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Franklin's King Mentioned in '88 Girl Who Alleged Sex Abuse May Testify - May 8, 1990 - Omaha World-Herald

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Franklin's King Mentioned in '88 Girl Who Alleged Sex Abuse May Testify; [Sunrise Edition] Gabriella Stern. Omaha World - Herald. Omaha, Neb.: May 8, 1990. pg. 9 Full Text (562 words)
(Copyright 1990 Omaha World-Herald Company)

A Douglas County judge has appointed the Public Defender's Office to represent a 16-year-old Omaha girl who may appear before a Douglas County grand jury investigating child sexual abuse allegations.

She is one of three girls whose accounts of alleged child sexual and physical abuse were investigated by state and federal authorities in 1988. The allegations were also studied by a legislative committee investigating the failure of the Franklin Community Federal Credit Union.

Tom Riley, Douglas County chief deputy public defender, said Monday that about 10 days ago Presiding Judge James Buckley appointed his office to represent the girl.

Riley declined to say if and when the girl will appear before the grand jury but said an appearance by the girl "is certainly a possibility." The 16 jurors and three alternates on the grand jury began their workweek Monday at 9 a.m.

In 1988, the girl, then 15, was one of three young people whose allegations that adults, including then-Franklin chief Lawrence E. King Jr., participated in child abuse were brought to the attention of state and federal authorities by child care workers.

A July 1988 report by the State Foster Care Review Board, which monitors the handling of about 4,000 foster-care children in Nebraska, said the girl spoke of "inappropriate activity with Larry King and also is alleging witnessing a murder of a young boy who said he was going to tell of the abuse he suffered."

The Foster Care Review Board's report was turned over to the Omaha Police Department and the Attorney General's Office July 20, 1988.

The police, the Attorney General's Office, the FBI and the Nebraska State Patrol all examined the abuse allegations and concluded they did not have enough substance to merit prosecution.

Omaha Police Officer Irl R. "Chris" Carmean has said that he interviewed the girl at Richard Young Hospital, where she was receiving psychiatric treatment, in June 1988, before the Foster Care Review Board submitted its materials to the Police Department.

At a legislative hearing last June, Carmean was asked if he thought the girl was providing credible information.

"In my opinion, yes," Carmean replied.

The Foster Care Review Board report also contained statements made in 1986 by two teen-age sisters who described physical and sexual abuse of children that allegedly took place in 1984 and 1985. The older sister alleged that King arranged for her to fly to parties in Washington, D.C., and other cities where men engaged her in sexual activity.

Kirstin Hallberg of rural Fort Calhoun, who works with troubled children and knows the sisters, said recently that she does not know where the sisters are and whether they plan to testify before the grand jury.

Three more young people, a 21-year-old woman and two men, ages 20 and 23, have since told state and federal authorities that they were sexually abused when they were teen-agers. All three have appeared before the Douglas County grand jury.

The 23-year-old has since recanted portions of his statements. The 20-year-old has told The World-Herald he "lied a little" in his statements although he was not specific about what part of his statements were not true. The 21-year-old woman told investigators that a widely known Omaha man was the father of her child but was found to have listed a younger man as the father on an application for state assistance.

Credit: World-Herald Staff Writer

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