Presidio child molestation case

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Starting in 1986, children in the daycare center at the Presidio of San Francisco began to come forward with claims of molestation. Initially, the allegations only included daycare teacher and Baptist minister Gary Hambright, but they quickly grew to include other unidentified perpetrators who took the children off-base to be abused. Some of the abuse was even said to be ritualistic in nature, with urine and feces, blood, and threats of violence. The case expanded in scope when one child accused Lt. Col. Michael Aquino, an Army intelligence officer at the Presidio as well as a Satanist who had founded the Temple of Set. After years of legal maneuvering, charges against Gary Hambright were filed then dropped multiple times. Michael Aquino was never formally charged, but he was titled by the Army and processed out, following a CID investigation in which multiple children across Northern California implicated Aquino in molestation and ritual abuse. To this day, Aquino maintains not just that he was innocent, but that Hambright was innocent as well and no abuse took place at the Presidio. Evidence in the case, however, suggests that Aquino has been highly dishonest in his presentation of the case facts.

Victims

Abusers

Only three suspects were specifically implicated in the course of the investigation:

  • Gary Hambright: Daycare teacher
  • Michael Aquino: Army Lieutenant Colonel who lived in San Francisco and was stationed at the Presidio until 1986
  • Lilith Aquino: Wife of Michael Aquino

However, the testimony of the children reveals that many of them were taken off the Presidio base to be abused by other unknown perpetrators.

Investigation

Tobin allegations

Case against Hambright

Aquinos implicated

[1]

CID investigation

[2][3]

Aftermath

Lawsuit by Aquino

Ehrensaft article

[4]

Mind control survivors

Main articles: Paul Bonacci, Cathy O'Brien

Diana Napolis

Extreme Prejudice book

References

  1. 1987/01/26 FD-302 report from the Presidio case (printed on Michael Aquino, Extreme Prejudice, p.19):

    FD-302
    FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
    Date of transcription 1/26/87

        CAPTAIN LARRY ADAMS-THOMPSON AND MRS MICHELE ADAMS-THOMPSON were interviewed at the Child Psychology Clinic at Letterman Hospital. They were aware that the interview was in regard to possible cases of child molestation by a teacher at the Presidio Child Development Center.
        Mrs. ADAMS-THOMPSON advised that her daughter, KINSEY, had been attending the school since spring, 1986. When she turned three in September, she was transferred to "Mr. GARY's" (GARY HAMBRIGHT) class. Kinsey attended Mr. GARY's class four times in September, 1986, and twice in October, 1986. She had always enjoyed school, and liked Mr. GARY very much at first. The second and third time she attended his class, she wet her pants, which was very unusual behavior for KINSEY. She became reluctant to go to school and would get fussy, which Mrs. ADAMS-THOMPSON said was very unusual. KINSEY would tell her mother that she did not want to go to school because she did not like it.
        On January 6, 1987, Mrs. ADAMS-THOMPSON took KINSEY to school for the first time in several months and KINSEY said "I don't want to see Mr. GARY." When Mrs. ADAMS-THOMPSON asked if Mr. GARY had been mean to her or tried to touch her, KINSEY replied negatively. When told she would be having a new teacher, KINSEY agreed to go. She liked the new teacher very much and now enjoys going to school.
        When questioned about behavioral changes, MRS. ADAMS-THOMPSON replied that during the fall of 1986, KINSEY started waking up crying during the night. This was unusual and stopped shortly before Christmas. She also seemed to be more defiant and argumentative with family members. She described KINSEY as outgoing and said she is very comfortable with men and women and that her behavior has not altered.
        Mrs. ADAMS-THOMPSON provided the following information regarding KINSEY:
              Full name:                 KINSEY MARIE ALMOND
              Age:                           Three years
              Date of birth:              September 1, 1983
              Address:                    1431 "D" Battery Caulfield,
                                                 Presidio, California
              Telephone number:    752-4795
              Parents:                     Captain LARRY ADAMS-THOMPSON,
                                                 Step-father
                                                 MICHELE ADAMS-THOMPSON,mother
              Siblings:                     One sister,seven years, two step-brothers,
                                                 nine and thirteen years.
    ________________________________________
    Investigation on 1/14/87 at San Francisco, California
    File #SF 70A-111158-58
    by SA PATRICIA J. PEYTON/lw
    Date dictated 1/14/87
  2. Tim Tate, Children for the Devil, p.162-164 - interview with Cynthia Angell from May 1989

