PLEASE NOTE: This blog is a bigotry free zone open to all persons, regardless of age, race, religion, color, national origin, sex, political affiliations, marital status, physical or mental disability, age, or sexual orientation. Further, this blog is open to the broad variety of opinions out there and will not delete any comments based upon point of view. However, comments will be deleted if they are worded in an abusive manner and show disrespect for the intellectual process.
Showing posts with label JUDGES. Show all posts
Showing posts with label JUDGES. Show all posts

Thursday, February 6, 2020


Judiciary Committee  


Monday, February 10, 2020  

10:30 AM in Room 2E of the LOB  

To be a Judge of the Superior Court:
1. The Honorable John F. Blawie of Greenwich
2. The Honorable Patrick L. Carroll, III of Seymour
3. The Honorable Anna M. Ficeto of Wolcott
4. The Honorable Donna Nelson Heller of Riverside
5. The Honorable Frank A. Iannotti of North Haven
6. The Honorable Sybil V. Richards of Orange
7. The Honorable Dan Shaban of Middlebury
8. The Honorable Kenneth L. Shluger of Waterford
9. The Honorable Hillary B. Strackbein of Guilford
10. The Honorable Mark H. Taylor of West Hartford
11. The Honorable Theodore R. Tyma of Trumbull
12. The Honorable Elpedio N. Vitale of Madison

To be a Workers' Compensation Commissioner:
1. Soline Oslena of Oakdale

Thursday, November 29, 2018



The terms of the following Judges of the State of Connecticut will expire during the year 2020 and the nominations by the Governor will come before the Judicial Selection Commission for review commencing in February 2019.

There are 14 judges with terms expiring in 2020:
                                      Hon. John F. Blawie
Hon. Patrick L. Carroll, III
Hon. Anna M. Ficeto
Hon. Donna Nelson Heller
Hon. Frank A. Iannotti
Hon. Maureen M. Murphy
Hon. Sybil V. Richards
Hon. Dan Shaban
Hon. Kenneth L. Shluger
Hon. Hillary B. Strackbein
Hon. Mark H. Taylor
Hon. Theodore R. Tyma
Hon. Elpedio N. Vitale


Hon. Jorge A. Simón

Comments regarding the reappointment of any of the Judges on the Reappointment List for 2020 may be submitted to the Judicial Selection Commission, 18-20 Trinity Street, Hartford, CT 06106 on or before January 31, 2019.  Reappointment interviews of the listed Judges will commence in February 2019 and continue through June 2019.  Accordingly, comments received after January 31, 2019 will be considered if received prior to a Judge's reappointment interview.  Anonymous submissions will be considered but afforded less weight than signed submissions.  

                                        Robert S. Bello,

Friday, February 23, 2018


Judiciary Committee 
Monday, February 26, 2018 
10:00 AM in Room 2C of the LOB 


I. To be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
1. The Honorable Andrew McDonald of Stamford

II. To be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
1. The Honorable Maria Araujo Kahn of Cheshire
2. The Honorable Raheem Mullins of Farmington

III. To be a Judge of the Appellate Court
1. The Honorable William H. Bright of Columbia

IV. To be a Judge of the Superior Court
1. The Honorable John L. Carbonneau, Jr. of East Lyme
2. The Honorable Jack W. Fischer of Watertown
3. The Honorable Kathleen E. McNamara of East Hartford
4. The Honorable David M. Sheridan of Manchester
5. The Honorable Barry K. Stevens of Stratford

V. To be a Senior Judge
1. The Honorable Marylouise Schofield of Easton

VI. To be a State Referee
1. The Honorable Stuart Bear of West Hartford
2. The Honorable Jonathan J. Kaplan of South Windsor
3. The Honorable George Levine of West Hartford
4. The Honorable Aaron Ment of East Hartford
5. The Honorable Stanley Novack of Stamford
6. The Honorable Edward F. Stodolink of Stratford
7. The Honorable Kevin Tierney of Greenwich

