Statement of Ileana Flores Regarding Florida vs. Fuster

State of Florida vs. Francisco Fuster
In the 11th Judicial Circuit, in and for Dade County, Florida
Case No. 84-19728
Ileana Flores — Being of lawful age, and being first duly sworn by German E. Leitzelar Vidaurreta to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, in her answers to the questions to be to her propounded, testified on her oath as follows:
Examination by Mr. Cohen:
Q. Okay. My name is Arthur Cohen, and I'm an attorney from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We're here in the Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Today is October 15th, 1994, and the time is approximately 12:25 P.M., Honduras time. I'm here with a young woman by the name of Ileana Flores.

Ileana, do you understand that I'm here to take a statement under oath from you today?

A. Yes.
Q. And do you understand that it's being taken down by a court reporter that I've brought with me from the United States?
A. Yes.
Q. And do you understand that I've also got a cassette tape recorder on the table here that is presently in the on position? And —
A. Yes.
Q. Okay. Now, has anyone forced you to be here today?
A. No.
Q. Has anyone threatened you in any way or promised you anything in regards to meeting with me here today?
A. No. Nobody has.
Q. Okay. And are you here on your own free will?
A. Yes, I am.
Q. Okay. All right. For the record, please, please state your name and where you live. And spell your last name, please.
A. My name is Ileana Flores, F-L-O-R-E-S. And I live here in Tegucigalpa.
Q. How long have you resided here?
A. For the last five years.
Q. Okay. And are you presently employed?
A. No, I'm not.
Q. Okay. What do you do?
A. I go to school.
Q. And where do you go to school?
A. To the National University.
Q. And what are you studying there?
A. Business administration.
Q. Now, are you the same individual who was charged in Dade County, Florida in Case Number 84-19728 under the name of Ileana Fuster?
A. Yes.
Q. And with reference to that case who was your attorney?
A. Michael Von Zamft.
Q. And did he represent you throughout the entire proceedings?
A. Yes, he did.

Did you hire him yourself?

A. No.
Q. Who hired him?
A. The court appointed him.
Q. Okay. Now, with reference to that ease did there come a point in time that you entered a plea to the charges?
A. Yes.
Q. And do you recall what you pled to?
A. Yes. Guilty.
Q. Do you recall what charges you pled to?

Okay. Do you recall — let's — let me ask you this: Do you recall being sentenced on the case?

A. Yes.
Q. Okay. And what was your sentence?
A. Ten years and a ten year probation.
Q. All right. And when-do you recall the date of your sentencing?
A. Not the date exactly, but 1986.
Q. And when, if you recall, were you arrested on the charges?
A. On August 24th of '84.
Q. And when you were taken into custody where were you taken?
A. Into the Women's Detention Center in Miami.
Q. Dade County, Florida?
A. Dade County, Florida.
Q. You have something you want to ask me?
A. No, no.1 just —
Q. Okay.

Just — just off the record. Not since — (Thereupon, a discussion was held off the record and German E. Leitzelar Vidaurreta left the room, after which the following proceedings were had:)

Mr. Cohen: Okay. We're back on the record.

By Mr. Cohen:


Ileana, we were discussing your arrest, and you told me you were arrested in — August 24th of 1984. Do you recall where exactly you were when you were arrested?

A. No. I turned myself in.
Q. Okay. How old were you at the time?
A. 17.
Q. And were you told of the charges that you were being accused of when you were arrested?
A. Yes.
Q. Okay. Do you recall what those charges were?
A. Not all of them.
Q. To the best of your recollection.
A. Child abuse.
Q. And you were then appointed an attorney, Mr. Von Zamft, at some point in time. Correct?
A. Right.
Q. All right. What I want to do, Ileana, is I want to try and avoid asking you a lot of specific questions. I just want to have you tell what happened, you know, once you were incarcerated in the Dade County jail system.

And where I'd like to start is, when you were first incarcerated would anyone come to see you? Let's — let's start there. Did anyone come to see you?

A. The first days?
Q. Yeah. The first days, weeks.
A. Yes. Von Zamft came to see me. I remember an investigator coming to see me.
Q. Do you remember his name?
A. Yeah. Just Mr. Dinerstein.

And do you know who Mr. Dinerstein worked for?

A. For Mr. Von Zamft.
Q. Do you recall any discussions with Mr. Dinerstein?
A. Yeah. He came to see me a couple of times.
Q. And what —
A. — in the beginning.
Q. What did you talk about?
A. I really don't remember exactly what I told him.
Q. How long were you incarcerated in Dade County jail?
A. Approximately almost two years.
Q. And were you in the — what would be called open population?
A. No. I was in solitary confinement at all times.
Q. From the day you were arrested until the day you were sentenced to prison?


