Law clinic investigates 27-year old “Satanic Panic” child abuse conviction

The Duke Law Wrongful Convictions Clinic takes on a doubtful case of Satanic ritual abuse that landed a man in jail for 27 years.

Duke law clinic to review 1987 conviction.

Duke law professor Theresa Newman has three boxes full of files about Andrew Chandler Jr.’s case: details about the bizarre allegations, the expert testimony that would not be admissible today and the multiple appeals.

Newman, co-director of the Duke Law Wrongful Convictions Clinic, may be Chandler’s last hope in his attempts to regain the freedom he lost about 27 years ago. Chandler is serving a life sentence after being convicted in 1987 of five counts of first-degree sexual offense, six counts of taking indecent liberties with a child and one count of crime against nature in a sexual abuse case involving seven preschool children.

His supporters say he’s a victim of near hysteria involving satanic ritual abuse cases in the 1980s and ’90s.

Chandler may be the last still-imprisoned victim of the “satanic ritual abuse” day care panic.There is NO GOOD EVIDENCE for a single case of Satanic ritual abuse (SRA). In this case, it appears the conviction was based on testimony from the children but without solid corroborating evidence. The testimony is suspicious with admissions from some of the children that they were just making it up. As with other SRA cases, it could easily have been tainted testimony encouraged by therapists and parents but without basis in fact.

Chandler appealed in 2009 saying that a change in the law regarding admissibility of expert testimony was required to be retroactively applied to his case. Erroneously admitted expert opinion evidence had prejudiced his case. The appeal was denied.

More on Satanic Panic cases:
Freedom after 20 years in prison for a horrific crime that never happened | Doubtful News.

Sexual assault victim recants after 16 years | Doubtful News.

‘San Antonio 4’ women freed as eyewitness testimony claim crumbled | Doubtful News.

Family blames Satanist-obsessed therapists for the Carole Myers tragedy | Doubtful News.

satanic ritual abuse (SRA) – The Skeptic’s Dictionary – Skepdic.com.

  4 comments for “Law clinic investigates 27-year old “Satanic Panic” child abuse conviction

  1. Headless Unicorn Guy
    October 1, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    I heard Janet Reno started her political career by prosecuting Satanic Ritual Abuse on spectral evidence…

  2. Tom
    October 2, 2014 at 1:13 AM

    I have read many accounts of theses “satanic” allegations and trials and find it difficult to contain my rage at the gullibility of those involved in the prosecutions.
    What is even worse is that it is still happening to innocent people throughout the world.

  3. Joni
    October 2, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    I was watching TV about 15 years ago when I heard about parents being arrested for selling their girl child into white slavery. The child had very livid details about the many ordeals she endured and there was psychiatric testimony to verify.

    While this was all going on the parents were thrown in jail and spent quite a bit of time there…. Just before the trial someone had the bright idea to give the girl a physical to check for other bodily damages.

    SURPRISE! She was still a virgin. Case blown out of the water.

    Best thoughts on all of this was that the psychiatrists talking to the girl had led her down path by suggestion and the girl made up the details go make the psychiatrists happy.

    It’s a scary world out there where bad things happen. And sometimes they don’t.

  4. Peebs
    October 3, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Even more scary is that there are social workers out there who still believe this bullshit.

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