Friday, February 9, 2018


Judiciary Committee 
Friday, February 16, 2018 10:00 AM in Room 1E of the LOB


I. To be a Judge of the Superior Court:

1. The Honorable Jon M. Alander of Hamden
2. The Honorable Laura F. Baldini of West Hartford
3. The Honorable James M. Bentivegna of Avon
4. The Honorable Susan Quinn Cobb of West Hartford 

5. The Honorable Susan A. Connors of Old Lyme
6. The Honorable John A. Danaher of West Hartford
7. The Honorable Maureen D. Dennis of Southport
8. The Honorable John C. Driscoll of Norwich
9. The Honorable Jane B. Emons of Woodbridge
10. The Honorable Robert L. Genuario of Norwalk
11. The Honorable James T. Graham of Bloomfield
12. The Honorable Arthur C. Hadden of Branford
13. The Honorable John F. Kavenewsky of East Norwalk

II. To be a State Referee

1. The Honorable Thomas A. Bishop of North Stonington 
2. The Honorable Richard F. Comerford, Jr. of Stamford 
3. The Honorable Thomas J. Corradino of Madison
4. The Honorable Dennis G. Eveleigh of Hamden
5. The Honorable Johnathan J. Kaplan of South Windsor 

6. The Honorable Joseph Q. Koletsky of Waterford
7. The Honorable Karen Sequino of Woodbridge
8. The Honorable Joseph M. Shortall of Bloomfield
9. The Honorable David R. Tobin of Old Greenwich 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018



The terms of the following Judges of the State of Connecticut will expire during the year 2019 and the nominations by the Governor will come before the Judicial Selection Commission for review commencing in February 2018.

There are 7 judges with terms expiring in 2019:

Hon. Alexandra D. DiPentima


Hon. Barbara N. Bellis
Hon. Hunchu Kwak
Hon. Lisa K. Morgan
Hon. John M. Newson
Hon. M. Nawaz Wahla
Hon. Robin L. Wilson

Comments regarding the reappointment of any of the Judges on the Reappointment List for 2019 may be submitted to the Judicial Selection Commission, 18-20 Trinity Street, Hartford, CT 06106 on or before January 31, 2018. Reappointment interviews of the listed Judges will commence in February 2018 and continue through June 2018. Accordingly, comments received after January 31, 2018 will be considered if received prior to a Judge's reappointment interview. Anonymous submissions will be considered but afforded less weight than signed submissions. 

Robert S. Bello

Saturday, August 5, 2017


Since Hartford is currently the capitol of Connecticut, it must appear to everyone that it was inevitable that it be so.  

Yet this was not always the case.  

Originally, New Haven was the center of a much more prosperous and more powerful colony and by rights appeared to be the one that would be favored with the title of State Capitol.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


Judiciary Committee 
Monday, May 22, 2017 
9:00 AM in Room 2C of the LOB 


I. To be an Appellate Court Judge:
1. The Honorable Nina F. Elgo of West Hartford
2. The Honorable Maria Araujo Kahn of Cheshire

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


By Email

January 18, 2017 
9:16 PM

Rep. Tong:

Today, your suggestion and that of Rep. Rebimbas will be challenged through a media strategy to indicate that the Chairs have engaged, personally, in aiding and abetting false testimony‎ to be delivered in your self described "rigorous" review of those re-nominated for judicial reappointments.

I have confirmed by performing due diligence on the Chairs that the six page form of the Judicial Selection Commission have never been secured and distributed to the membership of the entire Judiciary Committee.

While we would agree that it would be important to redact telephone numbers and addresses for judges to ensure you, as attorneys, do not abuse your position to talk to judges on matters under current litigation including appeal.

There is a legitimate and well grounded concern about a far too "cozy" relationship between the Chairs of the Judiciary Committee and ranking members who are attorneys.

We noted the Chief Justice, in the offices of the Judiciary Committee where the Chairs have an office, meeting prior to the start of the re-confirmation process which began on January 11, 2017.