        That January [in 1988] I became involved in a civil law suit. I represented a man who was fighting his ex-wife for custody of his children -a five-year-old boy and his three-year-old sister. Some time into the proceedings the children showed evidence that they had been sexually abused: the little girl, in particular, showed medical signs that were consistent with an object being forced inside her vagina. She had two lacerations inside her vagina and the paediatrician said there was no possibility of them being self-inflicted since they would have caused extreme pain.
        Her brother showed strong psychological signs of a severe traumatisation, and it gradually emerged in counselling that both had been ritually abused. They started describing horrendous acts they had been forced to take part in - they had sex with animals; they described being forced to drink blood. They also talked about witnessing people being killed and having their blood drained from them.
        The children had been at the Presidio day-care centre, and so I began asking about the facility there. I was vaguely aware that there had been allegations of ritual abuse at the centre, but I couldn't be sure that the abuse these children described to their therapist actually took place there.
        [...]
        The kids said a man called 'Michael Keeno' was present and involved in the ceremonies they had been forced to attend. They told their mother this, and since I had made enquiries about the Presidio and come up with the name of Michael Aquino I asked the mother to confirm the details.
        She refused, and so I was left having to call as a witness, when the case went to trial, the person who had reported the disclosure in the first place. Simultaneously, I made formal enquiries about issuing a subpoena to get Michael Aquino in court and on the stand.
        I have no way of knowing if he genuinely was involved in the abuse: I do know, however, that the children were in the Presidio day-care centre and identified someone who appeared to be him.
        The case was due to go to start on 1 February 1989. The night before that first hearing I got a telephone call from a woman who was going to be a key witness. She asked me to meet her at a restaurant on the main street here in Red Bluff because she had some important information for me. I agreed, got in my car and drove downtown.
        When I got to the restaurant she wasn't there, but before I could even get out of the car two men got in through the passenger side. One pointed a gun at my head and told me to drive out of town. I was made to drive about four miles out of town and at that point I was blindfolded and put into a second car and driven somewhere else.
        During the course of this kidnapping - which lasted about three hours in total - I was told that I was investigating things that I shouldn't be investigating and that if I continued with it I would be killed.
        [...]
        The picture was of a naked infant... its skin had been partially peeled away and the men made it clear that the child had been killed in a satanic ritual. The tape seemed to back this up: it contained childrens' voices. .. children crying. . .and adults chanting.
        The chanting was not articulate - I mean, I couldn't tell you what they said - but the men made it clear that this was a satanic ritual and that I should stop investigating satanism if I wanted to stay alive.
        They also said that if I told anyone what I saw that night, or if I reported the kidnapping to the authorities, they would surely kill me. I was terrified - of course: but I felt I had to report it, and I had to carry on with the case.
  3. Record Searchlight, "Lawyer kidnap may have satanic link", 1989/02/10

