I am not Alone
Having been falsely accused and convicted of child rape and child molestation, I am not a criminal. I am not a "convict" either. Convicts are those who identify with antisocial behaviors as acceptable ones. So, when I came to prison, my bullshit meter was on high alert. I met plenty of sex offenders, including child sex abusers who are known in prison as "chomos" (I still don't understand "chomos" as opposed to "chimos" but whatever.)

Then when I met 74-year-old Pat Pawlicki, well, I ignored him initially. I mean, a 74-year-old white guy with no tattoos or criminal history in prison is, well, you know. Then I actually looked at his case file in order to help him get his missing attorney-client case file pursuant to Penal Code § 1054.9.

Once I looked through some of his briefs and previously filed writ petitions, I started asking him some very pointed questions (and I am very sharp). That was when pat showed me several sworn and notarized affidavits by the accusers in his case. In these affidavits, his accusers completely recanted their accusations to the point of even explaining why they had lied. Well, I explained to Pat the fifth component of the Child Sexual Abuse and Accommodation Syndrome (CSAAS) which is that child sexual abuse survivors often recant their statements for a variety of reasons.

Now, if you have read my book, "The Ordeal", you know that I consider CSAAS to be psychobabble even though it is regularly allowed into trial through expert testimony. It is allowed in so that the average juror can be educated about common misconceptions related to how a child sex abuse victim acts. But let me ne clear, there is a huge difference between a child sexual abuse victim and an accuser.

Having said that, and in the context that child sexual abuse must stop, and those who are abusing children by any means should be screwed over, I explored Pat's story and I found a commonality between his case and my own that was so profound that I felt compelled to share his story here and now.

Patrick S. Pawlicki is a San Diego County local. He was a successful businessman who fell victim to false accusations of child sexual abuse. Unscrupulous Sheriff investigators embarked on a witch hunt to "get Pat." All of this led to Pat losing his family, his home, his business, and his hard earned reputation.

According to Pat, he was victimized by a system which assumes that the accused is guilty until proven innocent. Pat explained to me that he had himself been victimized by San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. Ms. Dumanis ignored many recommendations by her subordinate staff in her own office that the case against Pat should not proceed. I feel that Pat's story is eerily similar to my own in several respects. The first is the malicious prosecution which occurred. The second is the corrupt and oppressive criminal justice system. The third is that spiteful and revengeful children are encouraged and allowed to tell outrageous lies, and have them accepted as truth, by emotionally attached investigators who use confirmational bias to exclude contradictory evidence.

Some of Pat's examples of investigatory and prosecutorial misconduct include:

  • Shopping around for an ambitious Assistant District Attorney (ADA) who, with a desire to make a name for himself, was willing to pursue and then prosecute a local businessman in order to further the ADA's career;
  • Used out-of-state, mentally disturbed and drug addicted witnesses against Pat, even though they had made previous false allegations (and additional false allegations after Pat's conviction), all in the hope of getting a "big case" solved, irrespective of the realities involved;
  • Used innuendo and supposition to invite believe as to the many spurious statements being made against Pat and raise doubts about Pat's innocence, and turn family, friends, neighbors, and business associates against Pat in an attempt to prove a falsity;
  • Used malicious and false claims to intimidate and confound prospective defense witnesses;
  • Gave advance notice to the neighborhood where Pat lived that no one was currently living in Pat's home which then resulted in burglaries and the removal of everything of value from not only Pat's home, but his business as well, including irreplaceable family mementos and expensive heavy equipment;
  • Turned Pat's down syndrome daughter over to an absentee mother who took off to Mexico with her alcoholic and physically abusive boyfriend;
  • Ferreted out every creep who ever had a grudge against Pat and then encouraged them to make nefarious allegations about what Pat might have said or done of a sexual nature in the distant past.

But who exactly is Pat, and what is his story? Pat was born and raised in southern California, and he came from a close-knit family. Since his parents owned property in northern San Diego County, he spend a lot of time in that area with his family and friends while growing up. Pat eventually became a permanent resident of San Diego County in 1981 after he relocated his family and his business there from neighboring Orange County. At the same time, his since deceased parents build a home on the adjacent property and his sister bought property nearby as well. Pat has obvious long-time ties to the community.

