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Nation IN BRIEF / MASSACHUSETTS

New Trial Ordered in Molestation Case

June 13, 1998|From Times Wire Reports

The judge in one of the most lurid mass child-molestation cases of the 1980s ordered a new trial for one of the defendants and ruled that the youngsters cannot testify because they have been hopelessly tainted by investigators' leading questions. The ruling in Cambridge gutted the case against Cheryl Amirault LeFave, who was convicted along with her mother and brother of molesting children at the Fells Acres day-care center. Citing new research on children's courtroom behavior, Superior Court Judge Isaac A. Borenstein said that because of prosecutors' suggestive and leading interview techniques, it is impossible to tell if the accusers, now teenagers, were telling the truth.

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