        Red Bluff — A reward of $10,000 is offered for the arrest and conviction of a man who allegedly abducted a Red Bluff attorney at gunpoint in a child custody case that may be linked to Satanism and ritualistic abuse.
        “That’s the only motive we can see,” Red Bluff police Detective Ted Wiley said today of the Feb. 2 kidnapping of Cynthia Angell, 32.
        Ms. Angell and her husband, Anthony Edwards, also an attorney, are offering the reward.
        The man allegedly threatened Ms. Angell’s life several times if she continued to investigate links between a Tehama County child custody case and a San Francisco Bay Area children’s day school.
        The man told Ms. Angell that she was investigating something that she shouldn’t and showed her a photograph of a baby whose skin had been partially removed, Wiley said.
        “It looked like it could have been an autopsy photo, but the man said it was a child who had been killed during a satanic ritual,” Ms. Angell told police.
        Neither Ms. Angell nor Red Bluff police Detective Ted Wiley would disclose further details of the child custody case today.
        However, Wiley said a composite drawing and description of the man who allegedly kidnapped Ms. Angell resembles a man reportedly involved in a case in which a child or doll was seen hanging from a signpost on Kirkwood Road near Corning on July 29, 1987.
        In that case, a man who identified himself as a police officer told a concerned citizen that everything was under control while another man and woman removed the child or doll from the signpost.
        Police artist Marjorie Casebeer initially noticed similarities between suspects in the two cases as she was drawing the man Ms. Angell described.
        Tehama County sheriff's Capt. Allen Groves said today there are some dissimilarities between the two composite drawings, but would not rule out that the two suspects could be the same man.
        "That case is still definitely open,” Groves said.
        On Feb. 2, a Satanic holiday called Candlemass, Ms. Angell arranged to meet a potential witness at a Red Bluff restaurant for lunch. When she arrived at the restaurant, a man she did not recognize entered her car, pulled a pistol and ordered her to drive to Dairyville.
        In Dairyville, Ms. Angell was blindfolded and forced Into a second car. Later the man drove her back to her car and released her.
        Information regarding Ms. Angell’s abduction should be given to Red Bluff police Detectives Wiley or Roger Marsh at 537-3131.
  4. Diane Ehrensaft, "PRESCHOOL CHILD SEX ABUSE: The Aftermath of the Presidio Case", 1992/04 (PDF here)

External links

Books

  • Children for the Devil: Ritual Abuse and Satanic Crime by Tim Tate (1991) - mainly Chapter 5
  • The New Satanists by Linda Blood (1994)

