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By: Dean Tong, MSc
June 1, 2010

Alleged Child Killer Accuses Father/Brother of Sexual Abuse

There is no crime more heinous and reprehensible than murder of a child. Next in line would be sexual abuse of a child. Casey Anthony, a young Orlando, Florida woman is facing Murder One charges for allegedly killing her daughter Caylee almost three years ago. Ms. Anthony’s attorneys have alleged Caylee expired due to her accidentally drowning in her grandfather’s pool. The prosecution alleges Casey applied duct tape over the child’s mouth and nose and suffocated the child to death. This allegedly occurred in June 2008 and Casey didn’t report the child missing for almost a month after her disappearance.

Casey had been partying with friends at clubs and such and “needed space” away from her family during the early summer of 2008, and this was her explanation for why she didn’t check-in with her family earlier. The evidence mounting against Casey Anthony seems incontrovertible as her mother Cindy (as well as a tow truck driver) smelled what appeared to be rotting flesh from a decomposed human body in Casey’s automobile. About six months after Caylee Anthony’s disappearance an Orlando area water meter reader came upon a skull of a young child in a location near Caylee Anthony’s grandparents. Confirmed reports indicated duct tape was still adhered to the child’s mouth when the skull was found.

Casey Anthony alleged her father George Anthony knew Caylee died in his pool because he allegedly carried the deceased child in his arms. George Anthony has denied that allegation, claiming he wasn’t notified of the child’s disappearance for a month after the fact. And now after multiple reports have painted Casey a narcissist and pathological liar, Casey Anthony has accused both her father George and her brother Lee of sexually abusing her as a child.

I find the timing of Casey’s bomb dropping (sexual child abuse allegations) to be consistent with “desperate times call for desperate measures.” While we typically see unfounded or false child sex abuse allegations lodged during pendente lite divorces and child custody battles, Anthony’s attorneys Baez and Cheney’s use of the abuse excuse is not a first. America has witnessed past, troubled criminal defendants Lorena Bobbitt in 1992 and the Menendez Brothers in 1999 use of the abuse excuse as a pity tool to try to deflect the jury’s attention away from the charges-at-bar and on to the “sexually traumatized defendants” in order to obtain lighter sentences post-conviction, or even acquittals if the sexual abuse was severe enough to justify insanity pleas. While there’s been no expert testimony Casey Anthony was diagnosed 995.53 in the DSM-IV-TR (sexual abuse of a child, victim) by a therapist prior to the summer of 2008 when this case first broke, one would hope the jury won’t buy the abuse defense and see the forest through the trees.

Clearly, Casey Anthony is a deeply troubled and scared woman fighting for her life, literally and figuratively. But, to my knowledge, there are no published scientific studies linking genuine sexual child abuse to pathological lying. The defense is alleging Anthony’s pathology and lying stems from her sexual abuse victimization. While Florida law contains a delayed discovery doctrine and will hear Casey Anthony’s abuse claims, she still has to prove the same in court. And her father, George Anthony, and her brother, Lee Anthony, are not on trial. Let’s not forget about the real victim in this tragic case and that is Caylee Anthony.

Disclaimer: Dean Tong is not an attorney. He is not licensed to give legal advice and nothing herein should be construed to be legal advice. If you need legal assistance please consult with an attorney in your area.