The Interrogation

Please Note: Posts in the ‘My Story’ page always have the newest post on the top. If you would like to read the story from the beginning – start with “An Introduction”. Thanks for reading! ~IWFA

November 16, 2006…continued:

As I am sitting in the reception area of the Prosecutor’s Office I continue to think of exactly what kind of issue there could be with John.  Remember – at this point the way the Detective got me into their office was to tell me that there was a custody issue with John that we had to address today.  Eventually Detective Smith came out – introduced himself, and said “let’s go inside and talk”.  As we are walking down the hall, we get into an elevator, then down another hall.  During this time Detective Smith is making small talk about the day, my job, what I was working on today, etc.  My initial impression was that he was very friendly and likable.

We eventually made our way into an interrogation room.  Detective Smith introduced me to Detective Johnson, a female detective who was already seated in the room.  They explained that due to ‘procedure’ they had to have this conversation in a room where it could be recorded.  They then advised me that because the conversation was occurring in ‘this setting’, that they had to provide me with a paper explaining my rights, which was ‘very standard in this type of situation’.  They asked me to read each of the rights below out loud ‘for the tape’, then initial the paper next to each right that I understood them.

  1. You have the right to remain silent
  2. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law
  3. You have the right to talk to a lawyer and have one present with you while you are being questioned
  4. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, one will be appointed for you before any questioning, if you wish
  5. A decision to waive these rights is not final and you may withdraw your Waiver at any times either before or during questioning.

Finally they had me sign the following waiver:

“I acknowledge that I have been advised of my rights and I understand what my rights are.  I am willing to make a statement and answer questions.  I understand and know what I am doing.  No promises or threats have been made to me.”

LESSON #1:

NEVER give a statement, or answer ANY questions without a lawyer present once you are provided with your rights.  The logical thought process is that “if I didn’t do anything wrong, I have nothing to hide so there is no reason I should not answer their questions”.  This is what law enforcement counts on – yet through my ordeal I learned that especially if you are innocent you need to stop and request an attorney immediately to protect your interests!  As nice as the police may seem they never have your interest in mind – and have only one goal – a confession at all costs!  At the time that I was provided, and waived, my rights I still had no idea why I was really there, but, looking back, even if I had known I still would have waived my rights because I knew I had nothing to hide.  This is the biggest and most damaging mistake anyone accused of a crime makes.  It is well-known that “anything you say can and will be used against you”.  The reality is that “anything you say will be taken out of the context it was said in and will be used against you”.  This is so critically important that it bears repeating – If you are ever provided with your Miranda Rights for ANY reason, STOP IMMEDIATELY.  NEVER give any statement, and NEVER answer any questions without an attorney present! Even though you know your innocence, it WILL come back to hurt you later on!

Back to the story…

This waiving of my rights begins what was to be a five-hour interrogation!  A five-hour interrogation that takes less than one page in the detective’s written report.

The interrogation started with a lot of small talk about my life…how I met John…how he came to live with me…what our relationship was.  Detective Smith questioned me about my job because it was ‘something he was interested in as well’.  He constantly made statements such as ‘people in careers that help people, like us, have to work together’, and ‘we are both on the same team’.  Eventually he turned the questioning to John’s friends, and which of his friends I knew.  I began talking about friends of John’s and how I knew each one.  When I said Michael’s name they stopped me, and started focusing on him.

They asked more details about Michael than about any other of John’s friends.  The questions started with how I met him – and turned more and more bizarre.  They asked questions about what Michael slept in when he was younger (I told them that he had always slept in underwear, just like both of his brothers), and what he slept in now (I told them I did not know, as I had not seen what he slept in since he was about 11).  They asked if I had ever seen Michael naked (I told them I had several times when he was much younger – he had a habit of getting out of the bathtub and running around the entire house naked when he was 8 and 9 because he thought it was funny that everyone yelled at him to put clothes on – so anyone who was in the house at those times saw him naked).  They asked if he had ever seen me naked (I told them that he had not to my knowledge).  They asked if I had any ‘identifiable characteristics’ that only Michael would know (I responded no…because I don’t).  They asked if I had ever provided Michael with alcohol (I answered no – and that in fact I had taken alcohol away from him on several occasions at his families parties – which was witnessed by many people each time). They asked if I had ever allowed Michael to watch pornography at my house (I answered “of course not!”).  Then they asked me if Michael had come to me and made allegations that someone had molested him, would I believe him.  (I answered yes – because at the time if he would have told me that about someone else I would have believed him). They asked me why I would have believed him.  (I told them because I trusted him – he was like family to me.)