So, Pat and his family lived in the mountains of San Diego County. Sure, they are not the grand escarpment of the high Sierra of my home, he was living in tranquil paradise nonetheless. Pat had to drive 50 miles round trip, twice a day, in order to take his children to the pricey Christian school they attended. Pat was a successful businessman juggling his home and business life (he was eventually a single parent with a young son and special needs daughter), and so he was burning the midnight oil, to say the least.

Pat eventually realized that he needed a life partner. Someone who he could lean on to settle his life into a more normal routine. Being a strong Christian, Pat used an online Christian dating site to meet a lovely divorced woman with two children of her own. Pat was attracted to this woman and her children were the same ages as his own. This seemed to be a match made in heaven. A real blessing. It would soon become a curse though.

After several email and telephonic conversations, Pat paid for a week-long visit to the mountains of San Diego County. Despite Pat's verbalized reservations made to family and friends, he nevertheless proposed marriage at the end of the week (crazy, right?). The divorced woman soon, therefore, became Pat's wife and thus he had what he had been seeking, a life partner and a budding family.

It didn't take Pat long to realize his mistake. His new wife turned out to be slovenly and lazy. Her children were unruly and out of control. Where Pat thought his new wife would be his long-sought helpmate, he found himself back in the same position as before. He was burning the midnight oil in order to fulfill his responsibilities to his family and his business, but now, he had three additional responsibilities; his lazy wife and her two out of control kids.

Then his new wife began stealing money from him. And her children were even more of a problem. They were rude and they constantly lied. The new wife's children never cleaned up after themselves and they bullied Pat's kids as well; stealing clothes, toys, and the like. Pat enrolled his new children in the expensive Christian school in the hope that God could reach them.

It became immediately apparent to the faculty at the school that Pat's new children were bullies who used foul language, lied, and stole money from the other students. After just a few weeks, Pat's new kids were expelled from the Christian school. My own personal takeaway from this last statement is that these kids must have been terrible because Christians are usually forgiving and not prone to rash judgements as to a child's deficiencies.

After about 6 weeks of pure craziness, Pat packed up his new family's luggage and sent them packing to Ohio from whence they came on a bus. This didn't set well with his now former wife. Pat's former wife, clearly disgruntled, filed a complaint that alleged Pat beat his children. The ensuring investigation found her allegations to be unfounded which, in the legal parlance, means that there was no evidence whatsoever that Pat had beat his children.

Moreover, in an interview at school, without a parent present, Pat's son told investigators that his natural mother (who lived nearby) and his father got along fine and he denied to investigators that he had experienced any untoward sexual exposure or molestation. Pat's son also described a wholesome lifestyle in the home and that his father's new wife (now former) was stealing things.

The new wife had two children and he added to investigators that they refused to take baths and destroyed or stole many items that were important to his family. When Pat's son was asked by investigators whether there was anything he would want to change in his living situation, he replied that there wasn't but added that he wished his father had never married that woman.

So, they were gone, and Pat said, "good riddance." Then, after several years had passed and it was 2009, the daughter who had been sent packing on the bus suddenly reported to a therapist, after many months of therapy, that Pat had molested her. Then the ex-wife's son reported that Pat had molested him too. These allegations were then reported to the San Diego County Sheriff's department who began an investigation.

All of this based on unsupported statements to therapists made by teenagers who had a grudge against Pat. The immediate result was that Pat's own children were removed from his home. This was pure absurdity to Pat, but it was just the beginning. It didn't matter to the Sheriff's investigators that the girl making accusations against Pat had made similar accusations against others before.

It didn't matter that Pat's mother, who lived next door, had never seen any signs of molestation or abuse of his special needs daughter. It didn't matter that numerous family members and friends of the family never noticed any signs of abuse. And it didn't matter that the mother of Pat's special needs daughter never noticed any signs of mental, physical, or sexual abuse at all. In the end, the powers that be arrested and charged Pat with child molestation, the holy grail of hate-filled criminal prosecutions.

But how did this really all come about? According to Pat, you really cannot understand what happened in his case without understanding the Mondale Act. Now, I dug into Pat's reference to the Mondale Act and it led me to the 1976 Congressional Record and then I found the California Legislature's actions in 2009 Bill Text CA A.B. 2791 which created Penal Code § 999s inter alia and the creation of laws which not only encourage aggressive prosecutions for alleged child abuse (a worthy endeavor in my estimation), but also incentivizes it with a huge payout as well. Pat explained to me that this is where the law of unintended consequences comes into play because the legislator's intent creates a huge financial reward to authorities for investigation and prosecuting child molesters.