Do you really believe that members of the United States Congress meet to discuss cases which are controversial decisions?

It may be time for the citizens of this State to initiate a change in the State Constitution to change the Connecticut judiciary to an elected---not an appointment position inasmuch as lawyers, as legislators, have consistently voted favorably on all judicial re-appointments.

Your refusal and failure to provide for public inspection copies of the Judicial Selection Commission forms sworn as "truthful" and not distributing that redacted document to the members of your OWN committee raises serious issues of your self-proclaimed "due dilligence" today.

The decision of the Chairs to limit public posting of transcripts to refute testimony of judges is another example of creating a system where "perjured" testimony is not only tolerated but condoned by the chairs who are definitely more interested in coddling judges than "professional skepticism" which is the hallmark of many professions.

The Judicial Review Council needs to be revised so that all complaints, dismissed or not, are a matter of public record.

The comments on "sealing cases" by Judge Buzzuto for judges who go through a divorce is inconsistent with open disclosure of records to ensure that "addresses are redacted" but the decisions an open public record---just as you make our decisions a matter of an "open public record" which is used to humiliate the citizens while protecting the privacy rights of public officials.

Recent surveys done on the judiciary ranks Connecticut as one of the least transparent of any state in the country.

The fact that the judiciary cut $60 million from its budget because it was bloated without services being decreased should be a clear sign that the legislators, in general, don't have the same "access issues" to the courts that the general public has to endure.

The fact that Rep. Rebimbas refused to disclose on her "stump speech" on Judge Adelman that she received appointments by Judge Adelman smacks of an undisclosed conflict of interest.

As you know, the lack of disclosure of the answers to the 32 questions by your Committee Chairs is a clear sign that what you don't know can hurt the citizens you claim to serve.

There will be letters sent to those who you serve who will be randomly selected off the voter roles to expose the failure of the Chairs to have properly investigated allegations of misconduct reported to you by "railroading" controversial candidates within a week of the controversy involving allegations of perjury to be investigated by a select subcommittee which is balanced with lawyers and non-lawyers to review transcripts which the Chairs refuse to post and share with the colleagues on the committee as "equals".

The lack of "professional skepticism" by lawyers serving as legislators is demonstrated by your consistent voting and "unchallenged" public comments by Rep. Tong and Rep. Rembimas.

The Chairs of the Judiciary Committee asked no tough questions about the "Hightower" matter raised by Rep. Tong---who never even asked a question about it to Judge Adelman today.

There is only ONE representative of the people on your committee who asks tough questions and that is Minnie Gonzalez.

I watched all but one interview conducted by your committee on Wednesday and Friday and I am one of five individuals who will have filed by tomorrow complaints with the Chief State Attorney on five judges who meet the standard of probable cause for arrest for perjury defined in C.G.S. 53a-156 (a).

If the Chief State Attorney Office had a grand jury system in place, then judges would be far less likely to deliver material and false testimony and in written statements provided to the Judicial Selection Commission is provided with a General Release Form.

Until the Chairs take corrective actions to rebuild the trust that only you can restore, the public will exercise our rights to expose "corrupt practices" which the Chairs seem to support.

Have any of you ever sat in a Monday short calendar in family court and watched the meter running?

Have any of you visited a courthouse in Virginia where a help desk directs clients to "calendered" matters in which Connecticut has to run a "pilot program".

The "cattle calls in family courts" is the single, most inefficient way to conduct the public's access to justice.

Despite Rep. Tong's statements that you take these comments seriously, all we need to do is review the voting records of the 19 lawyers on the judiciary committee (if we include one member who had a direct relative on the Supreme Court) and your attempts to deliver Judge Fuger's head on a platter today to show how "tough you are".

At no point in time, since Judge Frazzini sent a "letter of retraction" after I filed a criminal complaint alleging perjury to the Chief's State Attorney's Office has any judge been subject to a delayed vote until a full investigation of allegations of perjury occurs.

