Dale Akki Case


Staff member
Ex-School Volunteer Acquitted
of Child Abuse Charges
Verdict: After deliberating for just seven hours, jury finds
Dale Akiki not guilty on all 35 counts. Trial was longest in
San Diego's history.

Los Angeles Times (LT) - SATURDAY November 20, 1993
Edition: Home Edition Page: 29 Pt. A Col. 1

SAN DIEGO - A Superior Court jury concluded a 7 1/2-month
trial Friday by acquitting a former nursery school volunteer
of 35 counts of child abuse and kidnaping that had kept him
jailed without bail for 2 1/2 years.

With family members and friends cheering behind him, Dale
Akiki, 36, wept as the clerk announced the jury's findings of
not guilty to all felony and misdemeanor counts stemming from
alleged incidents at a local church in 1988 and 1989.

Nearly 170 witnesses testified during Akiki's trial--the
longest in San Diego history--which ended after only seven
hours of jury deliberation. "I just want to go home, I just
want to go home," Akiki said in leaving San Diego County Jail.

Akiki appeared stunned by how quickly the verdicts came.
"I couldn't believe it. It was a shock." He thanked sheriff's
deputies, who for 30 months shielded him from abuse by other
prisoners. "They helped me out," he said. "They protected me."

Akiki was surrounded by television cameras as he boarded a
waiting limousine.

The case drew widespread attention--and sympathy--partly
because of Akiki's appearance. The victim of a rare genetic
disorder called Noonan's syndrome, he suffers from club feet,
a concave chest and droopy eyelids. He has undergone 19
surgeries since childhood.

His trial quickly became a cause celebre for critics of
the criminal justice system, with many saying that it was one
of hundreds of child abuse cases nationwide culminating in a
lengthy and costly prosecution and ending with exoneration of
the defendant.

Jurors deliberated for two hours Thursday and less than
five hours Friday, with most saying afterward that they never
believed the nine children who testified, or that the children
even believed what they said in court.

Several on the panel sided with Akiki's attorneys, public
defenders Kathleen Coyne and Susan Clemens, who tried to show
that Akiki's alleged victims--nine boys and girls between the
ages of 3 and 5--had been systematically brainwashed by
parents and therapists.

But Deputy Dist. Atty. Mary Avery, the lead prosecutor,
disputed such claims.

"The whole idea of contamination and suggestibility just
does not account for the major behavior changes that occurred
(in the children) while they were in Dale Akiki's (nursery
school) class," she said, referring to such incidents as
bed-wetting and nightmares.

Witnesses accused Akiki of sexually molesting and
terrorizing children at Faith Chapel charismatic church in
Spring Valley by hanging them upside-down from a chandelier,
dunking them in toilets and making them drink the blood of
animals in ritualistic ceremonies.
Prosecutors were unable to produce any physical evidence
to support the charges.

Some children said Akiki brought an elephant and a giraffe
to class, killing them both as a way of warning his pupils not
to reveal his crimes.

"This wasn't a case of proving who did it. This was a case
of proving that it never happened at all," said Carol Hopkins,
deputy forewoman of the San Diego County Grand Jury in
1991-92, who became one of Akiki's defenders.

Hopkins is one of many calling for the ouster of Dist.
Atty. Ed Miller, whom critics accuse of succumbing to the
wishes of one of the city's most prominent businessmen in
trying Akiki.

Defense attorneys showed that a deputy prosecutor who
initially investigated the case failed to bring charges. And
witnesses testified that after the intervention of Jackson R.
Goodall Jr.--the owner of Foodmaker, Inc., the parent company
of the Jack in the Box--Miller assigned a new prosecutor.

He picked Avery, founder of San Diego's Child Abuse
Prevention Foundation. Goodall has been the largest
contributor to the organization and is chairmen of its board.

Miller has blasted the insinuation of a breach of ethics
and staunchly defended his prosecution, which critics say has
cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

"The contact I had with members of the public had
absolutely no influence on me whatsoever," Miller said. "I am
especially upset about any suggestion at all that this was not
handled in a professional manner."

Times staff writer Tony Perry contributed to this story.


Copyright © 1993, Times Mirror Company

Source: http://ags.sga.uci.edu/~dehill/witchhunt/c...cases/akiki.htm


Staff member
Former Preschool Worker Cries on Stand in Denying Molestation
Trial: Mildly retarded defendant testifies that he is not guilty. Case has fueled debate over validity of child abuse prosecutions in general.