Articles and documents

  • Diana Napolis, "Overview of the Presidio Case and Investigations in Northern California", 1999/02/20
    • "The CID taped their interviews with the children and some of them identified Aquino from a video lineup of men dressed exactly like him. Some of these children who had described ritual molest, murder and cannibalism on videotape had testified against Charlotte Thrailkill and Daryl Ball during an 18-month preliminary hearing which ended approximately Sept. 1988 - (Case #14750-C Santa Rosa)The children said on CID videotapes that the people who hurt them were part of a "devil worship club." The parents held a news conference describing these allegations. The psychological trauma these children experienced was described in an article summarizing the results of the plea-bargain and sentencing of Ball/Thrailkill."
    • "Michael Aquino notes these are the allegations as I've framed them to be but he states there was no merit to them and the Army didn't believe them either. However, this portrayal of the Army's position is in stark contrast to their actual stated position as described in a transcript of the hearing on the motion to dismiss dated May 31, 1991. It is also a mystery as to why there is only one child listed in the alleged victim block of the report but the word "children" is used frequently throughout the documentation. The details of the Army Argument also gives more information about the case as well as the Army Exhibit list which includes the ordering information for these documents at the end of the page."
    • "There were never any criminal charges filed against Michael Aquino. Some of the details of the Army-Aquino case would not have been made public except for the fact that Aquino's lawsuit against the Army placed these documents within the public domain, as well as the two published reports and internal documentation. But the military will not release the Report of Investigation or any of the other items shown on the exhibit list due to the Privacy Act. Aquino disputes much of what's stated in the documents but refuses to provide any information to the contrary."
  • Dave McGowan, "The Pedophocracy, Part III: Uncle Sam Wants Your Children", 2001/08
    • What is the source for a "soundproof room" being observed? It might be from the "MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DEPENDANT'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE RECORD" in the Aquino v. Stone case, since it mentions "a black room with soft walls" where Aquino abused one of the victims, and soft walls are sometimes used for soundproofing. Another possibility is p.103 of Cover-up of the Century by Daniel Ryder (a book McGowan uses but not in this part of the Pedophocracy series), citing Objective Evil: Satanic Cults in U.S. Intelligence by Roy Blake: "Among the more bizarre findings at Aquino’s house, said Blake, was a room with all black walls, and another room that was soundproof."
  • Nick Bryant, "The Presidio Case, Joseph Russoniello, and the SFPD Search Warrant on Aquino's home", 2010/02/10 (posted on Franklin Files; archive here) - mentions Joseph Russoniello and claims the case was "usurped by the U.S. Attorney"
  • Contemporaneous news stories on the Presidio case - many can be found in Mae Brussell's research on Presidio, others on Rigorous Intuition
    • Los Angeles Times, "FBI Investigates Presidio Child Molestation Report", 1987/08/11
    • San Francisco Examiner, "Presidio molest probe finds link to satanic sect", 1987/10/30 (pages 1b, 6b): "On Aug. 14, investigators raided a house on Leavenworth Street owned by Army Reserve Lt. Col. Michael Aquino and his wife, Lilith, according to court records released Thursday. Police seized 36 videotapes, photographic negatives, photo albums, cassette tapes and photos of costumes, masks and stars in connection with the investigation of sexual molestation and child pornography. [...] Aquino, reached by phone at his new residence in St. Louis, told The Examiner that a police search took place while he was vacationing in The City last August, but he denied any allegations of molestation. [...] "This whole thing is pretty traumatic for both of us," Aquino said, adding that he and his wife left San Francisco in July 1986 two months before the alleged molestation took place at the Aquino apartment. Aquino, however, would not say how many times he had visited The City since he left the Presidio to attend a one-year course for Army reservists at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C." - demonstrates that Aquino's supposed alibi about being in Washington DC the whole time is worthless
    • San Jose Mercury News, "ABUSE INVESTIGATION TURNS TO ARMY OFFICER", 1987/10/30
    • San Jose Mercury News, "PRESIDIO CARE CENTER FIRST TO FACE ARMY SCRUTINY", 1987/11/04
    • [unknown Sacramento outlet], "BAY NAVY OFFICER BEATEN TO DEATH, BLUDGEONED IN KITCHEN ON HEAD", 1987/11/05
    • San Jose Mercury News, "SATANIST ACCUSED OF MOLESTING GIRL; SOLDIER CALLS PROBE A WITCH HUNT", 1987/11/08
    • San Jose Mercury News, "ARMY OFFICER BECOMES CRIME SUSPECT SATAN-WORSHIPING COLONEL IMPLICATED IN CHILD SEX ABUSE", 1987/12/13
    • UPI, "Presidio molestation case collapses", 1988/02/17
    • San Francisco Examiner, "Final charge dismissed in Presidio case", 1988/02/18 (pages 1b, 4b): "Two weeks ago, Russoniello asked that four of the 12 charges be dismissed because, he said, the children involved "could not stand up to the competency test; they could not stand up as witnesses." Last week, Judge Schwarzer dismissed seven other charges because the government was unable to state what sexual abuses Hambright supposedly committed other than the broad but unspecific accusations of "lewd and lascivious" acts. [...] Inspector Glenn Pamfiloff said Wednesday that San Francisco police still were investigating allegations involving children who attended the Presidio day-care center and might have been molested at locations in The City. "I've got a lot of victims I'm talking to. . . . I've talked to numerous kids, but I'm not prepared to go into what their statements have been and what evidence I've got," Pamfiloff said. "It's an ongoing investigation.""
