A Victory For Brown
I find myself wondering how much of this victory was a repudiation of Coakley's involvement in the Amirault case. Dorothy Rabinowitz has a detailed discussion of this tragedy here, and Coakley's insistence on keeping an obviously innocent man in prison because of the politics of feminist rage.
There were a lot of child sexual abuse cases in the 1980s that went completely insane. There is a lot of child sexual abuse, no question. There were cases in the period where what might have been actual child sexual abuse was so overwhelmed with utterly absurd and impossible coached statements by small children that we will never know what really happened: the McMartin Preschool case, for example.
There were others were prosecutors finally admitted that they were dealing with their own demons. One assistant D.A. in Minnesota, after having put a big chunk of the town under indictment or suspicion, finally admitted that she had not dealt with her abuse as a child. There was probably one actual victim in that case--but by the time she was done, she had destroyed whatever case there was.
I haven't kept track of the Wenatchee, Washington cases, but my impression was that if there was some actual child sexual abuse there, it was washed over in the hysteria that came out of it.
One of the cases that Janet Reno pursued in Miami was pretty clearly fabricated by "child advocates" who managed to coach children into pretty implausible accusations.
Some of the cases of that appear to have been completely and utterly false--like the Amirault case. This isn't a matter of, "The evidence was weak," but there was no physical evidence at all that should have been present if these claims by highly coached children was true.