little boy  
 
   

Capturing the Friedmans: annotated Bibliography

"Capturing the Friedmans" is Andrew Jarecki's powerful and artistically executed film detailing a family's disintegration after two members are charged with sex crimes against children. Jarecki's documentary creatively interweaves recent interviews with home movies shot by the older Friedman brother as the events were unfolding. The effect is a complex story where truth appears ever elusive. Many viewers leave the theater believing that they have seen an objective documentary presented by a director who entrusted audiences to draw their own conclusions on Arnold Friedman's and Jesse Friedman's guilt. A careful review of the original evidence, however, shows that the case against the Friedmans was much stronger than the film revealed.

The following annotated bibliography provides important background about the Friedman case along with educational information about sex abuse. It also documents political usage of the film to help free convicted sex offenders who are currently incarcerated.

The Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence is committed to supporting justice, protecting children, and promoting responsible research and information on child abuse. We believe that society benefits when the public has access to accurate information regarding child abuse and other forms of interpersonal violence. In that spirit, we are sharing this important bibliography with the public, and hope that audiences will withhold judgment regarding the Friedman case until they have had access to more complete information.

Background Information on the Friedman Case 

Note: The following references are provided for educational and informational purposes only. The views expressed in a specific article are those of the author or authors and do not necessarily represent those of the Leadership Council.

Geraldo Rivera's interview with Jesse Friedman
"Busting the Kiddie Porn Underground"
February 23, 1989 -- Geraldo!

The hour long show was devoted to exposing the extent of the problem of child porn in America. The Friedman case is used as a prime example. Geraldo Rivera interviews Jesse in prison. Jesse confessed to Geraldo that he and his father abused 17 children (he was convicted of only abusing 13) and stated that even more children witnessed the abuse.

Jesse described his own abuse by his father which started at around age 8 (his father would fondle him while reading him bedtime stories) and progressed to sodomy. Jesse told in explicit detail how he and his father abused the children during computer classes and Jesse helped "keep the children in line" during the classes. When asked why the children never told, Jesse replied: "For the same reason I never told." Jesse went on to reveal that he and his father threatened the children by telling them that  they would "hunt down" their parents and burn their houses down if they talked. Several parents of the the victims are interviewed. They note that the Friedmans also threatened to send explicit sexual pictures of the children to area newspapers and television stations. Jesse explains that child porn was his father's "hobby" and admits that he posed for 100s of photographs and videos in which he sexually abused the children. Geraldo notes that Jesse told him the names of some of his father's friends with whom he traded child porn.
Excerpt from Jesse's interview with Geraldo.

Jesse's attorney, Peter Panera, is interviewed. He tells how he and Jesse made a special trip to Wisconsin to visit Arnold Friedman in prison to convince him to reveal where he had hidden the photos and videos of the children. Arnold refused to reveal what he had done with them, despite the fact that it would have helped gain lenacy for his son. Jesse's mother Ms. Friedman also appears on the show.

Frances Galasso, the detective-sergeant who was in charge of the Friedman case, describes Jesse's lack of remorse for his victims and describes how he and his brother harassed some of the victims' parents at court proceedings. She says that Jesse told the grandfather of one victim: "Well maybe we are suffering now, but with what we've done to your children, they'll suffer for the rest of their lives."

The Secret Life of Arnold Friedman
By Alvin E. Bessent - Newsday -- LI., NY
May 28, 1989
http://www.newsday.com/mynews/ny-friedman052889,0,1599081.story

In this lengthy investigative article, Newsday staff reporter Alvin Bessent details the case against the Friedmans, including Jesse's detailed disclosure of sexual abuse by his father:

"When he was 8 or 9 years old, Jesse said, he stumbled upon his father's cache of kiddie porn. Later, his father began to visit his bedroom at night and fondle him. The abuse escalated into sodomy."

