I, Carol Ann Bittner, declare and say:
I am a citizen of the United States over the age of 21 years, a resident of the State of California residing at Bakersfield, County of Kern.
In October of 1984 a Sheriff's Investigator Conny Ericsson and Social Worker Velda Murillo came to my school (I was 12 years old at the time), took me to a room and questioned me because my cousin Carla Jo Modahl had told them that both of us had been molested by Anthony and Leroy Cox. They asked me if this was true. I told them "yes it was". They further asked me who else was involved, I told them only Anthony and Leroy.
Next, they told me that they were going to take me to Jamison Center (also known as Shalimar). I asked if I could see my mother, they told me "no" and proceeded to take me to Jamison Center and put me with other kids who had been molested and where I would also attend group sessions where the kids got to tell about being molested. Conny Ericsson and Velda Murillo came to see me every day where they would take me to a room and ask me a lot of stuff, told me a lotta things Carla was saying, and told me that they knew the same things had happened to me.
It was almost two weeks after I had arrived at Jamison when one day Conny Ericsson and Velda Murillo came and told me I was going to court. When I arrived at the court house they took me inside in a room where there was Shang (my little brother) and Teresa Modahl (Carla's sister and my cousin age 11). She began to tell me all Carla was saying and that we all were supposed to testify today. Teresa was telling me all that had been said, such as grandpa and grandma (Richard Cox and Joanne Cox) and Ruth Taylor (my mother) and Jeff Modahl (who we were living with) and Teresa Cox (Anthony Cox's wife) had made us do bad things with them.
Carla had told Conny Ericsson and Velda Murillo that we were in my grandma's bedroom at the ranch when the grown ups all came into the bedroom; Anthony and Leroy Cox, Ruth Taylor, Jeff Modahl, Teresa Cox, Jody Dugrenier, Richard Cox and Joanne Cox. She said we were told to undress and then were tied on a bed and that the men each took turns molesting us, such as...[alleged molest described]; next the women grandma and Ruth got on top of us and ... [alleged molest described] while Teresa and Jody took pictures with a camera.
I remember when Teresa was through telling me all that stuff that my little brother Shang (he was 7 years old) was saying that Carla had said that she told the authorities that all the men had done bad things to him. He said it was a lie and not true. I told Teresa I am not going in there and tell those lies because, neither my grandpa Richard Cox, my grandma Joanne Cox, my mother Ruth Taylor, Jeff Modahl nor Teresa Cox had ever molested me in any shape or fashion. Teresa then told me that she was not gonna to say any thing that Carla had said was true, that she was going to tell the truth such as, her grandpa or grandma, Jeff Modahl her stepfather, Ruth Taylor her aunt, and Teresa Cox had never molested her nor watched her being molested and she had never seen any one taking pictures.
Conny and Velda brought the prosecutor Craig Phillips with them [and] told us he was going to ask us questions and asked if we were afraid and were we gonna tell the truth. They told us to tell it just like Conny and Velda had instructed, and that Velda would sit beside us while he asked us questions. I never will forget when they brought me in and put me on the stand. I looked toward the people and there sat my mother, grandpa, and Jeff. The judge asked me some questions - can't remember exactly what they were - but I told him my mother, grandpa or Jeff had never, never molested me. They held a conference. I could hear them arguing. Somebody was awful mad. Velda was told by the judge to take me out. She did, she took me back to the room. She was really angry, even called me a little lying bitch, threatened to slap me. Told her I didn't care what she said, my mother, grandpa and Jeff never molested me.
It was Teresa's turn next, the prosecutor was asking for her. Velda also had me come back in the court room. The judge again asked me if I would change my testimony. Again I told him that my mother, grandpa, Jeff Modahl and Teresa Cox had never molested me. Next the judge asked Teresa the same questions. She also denied that she had ever been molested by grandpa Richard Cox, my mother Ruth Taylor, Jeff Modahl her step-father or Teresa Cox as had been stated by her sister Carla Jo Modahl. The judge next gave an order that we would not have to testify and we were taken from the court room by Velda Murillo. She was really mad now. She called us little bitches, threatened to slap us, took us back to Jamison Center. I heard later that my little brother Richard Shang Taylor also wouldn't testify as Velda and Conny wanted him to, and that Craig Phillips, prosecutor, Velda, and Conny were really mad at us now.
A few days after that Velda came, told me to pack up. I did. She then told me that I was being placed in a foster home. I asked if I could see my mother. She told me certainly not. She then told me that my mother and the rest, grandpa, my mother, Jeff and Teresa were now all going to stand trial and that she would see personally that they were convicted. I cried all the way to the foster home.
