Archive for the ‘Recent Cases’ Category

posted by admin on Jan 23

A comprehensive video is now available for immediate viewing that explains how Nichols Consulting provides the assistance needed to defend against false allegations of child sexual abuse.  This national consulting firm, that has been providing professional services for over 30 years, assists attorneys whose clients are the victims of false accusations of child sexual abuse.

This video, which features Edward Nichols, MSW, LCSW-R who is often acclaimed as America’s foremost clinical social worker. He has garnered the national reputation of advocating for the well-being of children by protecting them from those who would harm them in the context of false accusations of child sexual abuse.

Nichols’ national practice places great emphasis on exposing false allegation by demonstrating how children become victims of false allegations of child sexual abuse through improper interviews conducted by poorly trained personnel — particularly at departments of social services.  Help for the the falsely accused is available from Nichols Consulting’s comprehensive web site and is featured in this comprehensive video.

Nichols Consulting is located in central New York, but is available to help nationally.  Currently they have active cases in Illinois, Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  Nichols consulting is as near as your telephone and operates a 24/7 hot line at 1.800.400.8886.

posted by admin on Dec 28

On December1, 2009 the New York Court of Appeals ordered a new trial in the case of pediatric neurologist, Phillip Riback. because of the testimony of controversial psychologist, Richard Hamill and an overzealous prosecutor.  Dr. Hamill, who holds himself out as an expert in child sexual abuse, has increasingly been involved in controversial tactics in court.  In one case heard in Cooperstown, New York, Dr. Hamill testified against his own client.  While that case has not yet been appealed, New York’s Court of Appeals ordered a new trial in the Riback matter.

In late 2002 Phillip Riback was charged with criminal conduct involving sexual contact with 14 young male patients whom he treated between 1997 and 2002.  There was extensive media coverage of the defendant’s arrest and the charges he faced.    At a lengthy trial in June 2004, the prosecution presented testimony from 14 boys and their parent; the two police investigators who interviewed these children; a medical conduct investigator for the New York State Department of Health; a pediatric neurologist; and Dr. Richard Hamill, who despite the fact that he oversees one of the State’s largest sex offender treatment programs, is know as a prosecutor’s expert for hire throughout the state of New York.

The defense team was headed by the esteemed William Dreyer of Albany, who hired Edward Nichols– the nationally known consulting expert from Nichols Consulting.  The defense called personnel from defendant’s medical practice — the administrator, nursing supervisor, medical secretary, and defendant’s secretary; and parents of four other boys whom defendant had treated.  Defendant did not testify.  The defense theory, brilliantly pursued through cross-examination of the People’s witnesses and in defendant’s direct case, was that any unusual behavior that defendant displayed toward his patients was designed to create rapport and put them at ease; and that the most damning accusations made against him were the distorted or mistaken product of suggestive and coercive questioning by parent and police.

Due to an obvious tag-team type act between Dr. Hamill and the prosecutor — in which Dr. Hamill told the jury what a pedophile is and the prosecutor went overboard in summation — Dr Riback was convicted of 12 felonies and 16 misdemeanors, the County Court imposed a determinate sentence of 48 years of imprisonment and five years of post-release supervision.

The appeals court concluded that the trial court should not have allowed Dr.Hamill to define “pedophilia” and the “central characteristics” of a “pedophile”  Unfortunately, it is difficult to imagine that this information was unknown to the jurors. 

In furtherance of the Dr. Hamill’s inappropriate testimony, the prosecutor told the jurors that they “heard the definition of a pedophile, didn’t you? Did you hear the definition of a pedophile from Dr. Richard Hamill? [Defendant] can’t stop.”  A little later he again linked defendant and the word “pedophile,” reminding the jurors that they “heard the definition of a pedophile. He’s have sex with boys in his office.  He’s not concentrating on medicine.  He’s not concentrating on medical questions.  He’s concerned with gratifying his own sexual desire.”