    • San Francisco Chronicle, "Scathing Report on Presidio Child-Care Center", 1988/03/21 - described by Mae Brussell in her show bibliography: "The Chronicle, via Freedom of Information, obtained Col. William J. Shaffer's report which was completed in June 1987, and never released. "Dead Spots at nursery school where children-adults could hide, where some incidents of child molestation took place. Gary Hambright charges dropped. Lt. Col. Michael Aquino from DIA, SEALS, ARMY RESERVES, immune from the scandal."
    • Jackson Sun, "Occultist files police harassment complaint", 1988/04/14: "Michael A. Aquino, founder of the California-based satanic church and a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, directed the legal request to the Office of Citizen Complaint, asking that intelligence division detective Sgt. Sandi Gallant and juvenile division inspector Sgt. Glen Pamfiloff "cease their abusive, harassing in vestigation" of Aquino and his wife, Lilith, a priestess in the devil worship organization."
    • San Jose Mercury News, "ABUSE CASE AT PRESIDIO QUIETLY CLOSED BY U.S.", 1988/04/19: "The U.S. Attorney's Office apparently has quietly closed the investigation of sexual abuse at the Presidio day care center without seeking more indictments from a federal grand jury, as the prosecutors had vowed less than two months ago. The move means that no one will have been held responsible for the alleged sexual abuse of more than 60 children at the center, which is run by the U.S. Army at the Presidio of San Francisco. U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello said Monday that the case has not been formally closed, although FBI agents involved in the case have told parents "the official document closing the case is being written." An FBI spokesman confirmed Monday that "we're waiting on something in writing." [...] Recently, however, Russoniello has said that problems had developed with the children's abilities to testify to statements they had made earlier. His comments came after the last remaining child who was to have testified against Hambright was removed from involvement in the case by his parents. Joyce Tobin, whose son allegedly was abused at the center, said Monday that she and her husband, Capt. Mike Tobin, reluctantly removed their child from the court case on the advice of the boy's therapist. "We felt it was in his best interests because the prosecutors could not assure us that they could protect him from further exploitation that might be harmful," she said. "But we know there are other children, some older than our son, aged 4, who can tell exactly what was done to them, by whom and where." Several parents of alleged victims plan to protest closing of the case at a news conference today at the Presidio. [...] "The bottom line is that nobody looks at a child's testimony as evidence," parent Dennis Runyan said in a recent interview. He and other parents maintain that several children are capable of testifying what was done to them, who did it and where." - was Dr. Felix Polk the therapist for the Tobin boy?
    • San Jose Mercury News, "ARMY OF THE NIGHT", 1988/07/24
    • San Jose Mercury News, "SOURCES SAY ARMY IS PROBING ABUSE CASE", 1988/12/23 (reprinted as Anniston Star, "Officer target of sex-abuse probe" by Linda Goldston, 1988/12/25: pages 19a OCR)
    • EIR, "Warning: Satanists may spread AIDS" by Jeffrey Steinberg, 1989/05/12
      • "The headquarters of the Temple, Lt. Col. Aquino's Russian Hill home, was raided by the San Francisco Police on Aug. 14, 1987, based on allegations that the home had been the scene of a rape of a four year old girl. In the raid, police confiscated 38 pornographic videotapes, photo negatives, and other evidence that the house had been the hub of a pedophile ring operating in and near the base."
      • "Although several of the children identified the couple as participants in the rape scenes, some of which were allegedly videotaped by Aquino in the bathroom of his house, and although several children had provided detailed descriptions of the interior of the Aquino house, the reserve officer claimed that he had been in the Washington, D.C. area for the entire year that the rapes had allegedly occurred—taking a military intelligence course at the National Defense University. Although Aquino was posted to the NDU at the time, he did retain his Russian Hill temple/home and frequently traveled back to the West Coast, according to published accounts."
      • "Aquino writes that he modeled the Temple of Set on three Weimar-era occult secret terrorist organizations that were antecedents to the Nazi Party: the Thule Society, Vehm, and Ahnenerbe."
      • "One of Aquino's leading followers in the Temple of Set, Dr. Stephen E. Flowers, a professor of Germanic philology and the history of religion at the University of Texas at Austin, has admitted to interviewers that he is in close contact with the Republikaner Party in the Federal Republic of Germany."
    • San Jose Mercury News, "PRESIDIO CHILD ABUSE FIGURE DIES OF AIDS", 1990/01/05
  • San Francisco PD investigation (Case #870910025, 8114/87)
    • San Francisco police search warrant for Aquino's home (full PDF)
    • David Hoffman, "George Bush: World Class Monster", citing his article "Do What Thou Wilt, Satanism and The Temple of Set" from September-October 1995 in the Haight Ashbury Free Press, claims the following about a man who seems to be Glenn Pamfiloff (also lead investigator of the Dubs family murders by Leonard Lake and Charles Ng): "As recently as 1995, the SFPD detective in charge, who I interviewed, was still too frightened to reveal details of the case."
    • Response on 2017/10/11 to public records request #P002929-071217: "Extensive research has concluded that the case for which you request material remains open at this time. The SFPD declines to release records pertaining to an open investigation under California Government Code Section 6254(f), which exempts from disclosure records of complaints to, investigations conducted by, intelligence information or security procedures of, and investigatory or security files compiled by local police agencies. Therefore, we are unable to release the information you request, as disclosure of case information may endanger successful completion of the investigation."
