Saturday, June 14, 2008

Abuse 'Expert Misled State, Records Show

A man brought in by the State of Illinois as an expert to investigate key aspects of allegations of sexual child abuse at the Rogers Park Day Care Center misrepresented his credentials in his professional resume and during recent court testimony, records show.

Allen Friedmann, 34, 245 Court of Shorewood, Vernon Hills, played a critical role in the investigation. Working with a social worker and a Chicago detective, he conducted most of the sensitive interviews in which authorities tried to determine whether any of the 88 children enrolled at the center had been abused.

Friedmann was employed by Human Effectiveness Living Program (HELP), which treats sexually abused children and abusers. HELP was hired by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to provide expertise in interviewing the day care center children.
Along with HELP`s director, Friedmann designed the format used in the interviews.

Examination of Friedmann`s college transcripts, court transcripts and interviews with former employers show that he built his reputation in part on exaggerations and sometimes fabricated his qualifications.

In an interview Thursday, Friedmann said he ``never intentionally misrepresented`` his qualifications.

Allegations of sexual abuse of children at the Rogers Park Day Care Center, 7101 N. Greenview Ave., surfaced in April, 1984. The center`s janitor, Deloartic Parks, was charged with three counts of sexual child abuse. His case is pending.

The Cook County state`s attorney`s office is investigating accusations made by some children against center staff members. A DCFS investigation that ended last September found insufficient evidence to support those charges.

Questions about Friedmann`s qualifications are the latest in a series of problems, which DCFS officials say stemmed from their lack of experience in such cases and outdated regulations, that have stymied the investigations.

Friedmann is no longer involved in the case, and he resigned from HELP in February.
Read more here.

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