It was at this point that Detective Smith told me that Michael had accused me of sexually assaulting him “a few years ago”.  Now – it seems like it should have been obvious what they were getting to from that line of questioning, but when someone who you have been there for and helped countless times since they were a little kid accuses you of molesting them, it is the furthest thing from the realm of possibility in your mind!  This was a kid who I literally thought of as a little brother – who I would do anything for…and he just accused me of something unthinkable.  I was speechless, nauseous, and honestly did not believe that he said it.  There was no way in my mind Michael would say that!

The next several hours were spent trying to get me to confess to a crime I did not – and would NEVER – do!  They started with statement such as “the only way we can help you is if you are honest with us”.  They tried to be friends – they tried to make me believe that it was not so bad.  And said things like “this is the type of situations we deal with every day, and on a scale of 1 to 10 we are only at about a 2 here”.  After they were unable to get what they wanted this way they stepped up their act.  Detective Johnson, for the first time, stepped in.  She choose an insulting route asking questions like “what could you have been thinking” and slamming her fists on the table and saying “we know what the f**king truth is”.  To every accusation I would answer “I didn’t do it”.  Eventually they told me that “I didn’t do it” won’t work anymore, and that “we can stay here all night” until you decide you are going to be honest with us.  When they felt they got nowhere, they both stepped out of the room – and left me in there alone for what felt like an hour.

Now I am sitting in a small room alone – I know that I am being taped – I know that they are watching me through the glass.  There are countless thoughts going through my head.  I later learn that is the intent of this technique.  We are now probably 3 hours or more into me being interrogated, accused over and over of something I didn’t do.  I am physically and emotionally exhausted.  I had been told ‘there is no way out of this’.  I had been led to believe that the only way to avoid going to jail where people ‘eat stuff like this up’ was to confess.  They said ‘you do not want to go in that jail accused of a crime like this, do you?’.  As I sat there alone I kept thinking – maybe I should just tell them what they want to hear so that this will just end.  Several times I was actually close to knocking on the window just to make the torture of the interrogation stop – thank God, looking back, I stayed strong!

Eventually, Detective Smith comes back in the room alone.  His jacket is now off, his tie is loose, and the top couple buttons of his shirt are undone.  He brings me a glass of water, and pulls a chair up next to me (prior to this both detectives had been sitting across the table from me).  He puts his hand on my arm and says “I really want to help you”…he talks about how he can tell I am a “good person at heart” and probably just made a mistake.  He tells me that he will put in a word for me if I am just honest with him now.  When I tell him that I would not confess to something I didn’t do he became very upset.  He asked me “why would Michael say that if it wasn’t true?”.  I said “I don’t know”.  He said “I don’t know isn’t f**king good enough anymore”.  I asked him how I was supposed to answer a question I don’t know the answer to.  He told me that the answer was “because I did it”.

Well – this back and forth technique continued for five hours.  They would try to be friendly, then would be intimidating and mean (honestly very terrifying…).  Finally I was left alone in the room again.  I felt like this would never end.  I was unable to even think anymore.  I had no comprehension of what was going on.  I was starving – it was now almost 6:00PM and I had not eaten since breakfast.  I had not been allowed to use the bathroom (I learned this is another frequent technique – they give you water to make you have to use the bathroom so you will be more uncomfortable in the interrogation).  Just when I thought this would never end, Detective Smith came in and said “you are free to go now”.  I was unable to even respond…I stood up to leave without a word.  As we were walking through the maze of hallways on the way out Detective Smith says to me in the friendliest way possible “listen, that back there was all just investigative techniques we use – it was nothing personal”.  I felt at this point that maybe he actually knew I was telling truth.

As I got into my car and started the long drive home all I could think was what do I do now…how do I tell my family what has happened…what will my friends think?…

If you enjoy following my story please subscribe to this site by entering your email address at the very bottom of the page – then you will be notified immediately of new posts!  You can always unsubscribe at anytime! ~ IWFA Blog

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12 thoughts on “The Interrogation

  1. Gabriel says:

    I’ve been falsely accused of molestating a friend of my son last year, i’ve been arrested by judge order without even knowing what is the reason of my arrest, and stayed for more than 4 months in the jail without a chance of defending myself.

