March 29, 2013
“ELIZABETH CITY – Attorneys for the seven defendants in the Edenton child abuse case want to know what techniques were used to elicit accusations from the children…. Prosecutors don’t want to tell them….
“(District Attorney H.P.) Williams would not address a reporter’s questions about how the Edenton investigation was conducted….
“Mr. Williams declined to say how the Edenton investigation grew from complaints by three families to its current size. He declined to say how they communicated with parents or whether a letter was sent out.
“He would not discuss who had interviewed the children or what interview techniques had been used….”
– From “Prosecutors won’t discuss techniques” in the Raleigh News & Observer (Feb. 25, 1990)
Two decades later Williams, though no longer district attorney, was still “not in a position to talk about it.”
Coincidentally – or not – the Little Rascals story shared Page 2C with one noting that “Social workers are trying to determine why reported cases of child abuse and neglect in North Carolina jumped 27 percent in 1989, while cases nationally are expected to rise only 3 percent or 4 percent….”
A consultant with the state Division of Social Services observed that “Any time you get a radical increase in the number of complaints, you’re probably getting a number of complaints of questionable validity…..Folks who make those reports need to use some common sense.”