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Notable Cases

Some cases in our archive are particularly notable for the uniqueness and strength of their corroboration, or for the way that they capture the cultural significance of and reactions to recovered memory, both positive and negative.

Maryland v. Huott

Maryland v. Huott was a 2014 criminal case which arose after Danielle Bostick came to remember that she was sexually assaulted by her swimming coach, Christopher Huott, beginning when she was 7-years-old. Bostick writes of hearing about the Rick Curl case in 2013, a case involving a swimming coach from the D.C. area who was charged and later convicted of sexually abusing a girl he had coached in 1986.

VanVeldhuizen v. Netherlands Reformed Church of Rock Valley

VanVeldhuizen v. Netherlands Reformed Church of Rock Valley was a 1997 civil case from Iowa in which Peter VanVeldhuizen sued on account of recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse perpetrated from 1966 to 1968 by Reverend J. Van Zweden of the Netherlands Reformed Congregation Church. VanVeldhuizen repressed the memory and did not recall the abuse until February, 1991, while undergoing psychotherapy.

Herald v. Hood

erald v. Hood was a 1992 civil case in which Julie Herald sued her uncle, Dennis Hood, alleging sexual abuse beginning in 1962 from age 3 through 15. The memory returned while Herald was watching her 4-year-old daughter play with a friend. As a part of the case, Herald presented a taped telephone conversation in which her uncle indicated that she “had been the only one.”

Commonwealth of Massacusetts v. Porter

One of the most well known clergy abuse cases in America, Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Porter resulted in Father James R. Porter being sentenced to 18-20 years of imprisonment after pleading guilty to 41 charges for the sexual abuse of 28 children. Porter admitted to abusing scores of other children beyond those named in the case against him during interviews; on May 8th, 1992 he told a Boston television reporter he may have molested as many as 100 children during his time at the Fall River diocese in the 1960s and 70s.

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