    If i did not have a wife and a family that believed in my innocence i really don´t know if i could really support all of this, and probably i would be still inside the jail.

    Last month i was finally set free thanks to the awesome work of my lawyer, that was able to convince the judge about the inconsitence of the evidences.

    One of the questions the prosecutor have done for me, and nowadays some of my friends also do is: what is the reason the boy is accusing you if you really haven’t done this?
    And i answer to them that i just can imagine the reason, first because i am not an investigator, and second i can’t talk to the accuser in any way to ask him about this, otherwise this can be used against me.

    I really believe the boy was induced to accuse me by his parents, and he never got this intention, and the reason for this is probably that they wanted to hide who was the real person that molestated him, maybe somebody of the family, or even a friend.

    The real thing is that these things happen more frequently that one can imagine, but the society is not really prepared to deal with it, so they tend to make a prejudgement, and always consider the accused as guilty, because they consider that a child could never lie.

    There is an interesting movie launched last year about this thems that is a must see:

    The Hunt – from Thomas Vinterberg

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/dec/02/the-hunt-film-review

  2. cimaranyx says:

    My husband was arrested and life as I knew it stopped on Thursday, January 17th at 3:30 p.m. I was was eating leftover spaghetti and waiting on my bread to rise on top of the stove when I heard my dogs barking. When I finally put them up I looked out to see two detectives, one male, one female at my door. I let them in and thought they were there to ask for a donation or something. Nope. My husband awoke (he works nights) to all the commotion and they said he had to go downtown. The male followed him into our bedroom to watch him get dressed and they let us drive on our own to the station. They only told us, “There’s been some accusations and we won’t talk about it here.” Once there, they separated us, leaving me in the waiting room outside and my husband walked into their interview room. It turns out his 13 year old daughter, my step-daughter, who lives with us full time, accused him of raping her. I freaked out! I knew immediately this was in retaliation for us demanding her Facebook passwords as we’ve been noticing some inappropriate behavior by her when she was online…clicking off quickly from her messages if we walked into the room, being very secretive, and not wanting to give up those passwords. My husband of course proclaimed his innocence and demanded an attorney be present, to which they handcuffed him and came out handing me his wallet and wedding ring. Our daughter is not a bad person, she just wants what she wants and when we demanded those passwords, it was the straw in our house that broke the camel’s back for her. She is tired of the rules and the strictness of our home and wants to go back to her former step-grandmother’s where she was living before with two little half sisters. The mother’s rights were completely severed long ago. The worst mistake I ever made was asking my husband to seek custody of his daughter back when she was only 7 years old and was about to be adopted by the step-grandmother. We were in court over that when I begged him to step up and ask for custody. We fought hard to gain custody, going through parenting classes, child abuse classes and home studies by the welfare system. We should have simply let her go back then. We had no idea she would turn our lives upside down, each year becoming harder and harder to manage, failing grades, sex in the bathrooms at school, falsely accusing teachers of mistreating her and violating her rights. At 14, it all came crashing down on us. All over Facebook passwords. We live in a small town and he’s been all over the news and online. His face, my husband, the love of my life, accused of this horrific crime. He is facing life in prison without possibility of parole and in Louisiana, they would hang him if they could. I was retired at 50, a full time stay at home mom baking bread and growing vegetables in my garden in my white picket fence life when that knock at the door ended it all for me. Now I am facing a life alone, just me and my dogs and chickens and rabbits, working every day and trying to finish my degree I guess. I haven’t anything better to do. He hasn’t been arraigned yet, but I know it won’t be good. At least he invoked his right to an attorney and he has me here on the outside believing in him and supporting him while he’s in that hell hole. He’s so depressed, he talks like he doesn’t even exist anymore and will end up living precariously through me and our phone calls and letters. He is the love of my life. We are never seen apart and are each other’s best friend. We have a love that is so special and I miss him terribly. My heart aches and I know his does too. She will most likely end up with the step-granny or some other poor soul who doesn’t know what they’re in for. The first time they tell her “no” or try to take away something she likes, they need to pray, they need to get out of Dodge, something. I know he’s innocent, I know it with every fiber of my being. I just hope a jury sees it but am preparing for the worst. Life just sucks now.