There is a section of the Code of Judicial Conduct which prohibits a Judge from making a knowingly false statement to a legislative committee.

Until there is either legislative reforms to clean up this system of inefficiencies in due process and remove judges from sitting on administrative committee meetings which take them away from their duties "in court", we will continue to challenge publicly and privately, whether you approve or not, our "professional skepticism" that the lawyers in the legislature are engaging and abetting perjury by refusing to table the vote on any judge who is alleged to have committed perjury under oath.

We will be unrelenting because this "tyranny" creates through the empowerment of "judicial discretion" to rape and pillage the financial resources of parents via a reallocation of our lifetime savings to support your "system of racketeering" by having lawyers sitting in a courtroom for hours and then billing their clients for accomplishing nothing and being paid for it.

I would be happy to sit down with you to discuss with a group of litigants to show us the evidence of perjury---which are now on their way ‎for review by the "probable cause" standards which apply to criminal arrests of those judges who made knowingly false material statements to a committee.

For Rep. Rebimbas to have made a claim that "she has some sort of access to transcripts" to the 3,850 pages of transcripts, is nothing less than balderdash.

We are tired of the "obstruction" by the Chairs to a proper review of evidence by limiting the posting of transcripts on the judiciary committee website.

In the movie "A Few Good Men", Jack Nicholson's line seems appropriate to close this email:

"You can't handle the truth."

Michael Nowacki,
Public Advocate



January 18, 2017 
1:55 PM

Rep. Remimbas:

You lied to the public today on CT-N when you said you have the ability to review public records on-line about a judge to evaluate the authenticity of testimony.

Transcripts of court proceedings are not readily available on line and your comments were disingenuous.

You and your colleagues as lawyers have ZERO credibility in the fawning which I am watching on CT-N today regarding judges re-confirmation hearings today in the House.

When my house sells in Connecticut, I may need to reside somewhere for two years and will expose you by taking residence in your district to reveal your conflicts of interest in having been appointed by Judge Bozzuto as a GAL when she was first appointed to the bench.

We will continue to expose you and the other lawyers on the judiciary who don't allow transcripts to be shared on line on the judiciary website to refute the sworn testimony of judges at public hearings.

I have a bag of marshmellows here in my home for a reason today---to toss them at the screen when legislators like Labriola and you stand up and lie to protect  judges who deliver knowingly false testimony under oath.

There is a reason why we call Connecticut--Corrupticut--to honor your personal enduring legacy which is causing people to leave the State---30,000 of them last year.

In your entire time of voting on judicial confirmations which I have observed for the last sic years, I am still waiting for you to oppose an re-nomination---even on Judge Parker.

We have no respect for you and your legal colleagues on the judiciary committee who you allow to perjure themselves under oath without consequence.

It is time for citizens to expose you for your undisclosed conflicts of interest.

Look for my LTE in your weekly newspaper exposing your mis-statements about "your access" to public records to review "difficult cases".


Michael Nowacki
New Canaan, CT


To the Members of the General Assembly:

By the time you consider the Re-Appointment Votes on Judges of the Superior Court, you should be aware that there have been or will be five criminal complaints filed with the Chief State Attorney's Office that certain judges on January 11 and January 13, delivered sworn testimony which constitutes grounds for "material mis-statements" of "facts" and/or "knowing or willful" sworn testimony in documents provided to the Judicial Selection Commission.

The lack of the willingness of the Chairs of the Judiciary Committee to re-consider an "arbitrary rule" limiting public testimony to five pages, has resulted in an "erosion" in the public confidence in the elected members of the General Assembly to be provided to documents refuting sworn testimony via this "five page rule".

The Chairs of the Judiciary Committee have been unresponsive to emails requesting a "waiver" be issued to allow the public the opportunity to post documents to refute "materially false and misleading" sworn testimony and documents notarized which are required to be submitted to the Judicial Selection Commission.

