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FBI Agent Testifies He Told Alisha Owen He Didn't Believe Her - May 13, 1991 - Omaha World-Herald

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May 13, 1991 FBI Agent Testifies He Told Alisha Owen He Didn't Believe Her; [Metro Edition] Leslie Boellstorff. Omaha World - Herald. Omaha, Neb. pg. 11

Full Text (403 words)
(Copyright 1991 Omaha World-Herald Company)

An FBI special agent testified Monday he told Alisha Owen in an April 10, 1990, interview that he did not believe she was being truthful in her statements about alleged child sexual abuse.

"We had concern. We were unable to verify some of the witnesses she provided," said Special Agent John Pankonin.

Pankonin's testimony came during questioning from Miss Owen's attorney, Henry Rosenthal of Omaha. Pankonin said he had reviewed statements from Daniel King and Troy Boner before interviewing Miss Owen, and their statements were "not quite jibing" with what Miss Owen was telling him.

Pankonin was called as a witness in a pretrial hearing in Douglas County District Court concerning the perjury case against Miss Owen, 22. She was indicted on eight counts of perjury for allegedly lying to the Douglas County grand jury that investigated child-sexual abuse allegations that grew out of an investigation of the failure of the Franklin Community Federal Credit Union.

Monday's testimony came on prosecutor Jerry Moran's request to have Miss Owen's statements to law enforcement officers in early 1990 admitted as evidence in court.

The pretrial hearing began last week. District Judge Raymond Case of Plattsmouth agreed to continue it Monday when lawyers were unable to complete it in a day.

Monday's hearing started an hour late after lawyers conferred with the judge in his chambers about a variety of issues, including Rosenthal's attempt to subpoena back issues of The Omaha World-Herald.

The courtroom proceedings started with Case forbidding Miss Owen's mother, Donna, from sitting at the counsel table with Rosenthal and Miss Owen. Rosenthal argued that Mrs. Owen was acting as his legal assistant and should be allowed to sit at the table.

Case said, "She can be your legal assistant, but she still has no right to come up to the counsel table."

The judge granted Rosenthal's request to begin serving subpoenas in the case but did not make a final ruling on whether Douglas County will pay for those costs.

Moran said Rosenthal has listed 66 potential witnesses, and the prosecution has about 30 witnesses.

Case granted the motion after Miss Owen, called by Rosenthal, testified that she had no money and had not paid her lawyer since he was retained as her private attorney in April 1990. During last week's proceedings, Rosenthal expressed concern that he would be forced to pay witness fees out of his own pocket.

Credit: World-Herald Staff Writer

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