Bessent also reports on the victims' fear of the Friedmans:   

"As the abuse escalated so did the threats. Police said the children were extensively videotaped and photographed. No pictures of the children have been recovered. But police said Arnold Friedman told the children he would send pornographic pictures of them to magazines and tell the publishers to print their names if they told what was going on. He threatened to burn their houses down. He reportedly said he would kill their parents. . . . Some of the children who testified before the grand juries received threatening telephone calls warning them not to cooperate with police."

"Some of them still wet their beds, take baseball bats to bed with them or are unable to sleep." 

State of New York v. Arnold Friedman.
Motion for order requiring return of property seized from 17 Picadilly Road, Great Neck, Nassau County, New York, seized pursuant to search warrant of November 25, 1987.  Motion #C-427, Indictment #67104 & 67430.
Se
ptember 14, 1990.
http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/arnoldandjessefriedman.html#United

Judge Abbey L. Boklan approved Arnold Friedmans' request for the return of all property seized at the Friedman home with the exception of pornographic materials listed in this document.  Materials include such items as:  5 pornographic movies, assorted order forms for pornography, assorted pornographic magazine cutouts, 2 partially nude photos of children, 3 sheets advertising homosexuality with boys, 6 photos of naked people, 3 battery operated sex aids, 1 hypodermic needle, 9 pornographic computer games (with descriptions), list of names and phone numbers of 9 victims, 2 registration sheets with names of victims.

The People of the State of New York , Respondent, v. Ross G., Appellant
163 A.D.2d 529; 558 N.Y.S.2d 603; 1990 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8786
June 28, 1990
http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/rossgoldsstein

The Supreme Court of New York responds affirmatively to an appeal by Ross Goldstein who asks the state to reduce his sentence to the terms recommended and agreed to by the prosecution. Although he was not mentioned in the film, Mr. Goldstein was a third defendant who was arrested along with Arnold and Jesse Friedman. According to this document, Goldstein, a former friend of Jesse's who was between 15 and 16 years old when he committed the crimes. He later became repulsed by the abuse, and six months before the Friedmans were arrested, Goldstein disassociated himself from Jesse Friedman and his activities. Goldstein, now age 19, confessed to the crimes and agreed to testify against both Arnold and Jesse Friedman in exchange for leniency.

Brother's Keeper: The Family Behind L.I.'s Notorious Sex Abuse Scandal
By Phyllis Saitz -- Long Island Press -- LI., NY
June 12, 2003

In an interview with the Press, retired Judge Abbey Boklan, expressed anger at the Capturing the Friedman filmmakers and stands by her theory that Jesse was guilty.

"`The smoking gun was Jesse's appearance on [the] Geraldo Rivera [show], on February 23, 1989, after he had accepted a plea bargain. He said, in detail, what his father had done to him and others. The film shows Jesse and his attorney, Peter Panaro, going to visit Arnold in prison at Oxford . It doesn't say why they went. On that same Geraldo show, Jesse said that he knew he could lighten his term if Arnold told him where the videotapes and pictures of the children were.' Judge Boklan is unaware of the outcome of that visit."

Archived news articles covering the Friedman case
The Awareness Center
http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/arnoldandjessefriedman.html
AND
http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/arnoldandjessefriedman.html#Convicted

Archived Newsday articles covering the Friedman case
Newsday.com
http://www.newsday.com/mynews/ny-friedmangallery,0,1827093.storygallery

Accuracy and Objectivity of the Film is Questioned

Abuse experts assail movie
By Marina Pisano -- San Antonio Express-News
02/23/2004
http://news.mysanantonio.com/story.cfm?xla=saen&xlc=1131888

"`The film gives the impression truth is elusive and maybe the Friedmans didn't molest boys. It leaves out information that, if included, wouldn't leave that doubt,' says Joyanna Silberg, child psychologist and vice president of the Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence.

Silberg says `whether or not Jarecki wins an Oscar, it is children in our society who are the big losers when the public is misled about sexual crimes against children. Films like this help to create an environment that keeps victims silent.'"