Los Angeles Times (LT) - FRIDAY October 22, 1993
Edition: Home Edition Page: 3 Pt. A Col. 2

SAN DIEGO - In often-wrenching testimony, a mildly retarded man tearfully told a jury Thursday that he is innocent of 38 counts of child abuse and kidnaping in a case that has polarized his community and become a volatile local drama in newspapers and on talk shows.

The trial of Dale Akiki, 35, recently entered its seventh month. A total of 152 witnesses have testified, including the 11 children who say Akiki molested them at the Faith Chapel charismatic church in Spring Valley between June, 1988, and September, 1989, when he was a volunteer teacher at its nursery school.

Akiki has been accused of sexually molesting and torturing small children and terrorizing them by hanging them upside-down from a chandelier, dunking them in toilets and making them drink the blood of animals.

The case has drawn national attention partly because of the appearance of Akiki, who has club feet, a concave chest and droopy eyelids, and has described himself as deformed. Akiki suffers from Noonan's syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, and from hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid that causes an enlarged head.

The trial has also fueled the debate over the validity of child abuse cases in general.

Critics say it illustrates the difficulty of obtaining accurate testimony from children, who are often influenced by the suggestions of parents and therapists. Many of the children in the case initially denied that Akiki had done
anything wrong, saying merely that he "looked funny."

Some children said Akiki brought an elephant and a giraffe to class, killed the elephant in front of his startled audience and slaughtered a rabbit as a way of warning his 3-and 4-year-old subjects not to reveal his heinous crimes.

One boy even said that Akiki sacrificed a human baby in front of the nursery group, while another said that the elephant was both "real" and "not real." Another said Akiki often made him drink gorilla juice as a kind of satanic

Through direct testimony Wednesday and under cross-examination Thursday, Akiki vehemently denied the charges and broke down and cried twice while stating his innocence and mentioning his mother and his wife, from whom he has been separated since being arrested in May, 1991.

Despite having no prior record, the former Navy supply employee has languished in San Diego County Jail without bail--which three judges rejected, citing the risk to alleged victims and the fears of their parents.

"I loved those kids as if they were my own," Akiki testified. "And I thought they loved me the way I loved them. I don't understand why they would say those things about me. Maybe it's my appearance."

Akiki said he had spent a lifetime trying to overcome the stigma of his odd appearance, which he admitted frightens children and adults.

But asked by public defender Kathleen Coyne if he had ever threatened, harmed or molested a child, he answered firmly and with tears welling in his eyes: "No. I swear on my father's grave, I didn't do it."

He admitted wiping one child's bottom after the boy went to the bathroom and helping another boy button his jeans. He said he once disciplined a 3-year-old girl by placing her in a "timeout" chair after she called another child "poo-poo and pee-pee face."

It was that child's statement to her mother that Akiki "showed me him's penis" that launched the case in August,1989.

In recent weeks, the defense has won small victories by having some of the original counts dismissed while two ministers affiliated with Faith Chapel both testified that a wave of hysteria overcame parents and fueled the investigation that critics have branded a witch hunt.

In a remarkably short cross-examination Thursday, Deputy Dist. Atty. John Williams asked Akiki if he had once worn rings on all of his fingers. Yes, he replied.

Williams asked if Akiki had used a ring to trick a young girl into letting him touch her vagina. "Absolutely not," Akiki said.

In a moment of courtroom drama, Williams held up a fake knife and a toy bunny in simulating one of the accusations against Akiki--that he pretended to kill a rabbit by stabbing a toy bunny in front of the children.

As several in the courtroom attempted to stifle their laughter, Akiki denied the accusation.

Photo: Former nursery school teacher Dale Akiki breaks down in San Diego Superior Court.
Associated Press


Copyright © 1993, Times Mirror Company

Source: http://ags.sga.uci.edu/~dehill/witchhunt/c...cases/akiki.htm


Staff member
Is Trial of Church Volunteer Accused of Abusing Children a Witch Hunt?
Courts: Deformed man is charged with molesting boys and girls
while a baby-sitter. His defenders say his looks are causing
the outcry. Reliability of child witnesses is also questioned.

Los Angeles Times (LT) - MONDAY June 28, 1993
Edition: Home Edition Page: 3 Pt. A Col. 1

SAN DIEGO - For two years Dale Akiki has languished in San
Diego County Jail, unjustly accused, say his scores of
supporters, because of his odd appearance and a witch hunt by
the district attorney.

Deformed since birth and with limited intelligence, Akiki
faces 43 counts of child abuse and two counts of kidnaping.
The alleged crimes, involving boys and girls ages 3 to 5,
occurred while Akiki was a volunteer baby-sitter at a
charismatic church in nearby Spring Valley.

