April 24, 2013

“Ted Koppel said the idea for (a “Nightline” episode criticizing juries’ growing skepticism toward child-witnesses) had been brought to him by Civia Tamarkin, who although she ‘served on the advisory board of an organization called Believe the Children insists that she remains neutral on the subject…. We have found her to be a useful, objective and reliable source.’

“Tamarkin had indeed devoted a lot of attention to child sexual-abuse cases, along with an abiding conviction that most defendants are guilty…. She believes the McMartin prosecution should have resulted in convictions (and) has praised the prosecution in the Little Rascals case….

“I interviewed prosecutors and defense lawyers in Little Rascals and read trial transcripts. It was clear the child witnesses had been persistently manipulated….”

– From “Koppel lost his balance on child witnesses” by Washington Post columnist Nat Hentoff (Dec. 3, 1996)

Believe the Children, organized by McMartin parents, later expanded to become a clearinghouse for ritual abuse allegations. It apparently disbanded after holding a final conference in Arlington Heights, Illinois, in 1995.