Detective Stands by Friedman Probe
By Robin Topping and Denise M. Bonilla
January 11, 2004 -- Newsday -- LI., NY
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-fried0111,0,7179404,print.story?coll=ny -linews-headlines

In an interview, Frances Galasso, the retired detective-sergeant who was in charge of the Friedman case, defends the integrity of the investigation. Galasso denied hypnosis was used and said detectives did not coerce statements from the victims.

"I am personally offended by these accusations," Galasso said. "I hope it leads to a hearing where, I believe, the victims in the case ... will testify, and instead of Jesse Friedman facing 9- and 10-year-old frightened kids, he will face 25- and 26-year-old men who are doctors and lawyers and professional people."

Brother's Keeper: The Family Behind L.I.'s Notorious Sex Abuse Scandal
By Phyllis Saitz -- Long Island Press -- LI., NY
June 12, 2003

In an interview with the Press, retired Judge Abbey Boklan, expressed anger at the Capturing the Friedman filmmakers for taking quotes out of context and for being duped into being involved in a film.

"'You have to understand that we had no idea this [film] was about reopening the case,' she explained. 'We had been told it was about a sad and angry clown. I thought that they were doing a documentary on David.'"

Detective Galasso says she also felt duped. According to now-retired Detective Frances Galasso of Nassau County 's Sex Crimes Unit "just enough of the truth was left out [of the film] to establish reasonable doubt as to Jesse's guilt."

"'She adds, `You can make any person look innocent if you play with the facts enough.' But more than that Galasso worries about the now-adult children. `I have met with three sets of parents (who wish to remain anonymous for now) since the film came out. They are very worried about how this will affect their children. At the time they worried about how much therapy their children would need. They felt as though they hadn't protected their children enough. Now they are worried all over again.'"

Film Revives Great Neck Controversy
By Victor Manuel Ramos -- Newsday -- LI., NY
June 1, 2003
http://www.newsday.com/mynews/ny-friedman060103,0,6584396.story

Newsday staff reporter Victor Ramos covers the showing of the film "Capturing the Friedmans" to residents of Great Neck, New York -- the town where the Friedmans case unfolded. After showing the documentary, producer Andrew Jarecki offered the audience a chance to respond. According to this article, "The most intense exchanges were between Jarecki and some people in the film, who stepped out of the audience to stress their views or correct what they saw as distortions."  For example, Judge Abbey Boklan, who presided over the case and was alarmed at the films and the public's second-guessing of the criminal prosecution, stated:

"`I feel that I cannot just sit silently by and not protect the credibility of many of the victims in this case,' Boklan told the crowd. `[The victims] were children at the time, they are young adults now and I can't bear to see them victimized once again.' Some booed, but she pressed on, addressing Jarecki. `You tried to be fair, but I don't think you were.'"  

Arresting Images - Documentary Asks: Hysteria or Truth?
By Desson Howe -- Washington Post
June 16, 2003
http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/arnoldandjessefriedman.html#Arresting
or
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A6310 4-2003Jun15&notFound=true

Washington Post reporter Desson Howe notes that "Capturing the Friedmans" "strongly suggests that law enforcement officials of Nassau County, Long Island, were overzealous in their investigation, indictment and imprisonment of computer teacher Arnold and his then 18-year-old son, Jesse."

He notes that a different perspective emerges from an interview with Detective Frances Galasso, who strongly rejected the idea that interviews with the children were designed to coax preconceived answers. She notes that the first detective sent out to interview one 10-year-old boy, was surprised when the boy --- upon meeting the detective -- immediately handed him a flier that advertised Elaine Friedman's in-home day-care center. Howe reports that:

"According to Galasso, the boy told the detective he wanted him to have the poster because "I don't want any more children to get touched.'' What that young man eventually revealed,' Galasso continued, `was a pretty complete account of how he was seduced and then raped by Arnold Friedman and then Jesse Friedman.' The 10-year-old's older brother, who also attended classes with Arnold Friedman, `told the same story, by the way,' Galasso said."