    • Follow-up on 2018/02/20 to public records request #P002929-071217: "The SFPD replied to your Public Records Request on October 11, 2017, via Gov QA, the SFPD’s public records portal. You were notified that the case you are inquiring into is open at this time, and that any records are exempted from release under California Government Code Section 6254(f). On February 15, 2017, you contacted Legal Assistant, Elsa Campos, to inquire into the SFPD's denial to release any records to you pertaining to the "investigation of child abuse at the Presidio Child Development Center during the 1980s." Ms. Campos advised you that she must consult with her superiors before providing you with any further information. Please be advised that although this case is currently closed/inactive, it can potentially be reopened in the future if other victims come forward. Therefore, the SFPD cannot jeopardize any (potential) future investigation by releasing case information. During your conversation with Ms. Campos, you also inquired into the fact that the statute of limitations for the case has expired, and, therefore, case information should be releasable. Please note that the statute of limitations is five years from the time the sexual assault is reported to the authorities. So, for those victims that have not come forward they still have the right to absolute privacy. Furthermore, the SFPD has ultimately determined that the information you requested will not be released to you, because the case you are inquiring into involves the (alleged) sexual assault of juvenile victims, and information cannot be released without a court order"
  • Federal involvement (including possible usurpation)
    • From p.140 of Painted Black by Carl Raschke (1990): "Those particular charges were later dropped against Aquino and his associate. Parents of the children who were allegedly abused said it was because of strong pressure from the army on the federal investigators and the San Francisco police. Prosecutors blamed the well-known difficulties of prosecuting child abuse cases in the first place. Just before this book went to press, however, authoritative sources within the military, who requested anonymity, reported that another investigation of Aquino had been opened by civilian law enforcement in California."
    • From p.155 of Painted Black by Carl Raschke (1990): "Twenty-two families filed $66 million in personal injury claims against the army in connection with the Presidio case. Although charges against Aquino were dismissed, Gary Hambright who was arraigned in the case, pleaded innocent and suggested he might be taking the rap for others possibly involved in the alleged molestations. After long legal maneuvering and bickering between army and federal investigators and the San Francisco police, the case against Hambright was shelved as well."
  • Army CID investigation
    • 1989/03/15 interview with a child victim
    • U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, report no. 0610-88-CID026-69259-5K3/6F3/6E2/6A1/5M2/5Y2/DIMIS - on p.8 it is said that a former Temple of Set member recalled Aquino mentioning a ritual chamber in the apartment at 2420 Leavenworth Street; on p.32 it mentions how Aquino used letters from General William Westmoreland and Senator George McGovern to defend himself from 1972 controversy over his involvement in the Church of Satan; on p.42, it is noted that Aquino claimed in a letter to the Army that he had never come across any contemporary account of a Christian priest conducting a black mass, despite there being such an account in a book on the Church of Satan that Aquino himself wrote; on p.47 the report notes that Aquino's residence contained four apartments, including one that his Temple of Set leader brother-in-law, yet only the top flat was searched by the SFPD, and the apartment that was searched by the SFPD had been repainted between June 1986 and January 1987; on p.71 it is stated that when asked about the colors of his home's interior prior to the SFPD search, Aquino refused to answer on advice of counsel; it is also noted that despite heading to Washington DC at the end of July 1986 to begin classes at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, he not only admitted being back in San Francisco from September 19-21 and December 20-January 4, but had calls from his residence on August 23, August 26, September 4, and December 8; on p.84 are the notes of an interview with Anton LaVey; on p.88-89 are the notes of interviews with Linda Blood; on p.89-90 are the notes of interviews with Cynthia Angell; on p.90-91 are the notes of an interview with the former Temple of Set member who mentioned rumors of Aquino being excited by sadomasochistic sexual activity and claimed to have been told about a ritual chamber in his apartment; also notes that year I in Temple of Set literature refers to 1966; on p.91 are the notes of an interview with somebody who visited the Aquinos' property in April or May 1986 "in his official capacity" and recalled that the front room had walls "of a dark color, possibly black"; on p.91 are the notes of an interview with someone who installed a security system at the Aquinos' property sometime "in early 1986", and recalled "a padded room on the upper level" and "dark rooms"; on p.114 it mentions the CID being contacted by a detective from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department, who reported that a victim in a ritual abuse case they worked identified Aquino, and noted that the prime suspect in their investigation lived near where Aquino was currently assigned; it is pointed out that this prime suspect was a former US Navy member; on p.114 it mentions a probation officer at the Verdemont Boys Ranch in San Bernardino County CA reporting that one of her probationers claimed his brother was involved with the Temple of Set in the Lake Arrowhead CA, and that two suspects in a kidnapping/rape trial in the area may have been linked to the group; on p.124-125 the entire section about whether Aquino had contact with other suspects or victims mentioned in the report is completely redacted
  • Documents from Aquino's lawsuit (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, no. 90-1547-A: Michael A. AQUINO v. Michael P.W. STONE, Secretary of the Army) where he tried to get the Presidio case out of his Army record
  • Diane Ehrensaft, "PRESCHOOL CHILD SEX ABUSE: The Aftermath of the Presidio Case", 1992/04 (PDF here)
  • Christopher Cooke claims in 2007 that he was a lawyer for a Presidio victim and the abuse was substantiated