Q. And when you say solitary confinement, explain that a little bit to me.
A. Just being in a room by myself.
Q. Do you recall — well, let's talk about what were your conditions when you were in the room by yourself, that you can recall?
A. Well, I — just the bed, the toilet and sink and the door. It was very small.
Q. What about clothing? Did you wear street clothes?
A. No, I had my clothes on, but people that were in those cells, some of them have no clothes on because they were suicidals or they had problems.
The Court Reporter: Because they were what?
The Witness: Suicidals. I mean — yeah.
By Mr. Cohen:

When was the, if you recall — well, let me ask you this: What happened for the next following months that you can remember while you were incarcerated?

A. Well, I think — I can hardly remember anything. I remember half of the time I was there. I know that they gave me medications.
Q. Okay. When you say they, who's they?
A. The nurse.

All right. Do you know what kind of medications they gave you?

A. No.1 have no idea, but they would help me rest, they said, because I wasn't eating properly and I needed to sleep and I — I wasn't sleeping properly.
Q. And this medication helped you to sleep?
A. Yes.
Q. How long did you take that medication for, do you remember?
A. No, I don't remember.
Q. Would it have been —
A. But most of the time I was there.
Q. Okay. So for a good portion of your incarceration —
A. Yes.
Q. — in the Dade County jail you were under medication?
A. Under medication, yeah.

Okay. When was the first time that you can recall that anyone visited you from the State Attorney's Office, or a representative of the State Attorney's Office?

A. I have no idea when the time was, but I have investigators coming in from the — from the state.
Q.  Would this have been closer to the time when you entered your plea or way before it? Do you recall that?

No. At the beginning there was a long period of time that nobody visit me but Von Zamft and sometimes — you know, not all the time. I didn't know what was really going on with the case. But he'll come or he'll ask me if I have something to say or if I remember anything. And I —

Q. Did you?

No. You know, I always say that I have nothing to say, that I was innocent. And I had nothing to say about the charges that I — that I was charged with. And then I remember that it came a time where the trial date was nearby, and Von Zamft told me that the trial date was coming, and I still have nothing to say.

Q. That would have been approximately September of 1985?
A. Yes.
Q. All right. Continue.

And he said that I needed to remember something or that I must have something to say. And I kept telling him no. And then he thought that I had problems and that I should be seen by a psychologist. And then two psychologists started seeing me.

Q. What were their names?

Michael Rappaport and Merry Haber. So they came in, I met them, and they were very nice. And so they asked me the same questions that my attorney had asked me all that time.

And I kept telling him no, you know, that I have nothing to say. I had told him no, too.

Then they explained to me that I was — I was having problems and that they were there to help me. So they started therapy or treatment with me.

Q. What did they tell you they were going to be doing with you?
A. Well, they told me that after talking to me they — they diagnos — diagnosticated (sic) or — that I was having a blackout of events.
Q. Did they come to visit you often?
A. Oh, yes. Hm-hmm. They started coming almost every day. And then I started seeing them at nights.
Q. This is what I want to talk about. And I want to see if you can get in as much detail as possible.

Tell me what would happen when they came to visit you on a session.


Well, we will meet usually in these little booths that they were downstairs. And we will start talking about the beginning, you know, about — I used to talk a lot about my childhood with them, and — but since, you know, those were good memories, I have good memories about my childhood, I always have a nice life, you know. And I talked a lot about my school and my friends. And that's where we started.

And then we got to the point about Frank which, you know, that was a bad experience I had. And so I was able to talk about that.

Q. Now when they would talk to you do you recall what time of day it would be?
A. No. I can — you know, I just remember being awakened and taken out because my psychologists were there.
Q. You said awakened?
A. Awakened.
Q. Awakened from sleep?
A. From sleep, yeah. And —
Q. Who — who would he present at these sessions other than —
A. Nobody. Just them two.
Q. Just Drs. Rappaport and Haber?
A. And Haber, yeah.
Q. Was — do you recall if anyone had a tape recorder during these sessions?

I remember tape recorders, but I don't know if it was in those sessions or with the lawyers or with DA's office. I don't know. But maybe they had one. More than likely probably they had one.

Q. Now, when they had these sessions with you, you said you went to a little booth?
A. Yeah. I remember going sometimes to those little booths.
Q. What about other times, where would you be?
A. I don't remember.
Q. All right.

