Monday, June 03, 2013

The Friedman Curve

I hadn't quite started blogging yet when I first saw "Capturing the Friedmans." But if I had been, I'd have gone on and on about Andre Jarecki's shocking 2003 documentary about a father and son on Long Island who were charged with hundreds of counts of raping children who were students in the family's home computer classes in the 1980s. After completely denying the allegations, prosecutors continued adding additional charges -- that carried 100-year sentences -- and both dad Arnold and son Jesse finally agreed to plead guilty in an attempt to avoid life in prison. The film, which began as a documentary about Jesse's older brother's life as a professional party clown catering to rich families in New York City, was utterly mesmerizing and jaw-dropping. And while the director went to great lengths not to form conclusions, anyone who saw it was left with the nagging suspicion that both men were victims of an overzealous prosecutor who was caught up in the era's mass hysteria about mass sexual abuse of children. (Remember the McMartin Preschool trials?) Arnold committed suicide in prison in 1995, shamed by the fact that his possession of kiddie porn (he was guilty of that) destroyed his family and threatened to end his son's life. Jesse served 13 years in prison as a child rapist, and has been out for 12. But now it seems Nassau County is on the verge of admitting what many have known all along: He and his father were innocent of the charges all along. Read HERE.

1 comment:

joel65913 said...

So sad and disheartening, the ruination of so many lives. Terrible to realize that in the original police's overzelousness to combat the perceived crime regardless of the evidence they now have made it doubly hard to get convictions for actual child molesters by casting doubt on the methods used.