Former elder Louis Angiuano found NOT guilty

by Nathan Natas 32 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Seven
    Seven

    I can't stop thinking about the little girl standing there while the verdict was being read and hearing those words "not guilty"...wondering what it was she did wrong to make everything turn out the way it did. I hope there is some type of victim witness assistance program( for kids that have to testify) that will follow up and make sure she gets the counseling to get through this. I can't say whether the term system-induced trauma would apply here but it had to be horrible for her to watch Angiuano smirking and being congratulated for being found "innocent." Poor kid.

  • Prisca
    Prisca

    This is one time when I agree with Skally.

    We're not talking about this girl's father, or favourite Uncle Bob, molesting her. It is an outsider, an elder, who somehow had the opportunity to be alone with this girl. Who let her be alone with him? Who allowed him to take photographs of her? Why was the girl allowed to be in opportunities where this guy could allegedly molest her?

    Ultimately it's the girl's parents. Sure, they trusted him, and probably never in their wildest dreams thought something like this could ever happen. But many people are too trusting. Way too trusting.

  • bluesapphire
    bluesapphire

    Elder or no elder, I would be smart enough to know something was "weird" if a grown man wanted to keep taking pictures of my 12 year old and showed her "excessive" attention.

    Good grief! Some people are just too stupid!

  • avengers
    avengers

    Where there's smoke there's fire. This elder definitely has pedophilic tendencies.
    Just because the jury declared him innocent of the charge does not mean he's not
    a pedophile. I bet the jury did not want to aquit him, but had no choice.

    Question: Is this guy still an elder in "good" standing?

    Probably.

    Andy of the sarcastic class.

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    To answer Avenger's question, NO, Mr. Angiuano is not an elder in his congregation anymore. Why? Because when the local elders investigated this matter, they decided that he had to step down. Angiuano admitted that he had lust in his heart for the 12 year old.

    I have to agree with SevenOf Nine that I would be interested in seeing the transcript of the trial and trying to get some insight into why the jurors thought that they might have done the right thing.

    For some additional background, here's an earlier article about this case:

    http://www.fresnobee.com/local/crime/story/6028329p-6984534c.html

    Ex-church elder linked to molest
    Visalian who was a Jehovah's Witness leader accused by girl, 12.
    By Cyndi Carcamo
    The Fresno Bee
    (Published Thursday, January 30, 2003, 5:24 AM)

    VISALIA -- A 38-year-old Visalia man who was a leader in a local Jehovah's Witness congregation may face up to 16 years in prison on charges of sexually molesting a 12-year-old congregation member.

    Louis Anguiano served until last year as an elder at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses at 5310 Caldwell Ave. He is accused of continuous sexual abuse, over a two-year period, of a girl who attended the same congregation.

    A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 7, when a judge will determine whether there is enough evidence for Anguiano to stand trial. Anguiano is free on $50,000 bail.

    Anguiano's defense attorney, Jim Wilson of Visalia, proclaimed his client's innocence Wednesday but wouldn't comment further about the case.

    According to Tulare County Superior Court records, Anguiano had known the victim's family for about six years and allegedly began molesting the girl about two years ago when she was 10.

    "Everything began in a playful manner. ... Anguiano would grab her, tickle her and slap her on the bottom," a police report states. "Over a period of time, this playfulness began to become more uncomfortable to her. ..."

    The first incident of alleged abuse occurred in the summer of 2001, when the girl and Anguiano were going to Wal-Mart, police reports state. The girl said the two were alone when he offered her money and reached over with his hand, attempting to place a $5 bill in her crotch.

    The girl said Anguiano constantly showered her with gifts, including see-through underwear and cash.

    Another time, records state, Anguiano allegedly asked the girl to shower with him, but she refused. Soon after, Anguiano began to brush the girl's hair and rubbed up against her.