Because you have to understand that, you know, this was approximately ten years ago. And I hardly remember those times because I was — I don't know. I was very confused and I was very tired.

And so after we started talking about my you know, my past and how — I guess I talked a lot about that so they get to know me, what type of person I was. But then we started talking about the time being in the house in Country Walk, you know, how was it.

And I told them I had nothing to say because I had — you know, and they told me that there must be because the kids were saying this story and that story and that story and, you know. And I kept denying it to them because I had no memory. I couldn't recall none of those stories. And I couldn't recall nothing like that happening.

Q. Now at that time did you believe — did you believe at that time that the truth was that nothing happened at the house?

Yes. Yes. Hm-hmm. I — you know, I — because I kept saying that I was innocent, but nobody would listen to me.

And they said that I was suffering from a blackout, and that those things had happened because the kids said it, and the kids don't lie. And they said that it happened, so it must have happened. So —

Q. And you were —

They told me — then after they be telling me these stories that the kids were saying about games and stuff happening in the house, I remember going back to my cell, and then I would have nightmares about the same things they would tell me, you know.

And I would listen to the same things two days, three days, and nights, anytime during the day, on weekends, you know. Some of the times I did not even know if it was nighttime or daytime.

Q. And they would come back and talk to you about these things?

Right. And, you know, before I know it I was having nightmares. And that's when the treatment started they said. Because, you know, I was so afraid, the next day I went down and talked to them and tell them that the same things we talked about that they said the kids said, that I was having nightmares about them.

And they said that that was a way of my system remembering what had — what had actually happened.

And then, you know, I argued that a little bit, but I got to a point that I was believing that — that probably those things happened and I just didn't remember because they were so shocking that I — my sane mind protect — you know, as a protection I was — I was forgetting about them or putting them in the back of my head. And —

Q. Were there at any times ever any threats like if — that were made to you by the doctors?
A. No. They would just tell me constantly that I would spend the rest of my life in jail, that I would grow old as an old lady in jail. And I was only 17. And they would remind me how it was to be a high school student and to be in jail or what my friends would be doing.
Q. The doctors talked to you about this?
A. Yes. And that I had to remember.
Q. Can you recall approximately how long these sessions went on for?
A. No.
Q. Days? Weeks? A couple of weeks?
A. Oh, they went on for days. I remember that they were long. And — you know, and I thought they were helping me.
Q. After you would be done with a session what would — where would you go then?
A. Back to my cell. And some days, you know, I also remember they would take me out of my cell.
Q. Who's they?

Investigators would take me out of the cell at night and we'd go to restaurants. I recall twice.

Q. Where were the investigators from, do you know?
A. From the state.
Q. How do you know that?

Because I saw them in court a couple of times, and because they told me they worked with Mr. Hogan.


Can you — I know it's ten years later but can you recall what one or either of them may have looked like?


No. I don't remember their names. maybe if I look at a picture, yeah, I would remember their faces, who they were.


Do you recall — well, how many times that you can remember did they take out of your jail cell into a restaurant?

A. I remember at least twice.
Q. Do you recall the restaurant you went to?
A. No, no, because it was at night. I just remember being taken out and going to nice restaurants and eat Spanish food. I remember that.
Q. It was just you and the investigators?
A. Right. And they would just tell me, you know, isn't the restaurant nice, I mean don't you miss being out here in a restaurant, stuff like that.

And — but I be quiet all the time. I was very quiet.

Q. So that's about all they talked to you about?
A. Yeah. They never talked about anything else.
Q. Then what would happen after dinner?
A. They would take me back to the cell.
Q. And you recall that —
A. Yeah.
Q. — about two times?
A. Right. And so I thought they were being nice to me.
Q. Now, during the course of your incarceration you had some contact with Frank. Is that correct?
A. Yes.
Q. And how did you do that?
A. Oh, in the beginning, that was in the very beginning. I don't remember how, but there was a process with the jails that two persons that were married could see each other and talk to each other for a certain amount of time.
Q. And you took advantage of that?
A. Yes. Hm-hmm. We communicated in the beginning.
Q. Do you recall how long you continued to communicate on — with each other?
A. No. Just the beginning.
Q. Do you recall when it ended?
A. When I started seeing the psychologists.
Q. Why was that? Why did it stop then?

