Convicted Child Molester May Be Set Free
Feb. 23, 2004
ReligionNewsBlog.com • Wednesday February 25, 2004
Five People Said They Lied During First Trial
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A convicted child molester may have his conviction reversed after five people said they lied 20 years ago, KERO reported.
A new hearing is under way for John Stoll, a man who was convicted 20 years ago of child molestation. According to KERO, Stoll could be a free man in a few weeks.
Stoll, who has always maintained his innocence, was one of the 46 people convicted in the 80s during the so-called child molestation witch hunts in Kern County.
“If I really did something like that, why would these men, who had all this time, come out and say I didn’t do it,” Stoll told KERO during an exclusive interview.
Nearly 20 years has passed since Stoll was sentenced to 40 years in prison. After most of his alleged victims said they lied during a new hearing, Stoll said justice may finally be served.
“I am not a child molester. I am absolutely not a child molester. It has been a hard, long 20 years,” Stoll said.
During a new trial, the five alleged victims testified that as children, investigators pressured them to lie on the stand.
One person has no memory of being molested and will not stand by his childhood testimony. But one of the alleged victims, a relative of Stoll’s, has not recanted.
(OTHER) convicted child molesters who had their convictions reversed are standing by him.
Richard Cox and Jeffrey Modahal said it is hard to believe their reversals took so long.
They are convinced Stoll is not guilty.
“I feel angry because the children recanted before and nobody listened,” Modahal said.
Innocent Project is a nonprofit organization out of Santa Clara and Western School of Law in San Diego.
The defense wrapped up with their witnesses and now it is the prosecutions turn.
Prosecutor Lisa Green declined to comment, but during the trial she said she would call social workers and a former cell-mate of Stoll’s to the stand.
District Attorney Ed Jagels did not return KERO’s phone calls in time to comment.
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