Brown University professor Ross Cheit, the author of The Witch-Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children, along with licensed clinical social worker Barry Anechiarico will present a lecture on Wednesday, March 4, at 4:15 p.m., in the Taylor Science Center’s Kennedy Auditorium. The lecture, titled “Politics, Psychology and the Sexual Abuse of Children: Dynamic Risk Factors Related to Sex Offending” is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center.

Cheit, a professor of political science and public policy at Brown University, has a Ph.D. and law degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He specializes in ethics and public policy, criminal justice, children and public policy, and the politics of food. His first book, Setting Safety Standards: Regulation in the Public and Private Sectors, was published by the University of California Press.

His latest book, The Witch-Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children, empirically challenges the view that a series of high-profile child abuse cases in the 1980s and early 1990s were hoaxes. Ross Cheit uses trial transcripts and related court documents to demonstrate that many of the cases at the core of the witch-hunt narrative involved compelling evidence of abuse. He focuses on three major cases while also surveying dozens more, including some that involved injustice to the defendants. He finds that in many cases the conventional wisdom is significantly overdrawn.

Anechiarico is executive director at the Counseling and Psychotherapy Center in Needham, Mass. The Counseling & Psychotherapy Center, Inc. (CPC) is an agency comprised of clinicians and criminal justice professionals who operate specialized sex offender management and treatment programs in many locations throughout the United States. They specialize in setting up these services in communities who express a need to reduce risk.

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