The case--one of the most controversial prosecutions here
in recent history and a hot topic on radio talk shows--rests
largely on the oral accounts of preschool children. It has
raised new questions about the reliability of young witnesses
and the role of therapists, parents and investigators in
shaping their stories.

Akiki, 35, suffers from a rare genetic disorder that has
left him with droopy eyelids, a clubfoot, limited use of his
elbows and a head grotesquely enlarged by the buildup of
fluid. But the case is not about appearances, prosecutors say.

They contend that Akiki terrorized children by dunking
their heads in toilets, holding them under showers and killing
animals. They depict him as an abusive monster who thought
nothing of torturing and traumatizing his charges.

"This is a case of physical abuse, sexual abuse and
emotional abuse," Deputy Dist. Atty. Mary Avery said during
opening arguments in Akiki's trial, which began in March and
might last through summer. Akiki, who is being held without
bail, could be sentenced to 200 years in prison if convicted.

Avery said Akiki tied up the children or put nooses around
their necks, took nude photos, kidnaped them by transporting
them to a nearby house, and repeatedly threatened them with
death for telling anyone what he made them do.

On one wall of Department 6 in San Diego County Superior
Court, a poster chronicles the grim accusations. Photographs
show smiling children now and at the time of the alleged
incidents between June, 1988, and September, 1989.

Across the courtroom sits Akiki, who for most of the trial
has sat impassively, occasionally joking or munching on

Akiki's court-appointed lawyers describe him as a kind and
gentle man incapable of harming anyone. They concede that
children were often frightened by his appearance, giving him a
kind of "Elephant Man" persona that fueled fear and suspicion.

"We have evidence that, from the moment Dale began working
as a volunteer (at Faith Chapel in Spring Valley), mothers
believed he was an inappropriate choice to teach preschool
children--simply because of the way he looked," said public
defender Kathleen Coyne.
Akiki first came to the attention of authorities after a
girl at the church told her mother that he "showed me him's
penis." The San Diego County Sheriff's Department investigated
and turned the case over to prosecutors, who considered it for
more than six months.

Coyne said that the intervention of a prominent San Diego
businessman who is chairman of the local Child Abuse
Prevention Foundation prompted the district attorney to
reassign the case to a senior prosecutor who founded the
anti-abuse organization. The San Diego County Grand Jury
indicted Akiki in 1991.

Coyne said her client has passed a sodium brevitol (truth
serum) exam and that numerous witnesses who knew or worked
with Akiki "never saw, heard or smelled anything unusual going
on his classroom" during the periods of 1988 and 1989 in which
he worked as a volunteer.

"Not a shred" of physical evidence has surfaced that
points to Akiki being guilty, Coyne said.

Prosecutors concede that their case relies almost entirely
on the children's testimony, but they said a disputed medical
exam of one girl found vaginal scarring they said was evidence
of sexual abuse. They also cite medical evidence of abuse on a
second girl whose name has not been raised in the trial.

Defense attorneys have called both findings "highly
ambiguous." Further allegations of brutal sexual abuse and
torture, including charges that Akiki bludgeoned animals in
the nursery, emerged only after alleged victims were
repeatedly interrogated by parents, therapists and San Diego
County sheriff's deputies, Coyne said.

Of the five children to testify so far, the most
intriguing was an 8-year-old girl who was on the witness stand
this month.

Under questioning by the prosecutor, the girl described
"Mr. Dale" as "a bad teacher" who was "mean," saying he showed
her and other children "bad videos" and told her "he would
kill my mom and my dad and my brother" if she told anyone what
was happening.

But under cross-examination by defense attorney Susan P.
Clemens, the girl offered new information.

"Did anybody ever tell you Dale did bad things to
children?" Clemens asked.

"Yes," the girl replied.

"Who told you that?"

"My mom."

"Did anybody else besides your mom tell you that?" Clemens

"Ellen," the girl said, referring to her therapist.

"Is that when you found out Dale did bad things to


"Before that, did anybody tell you that Dale did bad
things to children?"


Afterward, prosecutor Avery complained that the girl was
exhausted, having testified for three hours. But Coyne said
later: "We feel we accomplished with this witness what was
necessary to acquit our client."
The defense team cites new studies released independently
since the trial began that suggest testimony from children is
often unreliable. The studies suggest that persistent
questioning of child witnesses can lead them to give elaborate
accounts of events that never occurred and which they
initially denied.

