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Bernsen's accusers doubted

FBI analysts say TV reporter had either more sexual contact with the boys, or none.

March 21, 2007|Joe Mozingo | Times Staff Writer

FBI behavioral analysts concluded that former Los Angeles Police Department spokesman and television reporter Roderick Bernsen had either more sexual contact or none at all with two 12-year-old boys who accused him of abusing them aboard a cruise ship, according to a recent court filing by the U.S. attorneys office.

The encounter "likely did not occur as described," the filing said.

Prosecutors did not drop the charges against Bernsen, 59, who is charged with two felony counts of abusive sexual contact in connection with alleged acts in the ship's sauna last year. Federal authorities have jurisdiction over criminal matters at sea.

According to an FBI affidavit, the boys claimed that Bernsen tried to engage them in talk about puberty and erections while exposing himself to them. They alleged that Bernsen then touched one boy's penis with his toe as the child left the sauna and slapped the other's bare buttocks, leading to the two counts.

Jennifer Eakin and Tia Hoffer, FBI supervisory special agents who work in a behavioral analysis unit specializing in crimes against children, reviewed the reports of the interviews with the two boys and told the investigating agent on Nov. 21, 2006, that the story didn't add up, according to the filing.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Patricia A. Donahue, in a letter to the defense on Feb. 6, wrote that "their preliminary view was that the events described in those materials likely did not occur as described in those materials, either because nothing sexual occurred between defendant and John Doe 1 and John Doe 2 or because more sexual activity ... had actually occurred."

Alan Rubin, Bernsen's lawyer, has asked for a hearing. Trial is to begin on June 5.

joe.mozingo@latimes.com

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