Against Satanic Panics > Older cases > Bakersfield / Kern County

Numerous "ritual abuse" cases in
Bakersfield / Kern County, California (1982)

by Diane Vera

Copyright © 2006 by Diane Vera. All rights reserved.

Bakersfield, in Kern County, California, was the scene of the very first large multiple-victim multiple-offender (MVMO) child sex abuse case involving allegations of "Satanic ritual abuse" (SRA). The first arrests were made in 1982.

A total of eight different "child sex ring" cases were tried in Kern County over the next several years, all based on the testimony of children who had been interviewed in very questionable ways. A total of 46 people were convicted, most likely for crimes that never even happened. The witchhunt stopped only when some children started to accuse some of the social workers, deputy sheriffs and deputy district attorneys themselves.

Even after the prosecution's extremely flawed methods were exposed, it has been a long, hard struggle to get all the wrongly-convicted defendants freed.

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