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Exoneration Possible For Man Falsely Accused Of Sex Crimes

As a teen, Jesse Freidman says he was falsely accused of sex crimes and coerced into making a confession. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison for sex crimes that he did not commit and has been forced to register as a sex offender since his release in 2001.

Despite no physical evidence, Freidman and his father were falsely accused of sex crimes involving students in a computer class that the senior Freidman taught out of the family home. During the investigation, police refused to accept the denials of the 8- to 10-year-olds who were the Freidmans' alleged victims that anything sexual had occurred during the class times.

Five of the 14 alleged victims have since recanted their stories of sex abuse at the hand of the Freidmans. One has confessed that he told police he was molested because he thought that's what he had to do to stop the year-and-a-half of questioning that he'd gone through. The District Attorney's office that secured the sex crimes convictions against Freidman and his now-deceased father has promised a report on the case by the end of June.

A federal appellate court found a "reasonable likelihood" that Freidman had been convicted of sex crimes that he did not commit. Police were "suggestive" and "aggressive" when questioning the alleged victims, possibly leading to the false accusations of child molestation that led to the two guilty pleas and convictions. Jesse Freidman's father committed suicide while behind bars.

The initial investigation began when a federal customs agent found child pornography in a package that was being delivered to the Freidman's home.

Source: New York Daily News, "Convicted of child molestation, Jesse Friedman may be exonerated in impending report," June 5, 2013

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