Detective Galasso explains the lack of medical evidence of abuse on the children noting that no medical evidence of abuse was found, because no physical evidence was sought. According to Galasso, "The procedures would have been too invasive and none of the parents wanted that." Galasso, who remains in contact with some of the victims' families, noted: 

"I have heard from the parents since the film came out and they're in contact, of course, with their children. They're all grown up and many of them are out of state now. They're saying they feel re-victimized. . . . They still wish to remain anonymous."

A Film's Fallout; Years after a notorious LI sex abuse case, debate rages
By Victor Manuel Ramos -- Newsday -- LI., NY
July 2, 2003
http://www.sexcriminals.com/news-archive/info-14418.html

Newsday staff reporter Victor Ramos notes that the principle parties involved in the Friedman case including the detectives, the judge, the prosecutor and even Jesse Friedman's attorney at the time say Jarecki's re-examination of the case is not only incomplete but hopelessly biased.

"`I've gotten angrier about it, about how misleading it is,' said Abbey Boklan, the now-retired Nassau County Court judge who heard the Friedmans' pleas. `By editing out most of the proof against certainly Jesse and even Arnold to a lesser extent, [Jarecki] may have created a brilliant piece of theater, but it's not a truthful and accurate documentary.'"

Commentary: Interesting, not accurate
By Paul Vitello -- Newsday, LI, NY
July 27, 2003
http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/arnoldandjessefriedman.html#Interesting
OR
http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/newsday/376351471.html?did=376351471&FMT=ABS&FM TS=FT&desc=Interesting,+but+Not+Quite+Accurate

Newsday staff reporter Paul Vitello notes that "Capturing the Friedmans" raises the question whether America is in the midst of a hysterical overreaction to the perceived threat from pedophiles. He finds the film to be compelling, but cautions that "`Capturing the Friedmans' is a `documentary' only in the sense that real people appear in it and talk without scripts. There are too many omissions, however, for it to fairly answer any of the particular or general questions it purports to ask."

"It leaves out, for instance, any mention of a co-defendant of Arnold and Jesse Friedman - an  18-year-old friend of Jesse's named Ross Goldstein, who pleaded guilty to  participating in the sex abuse of the boys and received a sentence of 2 to 6 years in exchange for his cooperation.

. . . . Goldstein, the third defendant, said he was there in the Friedmans' computer classes, said he saw the sex crimes against the children, was able to identify the victims from photographs shown to him by police and was willing to testify against the Friedmans in court."

Hollywood Elsewhere: Return of Jarecki
By Jeffery Wells -- Movie Poop Scoop
October 10, 2003
http://www.moviepoopshoot.com/elsewhere/118.html (scroll down page)
OR
http://www.moviepoopshoot.com/archives.html (scroll down to October 10th)

Movie critic Jeffery Wells describes an encounter with Andrew Jarecki in which he was allowed to view some of the footage not included in the "Capturing the Friedmans", but which will be included in the upcoming DVD of the film. In a segment called "Anatomy of a Pedophile", Jarecki includes a letter written by Arnold Friedman. According to Wells, in the letter (read by Long Island attorney Peter Panaro) Arnold Friedman "is heard rationalizing the difference between a wounding predatory pedophile (which he wasn't, he claimed) and a caring and considerate pedophile (which he considered himself to be)." Wells writes that he asked Jarecki why he didn't include this "smoking gun" footage in the film, "especially as the film plants questions in the viewer's mind if Friedman (who committed suicide in prison in 1995) was quite the pernicious molester that the authorities made him out to be." According to Wells, "Jarecki answered he felt the film worked better as a Roshomon-like meditation on the case."

