k na p s a c k . . . l
per m I l et go w il d . . . a n d t h e s e t w o j a c k ets I'd gotten s e c o n d -h a n d . " I f t h e
reemed more bohemian than her coworkers. Michaels nevenheless received an ercellent evaluation and was soon promo4d
to tacher. She took charge of a class of
three-;-ear-olds and supen'ised a twohour nap gsoup. Manl of the children
were restless at nap time: to calm them.
some teachers would rub their backs.
Michaels was soon fed up with Wee
Care. The classrooms were small, the salary unlivable, benefits minimal. and the
director was rarell around. Michaels u1's
teachers oftrn sat around quietl) Friping
about conditions. She admits she bitched
the most because"l uas younger than the
others and from outside the communitl. I
didn't have as much to lose bl complaining or picking up and leaving."
ln the spring. she heard of a temporary
dar'-carejob near he! apanment. She visitd the 6chool. liked it. and decided to
make the move. When Michaels left t*-ee

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At 7:15th ntt moming, MePlewood
detrrtive rergeantJohn Ncrcnanand Elrx Counl5 inv?ttiSator Richard Mar'
tranlelo
rrrired rt Mrchaels'rrtaidencc.
-ra1's
the men reemedtitillrtld thlt
She
aparl'
women
lived in rn efficienc-rtwo
s st menl with onll one bed. She rr)'6 one
t o u r D r y r l i ? r r Ke lh M ich a e ls'la
dav at riee Care. K;-le lrtl (all the latrr asked her if she had a bo5'friend.
names of lrlee Care children and their She gaid. "No bo1'friend!t the prernt
parentshavebeenchanged)
told the pedi- time," and the men erchangedlmks.
Michaelswas told ehe was not under
strician'snursewho sas laking his rectal
trmperature. "That's $hat ml ttacher arest and didn't need a la*yer, though
doesto me Et nEp time." Kyle's mother the men drove her to the Esser Countl'
oftce. She saived her Mirmade an appointmentwith the Esser prosecutor's
C o u n t l p r o s e c u t o r ' so ffice , b u t th e l' anda rights and spnt severalhours inweren'tableto pe her until Mar 2. ln the sisting she kneu nothing of the allega'
meantime,Kyle'smothermid in a signed tions. Michaels ffiJ-s Mastrangelotold
ststment.shequestioned
him ertrnsive- her, "\bu are going to have to come up
If you don'thel p
ly. According to I prosecutor'soffice re' with m o r ee vid e nce....
port. Kvle "admitted his own victimiza- us find someoneelee.that makesyou the
feling
She rernembem
tion" to detectives;but a DYFS report most suspicious."
elmi ghe
aayshe "refuredto speakaboul the alle- greatpressure!u namesomeone
gations directly." Mrs. Lott told the de- recalleda tcacher'saide who aeemedintctivesKyle didn't like to trke naps at co m De te n t,tickl ed the chi l dren, and
WbeCare,that he had complained
dunng eomitimes disappearedfor long periods.
the schoolyear of a "mre bum,"and that Michaels then took a lie det:cbr tcst,
when askedif Kelly did anlthing to anr-- which she passed.She was driven home,
one else,Kyle eaidshe'dhurt anotherboy and thought that was the end of mme
too. He was also intniewed by Assistant strangemisundemranding.
But two days lattr, Wee Care snt a
ProsecutorSara Sencer,who directs the
Es*r County prosecutor's office child letkr to parents, tlling them Michaels
abugeunit and who also lives in Maple- was being investigatedfor serual abuse.
wood. Accordrng t-o Mm. Lott, when The followingday,Noonanand Mastran'
Sencer(nowSaraMcArdle)gaveKyle an gelo visited Michaels'sner echooland
anatomicallydetailedbo1'doll, he put his told the directot thst ebe had been accusedof molestingchildren and couldn't
6nger into tbe doll's rectum.
By May 5, Kyle and four other bo1's continueworking there. The direclor told
had been interyiewed by police, Sencer, Michaelsehe sould be welcomeback ar
and their parents.ThreedeniedMichaels soon as the matter sas cleared uP.
On May 15,R'eeCare bostda neeting
had moleetcd them but, accordingto a
prosecutor'so6ce report, one finally "ad- where a DYTS eocialworker told the ae'
mittd" it after his father repeatedly sembledparents that Michaels molestd
questionedhim, teUinghim "he was his some of their children and that they
best friend and that he could trll him should check for behal'ioral symptoms
anything. . . that whatever he told him lile genital aoreness,tempt tantrums,
would be ol.ay." Among the stories the bedwetting.and eleepingproblems.
A week later, DYPS socialworker Louboys told sere thal KeUy punchedthem
in the bathroom, fondled their genitals is Fonollerasbegar visiting Wbe Care to
inj with the drrmtor becrur rhe gave
onl) tw() seel6 notice.but Mrchaelsra1'r
her fr,loq ttlchen grve hcr r wrrm *nd
off one jase her r bottle of wine ar r
g o i n g - r u a lp r e s e nt,
r n d h e r r id e .a m id .
dle.agedblacl woman,srotr her r ptxm.

