How they get them to recant...

          After having been kidnapped, separated from her mother and allowed continuing contact with her father a man who was described in unrefuted testimony as having assaulted her mother, herself, and the family dog, this child recanted previous outcries of abuse and pointed a PAS finger at the protective parent, her mom, as thousands of others who have gone before and since into an abyss of abuse.

          On this day, however, --------- started crying and said "If I had told the truth, I would probably be with my mommy now, wouldn't I?"  I asked what she meant, and she said that when she told Judith Pohl that her mother made her lie about her daddy that this was not true.  --------- said that her father told her that if she did not say that, she would never see her mother again.   She talked to me about this for awhile, and was upset and distraught that she might have done something to keep her separated from her mother.


                                                       

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                           IN THE GENERAL COURT OF JUSTICE
                                                                                 DISTRICT COURT DIVISION
COUNTY
OF BUNCOMBE                                   FILE NO. 96 CvD 1406

JEANNIE L. WRIGHTSON                       )
                                    Plaintiff,                    )
                                                                    )
                       V.                                         )           AFFIDAVIT
                                                                    )
                                                                    )
  MICHAEL F. WRIGHTSON,                   )
                                     Defendant.
              )

Susan T. Parke, being first duly sworn, deposes and says,

           I am an attorney in Asheville, North Carolina, I came to know Jeannie Wrightson and her daughter --------- when I was appointed to represent Jeannie in a DSS case. When Jeannie would come to Asheville for her case or to visit with ---------, she stayed with our family. Many of her visits with --------- took place at our house and I was present for the duration of those visits. Jeannie and I developed an enduring friendship while I was representing her, as well as a deep affection developing between --------- and me, and for this reason I felt that I should not represent Jeannie her in her civil issues since we had become such dose friends. After Jeannie found her own place in Asheville, I continued to see her and --------- on a regular basis. Jeannie often spends a portion of her weekend visits with --------- either at our house in Asheville or at my place on Lake Summit in Tuxedo. Therefore, I have had many opportunities during the past two years to observe Jeannie's relationship with her daughter, her parenting ability, and to speak openly with --------- herself.

Jeannie is a devoted and entirely appropriate parent to ---------. I have been struck by her warmth and encouragement of --------- both personally as well as in her school work and in her extracurricular activities.  I have never heard Jeannie make derogatory remarks about Michael Wrightson, her ex-husband, or Elena Wrightson, Michael's current wife, in the presence of her child. When Jeannie and --------- are together, --------- has always appeared to me to be entirely content and secure.  Whenever I have been present at the time to return --------- to her father. --------- has always been teary and clingy. I have seen that diminish somewhat since the visits have become longer, more frequent, and primarily, consistent.  When --------- would spend time with us I would sometimes give her a present. At Christmas I gave her a child's necklace. She told me that she wanted to leave it at her mothers because if she took it back to her dad's they would probably take it from her and she would get in trouble.

This summer --------- was able, for the first time in two years to spend an extended period with her mother -- approximately one month. I spent time with them at the end of the visit, and the change in --------- was astounding. She has always been sweet, loving child, but after 4 weeks of unbroken time with Jeannie, she was lively, funny, mischievous. She could let her mother leave the room without worrying about where she was, she was much more open about expressing affection to other adults -- not just with me, with whom she has always been open and close -- but with my husband, my son and with other friends who have often been around while she has visited. When the time came for her to return to her. father, he was not at the meeting place. --------- was not upset by this, and said she hoped he would not pick her up at all so that she could stay with her mother

During the two years that I have spent time with ---------, she has repeatedly told me that she wants to live with Jeannie. She just asked me at almost every visit when she will get to go home. The only time she did not ask me this question was when she had spent an entire month with her mother.  During a long weekend in May when --------- was with Jeannie, I happened to be alone with her for a while one afternoon while Jeannie was making preparations for something she and --------- were going to do later. --------- became very teary and asked me again if she would ever be able to go home with her mother. I have always tried to field this question by telling her that she has two parents who love her and that she gets to spend time with of them. On this day, however, --------- started crying and said "If I had told the truth, I would probably be with my mommy now, wouldn't I?"  I asked what she meant, and she said that when she told Judith Pohl that her mother made her lie about her daddy that this was not true.  --------- said that her father told her that if she did not say that, she would never see her mother again.   She talked to me about this for awhile, and was upset and distraught that she might have done something to keep her separated from her mother.

          After the long visit this summer with Jeannie, --------- was sitting around my yard making jewelry from a kit I had given her.  She was in a chatty mood, talking about her life with Michael and Elena.  She said that Michael punishes her by pulling her into the corner by her hair or by kicking her into the corner.  She said that usually she wasn't even sure what she had done to make him angry.  She said that she really wanted to leave, and had though about running away, but that she was worried about what would happen to her little half-sister, ------.  --------- said that she often woke up at night to hear Michael and Elena screaming at ------ to go to shut up and go to sleep or to quit crying.  She said that this scares her.  She said that she never knows when her daddy is going to lose his temper with her even though she tries so hard to be careful and not to do the wrong thing.

           I have not had much opportunity to observe --------- with her father or her stepmother.  On those occasions when I have seen them in public she is called to them, pushed out of the way or hurriedly taken to the car.  This last spring when my son and I were in the Ingles parking lot, --------- came out with her father.  Ben waved and said hello to her and Michael Wrightson took her by the arm and pulled her in the other direction.  On another occasion earlier in the year, we had seen her in the aisle at Ingles and had said hi at which point Elena Wrightson came around the aisle and told her sharply to get back there.

            Based on my observations of --------- with her mother and conversations and relationship I have with --------- herself, it is my opinion that it would bo devastating to --------- to be separated from Jeannie Wrightson.

Further the affiant sayeth not.

Susan T. Parke, Esq.

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF BUNCOMBE
Sworn,to and subscribed before me
this 26 day of September, 1997.
Jennifer C. King
Notary Public
My commission expires: 7/4/99

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