The Judicial Selection Commission, as noted in the six page form attached to this email, has never provided access to the answers to all 32 questions---even to the members of the Judiciary Committee of this legislature.

This failure to have "full disclosure" of the answers to the Judicial Selection Commission documents for review by the members of the Judiciary Committee erodes the confidence of the public trust placed in the hands of legislators who will be voting today.

We urge you to consider "abstaining" or "voting no" consistent with your "due diligence" responsibilities before casting a vote confirming a candidate today.


Michael Nowacki
Public Advocate


Monday, January 9, 2017



Please Attend the Hearing and 
Wear RED to show your support! 


It Is Not OK!      

Tell the Judiciary Committee:  

"Do Not Reappoint Connecticut Judge Gerard Adelman!"

Please email and call the co-chairs of the 2017 Connecticut Judiciary Committee  to tell them "It is Not OK" to reappoint family court judge - Gerard Adelman - who dismisses evidence of domestic violence and punishes protective mothers by retaliating and taking custody of their children away! There are 10 cases where mother's lost custody in his courtroom...It is Not OK!

2017 Connecticut Judiciary Committee


Public Hearing is Wednesday January 11 at 10 a.m. in Hartford, LOB Building


CT Public Hearing Agenda for Judicial Reappointment


Connecticut Family Court Judge Gerard Adelman is up for reappointment as a Trial Referee Judge.  His previous 8 year tenure as a family court judge has torn families apart, bankrupted litigants and allowed and condoned the continued abuse - litigation abuse - of domestic violence victims and dismissal of their traumatic DV experiences from his bench. 

According to an investigative journalist,

“I have been moved by the individual stories of the families and the harm they have suffered at the hands of the courts. The stories of greed and miscarriages of justice, many that have gravely harmed children and parents, are heartbreaking.”

CT Announces Investigation of Corrupt Courts


Call and email the Judiciary committee co-chairs and members  to educate them about how they can protect children in family court from harm by VOTING NO on the reappointment of Gerard Adelman as a Trial Referee Judge.

Co-Chair Paul Doyle     

Legislative Aide:  David Seifel,
860-240-0475 or Toll-free: 1-800-842-1420

Co-Chair William Tong
(860) 240-8585 | 1-800-842-8267

Co-Chair John Kissel

Legislative Aide: Kate McAvoy
Phone: (800) 842-1421 

Mae Flexor

Legislative Aide:  Andrew Elash
860-240-8634, or Toll-free: 1-800-842-1420

Friday, December 30, 2016



Hon. Richard N. Palmer 
Hon. Peter T. Zarella


Hon. Bethany J. Alvord


Hon. Holly A. Abery-Wetstone 
Hon. Gerard I. Adelman
Hon. Salvatore C. Agati
Hon. Elizabeth A. Bozzuto 

Hon. Mary-Margaret D. Burgdorff 
Hon. Richard E. Burke
Hon. Emmet L. Cosgrove 
Hon. Robert J. Devlin, Jr. 
Hon. Kevin G. Dubay 
Hon. Brian T. Fischer 
Hon. Stanley T. Fuger, Jr. 
Hon. James P. Ginocchio 
Hon. Bruce P. Hudock 
Hon. Corinne L. Klatt 
Hon. Douglas C. Mintz 
Hon. Vernon D. Oliver 
Hon. Sheila A. Ozalis 
Hon. Nicola E. Rubinow 
Hon. Philip A. Scarpellino 
Hon. Jose A. Suarez 
Hon. Carl E. Taylor
Hon. William J. Wenzel
Hon. Dawne G. Westbrook
Hon. Peter Emmett Wiese 
Hon. Glenn A. Woods

Senior Judges

Hon. Angelo L. dos Santos 
Hon. Susan B. Handy
page1image11264 page1image11424 page1image11584 page1image11744 page1image11904 page1image12064 page1image12224 page1image12384

Hon. Kevin P. McMahon
Hon. Patty Jenkins Pittman 

Hon. Susan S. Reynolds
Hon. Jane S. Scholl
Hon. Patricia A. Swords
Hon. Heidi G (deleted in error) 

Monday, June 6, 2016



The 2016 Judges of the Superior Court Annual Meeting will be held on Friday, June 24, 2016 at 10 a.m. in the Jury Assembly Room, located at 1 Court Street in Middletown. Wheelchair accessibility is through the front door, and meetings are open to the public. If you would like to attend and need an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, please call Sandra Lugo Ginés at (860) 706-5310 by June 10, 2016.

