IPT Book Reviews

Title: Oprah's Victim  Positive Review
Author: Christian Cross
Publisher: Chris Cross Productions 1994

Chris Cross Productions
157 Howard Street
Las Vegas, Nevada
$19.95
 

Description:

This is the blow-by-blow account of Christian Cross and the false sex-offense charges made against him in Tucson, Arizona.  The Oprah used in the book's title, refers to Oprah Con, a sheriff in the Penn County Sheriff's Department.  Cross was charged with child molestation for "wrestling" his girlfriend's daughter and touching her vagina while she was fully dressed and for showing her his penis in a parking lot.  The penalty he faced was a sentence of 137 years to life.  The grand jury quickly returned a true bill against him without interviewing him.  Bail was reduced subsequent to the public defender's motion from $250,000 to $100,000.  Since he still could not make bail he asked for solitary confinement so he could pray alone.

The defendant sued the sheriff, the Board of Supervisors of the State Attorney's office, and the County Board of Directors for using "false evidence" and after 1-1/2 years all charges were dropped.  Cross also indicated, in his own lawsuit, that the sheriff had traumatized one alleged victim and caused her to act like a victim.
 

Discussion:

This long book (350 pages) clearly indicates that defendants can, and must, do their own detective work, and hire an expert witness.  The alleged child victim, before trial, was referred to a Victims' Organization where she was "trained" by a group of other alleged sexual abuse victims to play the role of a victim.  One child was supposed to have experienced 1,320 acts of molestation near her mother, who claimed to have heard and seen nothing.

Despite the prosecutor's objection, Alayne Yates, M.D., was sworn in as an expert witness and testified that the child witness had made sexual advances toward the defendant and "lied" out of fear of her mother.  Sheriff Con was secretly audiotaped in a phone conversation where she unwittingly gave false information to another possible victim.

To publish your own story may be the only way Americans will learn of these false arrests (Simon, 1993); there has to be a witness for future generations.
 

References

Simon, R. (1993). The psychological and legal aftermath, of false arrest and imprisonment. Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law, 21(4), 523-528

Reviewed by LeRoy G. Schultz, Professor Emeritus of Social Work, West Virginia University, Morganstown, West Virginia.

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