Saturday, September 17, 2016

Elizabeth Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh, Anna Vasquez, Cassandra Rivera: San Antonio. Texas; Excellent 'Fusion" account by Yehudit Mann in 'Fusion' of the role flawed forensics played in their convictions - and their battle to clear their names..." Pediatrician Nancy Kellogg, the expert witness who examined the girls, and whose testimony sealed the women’s fate, said she found healed scarring in their vaginas, which she examined two months after the alleged attacks happened, that could possibly connote molestation. She also testified in a deposition that she had jotted down that there appeared to be “signs of satanic-related sexual abuse." According to journalist Michelle Mondo, who wrote an article about the case in 2010, Kellogg said she based her notes on her “research and experience in this area,” and published studies she could not name. At the time, the United States was emerging from a bizarre period of mass hysteria in which many daycare workers, babysitters, and family caregivers all over the country were accused of performing satanic ritual abuse on their young charges. A cottage industry of child psychologists and “experts” surfaced, coaxing children to testify in courts that they had been abused"........."In 2010, 15 years into the women’s nightmare, Stephanie Limon, one of the accusers, by then a young mother of 25, recanted her testimony in front of Esquenazi’s cameras and two lawyers from The Innocence Project of Texas. Stephanie’s lawyer, Casie Gotro, suspects that her father, Javier Limon called Child Protective Services on her and accused her of mistreatment of her child but the case was dismissed in court for lack of evidence. Again, Limon denied involvement. Stephanie’s sister, the second girl who accused the women, refused to recant or be interviewed for the film. Anna Vazquez was granted parole in 2012 based in the recantation and on her polygraph tests, which were consistent with her claim of innocence. She immediately set to try to seek justice for her incarcerated friends, who were released on bond in 2013. Dr. Kellogg also disavowed her flawed forensic testimony on the basis of Stephanie’s recantation. It became the first case in Texas to get reopened on the grounds of SB 344, the “junk science” statute, a bill unique to Texas that permits defendants to bring a writ of habeas corpus on the basis of new or changed scientific evidence. According to the bill, courts must grant relief in cases where new scientific evidence has come to light, or where scientific evidence used to convict was shown to be inaccurate, false, or misleading. Child protection experts like Dr. Kellogg used to claim that certain marks on little girls’ genitalia were proof they’d been sexually abused, while later research showed that non-abused girls have the same marks."

The entire story can be found at:

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:  I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:  Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:  
Harold Levy. Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.