office inrestrItkryoined b! pronut{t'r


rorLer
B1
3rtor6 lnd rnothcr rrial
June 19, l5 children had been guertioned.
None of thcse inttruiewr rere ncorded.
however. ud Fonollens lattr claimed rt
triel that he deetroyed hir notrs of the
carlier ressions. Latr tapes arc filled
with confued children who hale lirtle to
ul despitc being told things lile Kelly* is
bad, Kelll hurts Lids. Kelll ir in jail. md
the police need help to DaIe gure ehe
rtays there. A typical conversation. recorded bl the ptomutor't office on June
20, tool pl ac e betw een i nr es ti gator
G eor ge M c Gr ath and four - y ear - ol d
Lindsa!:
Icctl?x:
Do you lihe Kelll?
!l tD 3l Y:
Yes ...
Did Kell euer do anything
tccrrlH!
bad to you?
Oh, when 8he spanled me. thal
rriDrlv:
sab a very bad rhrng. nght, Mommy?
: l4'hat did sho spanh you uith?
Icotllt
Lr|rDs^Yr A knife and I 8poon.
tcct^Txr
Ohal. onlhing ebe?
Ll LD l l Vr T hi nk agai n.
xcoi^tH:
No, you thinh again, you haue
to giue me oll the arcu,ers. . . . Did Kel!1'
do anything you didn't bhe in the rup
n)om!
LriD3ayr George, why do you believe me
to know things?
..- .l f
Keh ur c o bod gi r l ,
r c c r ^t.ff
should she be punihed?
I bel i ev e y ep.
Lr i ol l v r
. . . .1'm thp pol i c e, r Q ht?
r c c tAtx !
OAa-r. Noa, in ord,er lor ne to punish
Kell1 . . .I haue to hnou what sfu did.
And onll you coud help ru uith that.
.. . Wfut dd you tell ru thc othzr day?
LriDlaYt I think I really forgot.
\[']rat Lindsy
"forgot" wen accuaations McGrath claims she made two days
before. However, these charges-that Michaels put a finger up Lindsay's rectum
and tried to push a marble up ar well,
thar Michaels put peanut butter all over
Lindsay, and that Lindeay was afraid of

rcnaels- sere unrtrororo


Other children rcre told thrt thtt

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th?v

raid hor Kell1"hun them. tlret could


hrrr tnr grlrct badgesThei rere givrn
dolls with jenitels end told to "prctrnd"
thel- rere with Kelll': *hile thet "pre'
trnded." intertrgatorsoftrn pointtd out
bodr parts thev t"houghtMrchaels mQht
heveabupd. If the Lidr playedwith the
to! Fenltals.inten'ieuerswrok thst they
sere "r'ictimizing" lhe dolls. indicating
thei r osn vi c ti mi z ati on.Inreeti getors
downplaved
children'sdenialsand fantas'
tic answers(onebo) said etudentsthren
"right
Michaels
out of the chimney":
Benjaminmid he flipped Kelll over his
head;a grrl told of a nude game where
"you take all the chairs and you have to
pul them on your head. . . so you can 8it
on the high chair and break the ceiling"l
Lindmy describedMichaels putting I
"real car and tre" on a bol while molest'
i ng hi m).
Officialsspenltwo monthsat WeeCare
talking with the children,their parents,
and the day-carestaff. Meanwhile,on
June 12, Michaelswas arrested,charged
wilh six counts of abuse,and isolatd in
protctive custody.She was "utterly trrified." Her sietlr lrslie remembers"trtrl madness.Wehad no idea why this was
happening.Kelly would eay, 'l have no
memoryof abusinglhe kids. Do I havea
eplit pereona.lity?"'When the shoch of
her arrest wore off, though, Michaels
kept thi nki n g "s ooebody -the parents?-would comeand say,'This is all a
mistake; we're eorry."'
\lbe Care mothem md fathers began
group meetings with Suean Eequilin, a
Newark psychologist86liat!d with the
prosmutor'so6ce. Accordingto Esquilin,
many parnte continued to doubt the
chargesagainetMichaels (one father lat'
er tstifiedhe had sent Michaelsa supportive lettr around this time). But Esquilin recently esid euch parents had a
"tremendousneedto deny the possibility
of abuse,"a need ehe felt had nothing to
do with common eense.Eequilin saidlhe

VLS nMust-Read
WhoMustRead.
forThose

dr dn t 1,,.r hr r t r r, l x r rn (, u 8 h s t l h c h l l
dr en on<t s nli , , 1 1 s . jrh t d rd n t re a t u n dr near
dunnl nap
l r ,,Le d " f l u \ t rre d
tunt. " tr r r ght bt r l e s h ra n . ' 's n t " l t s A l i
Orer Nor Balrr lllur" on the last da\ she
w 0r k ed. and " r mrl l rd . "
Head teacher [)rane Costa. horevet.
had nothi ng da mn rn g t (, s \ . a n d e \ e n t n
Octuber continued trr rnsist I\lrchaels sas
neYer alrne sith children. Costa $as sub
cequentlt accusedof Lno$ing that a child
was being abused and nol leportinS it
(More than two years latrr, her indict

\.
v"

tg
;

menl remains sealed.es a result. she


would hsve put herslfin gravejeopardy
if she had testifiedon Michaels'sbehelf.t

lxl

began to treat them by conl'incing them


"that in fact it could have happenedard
what that meant to them as parents."
Esquilin said pafents were encouraged
to chmnel their guilt ud angerirto helping convict Michaels.The parents, many
of whom were friends before the investigation, bgan meeting regularly with Esquilin and th prosecutors.In fact, as one
parent *id at a public forum, the proeecutors "did more than anyone could
imagine.A strong relationship of respect
developed."Once they banded together,

wtt

cttt

DIY iutttlY

the palentprovedto be a powerfulgroup


of citizens.Kyle Lott's fatherir a Maplewood police o6cer, and hia grandfather
ie an Esser County superiorcourt judge;
other parentsincludeattomeye,ar editor
at The Record, a DYFS employeewho
knows social worler Fonolleras.and a
wealthy pop music compoaer.
ghe
Michaelshad no suchconnections:
was I newcome!and had few frien& in
the area asidefrom her former WeeCare
coworkem. She goon lost even them.
ll'hen teachers8nd aideEwere first ques-

tioned by police ir May, none recalled


anything suspiciousabout Michaels. But
by July, investigators were tclling the
Wee Care 8taff that they might also be
indicted, sincechildren weresayingother
tBachersand aidessas or weretold of the
abuseand ignoredit. Beforebeing ques'
tioned, Michaels'sformer classtoomaide,
for erample,wm read her Miranda rights
and was played I tape of I child accusing
her. She and severalcoworLersbeganremembering "strang" thir:gs about Michaels: she eeemed"epacey," "untidy,"

