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Nathaniel Grady

Other New York Child Sex Abuse Hysteria Cases
In 1984, Rev. Nathaniel Grady, the chaplain for the Yonkers police department, was indicted on charges of abusing six children, ages three and four, over a period of several months in 1983 at the Westchester-Tremont Day Care Center in the Bronx, New York.
The day care center rented space in the Westchester United Methodist Church, where the 43-year-old Grady preached. The indictment listed 42 counts of rape, sodomy and sex abuse.
His trial began in October 1985 and the children testified that they were raped, sodomized and sexually abused. Eileen Treacy, a psychologist, testified as an expert on child sexual abuse. She testified that child sexual abuse syndrome could cause victims to suppress memories of the abuse and recant their accusations. Her evidence was used to explain the testimony of a child who failed to identify Grady in court as her attacker despite repeated questioning. Treacy’s evidence also justified the court’s decision to allow that child to be recalled to the stand to next day. Upon recall, the child identified Grady and said she had failed to identify him the day before because she was afraid.
Grady denied it all.
On January 20, 1986, after six days of deliberation, a jury convicted him of 19 counts of rape, sodomy and sexual abuse of five children. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison.
He lost his state appeals and filed a federal petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
Grady wasn't the only Bronx day care worker to be wrongly convicted for similar conduct during that time. Four other similar prosecutions were intiated that year based on allegations of sex abuse of children at day care centers in the Bronx. Albert Algarin, Franklin Beauchamp, and Jesus Torres were accused of molesting children at the Praca Day Care Center, operated by the Puerto Rican Association for Community Affairs. They were convicted and sentenced to prison, and their convictions were vacated and the cases dismissed.

Also in 1984, 21-year-old Alberto Ramos, a college student working as a teacher’s aide at the Concourse Day Care Center in New York City, was accused of raping a five-year-old girl at the center. He was convicted and sentenced to prison. His conviction was vacated and the case was dismissed in 1994.

Meanwhile, in 1994, an investigation of sex abuse cases in New York City by CBS News raised questions about whether any of the abuse had happened and whether the allegations were the result of coercive and suggestive questioning by law enforcement and state child care investigators. The CBS investigation showed that each of the children had been questioned more than 80 times before trial. At one point, one of the children identified the trial judge as his molester.
In June 1996, U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl ruled on Grady’s habeas petition, finding that he had been denied effective assistance of counsel when his appellate lawyer had failed to challenge his conviction on the ground that the indictment was too vague to mount an effective defense at trial.
Three other defendants, Franklin Beauchamp, Albert Algarin, and Jesus Torres, had been convicted of similar charges arising from sex abuse allegations at the Praca Day Care Center in the Bronx had obtained reversals of their convictions on similar bases in 1989 and 1990. A fourth person, Alberto Ramos, had been convicted of simillar charges arising from his employment at Concourse Day Care Center in the Bronx. His case had been overturned in 1992.
Grady was released on bond on July 11, 1996 while his lawyers prepared a new appeal in state court.
On September 27, 1997, the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court overturned the conviction and the charges were dismissed. Grady later filed a claim for compensation with the New York Court of Claims, but the claim was dismissed.
– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date:  Before June 2012
State:New York
Most Serious Crime:Child Sex Abuse
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:1983
Sentence:45 years
Age at the date of reported crime:43
Contributing Factors:False or Misleading Forensic Evidence, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No