"Often the therapist is thrashing around, and then
something comes out of the kid's mouth that the therapist
really gloms onto," said Maggie Bruck, a psychologist at
McGill University in Montreal and a clinical expert on the
suggestibility of children whose work is cited in the new

"Sometimes, they ask these children questions that make it
absolutely apparent the interviewer is looking for every shred
of evidence to indicate even the slightest hint of sexual
abuse," Bruck said. "That one thing pops out . . . and it's
the beginning of the ballgame."

In this trial, defense attorneys say the stories told now
by the children in some cases differ dramatically from what
investigators heard almost four years ago.

A 7-year-old boy recently testified that Akiki, his wife
and a female co-worker all touched him on his private parts
while they were baby-sitting in the nursery of Faith Chapel as
parents attended church in a nearby room.

But Coyne said that when the boy was first interviewed on
videotape in August, 1989, he repeatedly denied being abused.
Questioned again a month later, he said only that Akiki had
"showed me his bottom."

Prosecutors say that Akiki's victims initially denied
abuse because he had scared them into silence.

Akiki's supporters--many claiming that they were once
unjustly accused of child abuse by county authorities--have
formed their own organization, which has staged five
demonstrations since March, some involving as many as 200
people. One protest took place in front of the office of San
Diego County Dist. Atty. Edwin Miller, with hundreds of
hecklers calling for his ouster.

This case went to trial, public defender Coyne charged in
court, only because Jackson W. Goodall Jr., one of the city's
most prominent corporate executives and an acquaintance of the
district attorney's, asked Miller to prosecute.

Coyne argued that Miller reassigned the case from Deputy
Dist. Atty. Sally Penso after Goodall and his wife complained
about Penso's work and about the slowness of the

In sworn testimony, Mary E. Goodall, the businessman's
wife, acknowledged that she and her husband met with Miller to
express concern that no charges had been filed despite six
months of investigation.

"I was frustrated with the number of children that were
coming out of the woodwork, so to speak," Mary Goodall said
during a hearing in late 1991.

She admitted during the hearing that she had expressed
concerns to the district attorney about Penso. Goodall said
that she was concerned about the case not being thoroughly
investigated and criticized Penso's interviewing of some of
the alleged victims.

She then testified that, within a week after she and her
husband went to the district attorney, Avery was assigned to
the case. Penso could not be reached for comment.

Public defender Coyne also has questioned the role of
prosecutor Avery, who founded the San Diego Child Abuse
Prevention Foundation and serves with Jackson Goodall on its
board. Goodall, part owner of the San Diego Padres baseball
team and chief executive officer of Foodmaker Inc., which owns
the Jack-in-the-Box restaurant chain, is board chairman.

In her motion to have Miller and Avery excused from the
case, Coyne said the "Goodalls have either given or promised
nearly half a million dollars to an agency which Mary Avery
demonstrably holds dear to her heart."

Goodall and Avery declined to be interviewed.

Coyne's motion was denied, with Superior Court Judge
William H. Kennedy calling it "a good example of some smoke,
but no real fire."

Deputy Dist. Atty. John Williams, who is assisting the
prosecution, denied that the case was influenced by the
Goodalls or anyone else and said progress was delayed because
it is a complicated matter.

Meanwhile, supporters of Akiki, a former data processor in
the Navy's San Diego supply depot, said the prosecution is an
unjust crusade and a waste of taxpayers' money.
"In Los Angeles, more than $15 million was spent on the
McMartin preschool case," said Ken Bourke, 52, one of Akiki's
supporters. "The same situations apply to this case--therapist
involvement, impressionable children, irate parents and
stubborn, stupid prosecution. No win is possible. So why can't
they see that?"

Photo: Dale Akiki has a genetic disorder that affects his
DAVE GATLEY / Los Angeles Times

Copyright © 1993, Times Mirror Company

Source: http://ags.sga.uci.edu/~dehill/witchhunt/c...cases/akiki.htm


Staff member
Molestation Hearing Continues Next Week

Los Angeles Times (LT) - SATURDAY February 8, 1992
Edition: San Diego County Edition Section: Metro Page: 8 Pt. B Col. 3

The preliminary hearing for alleged child molester Dale
Akiki will continue Monday.

Akiki, 34, is charged with 50 felony counts of child
molestation, kidnaping and inhumane corporal punishment.
Prosecutors have charged him with victimizing 10
children--although they say there are more victims--at Faith
Chapel in Spring Valley.

Originally indicted by the county grand jury, Akiki is now
charged in a criminal complaint because the indictment was
thrown out in December for reasons unrelated to the case.

