Convicted Molester Wins Fight in Bid to Clear Name

Jesse Friedman, subject of documentary, wins release of old court records

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Aug 22, 2013 6:29 PM CDT

(Newser) – A New York judge today ordered the release of 25-year-old documents that a convicted child molester featured in a 2003 Oscar-nominated documentary maintains he needs to help prove his innocence. "Every aspect, every part, every piece of paper generated in the matter of People V. Friedman" will be released to Jesse Friedman's defense team, state Supreme Court Judge F. Dana Winslow ordered following a brief hearing. He gave Nassau County prosecutors until Tuesday to provide the defense team with grand jury testimony and transcripts of witness interviews stemming from the notorious case. The prosecutors said they intend to appeal Winslow's order.

Friedman, 44, and his father Arnold pleaded guilty in 1988 to abusing 13 children who came to their Great Neck, Long Island, home for computer classes. Jesse Friedman's defense team insists many of the children who are now adults have recanted testimony about their abuse. Although he pleaded guilty, Friedman has maintained that he was coerced into confessing. The case was featured in the 2003 film Capturing the Friedmans.

Jesse Friedman, left, the subject of a 2003 Oscar-nominated documentary, Capturing the Friedmans, speaks to reporters after a judge's decision. At right is Friedman's wife, Lisabeth Walsh.
Jesse Friedman, left, the subject of a 2003 Oscar-nominated documentary, "Capturing the Friedmans," speaks to reporters after a judge's decision. At right is Friedman's wife, Lisabeth Walsh.   (AP Photo/Frank Eltman)
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