One of the pioneer investigators of false allegations in domestic violence and child abuse cases is Dean Tong. In the early 1980's Dean was falsely accused of child sexual abuse of his 3-year-old daughter by his then wife. After several years of heartbreaking struggle he successfully fought the allegations and was eventually awarded limited visitation with his children in 1989.
Instead of retreating back into his cave, as so many men do after such nightmarish experiences, Dean began writing prolifically about these problems. His first book, Don't Blame Me Daddy: False Accusations of Child Sexual Abuse appeared in 1992. His second, Ashes to Ashes, Families to Dust: False Accusations of Child Abuse: A Roadmap for Survivors in 1996. His latest, and a book that should be on the shelf of every reader of this newsletter, Elusive Innocence: Survival Guide for the Falsely Accused came out in late 2001.
His web site, Abuse-Excuse.com, was one of the first to appear on the Internet discussing false allegations. And Dean was the first activist I met personally after beginning my own research on these issues when Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family brought Tong to Colorado Springs in April 2000 to do a radio broadcast with him.
Since its inception in 2001 the Equal Justice Foundation has been pointing out that under current laws a man has to be functionally insane to marry and a drooling idiot to sire a child. Of course men don't think with their big head when Cupcake wants to marry. Some 10 years ago, forgetting the nightmare of his first marriage, Dean married again.
Lily was probably a charming 36-year-old woman when they married but 10 years later she is no doubt in the throes of perimenopause and quite likely much less of an enchantress. While details aren't known, his second marriage went sour, and as many men and women do when their marriages are failing, he sought solace elsewhere. That infuriated Lily. To appease her he moved out of the marital home and offered her a $250,000 divorce settlement, which she declined.
On January 28, 2008, he called for a police escort to retrieve some personal effects. Instead, as in so many cases we've heard, that turned into his wife charging him with domestic violence. She had apparently been bruised, either self inflicted which is extremely common in such cases, or from some other source than Dean who hadn't been near her. News reports say she claimed Tong, 51, had shoved Lily, 46, into a door. Dean's request for a standby thus resulted in police arresting him at the motel where he was staying. Sound familiar? And of course the woman is always believed in these cases regardless of the evidence, i.e., man bad, woman good.
Six weeks after his arrest Dean was charged on March 12, 2008, with first degree misdemeanor assault involving domestic violence and third degree felony tampering with a witness to evade prosecution. If convicted on both charges he was facing a possible six years in prison. Astoundingly in today's world of DV hysteria, he was released on just $1,000 bail. Bonds of $50,000 to $250,000 have become almost standard in such cases and the Eighth Amendment be damned.
In Florida the rules of criminal procedure allow for the defense to take depositions. In a game known to virtually everyone who has been through one of these nightmares, he and his lawyer tried to serve his spouse with notice to take her deposition nine (9) times, and 9 times she ducked service! Finally, at a divorce court hearing in May she was formally served to be deposed on July 2nd.
Given his prior experience, and work as an expert witness in many similar cases, Dean had amassed a mountain of evidence to prove his innocence and Lily was quite aware of that. Thus, on July 1, 2008, Lily filed a formal Waiver of Prosecution and Affidavit accompanying same. On July 10 th the State of Florida filed a statement of Nolle Prosequi (PDF) on Dean's behalf to both charges, ending the criminal case against him. It needs be emphasized that Dean Tong, as with other men in these cases, was once again assumed guilty until he could prove his innocence.
The many cases of false allegations, which demographics suggest are the majority in Colorado, and likely elsewhere, make it difficult and often impossible for the legal system to deal with actual cases of family violence.
The principal effect of the draconian DV laws is to deter citizens from calling police even if they may really need help.