I had only been in the foster home three days and Velda came by to ask if I had changed my mind. Told her never. She said it would help a whole lot if I would because she had proof that all those people had molested me including my mother. Further Carla said that Teresa Cox had taken pictures and when she (Velda) found the pictures I would be in serious trouble for lying. Told her Carla was lying because there were no pictures. Furthermore, none of those people had ever molested me. Again Velda got mad, told the lady where I was staying to make me stay in my room. The lady would not listen to Velda so a few days later after that Velda returned me to Jamison Center. I stayed almost two weeks before I was placed in another foster home. Velda came to question me every two or three days while in Jamison Center.
A coupla weeks had gone by when Velda came, told me to pack up again. I was placed in another foster home. When we got to where I was gonna stay, the lady showed me a room where I would be staying and Velda had a long talk with her. I had a good idea what it was about. Sure enough the next day the lady began to question me. I refused to answer her. She told me that Velda was working to help me and why didn't I agree to tell the truth and if I didn't I could be punished in many ways. The lady was telling me that if I didn't do what Velda Murillo wanted I would be punished. That night I left. As I did not have any where to go I was picked up and placed in Jamison Center and locked in a room. Here come Velda. She was really mad.
This time I remember they kept me quite a while in Jamison. During this time I was again taken to the court house where I testified that Anthony and Leroy Cox had molested me. They were convicted. Shortly after that again I was taken to the court house and placed in a room with Teresa Modahl and Shang my little brother. We all got to talk. Teresa told that Velda was still after her to change her story and that she would not. I told her it was the same with me, and that I had run away from one foster home already and would again if given a chance. Shang and Teresa both said they were also in foster homes.
This trip to the court house was for my mother and grandpa's trial. This time Craig Phillips, Conny Ericsson, Velda Murillo and Carol Darling came into the room. Mr. Phillips told us that we should all tell the truth and be willing to tell what happened because Carla had told him that each of us had been molested and that he knew it was true because Carla had told Velda that Teresa Cox had taken pictures of us being molested and that when they found the pictures there would then be proof that we were lying and we would be in serious trouble for withholding evidence and lying. None of us would change our testimony.
No matter of how often Velda Murillo and Conny Ericsson came to question me about what had taken place, Murillo would always point out that Carla was telling the truth and that Teresa, Shang, and myself were lying. And, after I had learned that grandpa (Richard Cox), my mother (Ruth Taylor), Teresa Cox (Anthony's wife), Jeff Modahl were all convicted of molesting us kids and sentenced to prison, it was terrible. I can remember even today of how I felt back then, and even today the hurt has not left. There is no way I will ever get over the hurt Velda Murillo and Conny Ericsson did cause with deliberate intent, all in order to convict people who were not guilty; and I know no matter in what manner or how Craig Phillips, Conny Ericsson and Velda Murillo wish to twist the truth my mother Ruth Taylor, my grandpa Richard Cox, my grandma Joanne Cox who died in prison, Teresa Cox and Jeff Modahl, who is still in prison, are not guilty of molesting me, Teresa Modahl, Richard Shang Taylor and/or Carla Modahl.
The last foster home I lived in was at Lake Isabella. However, I also ran away from there, because, no matter what foster home I was placed in, I was always made aware of the facts of the molestation that had been placed in the home by Velda Murillo. But the facts that Murillo placed with those homes were not the true facts. I was by the people in charge of me, brutalized, as a result of Murillo's misrepresentation of facts. Therefore, as a result of Murillo's caused mistreatment and lies I would run away. I had no other defense. I had to live under Murillo's "threat" until I reached the age of 18 years. Being the victim of a "molestation" I received far more "brutal treatment" at the hands of Velda Murillo and Conny Ericsson by far than I ever did from the person who actually molested me.
The only single reason Jeff was found guilty and convicted of molesting us kids was because he worked for Richard Cox, my grandpa. He is still in prison. Teresa Cox was also convicted of molestation of us kids and sent to prison. She is still in prison. Tis a sad day in the justice system when officials can use their authority to take children away from their parents under the disguise of protection and with no restraint of any kind use leading, suggestive questions, confuse the child, reward the child when he/she is able to give the answers that they wish to hear - not necessarily true answers, and lie to the child who is unable to defend against these zealots which included; judges, prosecutors, investigators, child abuse coordinators, social workers, and therapists.
