MOTHER TO TRIAL, ALLEGING RITUAL AND SEXUAL ABUSE

            From the Orange County Register, March 19, 1991


                 WOMEN TAKE MOTHER TO TRIAL, ALLEGING
                        RITUAL AND SEXUAL ABUSE

                            By Donna Wares




  The  daughter,  now  grown,  never recalled anything more unpleasant
during  childhood  than  an  occasional  spanking.  Then,  she started
therapy. Suddenly, horrible tales about her family spilled out.

  She  told  of  human  sacrifice  and  sexual abuse, of satanic [sic]
ceremonies  in  church  basements  and  torturers  in  black robes who
swooped down on her like bats.

  Her  younger sister, 38, dredge up similar stories, claiming she was
raped,  jolted  with  electric  shocks  and  smeared with blood from a
rabbit's ear.

  On  Tuesday,  both  daughters took their petite, widowed mother, 76,
to trial in a case that is unfolding like a segment of "Geraldo."

  The  Mission  Viejo  [CA]  mother  --  identified in court papers as
Ellen  Roe  --  has  denied any involvement in such goings-on and says
her daughters are only after her money.

  The  daughters  allege  that Roe, their late father and a network of
satanic  [sic] cult members across Southern California perverted their
childhood  and  scared  them  into  repressed silence for more than 30
years.

  They  also accuse Roe of sexually abusing her granddaughter, now 11,
and want their mother to pay for their alleged emotional damage.

  "This   involved  brainwashing,  mind  control  and  hypnosis,"  the
daughters'  attorney,  R.  Richard  Farnell,  told  an  Orange  County
Superior  Court  jury  Tuesday in Santa Ana. "We're talking about sick
people  who  enjoy inflicting pain -- who get their jollies from being
sadistic."

  Ridiculous, said Roe's attorney, Tom Allen.

  He  urged  jurors to ignore the "B-movie" script allegedly cooked up
by the defense, which he said is fraught with memory lapses.

  Allen  instead  sought  to  portray  the  mother  and daughters as a
"happy  and  healthy  family  ...  [sic] who suffered life's bumps and
enjoyed life's joys."

  That  is,  until  three  years  ago  when the oldest daughter, 48, a
law-office  administrator and college instructor -- began therapy at a
Huntington Beach counseling center.

  Allen  alleged  that  therapists  planted  the idea of satanic [sic]
abuse and the daughters might now believe it.

  The  daughters sued their mother in 1989 seeking unspecified damages
for sexual and physical abuse allegedly starting at infancy.

  Because  of  the  sexual-abuse allegations and the involvement of an
11-year-old  girl,  the  daughters  were  allowed by the court to file
suit  using  only initials. The mother is identified in the lawsuit as
Ellen  Roe,  but that is a pseudonym to protect the minor in the case,
Farnell said.

  Primly  dressed in spectacles, a grey wool suit and black pumps, Roe
sat  silently with lips pursed as her attorney described her as a kind
and passive woman.

  "She  abhors  the  kind  of violence she is now charged with," Allen
said.  He said the defense has no physical evidence linking Roe to any
violence.

  "We  won't find a human body. We won't find an animal part. We won't
find a speck of blood."

  At  trial,  both  sides  are expected to produce expert witnesses to
testify  about  the  prevalence of satanic [sic] worship in the United
States and the daughters' claims of repressed memories.

  "I  don't  know  of  another  case  like  it  that's gone to trial,"
Farnell said. "It's probably breaking new ground."

  Allen declined to discuss the case outside the courtroom.

  The   older   daughter  briefly  took  the  witness  stand  Tuesday,
describing  what  she  said  was  her  first recollection of a satanic
[sic]  ritual  at age 5: what she believed was a sacrifice of a man on
a church alter.

  "I  began very clearly to remember, bit by bit, things that happened
when  I  was  quite small," the Costa Mesa woman testified in a quiet,
shaky voice.

  As  the  day's  session  ended, she walked from the witness stand to
clasp hands with her younger sister.

  Several  feet  away,  at  the  far  end  of the counsel table, their
mother  calmly  shuffled  through  her leather purse and collected her
papers. She avoided looking at her daughter.

                               -30-

[Notes not mentioned in this newspaper article. The oldest daughter
claims she bore a child at 14, and was then  forced to kill it with
a knife, on an alter in a church basement. d.rice]


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