Dec. 16, 2011
Alan Rubenstein, who as district attorney refused to prosecute the Breezy Point case, is now a Bucks County Court judge.
Unlike H.P. Williams Jr., who was D.A. during the Little Rascals case, Rubenstein speaks freely about how he addressed claims of ritual abuse in a local day care.
“There was no more ambitious D.A. than me,” he recalls. “I reveled in the limelight….
“When we first got the allegations, I said to myself, ‘Satanic ritual abuse – I’ll be on the cover of Time magazine! I’ll prosecute it personally. I’ll get these bastards and put them away for life.”
But it didn’t take long for him to reverse course.
“Breezy Point was around the corner from me. My own son had gone there. I just couldn’t see Doug Wiik in (prison) stripes… The more I thought about it, the more obvious it became that nothing had happened there…
“I put our two best county detectives on the case, and I rode them like the Pony Express.”
The resulting 60-plus-page “Investigation into Breezy Point Day School” is a model of lucid, understated logic that blows to smithereens any notion of wrongdoing:
“We have determined that the allegations are unfounded and without merit…. No credible evidence exists to support them. In stark contrast, the evidence produced during the past 11 months indicates facts in direct, clear conflict with the charges leveled by the parents on behalf of their minor children.”
Here are three excerpts that convey the reach of the investigation:
- “In the opinion of this caseworker, ‘The child clearly exhibited the inability to distinguish what was true and what was not true.’ ”
Such insights seem to have been beyond the skills or preconceptions of caseworkers in Edenton.
- “The parents, when confronted with the clear discrepancy between the child’s description of the room and its actual physical layout, have contended that the owners of Breezy Point remodeled the room, removed the fireplace, put up plasterboard and added additional windows so as to change the character of this area to avoid detection. No evidence of remodeling was uncovered during this investigation.”
Passages such as this would be hilariously deadpan, were the subject not so weighty.
- “Bucks County detectives, acting upon (claims that the children were secretly transported to the Royce Hotel), traced all records from the teacher’s family credit cards, including American Express, MasterCard and Visa, to determine if any of these individuals charged rooms or lodging at the hotel. Ledger and registration books were also examined…. A check of these records proved entirely negative.”
In Bucks County no allegation was too bizarre to investigate. In Edenton no allegation was too bizarre to presume true.