See the link below for the agenda to the meeting:

Thursday, March 31, 2016


Recently, the media has reported on two high profile cases of child sexual abuse where the perpetrator was able to get away with his abuse for a matter of years.  

The first case reported by Karen Florin of "The Day" on December 26, 2015 "Beemer Children Reveal themselves As victims of Prolonged Sexual Assault" discussed the case in which Robert T. Beemer sexually abused all four of his children. Information regarding his abuse of the children first emerged in 1998 when the two older children--Timothy and Christina Beemer--then 13 and 14 respectively--spoke to a counselor at the Old Lyme, CT youth Services Bureau revealing all four of the Beemer children had been sexually abused.  In 2000, Mr. Beemer was given an eight year sentence; however, as soon as he was released in 2008, his abuse of children began all over again.  

The second case reported by Nestor Ramos and Evan Allen of "The Boston Globe" on January 30, 2016 "State fumbled For Answers While Girl was In Limbo" discussed the case in which a father, James Stanley, was accused of molesting his little girl for five years from the age of 3 to 8 while family court sat around and debated on whether to intervene or not. 

Upon reading these cases, the question most of us are left with is how were these clearly rotten individuals given the freedom to sexually molest these children at will for such lengthy periods of time?  

The answer to that question is more complex than it would initially appear.   The statistics on child sexual abuse are as follows.  When it comes to the worldwide prevalence of child sexual abuse in general, 18% of girls and 8% of boys experience abuse.  Yet perpetrators are rarely prosecuted.  The average pedophile molests approximately 260 children in his lifetime—they generally don’t stop unless they are forced to—and the majority of pedophiles are family members, acquaintances, or caretakers, not strangers.  90% of pedophiles who are caught will reoffend.  85-90% of pedophiles are males.  Only 3% of child sexual abuse and 12% of rapes involving children are ever reported to police, and of those reported only 1-2% of these cases are ever prosecuted and result in a conviction.  Then to go even further, the majority of child molesters who are convicted spend less than a year in jail.  

As Karen Beemer, the mother of child victims here in Connecticut stated, “The kids are messed up for the rest of their lives…The pedophile gets everything they want.”  

One of the reasons why child sexual abuse is so poorly prosecuted is because there is a high rate of false allegations.  So, you are talking about a horrific crime combined with the very real possibility that the accuser is lying about it.   Particularly in connection to custody matters in family court, there are a considerable number of false allegations.  Judges and prosecutors are aware that if they pursue allegations which turn out to be false, even if a man is later found innocent, it is likely his life will be destroyed. 

Of course, many child abuse advocates say that while the problem of false allegations is, indeed, serious and troubling, they only occur very rarely.  However, this is just not true. In the course of doing research for this article, when I typed into google “family court false allegations of sexual abuse.” among the results, I came up with is an article written by Hollida Wakefield entitled “Allegations of Child Abuse in Custody Disputes” While somewhat on the old side, citing studies from the 80s and 90s it provided the insight that in about half of the cases where sexual abuse was alleged, the allegations were false. Another more recent study put the number of false allegations at 33% which is still pretty high. 

In contrast, studies cited by advocates for protective mothers indicated a considerably lower level of false allegations of 8% and even 1%. What was the basis of this extreme difference, i.e. 50% vs. 1%, in the percentages which were reported here?  Apparently, the latter studies only included cases under false allegations when the allegations were intentionally false.  Of course, I would question that approach because false allegations are false, and intentional or not, result in prosecution and the resultant damage to a person's life which is grossly unjust if the person has been falsely accused. 

