MB: If you could compose a letter or have a conversation with the kids who accused you of molesting them, what would you say?
I think I would probably acknowledge their own suffering first, their belief in what happened. Because the bottom line is, these kids were told they were molested for years. So they, I’m sure, lived that kind of life. I would talk more about the science of those cases back then, let them know they were victims, but victims of overzealous prosecutors; they were victims of the system. You know, there was the theory that kids never tell stories back then. And I think that probably would be the best approach, because I wouldn’t want — if I was to write a letter, I wouldn’t want there to be too much personal feeling about it, because I would think that for those who still believe that they were molested, it would be very heart-wrenching and painful for them. And I think that all of us have been through a lot.
MB: Do you have any animosity toward the parents?
Toward some of the parents I do, because I think some set up this whole scenario to begin with. And I think it snowballed. And I think, you know, three of the five parents — did. So, for those parents, there is some animosity there. Because they ruined my life for — in my opinion — a buck. You know. And their own children’s, too. But then I think other parents genuinely believed it, and they got caught up in the hysteria. So, for those parents I feel bad because — they lived it, you know — I mean, they lived this too. Let’s not dis-acknowledge that. And that’s horribly sad. By the same token, my being imprisoned for 21 years is horribly sad. Because I didn’t commit the crimes. So there are a lot of victims here. And I don’t know how, or even ever, you could clean that part up because time … just … experiences bear on your soul; I think they’re there forever. That’s probably what I would add.
MB: Did any of the other inmates think you were innocent?
Yes. Quite a few of them. A friend of mine who visits me now actually said in group one time, “I’m guilty.” And, you know, “I’ve been around other men who were child molesters, and I just know that you’re not.” And he said, “With you it was different, and it wasn’t your gayness that made you different, it was just, you were more together.” One thing that I noticed in prison with men who’ve committed these kinds of crimes, they’re all about them. It’s like, “me, me, me, me, me.” I have befriended some men who have committed crimes. But there is still is a big part of me — and I’ve said it to them — that will never understand how they could shut off that other person’s emotion of hurt or pain or anguish. That’s a line that I could never comprehend because I don’t understand it.