I know Tim is innocent of any wrongdoing with the purported victim. I fear what may happen to him, given today's prevalent hysteria about molest cases. In many ways there are strong parallels to the McCarthy red-baiting era and the Salem Witch Trials. Such charges are easily made, ruining good people's lives and reputations forever, even if the charges are dismissed or the defendant acquitted. So many people now have a "hanging judge mentality."--Louise Flanagan
"Ruining Good Peoples Lives"
On August 11, 1988 Lee Baxandall, president of The Naturist Society wrote a letter to Tim Wilcox asking that he send "all relevant information about [his] arrest and any possible evidence that may support or not support it."
Wilcox did not reply, but Louise Flanagan did.
Parading titles and affiliations Flanagan worked to discredit the victim and her family. She called the victims allegations "preposterous."
That the letter printed below was written after Flanagan had been informed about Wilcox's multiple convictions is reprehensible; that Flanagan failed to inform Baxandall and others is irresponsible and deceitful.
In a 1989 phone conversation Flanagan told me that she "stands behind every word" she said in Wilcox's behalf in the letter printed below. I don't know what she feels about it now. She refuses to speak to me. I did hear, however, that after she saw the ICONoclast she got herself a good therapist.
Louise Flanagan is still involved in leadership at Sequoians Nudist Park
- - Nikki Craft
Dear Mr. Baxandall:
This regards your August letter to Tim Wilcox asking that he explain the details of his arrest to you.
Let me introduce myself in case you are unfamiliar with me. Besides being Tim's close friend, I am a member of Sequoians Family Nudist Park in Castro Valley, CA, and am the Vice President of that Corporation, a post I have held since 1985; since 1976, I also served as Rules Director, Vice President, Grievance Committee Member, Grievance Committee Chair, and Editor of the club newsletter, having joined in 1975 with my husband, Bob. Bob has served as President, Grounds Director, and Grievance Committee Member.
I am also a WSA [Western Sunbathing Association] Director, as of July 3lst; I was on the WSA Northern California PR Team since 1986. I have done PR for the movement for many years, and was instrumental in arranging the "People Are Talking" show taped at Lupin Naturist Club last May. My articles have appeared in a variety of nudist publications, and I have received honor awards from my club, the WSA, and the ASA, for my work. The lifestyle is very important to me, and I do everything I can to take our message to the public and to ensure nudism's internal health, as well. My husband and I also both belong to the Naturist Society, although only Bob has attended summer gatherings.
I am writing to you to answer your stated and implicit concerns, to the degree possible. I say "to the degree possible," because Tim's counsel has instructed him not to discuss the details of his case [all underlining indicates Flanagan's emphasis] with anyone, as this can jeopardize his defense; as a close friend and supporter, I am cooperating with the mandate. Tim has not asked me to write this, I do so as a concerned nudist.
Tim was arrested in June, charged with molesting a girl and released on bail. The alleged molests consisted of Tim's hugging the girl and touching her chest, thigh and back while nude in a public area at our club on two occasions several years apart.
The girl in question is the daughter of a nudist family with whom Tim was friendly. The girl, a troubled child, is notorious as a frequent runway (as is her older sister). The whole family has a lot of problems, including physical abuse of various family members, emotional problems requiring multiple psychiatric hospitalizations, etc. Indeed, the girl now lives in a home for runaways.
I have read the police reports filed in this case. Without divulging details, let me say that, given my knowledge of our club, Tim, the family, nudism, etc., countless things in the girl's account make her allegations preposterous, and therefore make them likely to fail in court.
Contrasting the girl's situation with Tim's shows that it is more likely that he is the victim of her acting out some hurt or anger than that she was his victim.
l. No Sequoians guest or member has ever complained to a club officer (or to any other member of which I am aware) about Tim's behavior with children. This includes photographic as well as general behavior. As a senior club officer, I scrutinized his behavior closely, especially in his early time with us, since he is, after all, a single male photographer, and we are always alert to pedophiles in our midst. He did not ring any of the internal mental warning bells with me or others, as have some others who are no longer with us.