(A number of criminal indictments were set aside after a
lawsuit challenged the ethnic makeup of the grand jury.)
However, transcripts of the testimony of the alleged
victims, who were 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 years old when the attacks
allegedly occurred, are being used by Municipal Judge E. Mac
Amos Jr. to spare the children the stress of testifying during
the preliminary hearing.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Mary Avery has called some of the
parents to testify about behavioral changes they observed in
the children.

"There were drastic changes observed," Avery said.

Defense attorney Kate Coyne, however, maintains that Akiki
has been falsely accused by parents who did not like his
physical appearance.

Akiki has a disfigured head because he suffers from
hydrocephalus, a condition commonly known as water on the

Akiki, who has pleaded innocent to all of the charges, is
being held without bail.

The preliminary hearing is expected to conclude late next

Copyright © 1992, Times Mirror Company

Source: http://ags.sga.uci.edu/~dehill/witchhunt/c...cases/akiki.htm


Staff member
Judge Rejects Bail for Suspect in Molestations at Preschool

Los Angeles Times (LT) - SATURDAY May 25, 1991
Edition: San Diego County Edition Section: Metro Page: 2 Pt. B Col. 1

Drawing applause from a courtroom packed with concerned
parents, a Superior Court judge denied bail Friday to a La
Mesa man accused of molesting and torturing 10 preschool-age
children at a church day care center.

Judge Frederic L. Link ruled that the 50 charges facing
Dale Anthony Akiki, 33, indicated that he employed a "reign of
terror" over the children left in his care during a 15-month
period ending in August, 1989.

"This is a very, very serious case," Link said. "I have to
assume there is truth to these charges."

Thomas Malowney, Akiki's lawyer, had argued that his
client, who suffers from water on the brain, a club foot and
several other health problems, was being made a scapegoat
because of his unusual and potentially frightening appearance.

"If he was a danger, why did they let him walk around free
for two years?" he asked the judge, suggesting that
prosecutors lack physical evidence to support their
allegations and are attempting to use Akiki as a "Bogey Man."

"They had no case then, and they have no case now," he

But Deputy Dist. Atty. Mary Avery, the prosecutor, said
that, in addition to the grand jury testimony of seven
children who attended the Faith Chapel in Casa de Oro, her
case will rely on behavioral symptoms observed by parents
months before any allegations of abuse were raised.

One mother said her daughter was so terrified of having
her head near water that it was impossible to wash her hair,
Avery said. Grand jury testimony later revealed that at least
one child had had her head dunked in a toilet, she said.

Testimony was also heard that a child became hysterical
when he was taken to a hospital to get stitches, apparently
because he had a flashback of "the defendant holding him down
and hurting him," Avery said. The indictment filed against
Akiki said he inflicted injuries on children with a needle.

Avery maintained that some of the children remain so
traumatized by Akiki's treatment that they have attempted
suicide--one by running in front of a car, another with a

Throughout the bail hearing, Akiki, whose family says he
has a below-average I.Q., sat with his head resting on one
hand. When the judge made his ruling, Akiki shook his head

Copyright © 1991, Times Mirror Company

Source: http://ags.sga.uci.edu/~dehill/witchhunt/c...cases/akiki.htm


Staff member
Other Suspects Added to Child Sex Abuse Probe

Los Angeles Times (LT) - WEDNESDAY May 15, 1991
Edition: San Diego County Edition Section: Metro Page: 1 Pt. B Col. 2

As many as three former child care workers at Faith Chapel
in Spring Valley are suspected of molesting and abusing
preschoolers over a 15-month period ending in August, 1989, a
San Diego County prosecutor said Tuesday.

Speaking after the arraignment of Dale Anthony Akiki, a
former church volunteer who was indicted last week on 50
felony counts of child molestation and related charges, Deputy
Dist. Atty. Mary Avery said two other former child care
workers are being investigated.

Akiki, who pleaded not guilty Tuesday, was acquainted with
the other two suspects, one a volunteer and one a church
employee, Avery said.

"The perpetrators were certainly known to each other," she
said, adding that, while her office has not alleged a
conspiracy, she believes all three suspects knew the extent of
the molestation. More charges may be brought against Akiki,
she said, who is the primary suspect.

Akiki, a 33-year-old La Mesa man, is accused of molesting
10 boys and girls between the ages of 2 and 5. Among the
charges he faces are child molestation, child abuse, rape with
a foreign object, kidnaping and inflicting corporal injuries
on a child.

