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FBI: Reports Tying King To Abuse 'Didn't Bear Up'- Feb 9, 1989 - Omaha World-Herald

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Feb 9, 1989 FBI: Reports Tying King To Abuse 'Didn't Bear Up'; [Sunrise Edition]
James Allen Flanery. Omaha World - Herald. Omaha, Neb. pg. 1


Full Text (458 words)
(Copyright 1989 Omaha World-Herald Company)

Investigators encountered several major problems in sifting through reports of child abuse allegedly connected with Lawrence E. King Jr., chief executive of the failed Franklin Community Federal Credit Union, FBI and Omaha Police Department officials said Wednesday.

The problems were such that "the stories didn't bear up under closer scrutiny," said Nicholas O'Hara, special agent in charge for the FBI in Nebraska and Iowa.

O'Hara said, "We're back now on the focus of the original investigation - the financial crimes, the theft of money from the Franklin Credit Union."

Omaha Police Chief Robert Wadman said, "Some of the things they (complaining witnesses) say proved to be inaccurate."

O'Hara said FBI investigators encountered four major problems:

- Credibility of witnesses.

- Lack of corroboration for witnesses' statements.

- Refusal of some witnesses "to be interviewed further."

- "Absolute denials by some of the individuals alleged to be involved in the activity."

O'Hara said he expected the Nebraska Attorney General's Office would issue a statement next week "to lay things to rest."

Assistant State Attorney General William L. Howland said, "We haven't received all the findings yet" from the Nebraska State Patrol, FBI and Omaha police.

"It's too early to make a statement on it," Howland said.

Col. Harold LeGrande, superintendent of the State Patrol, said, "Our investigation hasn't been completed. When it is done, we will report to the Douglas County attorney and the (Nebraska) attorney general."

Asked if prominent names had arisen in connection with the investigation, O'Hara said, "We got into this because of possible violations of federal statutes - not because of who might have been involved. The investigation had nothing to do with anybody's name."

O'Hara said FBI and State Patrol investigators interviewed dozens of witnesses in an attempt "to run down allegations."

These efforts were coordinated with the Omaha police, the Nebraska Attorney General's Office and U.S. Attorney's Office, O'Hara said.

"It was a very extensive investigation," he said. Those interviewed included alleged victims of abuse and alleged participants in parties where sexual activity reportedly occurred, O'Hara said.

"But it (a violation of federal law) just wasn't there," he said.

Wadman said last week that one of the alleged victims - a 15-year-old girl - was "in a mental institution for a variety of problems."

Two other alleged victims, teen-age sisters now 19 and 18, were living at the time of the alleged abuse in Washington County - outside the jurisdiction of the Omaha Police Department, Wadman said.

He also said allegations of abuse were vague and concerned events that were several years old. He said the statute of limitations on one possible offense - contributing to the delinquency of a minor - is one year following the alleged offense.

Credit: World-Herald Staff Writer

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