The prosecutor also commented on the presence of nationally known expert consultant, Edward Nichols: He said, “[g]et enough lawyers involved and jury consultants to make sure they pick the perfect jury.”  The appeals court wrote in ordering a new trial:  “This intimated that defendant was exploiting his wealth to engineer a sympathetic jury, and that the jurors should not let him get away with it.

Dr. Riback will get a new trial.

Edward Nichols commented, “I hope this decision spawns other appeals, and that eventually defense lawyers learn to hold Dr. Hamill’s feet to the fire”.  Nichols has made a study of Dr. Hamill’s testimony at trial.

posted by admin on Jul 2

Edward Nichols recently teamed up with one of Nichols Consulting’s expert attorneys and scored another victory!  This case involved a mother making false allegations of child sexual abuse in the context of a rocky relationship.  CPS was involved and the police were also poised to conduct an investigation.

The swift intervention of Nichols Consulting, with our expert lawyer on the ground in Atlanta, resulted in the CPS investigation exposing the false molestation charges.

posted by Edward Nichols, MSW, LCSW-R on May 4

Charles County (LaPlata, MD)

A young 25-year old police officer was charged with third degree sex offenses against 2 teenage neighbors after giving them a ride home from a party because they were drunk.  The case was resolved with Alford pleas to simple assault and a period of probation.  There was no registration and the client will receive a probation before judgment that will expunge his record as soon as his probation is complete.

posted by Edward Nichols, MSW, LCSW-R on May 4

Prince George’s County (Upper Marlboro, MD)

A now 16-year old dysfunctional teenager is accusing her natural father of having sexually abuse her for years.  There is evidence that the father caught his daughter having sex with her older teenage boyfriend.  After the father threw the boyfriend out of the house and told him not to return, his daughter accused him of the abuse.  There is also evidence that the daughter made statements to the DSS social worker that no abuse took place.  Yet, despite that evidence, the prosecution presses on.

posted by Edward Nichols, MSW, LCSW-R on May 4

Baltimore County (Towson, MD)

On appeal is a case involving, as a matters of first impression, the issues of competency and taint as well as the requirement for the state to prove that the alleged abuse took place during the time frame set out in the indictment.

posted by Edward Nichols, MSW, LCSW-R on May 4

Baltimore City, MD

A school teacher was charged in 3 separate cases for having abused 3 children that he had in foster care through his church.  In addition, the family of one of the children filed a civil suit seeking damages.

The 3 criminal cases were disposed of with not guilty verdicts followed by the 2 other cases being nol prossed.  The civil suit was dismissed by consent.

posted by Edward Nichols, MSW, LCSW-R on May 4

Harford County (Bel Air, MD)

A now 24 year old defendant was alleged to have touched a then 12-year old minor staying at his house when he was 19 years old.  He was charged with child sexual abuse and third degree sex offense. 

After a 3-day jury trial, verdicts of not guilty were entered as to both counts.

posted by Edward Nichols, MSW, LCSW-R on May 4

Anne Arundel County (Annapolis, MD)

A 19-year old was accused of anally raping his 2 younger step-brothers over a period of years.  Even though the acts were alleged to have occured when the defendant was a juvenile, he was charged as an adult. These same boys had accused their natural father of the abuse years earlier.  The defense presented 16 witnesses whose testimony contradicted the State’s 3 witnesses.  The case also involved a multitude of legal issues of first impressions

After a 7-day trial, the jury entered not guilty verdicts as to the older step-brother.  The state dismissed the charges related to the other brother the next day.

posted by Edward Nichols, MSW, LCSW-R on May 4

 Montgomery County (Rockville, MD)

A school bus aide was charged with a third degree sex offense for touching a special-needs student.  The court found the child competent, ignoring the modern literature and cases that address competency. At the trial, because the child could not testify as to details of the alleged abuse, the court granted defense counsel’s motion for judgment of acquital. 

An interesting part of the case is that the school bus aide, who was from India and did not have a perfect command of the English language, made a statement to the police making a quasi admission.  The law about uncorroborated confessions was argued effectively and resulted in the court not using that evidence.