It can be a nightmare: of course authorities have to take a molestation charge seriously; child abuse cases get even more attention. But what happens in those cases when a vengeful ex-wife or disgruntled grandparent decides to “fix his wagon”? A book by 2 doctors–one now in prison–takes a detailed look at a possible scenario.
The Spiders and the Fly by Lillian D. Dunsmore, M.D., and Richard A. Dunsmore, M.D., FACP
This amazingly detailed nonfiction account reveals all of the failures of our justice system. James Yerger was accused of sexually molesting his stepchildren. This story is told from an omniscient point of view—we hear everyone’s thoughts and words as the drama unfolds before, during, and after the sensational trial. Each scene and mental thought recorded is heavily weighted toward Yerger’s perspective.
Yerger was an odd defendant—he had worked for the Juvenile Correction Facility and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in Security Military Affairs. But then he married Rhonda, who had a young daughter who had already accused another stepfather of molesting her. It got worse. When their marriage deteriorated, that same daughter accused Yerger of the same crime, and Yerger was arrested. The book offers grisly details of the jail and his treatment there, leaving little to the imagination. Very little.
When he was released on bail, his life got even worse—family arguing, police called, neighbors and community all involved. In some twisted way, his ex-wife’s other children became a part of the drama and Children’s Youth Services (CYS) began investigating all the children and their versions of his behaviors with them.
This book has two goals: to reveal how difficult it is to prove yourself innocent of a heinous crime. And to reveal the flaws in CYS. The major portion of the book is word-for-word testimonies and lawyer conversations. Throughout the many pages, readers will have to wonder how the authors could possible know what the other characters were thinking, and what caused them to have such a low opinion of CYS. Reading this story will certainly explain those questions away.
I found the outline of the story interesting, but had trouble with the level of detail. The authors left nothing out. They could have benefitted from a critical editor and red pen, but they wrote and published this book themselves to get the injustice of this story out there. They have co-founded Families for Freedom, a nonprofit devoted to reuniting families whose children have been “illegally seized” by CPS.