    • I realize that 18 months have gone by since your husband has been accused and that it may be too late. I am writing you on the off chance that you have not yet gone to trial. If so, I may be able to help. I have been an investigator for more than 50 years and I know that there are indeed false allegations and there is also the possibility that we can find exculpatory evidence. Time is of the essence, phone me at 702-453-4500 any time.

      Alan M. Kaplan
      Nevada PI License #220

  3. Jay says:

    My story was much the same. A troubled teen relative accused me. I mentored the relative for years and he was my brother child. We had an argument one Sunday afternoon, he cursed me out. I grabbed him and shook him and told him that if he ever talked like that to me again he would not stay with me and i would not tolerate it. Later things seemed fine. He left my house with a relative whom came to pick him up shortly after our argument. He was suppose to stay another night but I was told he had a play date with his cousin. This relative of mine had a history of child abandonment, neglect and even rumored physical abuse from his mother and siblings. By the time I was in the picture he had already set a garage on fire and committed several acts of vandalism. My brother his father was a piss poor father. His idea of spending quality time with his son was blowing into town once every year and a phone call on his birthday to say hi. My relative mother was a recovering alcoholic and held a lot of animosity on how my brother left her. Through out her days after breaking up with my brother she left my nephew with my older sister on her door step and told her that the kid was my family responsibility to raise him and not hers. My brother took him for a reluctant time while my nephew mother went through alcohol treatment. Nephew mother had another child shortly after my nephew was born, the father of that child was 15 years old and she never collected child support or named the father out of fear that DSHS would then file charges with the state for her illegal sexual encounter with a minor. Back to that Sunday that changed my life forever. After my nephew left with his aunt to go on the supposed play date, 5 hours later I get a knock at my door. I lived and worked at a hotel, so it was nothing unusual to see cops come to my door requesting a audit on guests staying at the hotel or responding to a report. The owner of the hotel spoke very broken English and would often send the police to talk to me.The cop that came to my door this night I knew on a first name bases. He asked him he could come in, he was with another cop. I said sure and offered the cops a seat. They said they needed to talk to me privately away from the owner of the hotel. I said sure. Then as they shut the door they said we have to arrest you and take you to the station your nephew made some allegations against you. I was like if this is about the argument we had today where I grabbed him by the arm then this is just stupid you guys are wasting your time, i did nothing wrong! The cops looks confused, looked at each other then back at me and said no, we are here because he accused you of touching his private parts. I was floored! I could not even think straight! The one cop i knew said he was sorry he had to follow policy and he had to hand cuff me. He said they get it all cleared up at the station. On our way down i told them i was innocent. They said well we can’t talk to you in the car. Then the cop i knew said why do you think he said this about you? Was it the argument? I didn’t want to believe it, Many times i asked if this was all for real! I get to the station, They process me in. They hand cuff me to a 5x 10 foot room to a wall where camera in shooting down on me. I’m in tears and heart broken by what my nephew had done. I was also full of anger as well. The cops come in and say, you ready to confess and talk! No Miranda rights read, no nothing! I looked at them and said or you serious? Are you for real? I said what part of me telling you I am innocent did you not understand? They said ok he not willing to talk. They left. Half hour but maybe longer all i know it seemed like forever, they come back, you ready to talk and confess? I said i know my rights and I have nothing to confess to! I said i am innocent, give me my phone call i want an attorney! They said ok then we have to take you to jail! So they took em to jail. The one cop i knew said well nothing i can do because you requested an attorney. Don’t worry it will all work out you be out in 48 hours. I am hysterical at this point and losing all of reality! I got to jail, I got my phone call which was to my 60 year old father to tell him i had been arrested on a felony charge of sex abuse. It about gave him a heart attack on the phone! Then im photographed, booked and finger printed like a criminal. Then stripped searched and placed in a orange jump suit that inmates use. I’m told by the same officer, you will more then likely only be here for 48 hours. They kept me in jail for 9 months before a trial. They did this on just the word of another, just on a allegation! I was locked up with murderers, rapists, thieves. Here the real funny part, i had a perfectly clean record before my nephew act of evil! I never committed a crime. I learned while I was in jail that most criminals that go into jail and prison come out being raped themselves or they end up being rapists. I heard so many stories it made me sick! People would come and go from prison where I was locked up and there was always more and more stories. Another funny thing more drugs get passed in jail and prison then they do out on the streets, i seen it with my own eyes. I was innocent of my charges by way of Jury. On the jury who presided over my case, One was a school teacher, another a police officer, another a child physiologist, A farmer, A field worker, A mechanic and few stay at home moms and i believe a older man not sure what he was. All came back with the verdict as Absolutely Not Guilty your honor and it was said that way! I died in that court room! I literally died. You think they would have let me go right then and there! They didn’t I had to wait another 8 hours before they released me! i was abused by guards while in jail. I My life was threatened by inmates. I was severely hurt while in jail requiring stitches. In the end the prosecutor said, We had a job to do sorry you had to go through this but the system prevailed. The judge said the same damn thing as though that was suppose to make me feel good. I have no trust in cops,I actually hate them to this day and celebrate when i pick up a paper and see one been KIA. I hate the judicial system. I my ethics as far as helping youth or family youths or any youth. If it’s not of your seed, your direct seed, Your actual blood itself, DO NOT HELP THEM and stay away like the plague. Id never become a teacher or any kind of youth coordinator. I won’t even let child hood friends of my children come over for any reason. i never put myself alone ever with a child! My wife with me 100% the time it was agreed to be that way upon my request! I have looked for help, As result of being locked up I have become paranoid and afraid to open my own door. I cringe when i see a cop! While locked up i suffered an attack of PTS. I suffered it when i was in the military as well and was given a medical discharge. While I was having issues with breathing and going through the attack the guard to the jail had an idea of pepper spraying me. Tax dollar at work! Reading this story is hard after im done i guess ill go take a Xanax. There is no help for those wrongfully accused of a sex crime and people who wrongfully accuse others should be taken out and shot! There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by that i don’t wish the worse on my nephew, his mother. Everything that was good about me, Died the day I was wrongfully accused. All that’s left is a broken, bitter and hateful man thanks to society judicial system and those that claim to be law enforcement in the field of preserving justice. Oh and if any of are saying, why didn’t you file suit! LOL Can’t file a law suit on these kinds of cases they say an allegation is considered reasonable cause. So bare that in mind!

