Buried Evidence

“In the course of consulting in hundreds of cases of accusations of child sexual abuse, defense attorneys across the land have reported to us that law enforcement personnel behave differently in a sexual abuse case. Exculpatory evidence is withheld or destroyed … Lies, circumventions, subterfuge, and hostile manipulation of legal rules abound.”
from Accusations of Child Sexual Abuse, by Hollida Wakefield and Ralph Underwager, 1988, pp. 130-131.

The police and/or the prosecutor failed to turn over, to the defense, photographs the police themselves had taken of the interior of Nickel’s home, photographs which demonstrated Arthur’s inaccuracies beyond any doubt. These were only produced at the tail-end of a two-day trial, when the defense forced the prosecution to finally acknowledge their existence. This was too late for the defense to be able to effectively utilize them in cross-examining either Arthur or Investigator Bates.

The prosecution also failed to disclose the existence of a medical exam that had been performed on Arthur following the initial allegations, until — once again — it was forced to do so, too late to be used for cross-examination purposes because the boy had already completed his testimony the previous day. This report, which was only partially legible due to its being handwritten as well as faxed, indicated that:

  1. there were no physical signs of abuse, and
  2. Arthur was taking at least four different psychiatric medications.

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