According to the 13-page indictment, which a grand jury
returned after hearing live televised testimony from seven of
the children, Akiki abused them sexually and physically, at
times using a bottle top, a toy, a glass, a stick and a

A slight man, Akiki limped slightly as he was escorted
into the courtroom Tuesday. His lawyer, Thomas Malowney, said
Akiki suffers from a club foot, a webbed neck and
hydrocephalus--or water on the brain--which has caused his
head to grow larger than usual.

Malowney said he believes Akiki may be falsely accused in
part because of his handicaps.
"He walks funny. He looks odd. And that might cause a
child to be uncomfortable to look at him," Malowney said,
suggesting that the children might have been abused by someone
else, but then "done a transference" to Akiki because of his
"memorable" appearance.

"It's like in 'To Kill a Mockingbird.' When something bad
happened, it was always Boo Radley," he said, referring to the
novel by Harper Lee. "I'm not saying something bad didn't
happen to them. It's just, by whom?"

When told of Malowney's theories about Akiki's appearance,
Avery said: "Do you mean his scary appearance might make these
children make up these allegations? I feel when the facts come
out in this case, that will not be an issue."

Malowney also said that according to Akiki's mother, Kay
Booth, he has an IQ of 79. Most people have IQs between 85 and
115. Mentally retarded people have IQs of less than 70.

"He's plugging along, but he's not to be mistaken for a
Phi Beta Kappa," Malowney said, adding that his client is
"bewildered" by the charges against him. "He is the type of
person that says, 'If I don't rip tags off of mattresses and
don't jaywalk and do the right thing, I get by in life.' The
man hasn't got a malice bone in his body."

Eight years ago, Akiki was hired as a computer assistant
at the Naval Supply Center downtown under a program to hire
the handicapped, according to Mary Markovinovic, a public
affairs officer.

Since then, Markovinovic said, he has been an
"outstanding" employee who rarely takes sick leave and is
popular with his co-workers and with customers.

"He's a very personable person," she said, saying his
arrest has surprised colleagues. "Everybody was pretty shocked
when they heard it on the news. We've gotten a lot of people
calling each other back and forth. They're concerned about

Avery said part of the reason for her lengthy, 1 1/2-year
investigation is that she did not want to rush the children,
some of whom were reluctant to speak about their experiences
because Akiki had allegedly threatened them.

"The children have set the pace of this investigation,"
she said. "We have given the children ample time to work with
their therapists and to disclose (the abuse) in a manner that
we thought would be more authentic and one in which they were
not being forced to answer questions prior to their feeling
ready and safe."

She shied away from comparisons between this case and the
infamous McMartin Pre-School molestation case, which involved
41 children, dragged on for six years and ultimately resulted
in no convictions.

"We have the benefit of knowing from other cases where
there were multiple victims and multiple perpetrators that in
too many of them, the cases were put into the system too soon,
without an adequate investigation," she said. "We have
attempted to do a very extensive investigation in this case
before the case was put into the system."

Superior Court Judge Jesus Rodriguez set Akiki's trial for
June 28. A bail hearing is scheduled for next week.

Photo: PLEA ENTERED: Dale Anthony Akiki, left, with lawyer
Thomas Malowney,
pleads not guilty in Superior Court to 50 counts of child
molestation. A prosecutor said two other child care workers at
Faith Chapel in Spring Valley are suspected of abusing
preschool children.
Copyright © 1991, Times Mirror Company

Source: http://ags.sga.uci.edu/~dehill/witchhunt/c...cases/akiki.htm


Staff member
Church Volunteer Indicted in Molestations

Los Angeles Times (LT) - TUESDAY May 14, 1991
Edition: San Diego County Edition Section: Metro Page: 1 Pt. B Col. 2

A La Mesa man who volunteered as a child care worker at a
Spring Valley evangelical church has been indicted on charges
of molesting 10 preschool-age boys and girls who attended the
church, authorities said Monday.

Dale Anthony Akiki, 33, is scheduled to be arraigned today
on 50 charges, including child molestation, child abuse, rape
with a foreign object, kidnaping and inflicting corporal
injuries on a child.

However, prosecutors said that while Akiki is the primary
suspect, he is just one of a group of former child care
workers at the church who are being investigated. Deputy Dist.
Atty. Mary Avery said none of those under suspicion still work
at Faith Chapel, a 3,500-member church in the 9400 block of
Campo Road.

"They worked in a similar child care capacity but were
also asked to leave the church," Avery said, noting that the
alleged incidents involving Akiki took place between May 15,
1988, and Nov. 15, 1989. "I don't want anybody to get the
impression that church is (now) not a safe place. They've done
a lot to make sure those children are safe."

Akiki, who is a civilian employee at the Naval Supply
Center in San Diego, is being held without bail at County Jail
downtown. Avery said Akiki has no criminal record.

