Feb. 6, 2012

Michele L. Zimmerman, now associate professor emeritus of psychiatric nursing at Old Dominion University, was one of four therapists who collaborated with prosecutors in interviewing Bob Kelly’s supposed victims.

Their teamwork is obvious in this clumsily coercive set-up by Zimmerman and District Attorney H.P. Williams Jr. (cited by Dr. Moisy Shopper, a St. Louis psychiatrist who reviewed interview tapes for the defense):

Zimmerman to 4-year-old boy: “Mr. Williams needs to know what he (Kelly) did to you to keep him in jail.”

Williams: “I’m in charge of the police. I decide who goes to jail.”

Last week I asked Zimmerman two questions: Do you still believe the Little Rascals defendants were guilty? Were the children actually abused?

Her response:

“Patient confidentiality laws do not permit me to comment on this case, as the therapist-client privilege still exists. It is not my role to comment on the defendants’ guilt or innocence, as that is the charge for the finder of fact.”

In fact, Zimmerman did comment publicly at least once in the aftermath of Kelly’s conviction: “There are people in Edenton who are still mad at one another because Person A did not tell Person B about the abuse.”

A final question, Ms. Zimmerman: What if Person A simply had nothing to tell?