Alicia Wade was a 8-year-old girl living in San Diego County, California, when raped by a stranger entering her bedroom through a window. There had been multiple other similar rape cases in the neighborhood by child sex offender Albert Raymond Carder who was later convicted of them.. Despite this and the many similarities between those cases and Alicia's, San Diego CPS and County Counsel Elizabeth Jane Via, who as Deputy DA had prosecuted Carder, decided to pursue Alicia's father, James Wade.
DA handling of the case
CPS proceeded to put Alicia through over a year of psychotherapy by Kathleen Goodfriend, designed to force her to incriminate her father. After more than a year of continuing to insist the stranger she described in detail raped her, the questionable psychological techniques used by the therapy eventually led her to incriminate her father in late June 1990. In December 1990, James Wade was then arrested and charged with the rape of his own daughter.
In the meantime, CPS had removed Alicia from her mother Denise Wade's custody, stating that since Denise did not believe the allegations against husband James Wade, she must be unfit as a mother. CPS would not allow Alicia to be placed with anybody who knew her, and instead placed her into foster care with a family who later wanted to adopt her. CPS later raced to finalize the adoption before the results of a DNA test could become available. The test turned out to indicate that James Wade was not among the 5% of the population whose DNA matched the semen stains on his daughter's underwear.
It took two and a half years for the Wades to be reunited with their daughter. The funds required to defend against the false prosecution financially ruined the Wade family and their parents. The County Counsel prosecutor in the case, Elizabeth Jane Via, knew about the serial child rapist Albert Raymond Carder as she had prosecuted him earlier for child rape cases in the area before charging James Wade with rape. Elizabeth Jane Via claimed in a juvenile court hearing "I was the DA on that case. There are no similarities to this, it's a waste of time to even consider it." More accurate DNA testing done in December 1992 confirmed that the semen stains on Alicia's underwear had a 100% match with the DNA of Albert Raymond Carder.
The San Diego County Grand Jury later found Via's actions incomprehensible and recommended that the state investigate her for possible conflict of interest and ethics violations. Via remains employed by the District Attorney office as a lawyer.
The San Diego County Grand Jury investigated this case and several others and issued a report highly critical of the actions of CPS and the DA and demanding changes to their practices to stop government abuse of families..
In 1992, James Wade filed law suits in San Diego Superior Court against the government agencies and parties that harmed his family. These include a suit against therapist Kathleen Goodfriend in case SDSC 648007, against the County of San Diego in case SDSC 653018, and against the State of California in case SDSC 650641.
In 1993, the Civil Service Employees Insurance Corporation in turn sued nearly everybody involved in this case, including the County of San Diego, Elizabeth Jane Via, the Wade family, and many others, in San Diego Superior Court case SDSC 661532.
Law suits were settled for $3.7 million to the Wade family. Goodfriend was held liable for $1 million. Kathleen Goodfriend surrendered her license to practice on April 15, 1996, as a result of her abuse of the Wade family.
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