B Y D :ctrl tl ,
c ' erac c us i nv es ti gs tors
ing Michaelsof having-abused
the entire
\fbe Care atudentbod1,5l children.She
sas finally indictrd on 235 countsof eerual abuseagai ns t3l c hi l dren.
Bl this time, her family had run out of
Doney,Bothe publicdefender'somceassigned Michaels three lawyers: Haruey
Meltzer.Robert B. Clark. and Jed-Matthes Philwin. Meltzer says he and Clark
were Bure Michaels couldn't have committed mas6abueeeimpll' becauseof logistics.Nap time, for instance,took place
in a toom divided by a plastic folding
door; if Michaels raped the children in
her half. Meltzer contrnds. the teacheron
the other eide would have heard the chil&en'e cries of pain or trror. Bul no
teacher or aide (who oftrn walked in on
Michaelsunannounced)noticed Michaels
doing anything improper. Another sit, a
large grm, had windows facing a parking
lot, yet no one, including parishioners
making unscheduledvieits to the Epiecopal church, reported reeing mything unueual. Nor did any tcachers report students mising, tlrough Michaels allegedJy
removed children from other clagssto
molest them.
The upetairschoir room was where the
most shockingabusea.llegedlytook place:
Michaels was accugedof regularly snea.kcortttuao

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r n! th e tr.. l a rrn E
tr ,1. them . l,,r r r nr
t hcm tr, p l s\ u l th h ei lr ces. ur r nt. and
bi l ,r)d \ ta mp r)n s.8 n d clesnlnt thr m es: j
s n d re -d re ssrn gth e m. all r n less than 4i i
m rn u te . T h t r,,U l r 1 , the r h,' tr r ,' ,,m sar .
i n fu l l l re s o f th e ch ur ch office and kin I
d e rg a n e n cl a ssr(xtm.vet neilher the sec.i
t e l a ri e s n o r th e ki n d er gar ten teacher nt,.l
t tce d Mrch a e l s p 8 \crnF b.\' wr th r hildr en ]
to rr or leacher
\orr did a
No
e n r jjaannirto
teacher r epon I
s e e l n t o r sme l i i n g u nn. excr em ent, 0r l
bi o o d o n fu rn rtu re o r in r ooms. although
s o me ch i l d re n sa i d fo ur - 1' ear - o) dscieaned
up th e me ss o r th st it was lefr behind.
The stste pointed to the f8ct that some
c h i l d re n co u l d d e scrihr the choir r oom .
which *'as ofl,limir,. to llee Care staff
an d stu d e n ts. a s p ro o f of the char ges.But
Fonolleras and other investisators had
questioned many of the children there.
Me l tze r a n d C l a rk also planned to dispute shat th prosecution called its most
compelling evidence: parenls' charts and
diaries of medical signs and behavioral
c h a n g s i n th e :r ch i ldr en. For insunce.
on e mo th e r ch ro n i cl ed her daushter having a sore vagina. bruises on her back and
legs. skning
t0 try to "kiss like an
adult," and "urinate like a bo5," refusing
to wipe herself, and grinding her treth at
night. But no parent reported such s;-mp-

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CHELSEA

ffi

267Wesl tTth Street (cor8th Ave) NewYork 212255j150

t( ) m s untr l s fl er t h t l n \ e s i l t S t o rs s u g E e s l
ed them Anc i r rre g rl a ri l t e r d mt o rs f o u n d
on thr c hr i dr e n s g e n i t a l s l a l e r q e re a s
i c ons ts tenl w i th n o rma l d e v e l o p me n t a s
r i th ahus e \l r e C a re q o rk e rs n o t i c e d
onl r thal s el er a l c h i l d re n d rd n ' t l i k e n a p
time. rome rubbed their genitals. and
s()me used words like "penis' and "vagr
na " And no on e e l e r s a s c h i l d re n s h o w '
l nE fear of o r c h ro n i c a v e t s ro n t o
M i c hael s
Michaels's sltornet s suspected domesti c c on8r c ts m i g h t b e a f f e c t i n g ma n r c h i l dren. so a public defender's omce investigator, Noreen Catanno, canvassed the
children's neighborhoods According to
her repon later introduced in coun. she
found a neighbor of one famill wbo re'
portd that one of the lrlee Care mothers
"has emolional problems" and that she
and her husband had violent fights. Catarino mid the neighbor told her the child
once saw his mother point a gun at his
father. At a court hesring, however, the
neighbor said she had no recollection of
thrs. Meltzer contnded that the neighbor
was pressured not to tsti[ b;" Gary
Mo1'len, an attorne) representing man\
of the l'!'ee Care families in a civil euil
that is still pending against Michaels, the
school, and its former director. Moylen
has denied the charge.

