I offer no defense of the sex offenders described in your article. They merited punishment. However, the article emphasizes the reliability of the children’s statements. Did the questioners see the evidence prior to the questioning? Any surveyor of public opinion or interviewer knows that the answers given are greatly influenced by the timing of questions, the way questions are asked, and the response to each answer. The article did nothing to convince me of the validity of children’s answers.

Neil A. Morrison
Burlington, Wash.

Each girl first spoke to a police interviewer who hadn’t seen the incriminating evidence and then at depositions to lawyers who had seen it. The content of the girls’ initial testimony remained largely unchanged, but the girls made additional supported allegations at the depositions, possibly because they had had a chance to review the photographs .–B. Bower