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'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?…' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

Fort Bragg tries to redeem itself — McNeill/Vargas families reeling…

with one comment


 

(See yesterday’s post):

Today, this is all over the internet.  I’d like to post a few links:  again, as you read, remember that there are certain venues where this IS taken seriously, and others where it is NOT. 

Save Aaron Vargas

Target:
Mendocino County District Attorney, Ukiah, California
Sponsored by: 

Please go to http://www.saveaaron.com/ to read more about Aaron’s story and child sexual abuse.

Aaron endured decades of sexual and psychological abuse by Darrell McNeill. Many others in the small community of Fort Bragg, California were also abused by McNeill.  Victims, as well as McNeill’s former wife, went to the police but no investigation was ever done. Aaron was stalked and harassed continually by McNeill. Aaron was arrested on 2/8/09 and is being charged with killing McNeill. I don’t believe that Aaron had the . . .

http://www.saveaaron.com/

Please E-mail the District Attorney and ask for leniency. She is seeking a sentence of 50-years-to-life

This has a link on the difficult topic of child rape:

Most perpetrators don’t molest only one child if they are not reported and stopped.

  • At least 20% of child sex offenders have 10 to 40 victims.
  • An average serial child molester may have as many as 400 victims in his lifetime.

Point in case: 

Delaware crime: Grand jury indicts Dr. Earl Bradley in sexual abuse of 103 child patients

Lewes pediatrician faces 471 counts

By CRIS BARRISH • The News Journal • February 23, 2010

For nearly two months prosecutors have suggested Dr. Earl B. Bradley, the alleged pedophile pediatrician from Lewes, had molested an unknown number of girls, far more than the nine patients he was charged in December with raping.

 

On Monday, the Attorney General’s Office made its suspicions official, with a grand jury indictment accusing Bradley of sexually assaulting 102 girls and one boy he treated – a more than tenfold increase in the number of victims originally alleged.

 

Attorney General Beau Biden expects even more victims to be found.

The vast majority of the crimes occurred since 2007, the indictment said. One victim, Jane Doe No. 39, was raped 15 times over 13 months, prosecutors allege.

The case against Bradley could be the worst child sexual abuse by a pediatrician in American history, some abuse experts have said. Biden called it “unique” in Delaware history. Nationally, he said, “I know of no other [case] that has this many victims.”

 

The case now moves toward a trial that would be held late this year at the earliest. Unless he posts $2.9 million cash bail, Bradley, 56, will await his day in court at Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna.

 

Investigators from the state police and the FBI have completed their analysis of 13 hours of videotapes, computer hard drives and digital files seized from Bradley’s home and office, Biden said

That is ONE caught pediatrician…  Back to the other link:

Vulnerability Factors: 

Children are vulnerable to sexual abuse because of their age, size and innocence. When a child or youth is molested, she/he learns that adults cannot be trusted for care and protection: well-being is disregarded, and there is a lack of support and protection. These lead to grief, depression, extreme dependency, inability to judge trustworthiness in others, mistrust, anger and hostility. And as if all that isn’t enough, children’s bodies often respond to the sexual abuse, bringing on shame and guilt.

Points to consider:

»  Children/youth are unable to protect themselves and stop the abuse
»  Children/youth are susceptible to force
»  Children/youth are susceptible to the use of trickery by offenders
»  Often times, children/youth have no control over their own bodies
»  All too often, children/youth are unable to make others believe them

The above factors lead to:

»  anxiety
»  fear
»  shame
»  a sense of inadequacy
»  the need to control situations and others
»  a perception of self as victim
»  identification with the aggressor

 This link (related) talks about Stockholm Syndrome in terms of survival for the person experiencing abuse.  It is NEVER right to condemn them for staying in it, or failing to break loose.  For some, it is an assessment of life or death; the weight is to NOT speak out.  If society further dismisses, or suspends belief, or (case in point, Vargas) when police don’t act (or can’t for some reason), the person is in worse shape than before he/she started to report, and the doors may shut even more tightly. 

This can affect family systems, when they become rigidly defined, and outsiders who rock the assigned roles (or secrets) are then perceived as enemies.

While the psychological condition in hostage situations became known as “Stockholm Syndrome” due to the publicity – the emotional “bonding” with captors was a familiar story in psychology. It had been recognized many years before and was found in studies of other hostage, prisoner, or abusive situations such as:

  • Abused Children
  • Battered/Abused Women
  • Prisoners of War
  • Cult Members
  • Incest Victims
  • Criminal Hostage Situations
  • Concentration Camp Prisoners
  • Controlling/Intimidating Relationships

In the final analysis, emotionally bonding with an abuser is actually a strategy for survival for victims of abuse and intimidation. The “Stockholm Syndrome” reaction in hostage and/or abuse situations is so well recognized at this time that police hostage negotiators no longer view it as unusual. In fact, it is often encouraged in crime situations as it improves the chances for survival of the hostages.

Here, from the SF Examiner:

However, not all of McNeill’s victims were silent about his abuse.

In 2001, a young man who wishes to remain anonymous to the public, filed a police report detailing the molestation he alleges McNeill committed.

The family of Jamie Specie also went to police and reported that McNeill had molested their son. Depressed, and apparently unable to cope with what had happened to him, Jamie committed suicide in January 2006.

Aaron‘s sister, Mindy Gallani, told me that McNeill’s first wife had also reported her husband to the police, after discovering that her oldest son had been molested.

Not once, after any of those reports did the Fort Bragg Police Department act on the complaints. There was never an investigation conducted into the allegations against McNeill.

Fort Bragg City Attorney Mike Gogna said of the 2001 complaint filed against McNeill: “nothing ever happened with that report.”

