Franklin Coverup Hoax

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The Washington Times cover page, June 29, 1989
The Washington Times cover page, June 29, 1989

The Franklin Coverup is an alleged cover-up of an alleged child prostitution ring serving high level US politicians. Including 'Franklin' in the popular name for the alleged cover-up is somewhat misleading. 'Franklin' refers to the Franklin Community Federal Credit Union, a Nebraska financial institution. The relationship with Franklin was indirect via alleged involvement of a former Franklin officer, Lawrence E. King, in the child sex ring. King was heavily involved in high-level Republican politics and was convicted of embezzling millions of dollars from Franklin. King was also ordered to pay $1 million to one of the alleged child prostitution victims when King, in prison for the Franklin conviction, failed to appear in court.

The allegations of the child sex ring made national news on June 29, 1989 when the front page of the Washington Times bore the headline Homosexual Prostitution Inquiry ensnares VIPs with Reagan, Bush. The Washington Times article by journalists Paul M. Rodriguez and George Archibald alleged that key officials of the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations were connected to an elaborate Washington, D.C male prostitution ring, and reported that two of these prostitutes even entered the White House late at night. The allegations included, among other things, "abduction and use of minors for sexual perversion."

In July, 1990, a county grand jury in Nebraska's Douglas County concluded that the charges were a "carefully crafted hoax"[1]. The county grand jury's findings and labeling the cover-up a 'hoax' failed to quell conspiracy theories that persist to the present day.

Key persons named in the allegations were Craig J. Spence, a Washington D.C. based Republican lobbyist (who committed suicide in 1989), and Lawrence King, then manager of the Franklin Community Federal Credit Union in Nebraska. King was one of the Republican party's rising stars, performing the national anthem at the 1984 and 1988 Republican National Conventions. According to the December 18, 1988 New York Times, unidentified people present at a closed meeting say Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers said he had heard reports he considered credible of "boys and girls, some of them from foster homes, who had been transported around the country by airplane to provide sexual favors, for which they were rewarded."[2]


[edit] Nebraska county grand jury finds a "carefully crafted hoax" without identifying perpetrators

On January 10, 1990, the Nebraska State legislature constituted a special committee to look into the allegations with State Senator Loran Schmit as Chairman. On January 30, 1990, Nebraska State Attorney General, Robert Spire, called for a grand jury to investigate the allegations. February 6, 1990, former County District Judge Samuel Van Pelt was appointed a special prosecutor for the Douglas County Grand Jury, which convened on March 12, 1990. On July 23, 1990, after hearing many hours of testimony, the county grand jury threw out all of the allegations concerning sexual child abuse, labeling the charges a "carefully crafted hoax" "...scripted by a person or persons with considerable knowledge of the people and institutions of Omaha", but without identifying who perpetrated the hoax.[3][4]

[edit] Paul A. Bonacci

Paul A. Bonacci won a default judgment of $800,000 compensatory damages and $200,000 in punitive damages in a civil action against Lawrence King in which the petition alleged kidnapping, mind control, satanic ritual abuse, and sexual abuse, and alleged various personal injuries, both physical and psychological. The Judge did not rule on these allegations, but merely ruled on the motion for default judgment.

The judgment in U.S. District Court in Omaha, Nebraska, on February 27, 1999 was a default judgment following defendant King's failure to appear to respond to the charges. At the time, King was in prison having been sentenced in June, 1991 to 15 years (3 consecutive 5-year sentences) after conviction in the Franklin Community Federal Credit Union criminal case on charges including conspiracy, embezzlement, and falsifying book entries [5]. Only 2 years from release, King may or may not have sought and been denied a temporary parole, furlough, or release to appear in his defense, or sought and been denied counsel as an indigent prisoner defendant. Before his release, an appeal of the $1 million judgment against him was filed. In January of 2000, Lawrence King dropped the appeal to the $1 million judgment against him. He was released from prison on April 10, 2001. Presumably, King would have to report to parole officers for a period of time. Though there was a civil judgment, without conviction on criminal sex offender charges, he may not be a registered sex offender (see Sex offender registration).

[edit] Notes and references

  1. ^ "Omaha Grand Jury Sees Hoax in Lurid Tales", NY Times, 1990-07-29. 
  2. ^ Robbins, William. "A Lurid, Mysterious Scandal Begins Taking Shape in Omaha", The New York Times, 1988-12-18. 
  3. ^ "Omaha Grand Jury Sees Hoax in Lurid Tales", NY Times, 1990-07-29. 
  4. ^ Robert Dorr. "Judge Clears 3 More in Bonacci Suit Claims of Sexual Abuse Called Unsubstantiated and Bizarre", Omaha World Herald, The Omaha World-Herald Company, 1997-06-13, p. 26. 
  5. ^ Omaha World Herald, June 18, 1991
  • Associated Press. "Omaha Tales of Sexual Abuse Ruled False", The New York Times, The New York Times Company, 1990-09-27, p. Section A; Page 15, Column 5. 
  • Robert Dorr. "Bonacci Gets $ 1 Million in King Lawsuit", Omaha World Herald, The Omaha World-Herald Company, 1999-02-24, p. 17. 
  • Robert Dorr. "Lawrence King Drops Appeal Of Judgment", Omaha World Herald, The Omaha World-Herald Company, 2000-01-13, p. 15. 
  • DeCamp, John: The Franklin Cover-up: Child Abuse, Satanism, and Murder in Nebraska. 2nd ed. Lincoln: 2006.

[edit] External links

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