Meltzer,who suspected
that some"behavioral symptoms"ma] have resulted
from exposureto innocentor abusrvegelua) activity outsid of Wee Care, found
reports of 8!ual abuse in several Wbe
Care families:a babysittrwas indicted
for the serualabuseof a brother of one
Wee Care boj in September,1984 (the
motherreportedthat the brotherand the
Wee Care boy had been involved in ar
oral sexincidentbeforethis); in the same
month, one girl's father was accusedof
molestinga child; and there wereallegations of sexualabusein the family of one
of the first boys to accuseMichaels.
Meltzer and Clark also planned to ask
a jury to considerwhy Kelly Michaels
would uanf to eadisticallvabusechil&en.
Extensive Iiterature erists about v;hat
kinds of men Eake serual ue of small
children. but there is little about female
offenders.\4hat there is describesthem
as drug addicts,alcoholics,or psychotics
who typica.llv engagetheir om children
in what wouldbe considered
normalsexual actirities among consentingadultsnot scatologicalor sadomschbtic ack.
The scant anecdotal information about
womenwho haveconfessed
to Eore vioIent acts describesthem as deeply disturbed, dependentwomen under the in'
fluenceof a dominantmale.Thereare no
scientificst.udies
aboutwomenwho commit such crimeson their own. Manl' er'
perLsbelievethis is becausthey do not
erist. If they do, Esser Countyinvestigators found nothing in Michaels'sbacLground to suggestshe is one.
three laqvers
soox art:t rlcttaalt'r
besan work on her case,Jed Philwin bega; disagreeingwith his partners about
6!rateg). Philwin had defendedmanl
men accusedof ser offensesb1*plea bargainingfor them using a diminishedcapacit) or insanity defense.Michaelsinsistd on pleading not guiitl' with no
strings attrched, but Philwin 81up two
sessionswith local psychologistMurra)
Bartky, whom he often usedto evsluatf,
lis mnle clients. Although Bartky concluded that Michaels was not psychotic
and even notd that she was lilable and
very intlligent, he decidedshe "has ntr
clear serual identity." During one tst.
when told to dras a man, she drew her
lS-year-oldbrother.Bartky felt this was
"indicative of homosexuality." ln facr,
Michaelstold him that while in college.
she had eome serual erperienceswith
women.
"There were three of them; we were
closefriends,"she says."l neverpursuec
anl of them, they made the overtures.I
wasn't parLicularly serually attractd t(
women-sincI wasa kid I've had crush
es on men and had bot'friends in higl
school and collese.But I was raised tr
nor questionthtchurch, and through l

/t

g ' r d Jr,n rrrn o i <rrl l tg r i belr er td r our nt


t r ) u t \'trF l n l l \ t(, th ( m8n ttr u love ts tht
m , ' tl ss( re d th rn ! I)r'rnE s"m ethr nF s r th
8 $ r)ma n u a s l e ss tt u asn t br eakr ng tht
r r r q l rl e t. I b rg a n ta krnp cr lnlr ( ,1of m \
lift
I sa rd .'l d ')n 'l $8nl thr s I r snl
t o tx msrn e d a n d h ase e cr r uplt of
(l \l rch a e l s cu rrentl\ has a hor
lrds
f n e n d . a l re l n a m l e l e ra n i Bar tkr decid
e d s h e d rd n t " se e m t() havr heaithr outl e t s to e xrrre s. h e rse l f sexuallr .. " He
s u g g e ste dsh e ma r h a re been an abused
c h i l d . a l th o u g h " 'l 'h e re qas no evidence
f o u n d a t th i s ti mr t(' indicate thal .. "
Acco rd rn g t(, a p svch 8lr st M eltzer
a n d (-l a rk ca l l e d i n , J onar Rappelxr r t.
"B a rtkr wro te w h a t i s for ensicallr a r en
horrible report." ltappepon. head of the
Baltimore Circuit Court Medical Office
s n d a Jr,h n s H o p ki n s pr ofessor . has exa m i n e d p e o p l e su ch a s Ar thur Br emer .
J o h n Hi n ckl e t. a n d S a ra Jane ltloor e. He
evaluated Michaels after Bartkv did and
describes her as "sexualll immature."
But he added that "*omen sex offenders
are ps1'cholics. and Kelll is not craz1."
Rappepon sals he and several colleagues
who evaluated her discovered absolutell
nothing suggesting lMichaels is a sex offender. After inten'iewing her parents
and sisters. he found no evidence of child
abuse or incest.
Bul Rappeport's findings were overshadowed b1 Bartkl's repon. \\}en it
came in, Meltzer remembers Philwin saving. "lt's devastatingl" At I recent court
hearing. assistant prosecutor McArdle
said Philwin told her thst he'd heard rumors that Michaels had been fondled by
her father in jail, a fact that Philwin has
previously denied. An attomey who represented Michaels before her parents' financial difficulties forced them t! turn to
the public defender's o6ce remembers
Philwin ''disclosing horrific material t
the prosecutors. He had this theory for
defense thal Michaels's faan inunitl
ther nust have covered her body with
feces when she was a child. He'd my,
'Car\ you ue? Can't you see?"'
McArdle summoned jail guard Betti'
She6eld to her office. Sheffield statcd
that in June, during a visitation, she saw
John Michaels "rubbing" Kelly and "his
hands *ere on her breasts" while KellS's
Dother sas 'Just sitting there." Sheffield
added that arother guard told her Michaels got mail *ith a "picture of her
mother posing nude on a couch " Shef6eld also sid she heard Michaels tcll
i n m a te s a b o u t " g e !ti ng undr essed in
front of the children. . . "
Three da1's afier Sheffield's inten'ieq,
Charlene Munn. an inmate on Michaels s
tier. told the prosculion that Michaels
sas "talking to Iher]self in her cell and
repeatedl! said, "1 didn\ mean to harm
those kids the wal l did," and that "her
ard her old man made love ir the car."
which Munn assumed meant Michaels's
father.
For Munn, this was a completr reversal. When she met Michaels in June.
Munn was facing first degree murder
charges. Aft,er Michaels made bail a
mcnlh later. Munn srotB her a letter
safing. "I'll alwals beliere your ven rnnocence, regardless of who mal disown
y o u.. .. " L a te r, Mu nn plea- bar gained
her charges down to aggravabd manslaughter: she was awaiting sentncing
when she made her stftement sgainst
Michaels. At the same time. she asked
the prosecutor's office to tell the sentenei n g j u d g e o f h e r " co o per ation "
Michaels and her attorne)'s shrug ofr
the allegations made br Munn and the
guards as tlpical of the wild rumors that
f l ( 'a l Iro u n d a j a i ). {A nother ston cir cu
l a ti n g u h e n Mi ch a e l s was fir sr str esleC
sas that her 8l--'-ear-old grandmother
sent her "a po*der-r' substance": I more
recenl tale. l\{ichaels sa|s. is that she gets
C hrn e se ta h e o u t d e l rver ed in a lim ous i n e .i T h e l a w l e r wh t' r epr esented I\Ii.
chaels before Meltzer ridiculed the fond l i n g sto 4 : " l wa s l her e almost er eq
time her parents visited. and each time it
was thr same scene; a tearful reunion.
*i t h a l l th re e h u g g i n g and cning. I cant
i m a g i n e a n 1 p a re n l s acting othenise."