Beyond the Bogeyman - We need to develop a more mature perspective on the child molester
By Katy Butler -- Psychotherapy Networker
Nov/Dec 2003

Butler contrasts a new book Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders  which "details the tactics, psychology, and modus operandi" of predators, to "Capturing the Friedmans", a "film shot from the liberal, empathic viewpoint."  Butler suggests that, "In his eagerness to make his viewers empathize with the Friedman's humanity, he stacked the deck to conceal significant evidence of their guilt."

"Capturing the Friedman's":  Examining the Myths Behind the Film
By The Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence
January 2004

This well researched and referenced analysis promotes public education about the myths surrounding child sexual abuse and illustrates how the film capitalizes on these myths to minimize and cast doubt on the sex abuse allegations against the Friedmans.

Documentary's Haunting Tale of Abuse
Open letter to Friedman's victims
By Paul Vitello -- Newsday -- LI., NY
January 11, 2004
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-livit113620808jan11,0,94482,print.colu mn?coll=ny-linews-headlines

Newsday staff reporter Paul Vitello writes an open letter to the 13 boys who the Friedman's were charged with abusing: 

"You are the invisible actors in "Capturing the Friedmans. If this flawed documentary film has a certain `haunting' brilliance, as many movie critics have said, you are what haunts it.

If an injustice was done to the Friedmans, you are honor bound to undo it. There is no crime in admitting to an untruth wrung from you by a persistent detective when you were 9 years old, if that is what happened.

If on the other hand no injustice was done, you have to defend yourselves - and other victims like you - and to explain to those unfamiliar with the sexual abuse of children why the cops were right to come back, and come back, until you were able to talk."

Political Use of the Film in an Effort to Free or Exonerate Convicted Sex Offenders

What an Oscar Nod Means to Jesse Friedman
By Vanessa Sibbald -- Zap2it.com
February 4, 2004
http://www.zap2it.com/movies/news/story/0,1259,---20359,00.html

Zap2it.com, a website which provides information about what is happening in TV and Film, discusses Jesse Friedman's case with Andrew Jarecki, the producer of the Academy Award nominated film "Capturing the Friedmans." Jarecki is quoted as saying that he believes the attention from the Oscar nod could help Jesse win his motion to have his conviction overturned. The motion is currently pending in Nassau County Court.

"`The motion he just filed is a classic sort of motion that could get ignored by the Nassau County judges because he's already served his 13 years in jail, he pled guilty a long time ago -- who cares? The reality is, and I think the film shows, that it does matter,' says Jarecki. `To me, the kind of recognition that we got from the Academy is just the kind of thing that could motivate a judge to not simply sweep this into the wastebasket but actually take a closer look.'"

Convicted Molester Wants To Clear Name - Cites evidence seen in film
By Chau Lam -- Newsday -- LI., NY
January 9, 2004
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-lifrie093618796jan09,0,7650540.story? coll=ny-linews-headlines

Seeking to clear his name, on January 8, 2004 Jesse Friedman filed papers to vacate his 1988 sex abuse convictions citing evidence unearthed by the maker of the award-winning documentary film "Capturing the Friedmans." Jesse claims that the film shows that some of the boys who said they were molested did so after they were hypnotized and others did so after they were repeatedly questioned by police. Jesse charges the detectives who investigated the case with using "a compendium of suggestive and manipulative interview techniques proven to encourage false accusations from children," according to the court papers, filed in Nassau County Court in Mineola .

Friedman Says Film Shows his Innocence
By Frank Eltman -- The Associated Press
January 09, 2004
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/movies/2001832621_friedman09.html

According to reporter Frank Eltman,

"Jarecki said he's `very supportive' of Friedman's quest for a new trial. He said people `come away from the film thinking that Jesse was railroaded.'

`I still haven't found anyone who gave credible evidence of Jesse's guilt,' he said."