Controversy over guilt

Potential leads

Similar and related cases

  • West Point child molestation case
    • The Battle and the Backlash: The Child Sexual Abuse War by David Hechler (1988)
    • Dave McGowan, "The Pedophocracy, Part III: Uncle Sam Wants Your Children", 2001/08
    • Contemporaneous news articles
      • Washington Post, "Army Doctor Turns Down Promotion; Lax Response to Case of Child Abuse Cited", 1985/06/25 (see here)
      • San Diego Union-Tribune, "Army Doctor Refuses Promotion in Protest", 1985/06/25
      • Times Herald Record (Middletown NY), "Liability in Point Abuse Case Debated", 1986/12/23
      • New York Times, "$2.7 Million Settles Army Child-Abuse Case", 1991/05/23 (see here)
      • Times Herald Record (Middletown NY), "A Legacy of Pain: Settlement Doesn't Ease Abused Children's Fears", 1991/06/11 (see here)
    • Military intelligence chief involvement
      • From p.92-93 of The Battle and the Backlash:

            Some of what they had uncovered seemed to be corroborated when they read in the paper that the chief of military intelligence at West Point was arrested in nearby Highland Falls in September 1984 for asking a 10-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl if he could take nude pictures of them.21 According to a 1986 investigation conducted by the Army's inspector general, in response to a letter Gray wrote accusing the Army of covering up child abuse, "the incident was alcohol related," and following the officer's successful completion of an alcohol rehabilitation program, all charges were dismissed. Furthermore, the report said, the FBI investigated his possible involvement with the child abuse case, but "no connection was ever established, and the officer was never determined be a 'prime suspect.'"22
            What particularly interested the Grays at the time, though, was a rumor that the man frequented the same bars as the day care teachers the children had named.
            Walt decided to contact the man directly. It was a gambit inspired by frustration and should not be seen as a model for others in his situation. At best it was potentially dangerous to himself and the investigation. He called the man, told him that he believed children had been photographed naked by child care workers, and said that he wanted to talk to him. The Grays had come to believe that the only way the case would ever be broken was if someone confessed.
            The man agreed, and they met in a restaurant. Donna and Mary were watching from a distance.If the man did not confess, the Grays were hoping that at least Donna would recognize him. That part worked, the Grays said. "He's not hurting Daddy! He's not hurting Daddy!" Mary said her daughter exclaimed. "He said he'd hurt Daddy!" It was a turning point in the child's recovery, her parents said. It was clear to them now that she had been threatened, and she could see for herself that they were all safe.
         