37
( ) nt tar i ofl r c r a l s t d s l l e Fs t r{ rn (a r t e r)
ous a. thos t thr Fu e rd ' ma d r g rt g l s a t s
6
r m m t.dr atel r l n\es t l t a t e d a rrd . i f ru l ri a n
tr s l ed. d( K\r m en t e d H u r ; a i i s u ; n n o rs
ne\er qJ ( ,l r an\ re y ' n s o n t h e a l l e g e d
r nc i dents I'ui r l r r d e f rh d t r' : o f i rc r rn v e s t r
2
gs t" t ( s i s nn( ,. s h r: rn t (n t e s e d S h e f l e i d
and other guar ds . s a r: g u a rd . a re o f l e n
us ed. es l 'ec i al l r i n b rg c a s e . . b r l h e p ro s e . P
c utor 's ( ) fh( t. . . a n d l l l i c h a e l s s l g u a rd s
k neu thi s * as a b rg ra s r. "
I\l r thael s s pa re n t s . mc n n s h i l e . s a r
l hr '\ ar t l n( ens e d b r t h r ru m' , l s rmn l r
r nE In( es l . and f , , r \ l r. h a e l ' t h e q u rs t
parl aboul the fondling ston is thst she
nou feel r unah) e t () h u g h e r f a t h e r a f t e r
thr fam i l r dr i l es f ro m I )i t l s b r: rg h t o N e u
Jerser er-en week to lisit her in iail
The defense was confident it could
counter the allegstions that l\lichaels had
confessed and il never expected to b
faced with the rumors about fond)ing or a
nude photo in coun. But l\tichaels's past
expenences srth women had her laulers
worried. The ptosecution couldr't raise
the issue in coun unless the defense
called Michaels's family or friends to the
stand to testif as character witnesses. If
thel did. lhe Etst could ssl anlthing it
wished about Michaels's personal life.
And since manl'people equate homosex,
ual i tl w i th per v e rs i o n , t h e a t t o rn e y s

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fe a re d th r l u ^ r(|ulC eltend tht aigehr a


sn d i o n fl n tt a l l " g tntr str ,n:." concludtnE
th a t l r.h ro r i s i n ter r hangeabl ur th chi/d
"\\i 6l16ln
1 li1,,u hou a lrn
no|.rrr'
*,'u l d re a ct. so u e dectded not tr , h8\?
ml f rtcn d s o r 8 n \ ( ) ne elsr c.m t on lot
mr. sl s Nl rch a el: "lr li.uer e afr aid tht
D r(,se cu to tsco u l d make il Ien uglr '
Ne re n h e l e ss. b i the tr me of the tnal
l s() \e a ts o fte r h et 6r st ar r est. the M r "\\' e
ch a e l s fa mi l v s 8s optim istic
th o u g h t i t wo u l d bt ( ) ur chsnce to put
before a ju4 the facts we belteved uould
a cq u i t X e l l r." re m ember s hel m r ther .
in lak June 198i. For
T n t ? i t^ r t:ctr
th e n e xt fo u r mo nths. l9 childr en testr fied against Michsels on closed'circuit
TV in presiding superior court judge Wil'
l i a m H a n h 's ch am ber s. Accor dint ttr
\\'\A'OR s Bob lr'liller. some children gave
graphic. detailed testimon)': one bol described blood dripping off I tampon he
sard Michaels removed frt,m her vagina
Bul according to Meltzer's summation
notes and to news clips. manl children
seemed coached. picking up anatomicallr
detailed dolls and draning matrials be'
fore thei s'ere told to. Others had litrle or
nothing to sav about the alleged crimes.
e ve n u p ()n d i re ct questioning.
On cro ss-e xa m ination, some changed

