A nurse testified here this afternoon that two of three children alleged to be victims of child molestation by a former kindergarten teacher showed signs of abuse.Indeed, there were no real injuries shown in those "shocking" pictures, and certainly NOT the kinds of injuries consistent with the things that Ms. Craft is alleged to have done. Unfortunately, when we have people in the media who believe anything a prosecutor and an "expert" witness will say, then we get these kinds of stupid stories.
When Sharon Anderson, a sexual assault nurse examiner, took the stand in Catoosa County Superior Court in the trial of Tonya Craft, she testified that two of the girls showed “suspicious” signs of sexual abuse.
The jury was shown graphic pictures, and Ms. Anderson testified about how she could tell the children showed signs of abnormality. Some of the jurors appeared shocked.
When one of Ms. Craft’s defense attorneys cross-examined Ms. Anderson, she said she decided what physical characteristics appeared normal and abnormal based on her experience and training.
Defense attorney Demosthenes Lorandos asked Ms. Anderson several times how she was able to say a girl showed suspicious signs of sexual abuse without clear evidence.
By the way, Sharon Anderson (no relationship) has a two-year degree in nursing and is not a real "expert" in sexual assault by any stretch of the imagination. She is an activist, which is a totally different thing. In the Duke Lacrosse Case, the defense had lined up Dr. Ann Burgess, the founder of the SANE program to debunk the testimony of the activist SANE lined up by Michael Nifong. One wishes the Craft defense could have afforded her as well.[End Update]
Say the name "Michael Nifong," and most people will recognize him as the rogue prosecutor who gave us the infamous Duke Lacrosse Case and its fake rape charges, lying, and hiding of evidence. Now, most prosecutors to whom I have spoken want to distance themselves from this pathetic liar, but it seems that the prosecutors in the Tonya Craft trial, Len Gregor and Chris Arnt, are wanting to wrap themselves up in Nifong's mantle.
As readers might recall, early in the case Nifong claimed that DNA would lead them to the alleged rapists of Crystal Mangum, but soon enough, the state lab looking for DNA told Nifong that there would be no DNA matches with the lacrosse players. Undaunted, Nifong suddenly claimed that he did not need DNA and, in fact, DNA never really mattered at all.
The New York Times (not surprisingly) agreed with Nifong and interviewed Peter Neufeld, co-founder of the Innocence Project, who supported Nifong:
Peter J. Neufeld of the nonprofit Innocence Project, an expert on DNA testing, said that in general, an absence of DNA evidence did not necessarily mean there was not a crime. "There have been thousands and thousands of men who have been convicted in the United States of the crime of rape without DNA and without semen," Neufeld said.(I had my own rejoinder to this farce, given that what Nifong and Mangum were claiming could not have happened without there being DNA "left behind.")
So, we now have the trial of Ms. Craft and one of the "expert" witnesses for the prosecution is a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner who performed exams of three of the children who are claiming Ms. Craft molested them. As I expected, the "evidence" is inconclusive at best, yet the graphic descriptions given in the testimony do not jive with what the nurse saw.
And, as though she were channeling Nifong and Neufeld (who later apologized for his remarks), we had this from Callie Starnes' Twitter report:
Nurse: just because there is no evidence doesn't mean abuse didn't happen. Defense: But no evidence means no evidence, right?To put the SANE's remarks in perspective, when Nifong's "expert" DNA witness, Brian Meehan, was testifying at the infamous December 15, 2006, hearing that pretty much brought down Nifong's case, Meehan agreed that there was no DNA present from any of the lacrosse players, including the three young men charged. However, Meehan concluded, that did not mean anything, since one might be able to rob a bank "and not leave fingerprints."
So, this is what we have: the prosecution claims that Ms. Craft engaged in conduct that was physically painful for these children, yet left no real evidence of sexual abuse. One would think that a person might be able to understand that girls that age have tender flesh in the vagina area, and that real injuries -- the kind that definitely would have occurred, given the level of molestation that allegedly happened -- could not be avoided. There would be no question, but long ago I learned to be wary of what some SANEs will say, especially those that already are activists.
Let's go back to the Duke case again. Tara Levicy, a nurse at Duke University Medical Center, was waiting to receive her SANE certification. She was a feminist activist and when they brought Crystal Mangum to her, Levicy was not qualified to do the exam, so she had another person do it, a female resident. However, Levicy signed the exam document as though she did it, and then proceeded to fabricate material that would enhance the whole thing.
The result was that for nearly a year, the press centered on the statement of Levicy, who claimed that what she saw in the examination "was consistent with rape," except that it really was not, and when Duke University settled with the three families of the accused players, Tara Levicy figured heavily in the mix, and the university shelled out an estimated $21 million to cover, in large part, for Levicy's criminal behavior. (Due to the explosive racial politics of the case, Levicy was not charged.)
What we have here is a SANE trying to save a case that is not worth saving. She has found nothing that would say these children had been sexually assaulted, and certainly not in the manner as has been described in court. We are dealing with lies and innuendo, and it is high time someone said what it is.
One of the reasons I am blogging so often and so intensely in this case is that when I was involved in the Duke case, I saw truth turned upside down by the authorities and by the activists. When I see what House, Gregor and Arnt, and their supporters are doing, you can bet that I will not be silent.