Thomas Malowney, Akiki's lawyer, said that when church
officials initially confronted his client with the abuse
allegations in December, 1989, Akiki volunteered to take a lie
detector test and did "exceptionally well."

Malowney said that since then, Akiki had not been
contacted by authorities until Friday, when police searched
his house and arrested him. Earlier that day, the grand jury
had returned an indictment after hearing testimony from 33
witnesses, prosecutors said.
"I've got a client who feels like he's falsely accused,"
said Malowney, who said Akiki is married and has no children.
"And I've obviously got a scared client."

Prosecutors contend that Akiki preyed on the very young:
All of the alleged incidents involve children between 2 and 5
years old.

Avery alleged that some of the abuse occurred at the
church, particularly in the Sunday school room and its
adjoining bathrooms during Sunday evening services, when Akiki
baby-sat the children of churchgoers.
On other occasions, when parents left their children in
Akiki's care, she said, he took them to other locations.

"Some people left their children there for as long as 2 or
2 1/2 hours," Avery said. "The presumption is he drove some of
the children away from the premises."

The Rev. Charles Gregg, senior pastor at Faith Chapel,
said Akiki had joined the church about six months before he
began volunteering with the children. Akiki soon became
involved with preschool classes, which Gregg described as a
mixture of playtime and religious lessons in which teachers
imparted "something of Christian truth."
Often there were two adults supervising the class, Gregg
said, but sometimes Akiki was alone.

Gregg first learned of possible wrongdoing in the fall of
1989, when he was approached by a parent who was concerned by
his child's unusual "fearfulness," he said. It was the first
such incident in the church's 35-year history, Gregg said.

Soon, Avery said, a couple of parents noticed that their
children were exhibiting similar "unusual" and "regressive"
behavior. The children had not yet said they were abused,
Avery said, but the parents observed a pattern.

"In thinking it over, they realized the one thing the
children had in common was they went to the same church," she

The church asked a licensed social worker to assess
whether there was reasonable suspicion of abuse and, after
talking to a few families, he reported the case to the

Avery began investigating in February, 1990. Since then,
she said, the district attorney's office has kept Akiki under
periodic surveillance, "to make sure he was not working with
children during the week or involved with child care in any

Avery said her case is strengthened by the fact that it
relies on the children's behavior as well as their testimony.

"It will focus on behavior that was observed prior to the
initial disclosure" of the alleged abuse, she said. "So there
cannot be a contamination issue regarding behavior that
occurred prior to anyone ever mentioning this to the

Unlike other child molestation cases that rely largely on
the testimony of the victims, the Akiki case is "one which can
be cleanly and coherently presented to a jury for their
determination," said Steve Casey, a spokesman for the district
attorney's office.

Casey rejected the suggestion that the Akiki case
resembled the McMartin Pre-School molestation case, which
involved 41 children, dragged on for six years and ultimately
resulted in no convictions.

"That's probably a natural parallel for people to leap to.
But it's one that doesn't bear up under scrutiny," he said.
Gregg, the pastor, said that immediately after the
discovery of the alleged abuse, the church canceled all
children's activities.

"We brought all of the children into the sanctuary to be
with us in service," he said, saying such steps were necessary
"to enable us to have time to pull together our own plan for
any kind of healing that needed to take place."

The classes resumed more than a year ago, he said, but in
a very different environment. Gregg said there are more
teachers now, and all adults in the classroom are scrutinized
by a review committee.

Cameras have been installed in the Sunday school, and the
room itself has been rearranged. Where tall cabinets once hid
some sections of the room from view, there are now plexiglass
partitions, he said.

"We've removed everything that is a visual obstacle," he
said. "Anyone even walking down the hall can see into all
areas of the Sunday school. . . . just so we as parents can
have a sense of confidence that our children are safe."

Copyright © 1991, Times Mirror Company

Source: http://ags.sga.uci.edu/~dehill/witchhunt/c...cases/akiki.htm


Staff member
SORDID TALES by Edwin Decker

CAN YOU REMEMBER? Jackson case recalls savage violence against phantom wild animals

Because much of the country has prematurely decided that Michael Jackson is guilty of child molestation, I have no choice but to temporarily depart from the normal frivolity of Sordid Tales so to use this space for a more sober activity–a little thing I call “Remembering.”

I really didn’t want this. Remembering can be so tedious, but it’s astounding how quickly we forget to remember the lessons we learned from the histories we botch. And the lessons we have forgotten are the ones concerning poor ol’ Dale Akiki circa 1991.

