In Alisha Owen Perjury Trial Testimony King: I Decided to Recant After FBI Session - June 5, 1991 - Omaha World-Herald
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June 5, 1991 In Alisha Owen Perjury Trial Testimony King: I Decided to Recant After FBI Session; [Metro Edition]
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(Copyright 1991 Omaha World-Herald Company)
James Daniel "Danny" King said Tuesday that he decided to recant his story of sexual abuse after his first meeting with the FBI Feb. 9, 1990.
"I knew they (FBI agents) were going to catch us . . . because it was all a lie," King testified in the perjury trial of Alisha Owen in Douglas County District Court.
King, 21, was one of three young people who gave Gary Caradori videotaped allegations of sexual abuse in late 1989. Caradori, a Lincoln private detective, was working as investigator for the Legislature's special Franklin Community Federal Credit Union Committee.
Of the FBI agents, King said: "They weren't like Gary (Caradori). They were writing things down, and they were going to go back and double-check. Gary, he'd write it down and leave it. I knew they were going to double-check.
"Half the people I named (during the Caradori interview) I wouldn't know if they were sitting next to me. I didn't want to go to jail when they caught me."
Final Prosecution Witness
King was the prosecution's final witness. Wednesday, the jury viewed more of Caradori's seven hours of videotaped interviews of Miss Owen.
King testified Tuesday that he tried to warn Caradori that the sexual-abuse allegations King, Troy Boner and Miss Owen made in late 1989 were "just one big scam."
When Caradori refused to believe him, King decided that "if he wants to hear a good story, I'll tell him a good story," King testified.
A Douglas County grand jury later called the sexual-abuse allegations a "carefully crafted hoax." It indicted Miss Owen, 22, on eight counts of perjury when she testified that, among other things, she had a sexual relationship in 1983 and 1984 with Robert Wadman, then Omaha's police chief.
King and Boner, 24, recanted their sexual-abuse statements by the time they testified before the grand jury. King said he tried to tell Caradori and his assistant, Karen Ormiston, the truth before his statement was videotaped Dec. 2, 1989.
'Just Trying to Scam You'
"I said, 'Hey, look, Gary, you and Karen are real nice. But all this is a lie. It's just one big scam. Troy and Alisha are just trying to scam you,' " King recounted under questioning by prosecutor Gerald Moran, a deputy Douglas County attorney.
"Gary just kept saying, 'I know you're scared,' " King recalled. "I finally got tired of it. I thought, 'If he wants to hear a good story, I'll tell him a good story.' "
Caradori was killed in a plane crash last July.
King said it was true that he once was sexually abused by a Ralston man.
However, in response to questions from Moran, he said he never met Franklin top executive Lawrence E. King Jr., Wadman, retired World-Herald publisher Harold W. Andersen, Omaha businessman Alan Baer or Douglas County District Judge Theodore Carlson, all of whom were accused of sexual misconduct in the Caradori videotapes.
King said he had been friends with Boner since 1984 or 1985.'
Responding to defense lawyer Henry Rosenthal Jr., King acknowledged that he had described Boner as a "chronic liar" and as "a scam artist."
Rosenthal: "Did you tell the grand jury that Boner is a scam artist that tries to get money out of everything he comes into contact with?"
King acknowledged that in early 1990, Boner was inducing a Lincoln woman to buy him clothes and give him money. He also said Boner lied to Miss Owen when he told her he was a movie producer and would marry her.
"If they want to buy him things, if they want to believe him, I guess that's their problem," King said. Rosenthal ended his cross-examination after that answer.
King said he and Miss Owen occasionally talked on the telephone in the months after the videotapes were made. Once, during an argument with her, King said he threatened to tell the truth about the videotapes.
" 'I'll hunt you down till the day I die if you tell the truth,' " she told him, he said. "I said, 'Whatever, man. You're crazy.' "
'A Bunch of Money'
In response to Moran's questions, King said Boner came to his apartment in late November 1989 and told him there was a private detective - Caradori - outside who believed Boner and King were the victims of sexual abuse and wanted them to tell him about it.
His first reaction was to say no, King said. "Then Troy said, 'He'll give us a bunch of money.' "
King said he needed money and a place to stay because he was being evicted from his apartment.
Before going outside to talk to Caradori, King said, Boner spent about five minutes briefing him on the basics of the allegations.
"He told me to mention Alan Baer, the Twin Towers apartment and Larry King, a big black guy," King said. "He said, 'Be sure you mention their names a lot.' "
Caradori drove Boner and King to Lincoln in his van, King said, discussing the allegations with him on the way.
"He said he knew what these people did to me," King recounted. "He asked me, 'Did you know you can sue them for what they did? These people have a lot of money. You could probably settle out of court and get a lot of money out of them.' "
'He Said Millions'
Moran: "Did he say how much money?"
King: "He said millions."
King said Caradori led him through much of his videotaped statement. "He'd mostly talk about a date and place and I'd make up a story to go with it," King said. "At first, I'd give a date, and he would say, 'Are you sure?' I'd let him say the date and I'd go, 'Yeah, yeah, that was it.'
"At one point, he stopped the tape and said, 'There's got to be more parties,' " King said. "I asked why and he said, 'Because Alisha Owen's got 15 more parties than you.' I said there weren't any more parties. He asked, 'Are you sure?' and I said, 'Maybe I forgot some, there were so many.' "
King said Caradori never stopped him to ask whether he was lying - in spite of wide disparities in his and Miss Owen's stories.
Later in December 1989, Caradori pulled King aside at a Christmas party at the investigator's offices and told him he had to make another videotape, King said.
He said Caradori told him that "Alisha's got at least 20 more parties than you, and I want to know about them."
Twin Towers Testimony
"I made up a couple more parties," he said. "Then I said, 'Tell her that's it, not to make up no more parties.' "
In testimony Monday and Tuesday, Boner discussed the Twin Towers apartment building. Five of the eight perjury charges against Miss Owen deal with her allegations of sex and drug parties there. She told the grand jury that parties took place in the apartments of Lawrence E. King Jr. and Alfred E. "Alfie" Allen.
Moran has presented evidence intended to prove that no such parties took place at the Twin Towers in 1983 and 1984. Allen testified that he never had an apartment there, and one of the building's owners said neither Allen nor King had a Twin Towers apartment during that period.
Boner and Danny King have testified that they never attended any Twin Towers parties.
Moran has said the Twin Towers, at 30th and Farnam Streets, was designated as the parties' setting because Boner had some knowledge about the building and told Miss Owen and Danny King about it.
Boner testified Monday that he had sex for money with Baer in Baer's second-floor Twin Towers apartment.
2 Pandering Charges
Baer was indicted on two pandering charges by the grand jury and was fined $500 after pleading no contest in April to a reduced charge of aiding and abetting prostitution.
The charges involved only sex acts between consenting adults, not minors, special prosecutor Greg Schatz said. Boner's name did not figure in those charges.
Boner testified that the last time he saw Baer was in 1985 when, he said, he took a trip to Des Moines with him, stole his wallet containing $2,500 and returned to Omaha on his own.
Boner also testified that Miss Owen might have heard Alfie Allen's name because, he said, Allen once attended a party at Miss Owen's residence or perhaps because Allen formerly worked at an Old Market record store.
Credit: World-Herald Staff Writer