lhr sl,r r r r ' . ther had J U s l hnr s hed tel i r nF


Sut h dec r s tt'ns agar ns t M r c hael s r at l
S,,nr r couli n,,l l ns s et tht s m t ques
t{) r ne) s w er e ty pr c a} dunng the l ( l .m ( ) nth
tr t' n. shen the\ w er c r es r r r ded And
tnal ,l udgr F i anh al s r , s l l ( ) $ed ps r ents t( , i
s,r me chr ldr en co nl ts dl r i ed other s ' tes ti - l es l r f\ Bh) ut s hat ther r c hr l dr en al l egedl r j
m, ' nr Onr h' r . for tns l anc t. tei d M r .
tol d them . al though s uc h hear s ar r as l
chael: had ur ins ted. pr c k ed r t un w r th 8 s ubs equenti r r ui ed i nadm i s s bl e br a I
thal hi s fr r end J er em r
r t) ,,r ,n.8nd
hi gher s tr te ( {) ur l l n N e$ J er s el w or l i i ng I
p,'Jlpsd it up Bul Jeremr rememtrred
on a dr fl er ent c as r Ins tead of F r s ntl nt i
nothing about a m o1, H e s ai d l Vi c hael s I9el tz r r 's r eques t fr ,r s m r s l r i s l bas ed on I
defecstedand uri ns ted r n a buc k et i n the thr s r ul r ng. qhr c h c am e afk r the pr os ec uglm and pour ed i t i n a toi l et. H r then tion had rested. Hanh threq oul over 20
knked over at prosecutor ltlcArdle and counts he decided were affected b1 the
asked her if ther e uas a toi l et i n the s l m .
dec i s i on and i ns tr uc ted the j ur y to di s r e.
Another bo1. Benjamin. said Michaels gard the hearsat tstimon\'.
raped him and eleryI)ne else in lhe class
Perhaps even more important than
sith l*eo bl<rks. But there was no medi- rhat \dee Care studenls and parents had
cal evidince of this. and no other children to sa]' sas the tstimonl of the Btat's
corroboreted his slory The prosecutors psvchologists. \'\'hile the jufue *ouldn't
claimed Benjamin s lestrmonl sas espe- permit the defense to present erperls
cialll strong. since his parents had isolat- who would explain whl they thought Mi.
ed him from "contamination" b1 remov- chaels didn't fit s child molester profile
ing him from \\'ee Care in mid-June 1985 or allow defense ps;-chologrststo eramine
and keeping investigators from intcn'ier'
the children. he did allos prosecution
ing hrm until months lste!. But in an *ilnesses to 1fstif! that the children actintenieu taped in lste June, the father of ed in *a1's thsl were consistnt *"ith gerBenjam in s clas s m 8te Li nds al m enti ons ual abuse. And when it came to p8)'ing
that she was golng to Benjamin s house for background checks on experts for the
to plar. Lindsal sas later remoled from purpose of discrediting them, the Etate
the case after she uas reported to be too had the big advantage. wirh $3.5 million
lrsumatized to testift. Judge Harth then to develop its case, qhile the defense had
ruled that tapes of her testimonl and onl5- $300,000.
th81 of l0 other children dropped from
The difference nas apparent. For in'
the case could not be plaved for the jury.
stsnce, Bronx psvchologrst Eileen Tleacl'

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tes tr fi eC for t h e p r()* c u ' . l o n l o r e l t h l


ds r s end no l u n t rl rt w s s l q , l a l ? t ()
atLac l her c r e d rh rl rt l d rd t h e d e f e n * d t s
c ,'r er tha: T t e a r r' s c u rrrt u l u m v i t a e c o n
tatned er at E e rg t e g t n f o rma t l o n a b o u t
c r edentr s l s a n d . i n o n e N e s J e rrl c a s e
uher r T l eac r " r' a l rd a t e d " t h a t a )-o u n g
bor"s behavror ht the "Child Serual
Abusr Slrtdrome." a judge had ruled
abuse hsd not txcurred and that Tteacl s
questions were rr' leadrng thsl ghs "*ould
have been eble tt, elicrl the dirlosure
. . . from manl children his age who had
not been serualll- abused." Ellen Hopkins
revealed these facts in a rtrent Ncu )brA
anicle, adding that T[eacl was not Ii'
censed tn do clinrcal therapl and that she
onll teceives her coun appearance fee if
she finds (and is called to testib ) that the
children seem to be euffering from the
" C hi l d Ser u a l A b u s e S l n d ro me . " Th e
"sy'ndrrtme" rtself . a const ruct inventf,d
by a pediatrician, has not been accepted
bl the American Psychiatric Associstion
Tleac1's evaluations use the results of a
checklist marled off b! parents; the be'
havioral changes they are told to look for
include "accident prone," "won't dress
self." "postures bodl- sexuallv," "sexuallSacts out with toys or children/animals,"
and "daydreams,"
Dr- Rappepon believes onll one or two
of Tleacy's behavioral checklist itcms
might reffect sexual abuse. But Rappe'
port, who specializesin adult ps3-chiatry.
was not allowed to comment in court on
Tleact's methods. And *hen he tcstified
about his examination of lvlichaels. Assistant Prosecutor Glenn Goldberg told the
coun thal th authors of a book Rappeport recommended in pretrial hearings.
Ttu Politics ol Child Abue. were child
por nogr ap h e rs . R a p p e p o rt , w h o w a s
shocked at the allegation, maintains that
the book presents reputable lega) and so.
cial criticism. (Larer. Goldberg recitec
Lew i s C arro l l ' s " J a b b e ru n c k l "
es n.
ripped up transcripts of testimonl- r': ,-:
other defense expert. Ralph Undenragr:
Rappeport adds that when he trstrfie:
he had visited the Greensich Village da)
care centr where his daughtcr teaches
and sau apparen!l) unabused, norma
fir,e-year-oldsdrawing vaginas. "McArdlt
sknd jelling. '\4'here is this mhoot'
\4'hat's the teacher's name?"' Rappepor
sa1*s."I've rcsti6ed manl times as ar
expert. but this is the 6ret time I wa,
ever frightened. lt's very hard ro finc
expens in child psvchologr tn testi! fo:
the defense in these cases. Everyone'r
scared to dearh . . . it's dinl pool."