Abuse Case Revisited, Cloudier Than Ever
By Peter M. Nichols -- New York Times
January 27, 2004
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/27/movies/27DVD.html

Commenting on the release of the DVD version of "Capturing the Friedmans", New York Times reporter Peter Nichols notes:

"DVD's routinely expand on films and their making of course, but here the DVD has a chance to step into current developments and play a part in a continuing judicial process. On Jan. 7, citing disclosures in Mr. Jarecki's documentary, a motion was filed in Nassau County Court to vacate the conviction of Jesse Friedman, who was paroled in 2001 after serving 13 years in prison. (His father died in prison in 1995.) Serving as an addendum, the DVD, with its more than 30 short segments about the original investigation and the Friedman family, has been submitted to bolster Mr. Friedman's case.

'A lot of that didn't fit into the film, but it's interesting in a legal action,' Mr. Jarecki said in an interview last week. In case Nassau County doesn't have a DVD player, some extras were transferred to tape for inclusion in Mr. Friedman's motion."

Documentary's Haunting Tale of Abuse
Open letter to Friedman's victims
By Paul Vitello -- Newsday -- LI., NY
January 11, 2004
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-livit113620808jan11,0,94482,print.colu mn?coll=ny-linews-headlines

Newsday staff reporter Paul Vitello writes: 

"with funding from Jarecki, who apparently became a believer while making the film, lawyers for Jesse Friedman, now 34 and free after serving 13 years behind bars, filed a motion in Nassau County Court last week to vacate the younger Friedman's conviction."  

Discussing "The Friedmans"
By Anthony "Q" Kusich
http://www.awardspeculation.com/jareckiinterview.html

This website provides a transcript of an interview between commentator Anthony Kusich and Andrew Jarecki. Jarecki is quoted as saying that he is currently working on Jesse's Friedman's case: "He's trying to make a motion to get his conviction vacated, and I think I need to help him do it. I just think the system failed him horribly, and he needs another chance for an evaluation of the case."

A Film's Fallout; Years after a notorious LI sex abuse case, debate rages
By Victor Manuel Ramos -- Newsday -- LI., NY
July 2, 2003

"Although Jarecki says he `kept a reasonable journalistic distance,' he sees himself as an advocate `for Jesse Friedman to have his case re-examined.'"

A Long Island Family's Nightmare Struggle With Porn, Pedophilia, and Public Hysteria
Complex Persecution
by Debbie  Nathan
May 21 - 27, 2003

http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0321/nathan.php

This article was written by Debbie Nathan who befriended the Friedmans. She served as a consultant for Jarecki during production of "Capturing the Friedmans" and appears in the film as an expert on false accusations. Nathan sits on the board of the National Center for Reason and Justice an organization that helps people it believes were wrongly accused and convicted of sex offenses against children and adolescents (see next entry) .

"I first heard from Jesse and Arnold in 1989, shortly after they were sent to prison. Back then, I got a lot of mail from inmates claiming they'd been falsely convicted. The Friedmans wanted me to look into their case, but I demurred. I was put off by Arnold, who told me in a quavering, stop-start voice over a prison pay phone: 'Since childhood I've been tortured by this problem. You have to remember, those magazines used to be perfectly legal. I was trying so hard to control my urges. To not touch a child.'

"If victims fail to  report the crimes, it's often because they're ashamed that they enjoyed the  abuser's attentions, or worried he'll go to jail.... Research by Bruce Rind and colleagues, published by the American Psychological Association in 1998, indicates that many children seem wholly unaffected by sexual contact with adults. This should not surprise. The Arnold Friedmans of the world are kinder to kids than many normal adults."

[Jarecki] crafted a marketing strategy based on ambiguity, and during Q&As and interviews, he has studiously avoided taking a stand. Teaser ads pitch the film as a Long Island Rashomon: 'Who do you believe?' For Jarecki and his PR people, the question is rhetorical."

NOTE: The Leadership Council has refuted the results of the Rind study in scientific journals. More information can be found by clicking here: The Leadership Council's response to the rind study.

