TEXT: The biggest danger Americans face is not runaway taxes and spending, deficits, canceled medical insurance, foreign terrorists, crime, an outbreak of infectious diseases, or any other headline issue. The monster stalking Americans is CAPTA, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974.

Child abuse is a hot topic and a scary one. Parents have been terrorized by news stories of repeat offenders turned loose time and again to prey on youngsters. As a preventive measure, anxious parents closely supervise children far later into their adolescence than was true in my day.

Their concern is understandable, but what parents don't yet know is that they themselves are targeted as the major source of child abuse by a relatively new federally funded bureaucracy known as Child Protective Services.

The pedophile who catches someone else's children and abuses them is not the focus of Child Protective Services. CPS is there to save the child from its own parents.

According to a 1994 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study, there were 1,227,223 false reports of child abuse in 1992. Most of the false accusations were against parents.

The explosion of false allegations is partly a result of the hysteria generated by child advocates and partly a result of the fact that federal law grants absolute immunity to those who make false allegations of child abuse. Today false allegations are widely used to settle scores, to obtain sole custody in divorces, as a means for the childless to grab other people's children, and as avenues for ambitious prosecutors to create political careers.

Schools are required by law to report any sign of child abuse to authorities. Abuse ranges from sending a child to school without breakfast to physical punishment to sexual molestation. Workshops run by child advocates have created a presumption among some teachers that parental sexual abuse of children is routine.

Kids are picking up on the vulnerability of their parents to the charge, and some use the threat to escape parental control. The balance of power in families has shifted, especially in troubled families with strained relationships.

Recently in Arlington, a father tried to break up what he believed was a sexual relationship between his 13-year-old daughter and an older woman. He found himself denounced by the pair to Child Protective Services, held without bond and indicted for raping his daughter.

The child's grandmother, herself a police officer with whom the family lived, believes her grandchild is so in thrall to the sexual relationship that she is determined to hold on to it at all cost.

As always happens in these instances, CPS operates to break up the family and to isolate its members. The child was seized, and the mother was told she would never get her back unless she abandoned her husband. Various machinations have been used to deny the accused bail. In order to further isolate the family, a protective order has been issued against the grandmother who refuses to abandon the case to the usual coerced plea bargain.

Child sex abuse differs from other crimes in that prosecutors will bring cases, and judges will try them on the basis of the accusation alone without evidence. For reasons hard to understand, juries have bought amazing stories of mass ritualistic Satanic sexual abuse and convicted without evidence.

Thanks to the efforts of investigative journalists, such as Dorothy Rabinowitz at the Wall Street Journal, some of the falsely convicted have been freed after years behind bars.

Recently in Wenatchee, Wash., wild charges by a police detective and CPS workers resulted in the arrests of 40 parents, who were alleged to be members of a child rape sex ring. Fifty children were seized, and many poorly educated parents were bullied into plea bargains before a local minister, Robert Roberson, stood up to the hysteria and broke the case apart.

The Wenatchee sex ring charges have now collapsed, and it looks like the local judges, prosecutors and public officials who permitted such an abuse of justice may face retribution. But in individual cases, such as the accused father in Arlington, an inbred Democratic stronghold with no checks and balances, only media sunshine can prevent shrill feminist prosecutors from making an example of the accused, guilty or not.

Washington Times (WT) - Monday, April 29, 1996 - By: Paul Craig Roberts - THE WASHINGTON TIMES Edition: Final Section: COMMENTARY Page: A20 Word Count: 724

Paul Craig Roberts is a columnist for The Washington Times and is nationally syndicated.

Posted by George A. Hero 3629 Somerset Drive New Orleans, LA 70131 Phone: (504) 394-3758 Email: <[email protected]>