I don't know. I was being afraid of Frank, so — in the beginning he — you know, he's the one that wanted to be in touch with me. And I feel he wanted to have control of the situation. Or maybe he knew back then I was so young, you know, and he — you know, he just wanted to be in touch, you know, kept in touch.

And I didn't mind. But then I — the time I was seeing the psychologist, you know, I started talking about how my life was really with Frank and why I was in that situation. So I started feeling remorse, you know, because it was his fault that I was in that situation.

Q. Did they talk to you, the psychologists talk to you about Frank?
A. Yeah.

Now what I want to do is — it might be a little easier for you this way. I'm going to go, I'm going to give you a name of an individual and then I'm going to want you to tell me what you can recall about this particular individual as it relates to this case. And whatever you want to say.

Your attorney, Michael Von Zamft. What can you tell me about Michael?

A. He — I mean he was nice. He came to see me. He said he was working very hard on the case. And then he said that the cases should be separated. I mean the —
Q. Severed, is that the word?
A. What?
Q. Severed.
A. I mean the two persons —
Q. Severed. Yeah.

Yeah, they should be separate, because there was too much evidence against us. And there were a lot of evidence against Frank. And all those evidence were going to hit me because it was only one case.

And so I got very afraid. He told me that the state was going to win the case, and that it was necessary for me to remember everything and say it. But I have nothing to remember at the time. So he said he was going to get me psychologists to help me remember. And, you know, I kept telling him that there — that there was nothing I could remember.

Q. And when you talked did you tell him there was nothing you could remember because that's what you believed the truth to be?
A. Right. Hm-hmm. Right. And but then he said that it was my decision, you know, but that to, take in consideration I was going to spend the rest of my life in jail. And, you know, I was very afraid. I was very scared at the time.
Q. What about when you entered your plea, what type — did you have any discussions with Mr. Von Zamft about that?
A. Yes. He told me about the plea and told me, you know, what to do.
Q. What did he tell you the plea was?
A. Because I was innocent. No, he said — he didn't say that there was a plea, they were going to give me so many years or nothing like that.
Q. I see.

He said that they didn't promise anything, but to be lenient. But still, I — you know, I felt very — I felt hesitant because I told him that I was innocent and I couldn't plead guilty to charges I didn't felt guilty about.

And he said that no, that those things happened, you know, and that Frank was guilty and I was guilty.

And I said no, I'm not. And then he will get mad and I won't hear from him for two days, three days. So I would get afraid because I feel like — like I felt very lonely then, you know, alone — not lonely, that's not the word, but alone. You know, alone at night. I didn't know what was going to happen.

So I felt the doctors were helping. I felt the doctors were helping when they started seeing me because I started remembering things.

Q. You felt that they were helping you?
A. Yeah, because I was starting to remember all those things that the kids were saying. I was having bad dreams about them.
Q. Anything else about Michael Von Zamft?
A. I mean I hardly seen him. I saw him — I didn't see him much.
Q. What about after your conviction and after you went to prison, did you ever have any further contact with Mr. Von Zamft?
A. No.
Q. Any letters, any telephone calls?
A. I don't remember.
Q. What about recently?
A. Recently?
Q. In the last few years.
A. Yes, about a year ago.
Q. Okay. What was that about?

I talked to him over the phone. About a year ago, you know, I found out through my mother that there was this group of people that has been investigating the case, and those people wanted to talk to me.

So I talked to one person, and I was — I was — you know, I was told about all this new evidence and all these things that really had happened ten years ago. And, you know, all these things were answering actually a lot of the questions that I have had all these years.

And so I was very confused and I called Mr. Von Zamft and, you know, I was — you know, I was telling him that is it true that this happened, you know, is it true that you did this or you did that, you know, or the doctors, is it true that they — they were playing with my mind.

So I was confused because all these years, you know, as the years go by, I have — I still have no memory of what I testified then — I mean about. Eight years ago, I have no — no memories of it. And the nightmares are fading to a point that even today I don't have nightmares about that.

Q. When you had this conversation with Mr. Von Zamft did he say anything else to you?
A. No. He just said that I should not listen to anybody, and that he forbid me to talk to anybody about this case at all, and that he was my attorney.
Q. Is Mr. Von Zamft your attorney?
A. No, he's not. I didn't want to — I didn't want to keep talking about the same thing over the phone then because I felt that I had no case with him. You know, if he felt like that I thought I'm going to forget about this and I'm going to keep leading my life. So — but then I thought that, you know, he was wrong, he's not my attorney anymore, and I just didn't know what to do.
Mr. Cohen: All right. I'm going to stop the tape because it's getting towards the end and I'm going to flip it over.