A LtH ouc tr tH E ti o3E c urtox deni er


the existenceof a child molesbr profilt
it rried hard to establisha connectiol
betweenXelli Michaels's"artsiness"anr
sadi sti c p erv ers i on. Gl enn Gol dberr
openedb5 telling the coun thal sinc
Michaelswas an actress.she had molesl
ed groupsof childrento fulfill her needt'
direct "pla1s."Iater, he had a tracher'
aide read aloud a poem Michaels har
composedon her attendancebook: "Ar'
you goingaboutthis the wrong *a1?{H
wha
sa1'swhat do you want?,'l sa1 He1.',
did you sal?/But I know/with the sme.
of your fles h.(l k noq)i i n a fl as has y o
dress/yourbodl will Ieaveme." Goldber
said this "ser pom" showed how Mr
chaels felt after molesting little bofi
During summation,he sangJoni Mitch
ell's "Both Sides Now." and said tha
sinceMichaelshad writren it on the sam
roll book. "moons and Junes and ferri
wheels,the dizzy dancing wa1' I feel" rt
flectedher motionalst^at.
llhen Michaelsfinallt' rook the stanc
somereporterssaid she madea goodin
pression:othersthought she was evasivr
Ir{ichaelsherselfthought she was vagr
panll becauseof her naivete."On tf
one hand. ml lawlers told me to be m'
self,"she recalls."So when Glenn lGolc
bergl askedme things li!e. 'Did you c
suchand suchon suchand sucha da5'liLe if l'd changeda kid's diaper on
certrin dat three years ago-l real.
So I wouldjust sar'
couldr't remember.
' l may hav e,' or' I' :
don'l rem ember,' or
sure I did.' I thought qustionsli}e th