It is horrific to consider that thousands of innocent men, possibly up to 50% of those accused, could be hounded, harassed, bullied, incarcerated and their lives destroyed by such a high level of false allegations.  Talk about “The Children’s Hour!”  

What can be done?  How can we safeguard fathers who are wholly innocent of wrongdoing, while at the same time protect vulnerable children from the lifelong devastation of child sexual abuse by putting the perpetrators in jail?  

The answer to that question is:  only with a great deal of difficulty.  

Apparently, it is extremely hard to obtain definitive physical evidence, the kind that stands up in court, in cases of child sexual abuse.  For instance, I found on google a 2016 article entitled "Physical Evidence Uncommon in Child Abuse Cases.";  its operative comment was, "Over 90% of sexual assault exams completed in children result in no finding." Here is another article from Reuters dated August 3, 2009 entitled, "Physical Evidence Rare in Girls Reporting Sex Abuse."  It states, "girls who describe repetitive sexual abuse by genital penetration rarely have definitive physical evidence to prove it, according to the journal "Pediatrics."  A Pub Med entry in 1993 states, "Studies indicate that a normal physical exam is common in sexual abuse victims."  A Deutsches Arzteblatt article from October 10, 2014 states, "The great majority of sexually abused children do not have any abnormal physical findings." 

My next question then was, can't you tell whether a child is still a virgin by examining the state of her hymen? Apparently, not.  In the same way that it is impossible to tell whether sexual abuse has taken place, the variation in the state of a girl's hymen is so broad it is literally impossible to be sure who is a virgin and who is not.  I also wanted to mention just in case you were wondering, because I myself immediately asked the question:  does the existence of frequent urinary tract infections (UTI) in girls indicate there has been sexual abuse.  Again, the answer is no.  It turns out that many young girls end up with frequent urinary tract infections without any child sexual abuse involved and so frequently UTIs have no evidentiary value whatsoever.  Then, to make things more tough the ano-genital region has such a powerful ability to heal and regenerate that when there is damage to that area, it heals with great rapidity, again making it difficult to determine if any violence was done to that area. 

Given these facts, when a medical report comes back stating that the results of a child sexual abuse evaluation are inconclusive or unsubstantiated, that actually doesn't mean much, does it. 

Some ways in which authorities have been able to overcome these barriers are when the child reports to authorities so quickly after the incident that it is possible to obtain physical evidence such as tearing, bruising, and/or the presence of sperm or semen.  It is also possible to test the child's clothing, comforter or sheets for DNA evidence, but incidents where investigators find anything there is for the better part quite unusual.  Of course, in cases where there are STD's or a resulting pregnancy, that makes it irrefutable that sexual intercourse took place, although in the case of STDs, it would be harder to identify who was involved.  

But again, keep in mind what I stated at the beginning of this article that such definitive physical and DNA evidence is only available in 10% of cases.  

So how are child sexual abuse cases prosecuted for the better part? What evidence are they left with?  

According to the American Humane Association, "The central issue becomes whether the child's statements can be trusted", and according to Attorney John E.B. Myers, "In many cases, the most important evidence is the child's testimony."  

In the case I mentioned earlier where Mr. James Stanley had been accused of child sexual abuse, the daughter who accused him was 3 years old at the time of the initial accusation. Can you imagine putting a man in jail for say 20 years, or say cutting him off entirely from his parental rights to his child solely based upon the testimony of a 3 year old and nothing else?  If that troubles you, imagine how a judge feels!  That's why, according to Nestor Ramos and Even Allen of "The Boston Globe" "Lawyers and judges call the cases that involve allegations of sexual abuse atomic bombs: Everything around them becomes radioactive.  Claims and counterclaims pile up.  Alleged victims are often too young to testify."  