2. In and of itself, our accepting Tim as a photographer is amazing, since in years before Tim's arrival, our members were very camera shy and even hostile to cameras on the grounds. About the time Tim arrived, a camera club was formed and more relaxed camera rules were drafted, with no problems. Our members often seek Tim out to be photographed by him, and have much pride in seeing fellow members' photographs in nudist publications. Many members have beautiful photographs Tim has given them.
3. Tim's interaction with children is friendly, but he gives far more time and attention to adults. He does not seek children out. His behavior with teens and preteen girls has been exemplary. One time sticks out in my mind, when a pretty, well-developed l3 year old flirted outrageously with Tim and another man at a club function. Tim reacted by taking the girl aside and telling her of the danger of coming on to men the way she was.
4. Tim and I have had a multifaceted relationship, starting in the summer of 1985 when he visited as an ASA affiliate and worked on some club activities, like typing the newsletter. He has been on my club PR Team from 1985 to the present. He has been our club photographer during that same time. We worked on the WSA Northern California PR Team under Basil Hugueley and Ron Quinn. He has high energy and good ideas on how to reach more of the right people. Tim devotes long hours to the many nudist and naturist groups to which he belongs, doing whatever is needed, photography, newsletters, installing PA systems, stuffing envelopes, distributing flyers, data base maintenance, etc. He has also been a good friend to me and my family.
5. For about two years, through July, 1988, when he broke up with me to pursue another relationship, Tim and I were lovers, and spent large periods of time together, with my family and alone. We shared confidences about our lives, our innermost thoughts, hopes and disappointments. Occasionally Tim spoke of the purported victim and her family. He never showed anything for her except compassion for what he saw as her terrible living situation and low self esteem, and frustration that it would ruin her life. We discussed many things about our sexual selves, and Tim never showed any sexual interest in this girl or any other. His main interest in children was in their photographic potential, especially their faces, untroubled and innocent, and evocative of the nudist childhood which so few of us were lucky enough to enjoy.
6. For part of that time, we lived together at his place, while I sorted out my life. I had access to all his photos, and phone messages, and mail, and met most of his friends, and saw nothing to indicate an inappropriate interest in this girl or any other.
7. We travelled widely together, especially last summer, when Tim got this great idea of covering both the WSA and ASA Conventions together, he as a photographer, I as a writer. Everywhere we went, I have met the most marvelous people, like Walt China, Irene Shannon, Dave and Suzy Davis, and Tom Kelley, Julie Bagby who know Tim personally, or through his work, or via correspondence. I found Tim to be well liked and respected by these and so many others in the movement. Many speak of how gentle and generous he is with time and support, and of what a steadfast, caring friend he is. Of course, we both know about the insanity that prevails at the ASA Convention [Willam], Lee, and Tim was blameless in his behavior, I was there.
8. Tim is the the most emotionally nurturing, supportive man I have ever known, and in the time I have known him, has never shown malicious feelings or behavior, even when mistreated by others.
I know Tim is innocent of any wrongdoing with the purported victim. I fear what may happen to him, given today's prevalent hysteria about molest cases. In many ways there are strong parallels to the McCarthy red-baiting era and the Salem Witch Trials. Such charges are easily made, ruining good people's lives and reputations forever, even if the charges are dismissed or the defendant acquitted. So many people now have a "hanging judge mentality."
Tim, who has given so much to all of us, stands falsely accused. Since he works, he is not poor enough for a public defender. Since Tim has no assets, he can't afford to hire an attorney, so he would have to have the court appoint one. Either way Tim would be unlikely to be well represented. His elderly parents are in poor health, own their own home, but live on a fixed income, so they can only give limited financial help for his defense. The bottom line here, Lee, is that my family and I have promised Tim and his folks that we will help them finance his defense by a good firm. Even though Tim has ended our relationship, I still feel so strongly about his innocence that I will sacrifice my finances to keep this just man out of prison (and I am not rich.)
Tim doesn't deserve our suspicion, he deserves our support. This whole thing has been devastating for him, and getting your letter depressed him even more than he was already. He loves nudists and nudism, and wants to continue in it. Lee, please give Tim a chance to prove his innocence. Wait for the dismissal or acquittal that must come. If it doesn't, for some reason, then you would be within your rights to expel him. It isn't like he is some unknown person skulking in our midst. There but for the grace of God go you or I.
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