NEW YORK -- One of the nation's top sex crimes experts testified Tuesday he doubted actor-director Woody Allen sexually abused his 7- year-old adopted daughter on the basis of video tape 'proof' offered by actress Mia Farrow.
Retired New York Police Lt. Richard Marcus, formerly head of the Manhattan Sex Crimes Unit, testified at the bitter child custody trial in state Supreme Court that he had reviewed the tape Farrow made of Dylan Farrow's accounting of her alleged molestation and found it 'rehearsed'.
'I concluded that the child lacked credibility in that the manner in which the questions were asked (by Farrow) and the statements that were elicited did not convince me that the incident had, in fact, taken place,' Marcus said.
Marcus said that such leading questions as, 'What did he do? Did he take your underpants off' and such statements as, 'After touching you, he said...' smacked of 'prompting or reminding the child of what she said previously.'
He described it as a form of 'rehearsal' so that subsequent investigators 'will start with a very worked-over trail.'
Marcus' testimony followed that of Farrow's longtime housekeeper who denied statements supporting Allen which she allegedly made in a taped telephone conversation with him in which he discussed the abuse charges.
Marcus said it was the first time in his experience that a mother had taped her child to obtain evidence in an abuse case and he found it 'violated the principles of objective investigation.'
Justice Elliott Wilk asked him if he felt there ever could be an objective investigation in such as case, Marcus replied that it was dubious.
'It lends itself to all kinds of suspicions by the investigators, not the least of which is that the child has a desire to seek approval from the mother doing the video that might taint any future investigation.'
He said in his long experience most reports by children that they had been sexually abused were 'founded.'
'But I don't subscribe to the philosophy that children don't ever lie,' he said. Mavis Smith, the $565-a-week housekeeper called by Allen as a witness in the custody battle with Farrow, his lover for 13 years, turned out to be hostile to him in spite of admitting she thought he was a 'good father.'
Allen's attorney Elkan Abramowitz read a portion of the transcript of the phone tape in which Allen asked Smith if in all the 13 years she had worked for Farrow she had ever seen him do anything sexual with his adopted daughter, Dylan, 7, whom he is alleged to have abused, or his biological son, Satchel, 5.
'Oh, God, no, never!' she was quoted on the tape. 'I'm an honest person. I can't lie against you.'
According to Abramowitz, the tape was made last Aug. 5, the day after abuse charges were lodged against Allen, when he called Smith at her home and asked her to talk with his attorneys, apparently about testifying in his behalf for sole custody of Dylan, Satchel, and an adopted son, Moses, 15.
On the stand, Smith acknowledged the conversation took place, but said it was brief, and that Allen asked her if she would talk with his attorneys.
'I don't know why Mr. Allen is doing this to me,' she said, glancing at Allen in the courtroom. 'I don't know where he got these words. He's looking at me right now. I never said those things.'
'Did you tell Allen you were afraid that if you told the truth you'd lose your job?' asked Abramowitz, after reading a quote from the transcript in which she asked Allen, 'If I give testimony against her, where do I stand? I have no job.'
'No, I never said such a thing,' she replied.
Smith also denied she ever said Farrow, 47, favored her four biological children over her seven adopted ones, that the hired help actually raised the children, that Farrow had temper tantrums, and that she found Farrow attacking her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, 22, after discovering that she was having a love affair with Allen, 56.
'I saw Soon-Yi on the floor of her room, crying, and I took Farrow out of the room,' she testified, but she denied she had seen Farrow strike Soon-Yi.
'Do you think Mr. Allen was a good father?' Abramowitz asked her.
'I think so,' Smith replied.