So let’s re-remember together, shall we?

Dale Akiki was the volunteer, daycare babysitter at Faith Chapel ministry in Spring Valley who was charged with 35 counts of child molestation and ritual satanic sexual abuse on 11 children in his care.

Akiki–who has a genetic defect known as Noonan’s syndrome, giving him club feet, an oversized head, bulging eyeballs, droopy eyelids and an under-average I.Q.–denied the charges.

I remember sitting on my couch reading the Union-Tribune when I first saw Akiki’s mug shot. My first thought was, Yowza! Now there is one sadistic, ritualistic, satanic, sick, pedophilic babysitting bastard if ever I saw one.

Some call it a knee jerk.

As I read on, however, it became clear that Akiki was being railroaded on account of his bizarre appearance. As the case moved forward, I observed with profound disgust as a community, drunk on fear and ignorance, destroyed this loveable Quasimodo with zero physical evidence. Even the judge was convinced of Akiki’s guilt and denied bail. Thus, Dale Akiki languished in a jail cell for 30 months awaiting trial.

Thirty months!

Imagine what life must have been like for a deformed, sickly, accused pedophile cowering in jail for 30 months. Think how long 30 months is: He missed all of the first gulf war. He missed three of his wife’s birthdays. He missed the rise and fall of N.W.A. And he missed two and a half football seasons.

Thirty months!

And it all started when some parents objected to Akiki being hired as a babysitter for the Faith Chapel. They were mortified of his Frankenstein-ish gait. Then came a suspicious molestation accusation. Then an investigation. But San Diego District Attorney Edwin Miller determined that there was insufficient evidence, and the case was rightly dropped.

Now here’s where the remembering gets rememulous.

A prominent local businessman named Jackson W. Goodall Jr., who at the time was part-owner of the Padres, chairman of the company that owned Jack in the Box and a huge contributor to the campaign of District Attorney Miller–decided for himself that Akiki was guilty and convinced Miller to reopen the investigation.

The puppet D.A. then brought in a team of therapists with the specific charge of extracting testimonials of abuse from the children–and whaddaya-freaking-know?–after months of extensive “therapy” sessions (read: brainwashing), appalling stories began to emerge. The children said Akiki sodomized them with a curling iron and a toy fire engine; said he urinated on them, dunked their heads in feces-filled toilet bowls and hung them upside-down from chandeliers; said he killed giraffes, rabbits, human babies and even an elephant in their presence.

But those sessions were bullshit. The therapists were not neutral parties seeking truth; rather, they were agents of the prosecution manipulating testimony. Even the county grand jury, upon reviewing the trial in 1993, said there was a “blatant disregard by therapists to follow sound interviewing procedures.”

Thirty months!

During the trial, two Faith Chapel ministers testified that “a wave of hysteria overcame parents and fueled the investigation.” Indeed, the mob was so torch-blind, they didn’t notice how incredulous the whole thing sounded: Elephant stabbings. Giraffe beheadings. Anal and vaginal rape with foreign objects. Many splatterings of feces, urine and blood. Yet no trace evidence? No adults who witnessed any abuse? No scarring or damage to the body cavities of the children? No testimonies from neighbors saying they saw Akiki sneaking around at night with a giraffe on a leash or depositing an enormous, lumpy, trash bag with a tusk sticking out of it into a dumpster?

Oh well, who needs evidence when you’ve got a bogeyman on the hook?

During trial, one of the alleged victims said Akiki showed “bad videos” and would kill her parents if she told anyone.

But during cross-examination, defense attorney Susan Clemens asked, “Did anybody ever tell you Dale did bad things to children?”

“Yes,” the girl replied.

“Who told you that?”

“My mommy… and Ellen [the therapist].”

“Is that when you found out Dale did bad things to children?” asked Clemens.

“Yes,” she answered.

Thanks for the rememories, little girl, wherever you are.

Dale Akiki was acquitted on all 35 counts. Afterward, the jury publicly razed the prosecution for even trying the case. Oh, and just one more bit of remembering before we go. Remember when they first televised the mug shot of Michael Jackson? Remember how we all pretty much yelped a collective, Yowza! That sure is one sick, pedophilic babysitting weirdo if ever I saw one. Is he though? Who knows? All I’m saying is, if you can get 11 children to say that an elephant was sacrificed in their presence–it shouldn’t be much of a stretch to believe you can get a boy or two to say that Michael Jackson rubbed against them. ©

E-mail ed@edwindecker.com and editor@SD citybeat.com. Archives from the Los Angeles Times and the website www.Religioustol erance.org were reviewed for this article.

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