National Center for Reason and Justice
Announcement of fund raiser offering a private screening of "Capturing the Friedmans"
http://www.ncrj.org/fr/

Founded in April 2002, the NCRJ describes itself as "a non-profit organization that seeks to educate the public about the plight of those who have been falsely accused and wrongfully convicted of crimes."

"On September 18th, 2003, at 7 p.m., the National Center for Reason and Justice held its first fund raiser event at the Chelsea Clearview Cinema in New York City .  There was a private screening of the documentary Capturing the Friedmans followed by speakers, discussion and a reception."

Jesse Friedman is listed on the NCRJ website as "a case of concern" where they believe that there may have been a miscarriage of justice ( http://www.ncrj.org/Other.html

Debbie Nathan, who was a consultant on the movie and also appears in it, is on the board of the National Center for Reason and Justice.

Other convicted pedophiles that the NCRJ is raising money in order to help free
See: http://www.ncrj.org/sponsor.html
Jesse Friedman
"Free Jesse" website
http://www.freejesse.net

On January 8, 2004, Jesse Friedman filed a motion to overturn his conviction based on "the 3-year investigation done by the filmmakers in the course of making Capturing the Friedmans." Jesse states:  

"I was subjected to a horrible injustice, regardless of what anyone has to say about my father, Arnold Friedman. I am endeavoring to realize a complete exoneration. While this process will be a difficult one, people seeing this film is a crucial first step towards this goal . . . `Capturing the Friedmans' leaves room for the viewer to hear all sides; to judge truth from lies."

Statement about the success of the NCRJ fundraiser
http://www.freejesse.net/FRpage.htm

This is a page from Jesse Friedman's website which describes the NCRJ fund raiser, Jesse states:

"Andrew Jarecki generously granted permission for a private screening of Capturing the Friedmans [for the fundraiser] . . . Andrew Jarecki brought a film crew to record portions of the event, most likely for inclusion on the DVD for Capturing the Friedmans."

According to Jesse:

"It has always been important to me that `Capturing the Friedmans' would raise awareness about the issue of imaginary crimes and help those less fortunate then myself -- namely those still in prison."

The Friedmans' Victims and Their Families Speak Out

The Friedmans' victims speak out
This page contains letters written by some of the Friedman's victims. It also includes the open letter to the Academcy.

Victims break their silence
Victor Manuel Ramos -- Newsday -- LI., NY
February 29, 2004
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-friedman0229,0,2239959.story?coll=ny- linews-headlines

Newsday staff reporter Victor Manuel Ramos interviews several of the victims who Arnold and Jesse Friedman plead guilty to abusing.

"For Gregory, the hullabaloo over Jarecki's film -- and whether the director will pick up an Oscar tonight -- is a sideshow to the legacy of the abuse. Even now, Gregory said he sometimes wakes up at night shaking, especially after hearing of other child abuse cases on the news or elsewhere. What would be passing news to others, hits home for him.

Diagnosed in his preteen years, Gregory said he has persistent rectal bleeding from the abuse. Memories aside, the physical scar will never let him forget. `This is the constant reminder I live with every day,' Gregory said, `that I was abused.'"

Two Friedman victims send message
Paul Vitello -- Newsday -- LI., NY
February 24, 2004 http://www.newsday.com/news/columnists/ny-livit243684239feb24,0,4488684.column?coll =ny-news-columnists

Newsday staff reporter Paul Vitello quotes from an open letter to the Academy by two of Jesse Friedman's victims, and contrasts their views with those of Jarecki.

"Jarecki says Jesse, who with his late father, Arnold, ultimately pleaded guilty to molesting 13 boys during computer classes in their Great Neck home, were victims of an overzealous prosecution by Nassau County authorities and a public hysteria concerning alleged child sex abuse."

