Michael Lesher 
Member since Jan 5, 2007


New Jersey

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Re: “Parent Trap

Regarding Cathy Young's commentary ("The Parent Trap," January 3, 2007), I am surprised that when Ms. Young decided to repeat slanders about my colleague Amy Neustein, Ph.D., she made no attempt to verify what she stated as fact. Young's article states: "Neustein lost custody of her own daughter, Sherry, in 1986 after accusing her former husband, Ozzie Orbach, of sexual abuse—charges repeatedly rejected by the courts and by family service agencies." This is inaccurate on several counts. The accusation was not made by Dr. Neustein; it was reported by her mother, who was an eyewitness, and confirmed by the child, as well as a child sex abuse expert (Dr. Anne Meltzer, who helped develop New York's procedures for evaluating sex abuse charges). Not one expert accused Dr. Neustein of inventing the charges nor of "coaching" the child. Nor were the charges "rejected" by the courts. They were simply not considered. No complete investigation was ever carried out; the abuse case was dropped without a trial; Dr. Meltzer and other mental health professionals with concerns were not allowed to testify. I myself have circulated a fact sheet I devised about the case, on which I've published articles in The Jewish Week and The Village Voice in 1996 (long before doing any work with Dr. Neustein, by the way). I challenge Ms. Young, or anyone else, to refute anything stated in the fact sheet -- and that alone should prompt an apology for Ms. Young's failure to acquaint herself with the facts before writing about this case. Finally, regarding Sherry Orbach's alleged "confirmation" of "Silent No Longer," she has not been at her "law school address" since she graduated last summer; she now lives in Cambridge, Mass. and has a new email . . . so I don't know how much Ms. Young ought to rely on a "confirmation" from that address without any other indicia of authenticity. In any event, "Silent No Longer" contains so many demonstrable falsehoods (for instance, that Sherry did not live with her mother before being placed in foster care) that it could not have been written by anyone with an even marginally accurate memory of the facts. If Sherry did write it, there may indeed have been brainwashing -- but by whom? I will not address the other cases Ms. Young describes, but if her accuracy on those subjects is no better than it is with respect to Dr. Neustein, she ought to seriously rethink her position on this issue. Meanwhile, I think Ms. Young owes Dr. Neustein and her readers an apology. Michael Lesher, Esq. mlesher@att.net www.MichaelLesher.com

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michael Lesher on 01/05/2007 at 9:52 AM

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