Of course, it would be helpful if Court personnel were knowledgeable about the nature of child sexual abuse cases. For instance, in the Boston case, the judge allowed unsupervised visitation because the judge took into consideration the fact that Mr. Stanley had not "been criminally charged with abusing the girl..."--but as I've said, only 1-2% of cases ever are--and "other than the girl's testimony there was no other "corroborating evidence".  Well, as you have seen from this article, there rarely is anything more than a girl's testimony in cases of sexual abuse and so that is a fairly meaningless observation.  

Another interesting comment that the Judge made in the Boston case was that when it came to another of Mr. Stanley's alleged child victims, the Judge stated, "Even if it happened, it happened when she was 11?...I don't know how it's relevant."  Of course, it is relevant because it is an indication that Mr. Stanley was a repeat offender--he'd molested children before.

I also find the judges comment interesting because she expresses a viewpoint I've heard from Judges before, that somehow as time passes, victims of child sexual abuse should just get over it. In fact, the reality is that these victims do not "just get over it."  This is true of the victims of domestic violence as well as victims of child sexual abuse.  The idea that victims should just bounce back and agree to a complete restoration of the relationship and a reinstatement of full visitation with the children etc. simply because time has gone by, while a very common attitude found in many family court systems, remains a completely ridiculous concept, at least to me.  

So yes, difficulties in obtaining definitive evidence play a major role in the lack of consequences for perpetrators in these cases, but also mistaken, misguided, and just plain erroneous assumptions on the part of court personnel plays a major role as well, even to the point of absurdity.  

So what are we left with?  

What we have are situations such as the McMartin pre-school case (1984-1990), where 48 children credibly claimed that the owners of the pre-school and an employee--Virginia McMartin, Peggy McMartin Buckey and Ray Buckey--sexually abused them.  However, Dr. Michael Maloney, a British clinical psychologist called upon to evaluate the children's testimony, stated that the children's testimony was only obtained via highly coercive interviews. Plus, the jury concluded that claims of underground tunnels and ritual satanic abuse could not have occurred as reported and, therefore, the case ended in acquittal. 

In contrast, there is the case of Dr. George Reardon who successfully evaded the claims of several victims during his lifetime that he had sexually abused them, from 1956 at the start of his career until his retirement in the 90s. Dr. Reardon's guilt was only brought to light after his death when the man who purchased his former home discovered a cache of pornographic photographs in the basement. Currently, there are 135 known victims of Dr. George Reardon's criminal activities. 

Meanwhile, there is a small but influential group of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, some associated with the organization B4U-ACT, who are working very hard to destigmatize and decriminalize pedophilia stating that minors aren't harmed by exposure to early sexual activity, and are only harmed by society's stigmatizing response to it. Considering that legal professionals are generally known to have an inordinate respect for mental health professionals, psychiatry's push to normalize pedophilia can only have the effect of making Judges and attorneys even less willing to hold pedophiles responsible for their behavior.   

Ultimately, I can see why in the face of the immense complications presented by child sexual abuse cases in family court, most judges have the knee jerk reaction to just tell mothers to shut up.  It isn't in any way right, but given the complexity involved in adjudicating these cases, it is understandable. Faced with unclear and conflicting evidence, Judges truly must find it easier to conclude mothers have coached their children rather than take the testimony of a 6 year old seriously. So I would not say that we can simply yell that the courts are corrupt and be done with it.  Sometimes Judges can be truly well intentioned, but simply find themselves in a position where it isn't possible for them to make decisions with the kind of certainty they'd like to have when it comes to the truly vulnerable such as young children. I personally do not envy the position they are in.

I also want to say that I am not on board with women's rights groups or government authorities that urge parents to report immediately if they think their child is a victim of sexual abuse, particularly if you have a custody case going on in family court.  You just do not know what the impact will be on your child if you expose him or her to the legal system.  So any step you take as a parent must be carefully considered. Bottom line is we need to depoliticize the issue so that we can deal with accurate data and best practices rather than propaganda from those who have an axe to grind.