However, two of the victims of Jesse and Arnold published an open letter to the Academy recommending a different view of Jarecki's work:

"We don't want the acclaim of this movie to keep other young boys who are being secretly abused silent for fear that their stories won't be believed. We don't want adults who might listen to the children turn a deaf ear, having seen the film and say, `These children are probably lying or exaggerating just like those Friedman victims in the movie.' We did not lie. We did not exaggerate. We were never hypnotized to tell our stories ... We told the truth then and we are telling the truth now."

Victims Say Film on Molesters Distorts Facts
By Sharon Waxman -- NY Times
February 24, 2004
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/24/movies/oscars/24FRIE.html?ex=1078587559&ei=1& en=66d6bb422a83a77d

New York Times reporter Sharon Waxman notes that "Capturing The Friedmans" is being criticized by six of their former victims, who say the film omitted or distorted important information about their cases. "The six are suggesting that the director, Andrew Jarecki, created more ambiguity than actually existed about the case both to heighten the dramatic impact of the film and to elicit sympathy for the Friedmans."

Information about How Pedophiles Operate 

Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders: Who They Are, How They Operate, and How We Can Protect Ourselves and Our Children
By Anna Salter -- Basic Books (2003)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0465071724/ref=pd_sxp_elt_l1/104-2346061 -9931940

World-renowned expert Dr.Anna Salter provides a psychological profile of serial sex offenders--how they think, how they deceive their victims, and how they elude the law.

From Booklist :

Salter, a psychologist, draws on 20 years of studying sex offenders to provide a disturbing and absorbing look at how and why sex abusers generally get away with their abuse. Sex offenders are usually not the monsters most expect them to be; instead, they are charming, likable people who count on those traits to hide their true intentions and activities. Using interviews with sex offenders, Salter offers chilling portraits of a variety of people, including priests, teachers, coaches, and others.

How Child Molesters Target Children
By The Colorado Division of Criminal Justice

Misinformation Concerning Child Sexual Abuse and Adult Survivors
By Charles Whitfield, Joyanna Silberg, & Paul Fink
Haworth Press (2003)
http://www.haworthpressinc.com/store/product.asp?sku=4685

This book points out and corrects misinformation on sexual abuse and provides state-of-the-scientific information on such myths as "false memory syndrome," and the "lack of harm" to some sexually abused boys.

More Information

Information on some of the convicted pedophiles that the NCRJ is sponsoring

Baran received a fair trial
September 13, 2003
By William W. Simons - Berkshire Eagle ( Pittsfield )

A major case the NCRJ is assisting with is that of Bernard "Bee" Baran. Baran was charged with rape and indecent assault and battery on six children while he was a child-care worker in a Pittsfield day care center. Simons, the judge who tried the case, objects to the portrayal of Baran as someone who was wrongfully convicted. Simons notes that a jury found Baran guilty after a 10-day trial, and appeals up to the Supreme Judicial Court were denied. Simons cites a Boston Globe article reporting that Baran "admitted guilt and agreed he needed help." 

Judge Simons states, "The concern that young victims are prone to suggestibility pales in comparison to the suggestibility of grown and experienced newspapermen. A more serious injury is that distorted claims of injustice that seek freedom for Baran are not without consequences for society and this community, should they succeed."

The Legend of Robert Halsey
Ross Cheit
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, issue 3/4, 2001

Another case the NCRJ is assisting with is that of Robert Halsey. Halsey was convicted in 1993 of sexually abusing two boys on his school van route in Lanesboro , Mass. This scholarly article responds to a growing movement is trying to suggest that Halsey was unjustly convicted. Based on a comprehensive examination of the trial transcript, the article details the overwhelming evidence of guilt against Mr. Halsey. According to the article, the credulous acceptance of the "false conviction" legend about Halsey provides a case study in the techniques and tactics used to minimize and deny sexual abuse. Ross E. Cheit is associate professor of political science and public policy at Brown University and director of the Law and Public Policy Program at the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions.

See also: 

False-conviction chic in the Berkshires
Ross Cheit
September 2002
Online: http://www.brown.edu/Administration/News_Bureau/2002-03/02-009. html