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OUTTAKES THE SEQUEL

Reel-life Drama

March 01, 1987|Carol Baker

When "One Terrific Guy," a CBS movie with Wayne Rogers as a coach who molests a high school girl, aired a year ago, "one of the things that kind of upset us was that a number of critics said it was exaggerated," said Mike Merrick, who co-produced with Joe Siegman. Now the producers feel vindicated: The film played a direct role in the conviction of a man for a similar crime.

David Jennings, who prosecuted the case, said that Terry George Allen, 43, described as an IBM executive who had been active in the local Mormon church, was sentenced Tuesday in Ventura County Superior Court to six years in prison for molesting his niece in 1982 when she was 13.

Jennings said that "One Terrific Guy" was a catalyst in helping the girl recall her ordeal. The film portrayed a victim doubted and ostracized by friends and family because no one could believe the popular suspect could be guilty of sexual abuse. In the real-life courtroom, according to Jennings, Allen acknowledged that he had molested his niece.

"It's very typical for young people not to remember that this has happened to them until something triggers their memory," Jennings said. "In this case, the show helped unlock her memory and get everything moving."

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