AT ttr
r x r l or ar l r
* ?r t v ' i r m l e \E n 1t h 8 t ? ve n o n *o u ld from Harth'r couri Juit er Michaels r rar
?l r r l
i n Ew r
!m nr s er c am t t h r, ru c h a r t h e t n a i l t
undertand m] retFx)n*s Thcn. l'd get lxpnning At lhe umr time Mrchaclr'r Countl huton. and rftrr l3 &r.s of de
rnF^ rl m\ klf f.,r berng passrvt and
put
T'as
liberetions.
kx,
being
tofethet.
the
Xelll
Mrcherls
was
thst
I
mmed
catr
during
found
m8)-bc
*lf-conrrous
r c c entr n! r dr r c r I rh o u l d n ' t h a v e B u t
the rtotr ras maling summer of l9[ilr. a ZO-year-oldSouth Or. gui l tr of l l 5 c ounts a88l ns t 20 c hi l dr en. I m ol er - I Lno u rh r, I a m a n d a l w a v s
composed-becaus
a big deal of m) rcting background.I ange camp coun*krr named Daren Not- Among the l6 charges rhe ras acquilted hav t T hes r t c o n s rc , . e Cmr. b u t t h e r
mran. I tned tn ftve the court utmost tnrtiner ras accuad of nnualll the of ras the original one. taking K1"le haven t touched mt l m innocent. Anb
htt'6 "tcmpratur."
respect.but I sas aleooverl! |' ticent rnd aame gtotesque sl crimer er Mrchaelr
nerl tlme. I $snt t{) havr ml friends
Mrchsels b currentll incarcerated in
cmotionless.lt wasn't8 ttyle I was com- According t Nottf,nstiner's tttorne),
6tand up for me u charactrr witnesrs. I
the
with.
were
like
Esser
Countl
There
times.
Blair Zwillman. thlll
counuc against his
Jai) Anner. rtil) insist.
fortable
*ant peop)e tr, knr's I didn't crawl out
when Goldberguid I gambledand played client included charges of rap with pop- ing on her innmence. She sas recentlv from under s,me rml. I wanl to ra),
crsps sith the inmatrs. to prove I was sicle sticls and assaults sith urine, feces, snt to Nes Jereel's Adult Dragnostic 'Therr are no rcrets here."'
thick as thieves with them and 'con- and pudding against nine three' and four- and Tleatment Ceni.er for ler offenders
During the lhree years since the case
fessed to them. And I don't even plal- year-old children. \ltrat the caus had in for a presentencing evaluation. "l had to began. ri\ee Care children have spent
cardslI wantedto say,'Comeon, Glenn, common-besides elmost identical bi- leave in ehackles-chaine around m,'- an- much of their lives bearing that their
kles md ml huda cuffed down rt mr
worler
lt'6 cul the bullshir.'But I couldn't.I arre charges-was that mid
former Laacher brutalized them. Micheels
stomach," she rememben. "t walked br
reallt felt I couldr't be m1'self.because Fonolleras and psychologist Eequilin
ms]" thus be thr onlr penon lefi who
all theee gu;'s and there was total silenci.
rDy sttorneys had this strategy-because helped develop both.
remembers shat resll) happened. If the's
Tbey just totally stopped what they were
we weregcaredof the gay thing-of preUnlike Michaels, how ev er . N otten'
innocent. as she claims. she will never be
doing. All theee guys; rer offenders who
stiner was quickly acquitted. "Based on
renting me as a Barbie Doll."
able to prove it. But she shouldn't have to
probably have fantasies of *omen, womgince the proscution
Michaels 88ys thst th atttmpt to the nature of the investigation, the jury
is euppowd to
just
en
looking
lile I did then. I came prove she's 3uilty beyond a reaeonable
avoid "the Ea) thing" proved to be a couldn'r drcide whether the allegations
bacl to jail ud cried all night because I
mistahe. Wee Care mother Sandra l*occurred," said Nottneteiner'8 attomev.
doubr. Is she? The enswer to that ques.
Duke eaid Michaels once confidedrhe He thinks the media {nored the case was fghting for my life."
tion i6 the real eecret, one thst won't be
"l cry every day. I feel like they've
was going to I docto! for rectal bleeding, because "the prosecutor's office was gearrevealed until Kelly Michaels gets a fair
gomechil- ing them up for Michaels,"
murdered my charactcr, and like *ho I
damninginformationbecauee
trial
I
&en eaid Michaels hsd forced them to
rticl sharp objectx up her. In response,
Michaels'ePittsburgh doctor teetifiedahe
had a chronic bowel condition ard bleeding hemorrhoids.Michaelstestified she
told kDuke about this and said that ehe
was going to a doctor, but eaid it was for
treatmentof the ffu and other problems,
not bleeding,She didrl recall the doctor's name or addressand was vasue
about details.Later. she told me she sas
afraid to elaborate becauseehe didn't
want to involveher friend.a lesbian,who
her to
dso had the flu and accompanied
the doctor, a fact she didn't even tell her
law y e r s . H e r f r i e n d 'e h o m o se r u a lity'
"would have comeup," Michaelsfeared.
Meltzernow saysthis was"e hugemistale" becausethe statr could not have
legallybrought up the friends homoseruditr-, Meltzer thinls Michaelskept the
vhole thing vaguebecausehe had repeatedly instnrcted her to scrupulouslyavoid
introducing the gay issue. Accordirg to
Noreen Catarino, the Etatestill managed
to imply, through asidesand innuendo,
that Michaels was gs).
The statf, felt much freer lo convel its
side of the caseoutsidethe court. Court
artist Rebekah Feldman.who covered
much of the trial for \t'!l'OR-TV md
\4'ABC, remembersdeciding Michaels
was guilty as soon as she heard "her
father fondledher" and "her mothersent
her thesenakedbeavershots.That made
me think she had had this penene. in.
cestuouschildhoodthat wouldleadher to
do these horrible things to children."
Feldmansar-qshe heardthe rumorsfrom
other reponers but Thc Record'sEllior i
Pinslel md another reporter confirmed
that the ptosecutorswere the sourceof
the rumors. Pinslel added that he felt
Judge Hanh was "biased''against Milr4anhattan's
ne\r'esland largestair<onditioned indoor tennis club \^'illopen
chaelsand that somchildren geveunhe
convincing t4stimonl. Never1heless,
August 15. HRCTENNIS& YACHT is lcrated just belorl the South StreetSeaport.
eaid he thoughr Michaelswas guilty of
with thesespecialfeatures:
man,t-charges-partll' becauseof the fono 8 HarTruCourts
dling story and becausehe thought Michaels was sexualll' "more comfortsble
.
-itateof-thsArrLighting
with women and children"-somethine
r Year-Round
ClimateControl
the prosecubrsconhdedto him *as in
o NewLuxuriousAir{onditionedLoungeand LockerFacilities
the Bartk5 psychologicalreport.
r Fora limitedtimewe arewaivingthe
It wasn't,but insteadof eraminingthe
repor!, or investigatingthe credibilitl'of
initiationfee($3000at Vertical
Club)
the incestrumorsand the'Jailhousecono
Fee
25%
Discounton Menrbership
fessions."or even thoroughlr reponing
r 20% Discounton Seasonal
Tlme
the tastimon), the reportrs seemedto
tale prosecution claims at face value.
HRCTENNIS& YACHTmembenalsohavefreeuseof the Neu'YorkHealth&
Pinsle."-,
for instance,told his readersthat
at six strategic
locations
RacquelClubfacilities
CharleneMunn, the inmat who tstified
- aswellasireeuseof the clubs
against Michaels,said she was "incarceryachlandtheelegant
75' custom-built
HRC
River
Club
ated for fatall)-shootinga would-beattackeron a Newarkstreet"-oroittingher
Forchartermembership
informationandto receiveyourchoiceof seasonal
or
cross-eraminationadmission that she
yearlvtime.call777-8000
or an)'HRClocationbelou
had actualll been imprisoned after plea
bargainingdown from a murder charge.
Pinslel said that although Judge llarth
ln additionttrHRCTENNIS& YACHTtennisplavers
canbookcountimeat HRC
sealed the tnal trsnscripts, he felt he
Village
at
I
l0
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would be able to eramine them in the
$allstrett
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Midtmn
Village
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prosecutor'soffice if he ever neededto. A
mL.sfi hS r. l {33\brkA rt. 24E l.3thS t. 39$hi rehal lS l150$,68thS
.
t.
l t0Il :56thsr. t32E .45rhS r,
\lee Care mother recentlysaid she noc'
541.720098&3t00 593.1500737.66669244600 269.9800 49&s4m
consideredDiane Curcio,a reportcr for
OpeningSmn
the IeuorA Stor-Ledger,"n1 friend."
The media also almost totalll ignored
Thke advantage of HRC's once-a-year summer sale, in effect no$'.
the short trial that ended downstairs

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