Sexual Accusations and Social Turmoil: What Can Be Done

Jules Masserman, Author, Chris Masserman, With, Claire Burch, Introduction by
Jules Masserman, Author, Chris Masserman, With, Claire Burch, Introduction by Regent Press $9.95 (188p) ISBN 978-0-916147-42-6
Hardcover - 188 pages - 978-0-916147-43-3
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In 1984, Masserman, an internationally prominent Chicago psychiatrist, was accused of sexual assault by Barbara Noel, a patient of more than 18 years. According to the Massermans, medical and police investigations proved the allegations false (and in copies of reports included in the appendix Noel admits she might have been dreaming), but the surrounding publicity, say the couple, put them through a decade-long ordeal on legal, professional and social fronts. A 1992 book and subsequent TV film telling Noel's story prompted Masserman, now 89, to tell his own. Masserman discusses the nature of sexual accusations, malpractice suits and recovered memories and proposes juristic reforms, noting the limited avenues of redress for victims of false sexual accusations. Of particular interest is how malpractice insurers use actuarial studies to determine whether to settle or litigate--a client's culpability being secondary to cost efficiency. Masserman's version of events make an interesting read, but the book lacks focus. His later chapters on sexuality don't really connect to the book's main theme--how could such a ``bad'' thing happen to such a ``good'' person? Attorney Barbara W. Stack ler's epilogue offers one insight. Noel, she says, was under Masserman's care for severe psychological problems associated with personal and professional failure. ``Like an Ayn Randian pariah, it occurred to Ms. Noel that the fame and fortune she so desperately sought could be gained vicariously. . . . Why not exploit the celebrity of Jules Masserman?'' Photos not seen by PW. (Aug.)
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