Franklin child abuse allegations

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The Franklin child abuse allegations refers to allegations of a child prostitution ring serving high level U.S. politicians. "Franklin" refers to the Franklin Community Federal Credit Union, a Nebraska financial institution. The relationship with Franklin was indirect via charges of involvement by a former Franklin officer, Lawrence E. King, in the alleged child sex ring.

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.[1] 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", although they failed to identify the perpetrators of said hoax.[2] Various conspiracy theories regarding a coverup of the original allegations 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,[3][4] and Lawrence King, who was eventually convicted of embezzling thirty-eight million dollars as manager of the Franklin Community Federal Credit Union in Nebraska.[5] King had been 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 reported that Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers said he had heard credible reports 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."[6]


[edit] Grand jury findings

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.[2][7]

[edit] Unaired investigative program about the case

In 1993 the British-based TV station, Yorkshire Television, sent a team to Nebraska to launch its own investigation of the Franklin case. Yorkshire had a contract with the Discovery Channel to produce a documentary on the case for American television.[citation needed] The documentary, titled Conspiracy of Silence, was to air nation-wide on the Discovery Channel on May 3, 1994. It appeared in TV Guide[citation needed] and in newspaper listings,[citation needed] however, it was never broadcast. Conspiracy of Silence, which is available for viewing on the Internet, claims influential members of Congress applied pressure to stop the documentary from airing and to destroy of all its copies in exchange for reimbursing The Discovery Channel and Yorkshire Television the $250,000-400,000 production costs. The Internet reincarnation of this film has the rough, unfinished look of a documentary missing some portions of video, which is consistent with the story told by former Nebraska state senator John DeCamp that the footage of this film appeared on his doorstep a year after it was supposedly destroyed.

[edit] Bonacci case

Paul A. Bonacci won a default judgment of $800,000 in 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 of the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska in Omaha, 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.[8] 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.

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Paul M. Rodriguez and George Archibald. Homosexual prostitution inquiry ensnares VIPs with Reagan, Bush. copy and scanned images of original 29 June 1989 article in The Washington Times.
  2. ^ a b "Omaha Grand Jury Sees Hoax in Lurid Tales", NY Times, 1990-07-29. 
  3. ^ Margaret Carlson. Washington's Man From Nowhere. Time (magazine), 24 July 1989, retrieved 19 January 2008
  4. ^ Associated Press. Lobbyist Linked to Sex Case Is Found Dead. The New York Times, 12 November 1989, retrieved 18 January 2008
  5. ^ William Robbins. Nebraska Inquiry Is Given File on Sex Abuse of Foster Children. The New York Times, 25 December 1988, retrieved 18 January 2008
  6. ^ Robbins, William. "A Lurid, Mysterious Scandal Begins Taking Shape in Omaha", The New York Times, 1988-12-18. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ David Thompson. Franklin Attorneys Say Case Isn't Over. Omaha World-Herald, 18 June 1991.

[edit] References

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