In July, the Press Democrat spoke to one of McNeill‘s alleged victims, who said: “In a small town you save face. You keep your mouth shut because it’s embarrassing and you don’t want anyone to know.”

He continued: “Aaron may have made a bad choice, but he did what he thought was right.”

Why would the police simply ignore these reports? Was Darrell McNeill so adept at hiding his deviant behavior that he was viewed as beyond reproach?

Darrell McNeill worked as a realtor, and owned the American Home Store in Fort Bragg, selling appliances and mattresses. He was also a Boy Scout troop leader, and a mentor in the Big Brother Big sister program, both of which placed him in regular contact with many young boys.

Aaron’s attorney Tom Hudson has reported that several young men have given him detailed accounts of the years of abuse that McNeill inflicted upon them. Many of them have said that the Boy scout leader gave them drugs and alcohol before molesting them.

Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but in this case, it may be safe to say that if the police had acted against McNeill, Aaron Vargas would probably not be sitting in a jail cell today, separated from his family.

This article relates viewpoints from some other victims.  It turns out that McNeill’s son, here was possibly his STEPson.  Consider:

. . . Richard Masingale, whose younger brother, James Specie, killed himself in 2006, four days after confiding that he had been sexually abused by Darrell McNeill from the ages of nine to 14-years-old, while in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

“I attribute the loss of my brother’s life to that,” said Masingale. “Until he was nine he was a good kid. But after [the abuse], he took another path. He didn’t trust nobody in life…My little brother became addicted to cocaine, methamphetamines. He didn’t do well with the pressures of everyday life after that.” (Neither Big Brothers Big Sisters or the Boy Scouts were able to confirm McNeill’s involvement in their organizations. Neither maintains records that go back to the 1980s. But Dr. Guy Grenny, who has been involved with the Fort Bragg Boy Scout troop for decades, confirms that McNeill was involved sometime before 1986 and members of the McNeill family have said that Darrell McNeill was Species’ Big Brother.)

McNeill, meanwhile, found other boys to abuse.

His former stepson, John Clemons, said that McNeill sexually abused him from when he was 11 until Clemons “got big enough to where I told him if he ever touched me again, I was going to beat the hell out of him.” Clemons’s mother, Jenny, divorced McNeill when Clemons was about 14. Then, Clemons said, “when my brother got big enough, he started using my brother to get to my brother’s friends. Me, I just stopped bringing my friends around.”

See also, a comment from McNeill’s Daughter on 

http://www.sonomacountygazette.com/blog/2010/01/aaron-vargas-murder-trial-examines.html

http://theava.com/archives/2113

In Vargas Case, Prosecutors Bring Out the Big Guns

by Freda Moon on Jan 26th, 2010

It’s official. The Aaron Vargas murder trial has entered the realm of theabsurd. Facing a tough trial in a county known for its independent, anti-authoritarian impulse, the District Attorney’s office, lead by ADA Beth Norman, has brought in the big guns.

Norman has solicited Emily Keram to bolster the case against Aaron Vargas. Keram is a nationally-known psychiatrist—and famous for her 120-hour Gitmo interview with Osama Bin Laden’s driver, Salim Hamdan. She later testified as a defense witness at Hamdan’s trial. With Vargas’s trial set to begin on March 1, Norman filed a motion last week that would allow Keram, the prosecutor’s ace psychiatric witness, to evaluate—and possibly interview—Vargas without his lawyer….

AND SO ON. . . . .

One Response

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  1. Your website has MUCH to peruse. I put it in my favorites to come back to for further reading. Having been in an abusive relationship and married to a pathological liar (the abuser) and dealt/dealing with the scars left upon my children and now my grandchildren (the boy being a molested soul at the hands of his sister’s father). The abusers loose and ready for more prey with no law enforcement able to make a commitment. Thank you much for this information and I may forward some of it to them. I work for legal aid in Fort Worth, TX for 15 years and see women in these situations. I put in my 2 cents. All abuse does not go just to women as my late brother was also married to an abuser/alcoholic and his son also has troubles. I agree President Bush is a good man.

    {{LET’S GET HONEST replies, in-line to the comment, to save time: Thank you, Laura, and I do encourage you to read. I have another comment HERE…http://annecarolinedrake.com/2010/02/23/avon-foundation-2010-1-5-million-of-helping-dv-survivors-pursue-their-dreams-grants-available/ on the experience of seeking help from organizations that exist to help. Thank you for also confirming the intergenerational factor. It is a mother’s horror to get out, only to realize she can’t get her children out, or stop it for the next generation. At least, we can make a strong statement that perhaps will be heard when they are older, if we can’t help them now. … …. I don’t remember commending or failing to commend Bush — at least on this post (??). I vote, and I believe that we are going to have to start handling programs more, locally. *** Another great point you make: The abuser // pathological liar. ….. To continue abuse, adults have to lie both to themselves (which makes the same lies told to others convincing), or at a minimum others, and of course often, their victims. Other statements to victims, including threats, may or may not be made good on (i.e., actually be true)…. which leaves their lives in a state of permanent “nonclosure,” and others associated with them…. Sometimes a victim (like Vargas did, here) obtains his closure outside the justice system.}}

    Check back periodically — I’m focusing on the FAMILY LAW input into these matters, as I feel that many of the DV organizations treat that aspect as window dressing, and not central. Abuse is a crime, and family courts don’t treat it as such. The thing is the money trail.

    Take care, and thank you for your work in Legal Aid.
    The Avon Foundation (cited in Anne Caroline Drake’s blog) links to a professional employed in Texas, perhaps you know this woman. I reviewed the site long ago, and bet she’d be a good contact. Keep speaking up, and good luck. Sincerely,

    Let’s Get Honest}}

    Laura Tiede

    February 24, 2010 at 10:17 am


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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?...' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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