    "She could feel his pelvis/crotch bumping into her buttocks from behind," according to a police report. "The girl said she believes that Anguiano's motives are sexual and that is why she is uncomfortable with his touching, pestering and constant photographing."

    The girl told detectives that the last incident happened in January 2002 while she played on a computer at her home. Anguiano was visiting the family and entered the girl's room, telling her he wanted to dance, He began dancing in front of her, reports state, and "he picked her from the chair and began holding her as if he wanted to dance."

    The girl told detectives she kicked Anguiano in the groin. Anguiano then allegedly asked her, "How would you like me to do that to you?" She said Anguiano grabbed her by her arms, forced her into a corner "and grabbed her crotch area ... squeezing," reports state.

    Anguiano was arrested Dec. 6 and booked into the Tulare County Main Jail. He was released on bail a few hours later.

    Court documents state that Anguiano admitted to detectives that he had slapped the girl's bottom on occasion in a playful manner, but said he didn't know if it was the right thing to do.

    A police report states that Anguiano admitted to buying the girl underwear as a gag and denied touching the girl's privates, but later told detectives that he had a problem and shouldn't have done certain things.

    "[Anguiano] ultimately indicated that what he had done was wrong and that it was his lustful desire for [the girl] that caused him to have this problem," records state. A detective noted that Anguiano went back and forth in his statements from innocent touching to touching that was not appropriate in any way.

    After the last incident, the girl told her mother, and the family attempted to keep Anguiano from coming to the home. The girl and her family spoke to the congregation's elders about the alleged incidents and filed a complaint against Anguiano.

    One congregation elder declined Wednesday to discuss the case; other congregation officials could not be reached for comment.

    Some of the elders contacted Child Protective Services in March 2002, according to court documents. Elders conducted their own investigation, removed Anguiano as an elder and sent a report to Watchtower Bible and Tract Society personnel in New York.

    In court records, one elder told detectives that the girl said she thought Anguiano was going to murder her, and that "Anguiano also was someone that she did not want to be alone with."

    The reporter can be reached at ccarcamo@fresnobee.com or 622-2419.

  • Pork Chop
    Pork Chop

    So this guy is guilty regardless of what the jury says? Why do we bother with trials, why not just execute on accusation since obviously anyone accused must be guilty.

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    Hi PorkChop,

    I understand where you're coming from - the guy was accused of a despicable crime, was tried by a jury and found not guilty.

    Did you read the earlier newspaper article I posted just above? We have not only an accusation from the 12 year old girl, but an apparent ADMISSION from Lou himself that at least some of the allegations had a basis in fact.

    It makes one wonder what sort of defense Lou's lawyer mounted, or what sort of pathetic case the prosecution must have made. Hence the interest in seeing the court transcripts to figure out what happened.

    Remember O.J. Simpson? A jury declared him innocent too.

  • Big Tex
    Big Tex

    What kind of grown man buys underwear for a 12 year girl? My daughter is 9 and she would be mortified if I bought her anything like that. This story is troubling. For whatever reason, the prosecutor could not make the case, which is terrible for the poor girl. It's awful to screw your courage up and tell someone only to be disbelieved. I hope her parents can get her into therapy and help her past this experience. Abuse doesn't mean one is crippled for life. My heart goes out to her.

  • Pork Chop
    Pork Chop

    Nathan Natas I read the article. I haven't read any kind of rebuttal and I don't know if there is one. Yes, I know about OJ, but in most cases I think the jury probably gets it right. Nothing like the elements associated with OJs trial. It just distubs me that all these people the excoriate congregations if they don't turn these matters over to the authorities aren't prepared to accept the actions of the authorities. If we're hnonest I think we have to admit that the attitude here is if he was a Witness he was guilty, period.

  • worldlygirl
    worldlygirl
    After the last incident, the girl told her mother, and the family attempted to keep Anguiano from coming to the home.

    What's up with this? Attempted? Are these people crazy??? The only thing they should have ATTEMPTED is murder (or at least a good old fashioned assault and battery.)

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