      • Times Herald Record (Middletown NY), "Army officer charged with endangering child", 1984/09/25: "An Army officer stationed at the U.S. Military Academy was arrested Sept. 11 on a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child after he allegedly asked two local children to pose in the nude. According to documents filed in the Town of Highlands Court, the incident occurred about 9:50 p.m. on Aug. 23 in a "secluded area off Main Street." The suspect, identified as Capt. Patrick Burke, allegedly asked a 10-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl to lie down on a blanket while he took pictures of them. According to the court documents, Burke then asked them to take off their clothes so that he could take more pictures. There is nothing in the court records to suggest that the two complied. Burke, 39, lives at 3022A Lamb Place, West Point. According to Maj. Alex Mondragon, a West Point spokesman, Burke was a staff officer in the Directorate of Operations at the academy. Mondragon said Burke is in the hospital. The case against Burke was adjourned on Wednesday until Oct. 17. The adjournment was granted at the request of Burke's attorney. Ned Kopald, Orange County's chief assistant district attorney, said he believes Burke is undergoing treatment in an alcoholic rehabilitation program, and that the court case will resume following his release. Highland Falls Police Chief William E. Stone, whose agency arrested Burke, refused to give out any details of the incident except to say that someone had been arrested and that the case was on file in Town of Highlands Court."
    • Possible connection to NAMBLA
      • Testimony of California congressman William E. Dannemeyer on 1990/03/05: "Pamfiloff reports that many but not all child molesters belong to a group called NAMBLA, North American Man-Boy Love Association, which has about 125 members in California and 600 worldwide. The group was founded about 12 years ago, and men with close ties to the group have been arrested in Sacramento, San Francisco, Boston and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point."
  • San Francisco Chronicle, "Satanism Linked To Scores of U.S. Child Abuse Cases", 1987/11/05
  • Mendocino County (Ukiah, Fort Bragg) and Sonoma County (Santa Rosa) child molestation cases - allegedly involve Aquino
    • Interesting to note that Ukiah was also the location of the Peoples Temple
    • San Jose Mercury News, "SATANIC PRIEST QUESTIONED IN NEW SEX CASE", 1989/05/13: "Lt. Col. Michael Aquino, a satanic priest who was investigated in connection with the sexual abuse of children at the U.S. Army's Presidio of San Francisco, has been questioned about the abuse of at least five children in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. [...] In the new investigation, police in Ukiah already had been looking into the ritual abuse of two boys and a girl when the children accused Aquino of being involved, parents and police said. Aquino also was accused of molestations in Santa Rosa and Fort Bragg. "Basically, we have a multi-jurisdictional investigation" of Aquino and others, said Ukiah Police Chief Fred Keplinger. Keplinger said that his department is working with the Army's Criminal Investigation Division. [...] Keplinger declined to discuss the details of the investigation but said, "the children are believable. I have no doubt in my mind that something has occurred. It's just being able to prove who the perpetrators are." Army investigators recently videotaped the children's stories. Officials would not discuss their investigation. [...] The Army broadened its investigation to Sonoma and Mendocino counties after children there recognized Aquino during television and newspaper coverage of him and the Presidio case. One of the children, a boy, was watching a television program about the case with his mother when he recognized Aquino, his mother said. "He just grabbed the rocking chair and hung on real tight," she said. "His eyes got huge and he said, 'Mommy, that's the man from the church in Fort Bragg.' " Allegations of ritual abuse erupted in Fort Bragg in Mendocino County in 1985 when several children at the Jubilation Day Care Center said they were sexually abused by a number of people at the day care center and at several locations away from the center, including at least two churches."
    • Ukiah Daily Journal, "Satanic cult fears rekindled", 1989/05/15 (pages 12a)
    • Press Democrat, "Satanic chief tied to Mendocino sex abuse", 1989/05/15 (pages 1, 8)
    • Press Democrat, "Ukiah pair keep molest case alive", 1989/05/16 (pages 1b, 3b)
    • San Jose Mercury News, "Mendocino County cops, parents seek help in child abuse probe", 1989/05/17
    • Anderson Valley Advertiser, "The Great Fort Bragg Witch Hunt", 2002/05/23

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