DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?

KEMPE CENTER "EVALUATOR" CLARE HAYNES-SEMAN FINDS EVIDENCE OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE STRANGEST PLACES.

Plunkett hasn't been allowed to see his children alone for more than two years now--despite the fact that Bruce LaBute has since pleaded guilty to sexually abusing Ciera. The girl herself has insisted that her father has done nothing wrong and named LaBute as her "rapist" during the videotaped evaluation. But Haynes-Seman, according to her report, remains unconvinced of Plunkett's innocence.

In her 26-page evaluation, Haynes-Seman wrote that Plunkett's hesitation to make allegations against LaBute makes one "wonder if he was afraid others might also look at him and his relationships with his children, both with respect to sexual abuse and physical discipline." She also concluded that Ciera's play with triangular blocks--pretending they were pizza and then fish, but refusing to tell the evaluator how the fish tasted--was "metaphorically end[ing] the first session with a message to the evaluator that she is angry and may be withholding about what she will share with the evaluator." Haynes-Seman continued, "Pizza and other favorite foods have been consistently associated with biological father," and that when Ciera "refuses to tell the evaluator how the [fish] lungs taste" she is showing that "to obtain the nurturance she needs, she must do things that are repugnant to her."

Plunkett still has some of the videotapes that Haynes-Seman took of the evaluations. And he's not afraid to let others see them. He'll even narrate what's up next, having memorized the tapes from so many viewings.

The scene on the tapes is always the same: a dingy room with a spongy white couch. Sometimes the adults and children appear together, sometimes just one of the children. In one segment, eight-year-old Ciera is seen waving her arms around while one of Haynes-Seman's staffers sits on a chair too small for her bulk and watches. Ciera flips her tight ponytail in the air and repeats, as though she's exhausted with the situation, "My dad never did anything to me. Bruce did it."

The little girl's pinkish sweatshirt is blurred in the bad light. "Bruce did it," she repeats. And then, as if to make sure the evaluator is listening: "My Dad's not that kind of guy."

end of part 1

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