    • IWFA says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your story Jay! It’s so difficult to believe that this happens ALL THE TIME…but I appreciate hearing that I was not the only one. Hopefully, someday, by us all sharing our stories we can promote some kind of change to the ‘system’!

  4. Lynn says:

    I have a friend that is faced with child molestation charges. I am very scared for him. He can’t afford a good lawyer and his public defender doesn’t appear but has someone to step in for him. He states he didn’t do it. I believe him. He can he fight this. I love this man and want to help him so bad. I have four kids and having a hard time making ends me let alone trying to give him a lawyer. But this man has been so good to me. He is really in a bad state right now. It’s like the man of my dreams is being taken away by false accusations. I have finally found the one and he is taken away.

  5. […] of this person who says he was falsely accused of child molestation. He describes the interrogation here. The only thing I disagree with is his lesson. He states that you should not speak to the […]

    • IWFA says:

      Thank you for sharing my story on your site. I appreciate your support in helping to get the word out that there are false accusations everyday – and they result in very real consequences for everyone involved!

  6. One not on Miranda rights, technically they are only required when you are under arrest. From what I understand, it is highly unusual that you got them. A common technique police use is to NOT arrest you, but bring you in for an “interview”. They will generally lie to you to get you in to do this. Then anything you say in the interview can be used against you, and the best part, they didn’t have to tell you that because you aren’t under arrest. It’s a loophole.

    Also, if you are not under arrest, you are free to go whenever you want. They have no right to keep you. You can literally get up and walkout. If the door is locked, you can just ask to leave.

    All of the techniques you mention are very common. My “interview” wasn’t as bad, but they did completely lie about what i said. The best part was, my attorney tried to get a copy of the tape and guess what? Just so happens that on the day of my interview, there was a technical problem with the recording system and it didn’t record. How convenient for the police huh? They could write down whatever they want, claim I said it and there was no proof other than my word that I didn’t…and who does the general public normally believe? Yep, the police.

    • PCM says:

      Fellow Americans, “We the people” is no longer exist in this type of situation. Why can’t we find a common ground for our better society at the ground of accountability? The accuser must face tougher penalty even it is a minor. If there is a solid proof, then criminal must face the justice.

      • Dolores says:

        I agree. It is just not right that any kid can accuse any adult and they are believed. Then whether or not they ever tell the truth, they face absolutely no consequence of any kind.

    • Ruben says:

      The exact same thing happen to me. Half my recording was missing technical issue.. this needs to stop

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