I can still remember the uproar over the Satanic Cults which "snow-balled" through Jamison Center. I remember Velda Murillo asking me if had heard of these Devils. Told her that I had seen Anthony and Leroy and some of their "crazy" friends dancing around around a fire out at the shop and that I believed that I saw the Devil emerge. That was a mistake on my part. Conny Ericsson and Velda Murillo took me seriously. They began to ask me if I had seen Leroy and Anthony and their "crazy" friends having sex with dogs, cats, and rabbits. Also had I seen any murdered babies. Sad but true, the authority(s). The children joined other children in therapy sessions with the authority on the Satanic Cults, therapist Carolyn Heim, who said "those murdered babies were home birth babies - a baby borned at home without a birth certificate." It is still not known how much good ground the "Devil chasin" Sheriff Kleier dug up in his search for murdered babies who later turned up alive.
Looking back over those days I believe I could write a book about all the atrocities committed against me not only by those who stood accused of molestation but by the actual authorities who are sworn to serve and protect me. Who actually took advantage of me as a young child with only on purpose in mind. The records and files of these cases stand out. Looking back, these Kern County officials knew what was going on. They knew all of us children were being coached, pressured, lied to while being "prepared" for all the trials. I know first hand because I was one of them.
Looking back I cannot forget those days even today after many years have gone by. I am still having "bad dreams". I can still "relive" those days and times. I have nightmares about my little son. I have horrible thoughts that he will or might be caught up in something like I have gone through. I am even scared to leave him alone in his own father's custody. In all realty I know that his father loves him and would never harm him but, its the thought of what the authorities can do even if he had not been harmed in any way. Its terrifying how little evidence it takes to convict someone in Kern County charged with molestation even when the so-called victim is actually "screaming" that it did not happen to him or her.
Looking back my own mother Ruth Taylor was convicted and sent to prison for molestation of us kids. Velda Murillo the gung-ho zealot, witch or whatever name called that could fit such people as her and Conny Ericsson coached and persuaded Carla to say the things she did. However, it cannot be overlooked the judge, prosecutor all believed Carla - incredible. Today even I can argue that and I am not even an attorney. Looking back in this case common sense was no where used. For example no pictures were ever found. No nail or large nail hole was ever found in grandma's bed room as described by Carla.
The foregoing revealing statements are long overdue. Many innocent people were convicted and sent to prison, solely because an accusation was made without any tangible evidence - only on the word of a young girl who Velda Murillo found to be highly suggestive and easily led to "believe" whatever Murillo suggested.
Therefore, as a direct result, the testimony given by Carla suggested through and coached by Velda Murillo was presented as being true by a gung-ho prosecutor Craig Phillips who knew it was not true. The judge even went along with this outright atrocity. And an outstanding example of this judicial performance is found in the habeas corpus proceedings held some two years after Jeff Modahl was being sent to prison. At this hearing Carla recants her prior testimony, tells the reason was Velda Murillo "tricked her." The judge who was presiding over the hearing refused to consider the report that set forth guidelines by the States' Attorney General in child abuse cases. As stated by the court, "Look, I have no faith in his report because I know what he said about deep pockets initiative and how he misrepresented the facts and he is a misrepresenter, in my opinion, so I am not putting weight on that report. I haven't read it. I won't read it. I won't touch that report." I would like to ask the same judge how does he account for the extreme shortage of "sex ring" cases in Kern County since that report surfaced some ten years ago. I believe that question is answered within the report itself.
In conclusion, Jeff Modahl is still in prison - he is innocent. Teresa Cox - she is still in prison - she is innocent. My grandma Joanne Cox died in prison - she was innocent. My mother Ruth Taylor who served time in prison still lives in shadows haunted as a child molester. She is required to register under 290 PC. My mother is innocent. My grandpa, Richard Cox, served time in prison for a crime he did not commit - he is innocent.
This affidavit is for Jeff Modahl made in hopes that someone, somewhere will listen. The cry for justice will not stop here: taken from a newspaper of those times:
Deputy D.A. Sparks was in charge of complaints when sheriff's deputies brought him 11 complaints in March of 1985. Sparks' notes taken to justify to his boss Ed Jagels his decision not to proceed, indicate that the interviewers had not been able to establish even a rough time frame for the crimes. His note #3 indicated that if the children should "fold" the D.A.'s office would "eat it in the press," and it would have "far-reaching effects on future prosecutions." Sparks also noted that "we must never allow one of those rings to blow up, or else." (Dated: March 22, 1985)
The Donna Sue Hubbard case certainly shows the investigation techniques performed on the children by the prosecutor and sheriff's investigator child abuse coordinator. She was convicted and sentenced to serve 100 years in prison. Many of the atrocities committed by the officials in that case were also committed by the officials handling the Cox case.
I have read and know the contents herein and I certify they are true and correct, except as to those matters herein that are based on information and belief, and, as to those matters I believe them to be true. I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing DECLARANT/AFFIDAVIT to be true.
Sworn To Vicki J. Brun, Notary on July 11, 1996