A central problem inherent to this legislative solution, which addressed a very important issue, is that state and federal monies are readily available for the treatment of child abuse victims, but no monies are specifically allocated for the protection and treatment of people who have been victimized by false allegations of child abuse. Therefore, those people accused of these, the most horrific crimes, have no means to defend themselves in child molestation trials where the defendant is always guilty unless and until proven innocent and regardless, their lives are in tatters as a result thereof.

But it goes much deeper. There is a complex network of interaction and interdependence among mental health facilities, child protective services, and investigative agencies. It behooves all who are working in this network to cooperate with on another because the more victims who can be identified, the more funding will come their way, regardless of the actuality of any particular child sexual abuse allegation.

Laws mandating the reporting of child abuse and the laws which provide immunity from prosecution for those who report abuse, while well intentioned, nevertheless ensure an endless stream of referrals for investigators who are really validators instead of investigators in all reality. This predictably fuels sex-abuse hysteria; hysteria in which an accused' constitutional due process protections are trampled with regularity and are often ignored completely.

Thus, when all of the incentives run in favor of making false allegations—and there are few, if any, brakes on the system—we should not be surprised when these "witch hunts" occur. It happens time and time again. Of course, because the investigations and subsequent prosecutions are made "in the name of protecting children," authorities are easily able to abuse their powers to circumvent the rights of the accused. This has obviously occurred in Pat's case.

The tactics used by the Sheriff's investigators and the District Attorney's office in Pat's case are not unique and are so contrary to any sense of professional duty, not to mention a moral sense of fairness to all, that they have demonstrated themselves to be unfit to carry out any modicum of justice. Instead, they just wanted to win, and they were willing to do whatever it took, even if it meant employing intimidation and clear abuse of power. All of this is the epitome of oppression.

Pat pointed me to an article in the San Diego Examiner which at first glance looked to be another similar situation but it was in fact a story relating to a scathing Grand Jury report which detailed systemic failures of prosecutors, investigators, CPS caseworkers, and the like, with regard to sexual abuse allegations in San Diego County. (See http://www.examiner.com/courts-in-san-diego/san-diego-county-grand-jury-cities-further-CPS-misconduct).

Well, this got me to thinking about my own case and the fact that Todd Graham used his experience as a prosecutor in San Diego County to receive coaching on now to charge me with 26 counts of child molestation and rape using a "first time" and "last time" pleading which even my trial judge found confusing. Todd Graham also used Cathy McLennan from San Diego County to testify about CSAAS even though she repudiated it initially at the 402 hearing. So, in retrospect, having examined Pat's case, I am of a firm belief that there is a systemic goal to prosecute any and all allegations of sexual abuse of children regardless of the truth or fiction of the allegations.

In the end, Pat was found guilty just as I was. In Pat's case, he was found guilty of 7 counts of child molestation but he was also found not guilty of 1 count in an eerily similar circumstance to my own. It would seem that charging multiple counts, the prosecution does not have to prove all the allegations true in a case even though due process requires all elements of a crime to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

But, back to Pat's conviction, his attorney did a terrible job, the trial court refused to allow him to substitute counsel, and the court would not grant a slight continuance so that his critical medical doctor and expert witness could testify that Pat's special needs daughter had no physical findings of sexual abuse. The actual testimony at trial was so outrageous that when the accusers recanted their statements to investigators, and their testimony at trial, Pat should have been released at once.

But, as you know, if you have read my book "The Ordeal," you know that innocence is a hard thing to prove, even when you are innocent. Just ask John Grisham, the world famous author who said that, "it is easy to put someone in prison, and it's damn near impossible to get them out."

So that is where I come in. I truly believe Pat. My bullshit detector is finely tuned after 12 years in prison, and as a result of my belief in Pat, I am helping him to file a habeas corpus petition which will not only set him free, but it will also allow him to enjoy his remaining years free from any doubt as to his true character. I am putting his story out there on MichaelJayHarris.com so that everyone will know, I am not alone.

Take Care.