On Elder Sex Abuse Case, Slow Down He May Be Innocent
By Frank Parlato
There is an ugly quality of the American people, besides stupidity, which is epidemic.
And that is a rush to judgment.
And in this ugly age, a simple allegation is enough to hang a man as long as the charge is a sex offense.
As readers may know, Robert Elder, 34, was charged last week with a felony for an alleged sex offense against a minor.
The Niagara County Sheriff Department arrested him and Niagara County Assistant District Attorney Robert Zucco is the prosecutor.
Elder is represented by the law firm of Roscetti and DeCastro.
Elder is known, and the case warrants publicity, primarily because he ran for Niagara Falls council last fall.
His arrest has been reported widely in the print and TV media.
On Facebook and elsewhere people are rushing to judge him as guilty, calling him scum.
Elder is accused of molesting a 12 year old girl who is well known to him.
The Niagara Falls Reporter conducted a preliminary investigation into the case, examined documents, arrest records and interviewed individuals connected with the case.
What we have learned is that Elder may be innocent of the serious charges leveled against him.
It is true he was in the company of a certain 12 year old girl, who he had every reason to be with for good and appropriate reasons.
It was recorded in at least one confidential report that the sixth grader is an avid fan of the TV series Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, a show often dealing with children being sexually abused by their elders.
It is also known this case is a "she said, he said" case.
There are apparently no other witness to the alleged offense(s).
The Niagara county police officers interviewed the girl and interviewed Elder before he was arrested.
The 12 year old accuser is alleged in a police report to have had ample reason to lie to spare herself exposure on an alleged indiscretion of her own, that was about to come to light.
She did not accuse Elder of raping or undressing her but rather (invented?) told a story where he wrongfully approached her and tried to play with her inappropriately.
Elder denies it.
There are elements of this, which we cannot reveal this week, that make Elder look a bit gullible. Today a man should know he can't be alone with a 12 year old for one minute and be playful with her at any time no matter how innocent the intent is.
One thing is certain: A 12 year old may be telling the truth, the half truth or completely lying.
If it turns out she made the whole thing up, made to save her own skin, there will be no punishment for her.
Elder, even if he is innocent, is forever scarred.
There was no evidence, no semen, no rape, no evidence of abuse. Nothing. She told detectives that there was no instances of penetration, no one was naked.
The police report seems to indicate that he put his finger through her jeans and tried to fondle her.
He denies it.
Elder, in his statement to the police, said he only "wrestled and played with her" and her brother in an innocent way.
Just the word of a man against a girl.
Maybe he is guilty.
But what if he isn't?
What if she sends an innocent man to jail and ruins his life on a lie, what happens to her?
Elder is a disabled Army Veteran qualified for a full pension. He was honorably discharged.
We will have much more to say on this topic later.
Meantime, there is an ugly quality of the American people and nobody, but nobody gets the benefit of the doubt.
Nobody is innocent until proven guilty.
The Reporter advises its readers not to rush to judgment on this case.
The facts will all come to light.
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||
Jan 21, 2014