However rare the term has once been, it is now a term used consistently throughout the news and various other publications today. Along with the progressing decline in society’s morals, has come the rapid increase of crime. One such crime is child abuse. Although child abuse is common, the act is defiling.
As a result of the abuse, children who fall victim to this often need psychological treatment and counseling. Often, the child is never the same as he or she once was before. The dictionary defines child abuse as: ;the physical, or emotional, or sexual mistreatment of children; (Dictionary. com). Everyday thousands of children are the victims of this abuse.
The abusers range from parents, friends, total strangers, to even day-care workers. One case involving the abuse of children in their care is that of Frank and Ileana Fuster. The two were accused in 1984 of molesting children in their home. Frank was a 36-year-old Cuban immigrant and was married to 17-year-old Ileana who was Honduran. Frank and Ileana Fuster were residents of Country Walk, Florida where they held a home-based babysitting service (Pendergrast).
The case was then known as ;Country Walk; because of the city in which the two, Frank and Ileana resided. ;The case began when a 3-year-old boy asked his mother to ;kiss my body; when she was giving him a bath. He said, ;Ileana kisses all the babies’ bodies. ” The mother became concerned and reported the comments to the Dade County child protection authorities (“A Summary of the Frank Fuster. .
. ” NP). Fuster seemed to be living the American dream before the accusations were presented against him. Frank and Ileana were newly weds, owned a new home in the suburbs and a landscaping business that was doing well. However, Frank was not living the American dream.
He was still on probation for a 1982 child molestation conviction for fondling a nine-year-old girl and manglaughter, for shooting a man after a traffic accident (“Debunking Frontline’s Did Daddy Do It?; NP). Frank had been ;arrested on September 21, 1982 for lewd and lascivious assault on a minor – a nine-year-old girl whose breasts and genitals Fuster fondled while driving her home. The jury heard from the girl, who was cross-examined at length. They found her credible and convicted Fuster; (;Fuster’s Manslaughter Conviction” NP). On August 9, 1984, Frank was arrested on charges of violating his probation. Ileana was then arrested on August 23, 1984 and was charged with multiple counts of sexual assault of a minor (“Statement of Facts And.
. . ” NP). Both Frank and Ileana denied the charges against them. Frank had already been convicted for the manslaughter in 1969 and for the 1982 condling of a child (“A Summary of the Frank Fuster.
. . ” NP). His case was not looking hopeful. Over 20 children came forward concerning the charges and told police that they had been raped and molested by Frank and Ileana.
The state attorney, Janet Reno’s office built its case against Frank and Ileana based on testimonies from children, a medical test, and a confession from Ileana (;A Summary of the Frank Fuster. . . ; NP). The children that came forward and were interviewed went through tremendous questioning. The ;Miami Method; was a method invented because the methods of interviewing children were hurting the cases because of being interviewed so may times by different individuals.
Parents of the children would begin to tell authorities that they were not going to allow their children to be a part of the cases anymore because of the psychological effects the various interviewing was having on their children. The courts also treated the children that were testifying as if they had no competence at all. Therefore, the ;Miami Method; was introduced and children were videotaped in their interview and the interview played during the trial. The interivew were the first and only interview conducted with the child and were expected to be believable. This method was first introduced in the Frank Fuster case.
Shortly after the method was first introduced, a ;state law was changed to allow children to testify from the judge’s chambers.The method was also .