(Thereupon, the tape was flipped over, no conversations were had off the record, and the following proceedings were had:)

By Mr. Cohen:
Q. Okay. We're back on the record. All right. The next person is Shirley Blando. What do you recall about Shirley Blando?
A. She was a chaplain at the jail. I recall she was very nice to me, and she helped me through the time I was there. That's all I have to say about her. She's — she's been — she's been nice to me all this time.
Q. What about Jeffrey Samek, Frank's attorney, did you ever meet him?
A. Yes. I met him at the beginning of the case. And he was Frank's attorney. At the beginning I think he represented both of us, something like that. But then I never saw him again.
Q. Okay. Do you recall the deposition that he took from you?
A. Yes.

All right. Let's talk about that deposition a little bit. The deposition I believe was over a couple day period. It was back in September of 1985, more specifically September 12th and then September 18th, 1 believe.

Do you recall anything today about your deposition?

A. No.
Q. All right. Do you recall who was present at your deposition?
A. No. I don't remember.
Q. Do you recall where your deposition was taken?
A. I remember — I think it was in the court building, some-where in there, because I was taken out of the jail.
Q. Do you recall who was in the room when your deposition was given?
A. No. I just — I can't remember. I don't want to say that a person was there. I don't remember.
Q. Okay.
A. I think my lawyer was there.
Q. Right. Was Mr. Samek there?
A. Yeah, Mr. Samek was there.
Q. Anyone from the prosecutor's office?
A. I don't remember. I think somebody was there from the prosecutor's office. I don't know if it was Mr. Hogan or — I have no — I mean I don't remember.

All right. So other than — other than your attorney and

A. And Mr. Samek.
Q. — Mr. Samek you don't remember who else was in the room?
A. No, I don't remember.
Q. Do you remember — so other than that you don't remember anything else about the deposition?
A. No. But I know they were long and they made all kinds of questions. I was prepared for them.
Q. Who prepared you?
A. My lawyer.
Q. Any one else or just your lawyer?
A. My lawyer, and I think I talked to the — someone from the state —
Q. Do you recall who?

— about it. I don't remember if it was Mr. Hogan. And I remember Janet Reno coming in a couple of times, too, to see me.

Q. Let's talk about that for a little bit. When you say Janet Reno came to visit you a couple times, where did she visit you?
A. At the jail.
Q. And do you recall when in point of time that would have been?
A. No.
Q. Closer to trial? Further away from trial?
A. Close to the trial.
Q. Okay.
A. Close to the trial she visit me.
Q. And you said she came to visit you twice. Is that what you recall?

No. It was more than two times. I don't exactly know how many times but — you know, but it was more. She'd come in, and all I remember is that — even now I have the feeling that she's a very intelligent lady. And she was very nice to me and she told me she wanted to help me, and that something real bad had happened to me and it was her duty to make sure that justice was done and —

Q. Is this what her conversation would consist of —
A. Right.
Q. — when she came to see you?

Yeah. And she told me that those things had happened, that that's what the psychologists said, and that I had to accept it.

Q. And you recall that conversation?
A. Yeah.
Q. Okay. As far as — do you recall when you gave your deposition a question was asked of you regarding how many times Janet Reno came to visit you?
A. Yes.
Q. Do you recall being asked that question?
A. Yes.
Q. And do you recall what your response was?
A. I said that she came to see me. And then I talked to the state again and my lawyer, and they told me I should have not said that she came to see me, but now I have to say it because I had said it before.
Q. When did they tell you this?

I don't remember, but it was in between the-in the deposition.


So you took a break, is that — or something happened like that, or you don't recall?


I don't remember the procedures or sometimes I did not know if I was in record or not because — you know, it's not like right now I know exactly what's going on. And back then everybody told me what to do or when to talk, when not to talk. And I was afraid.

Q. So someone from — during your deposition, what you just stated is that —
A. Yeah, they stopped.
Q. — someone — they stopped, and then someone told you, you know, to go back in there and say something else?
A. Yeah. I had to fix that.
Q. You had to fix it. Okay. So that would be —
A. So they told me —

Because I've read your deposition, and in your deposition it reflects that you came back in and said that you wanted to correct a statement that you had made regarding how many times Janet Reno visited you.

A. Right.
Q. So is that what you're talking about?
A. Yes.
Q. Okay.
A. That's when it happened.

What about — again, I've read the deposition, and it seems according to the record in the deposition that Dr. Rappaport was there also. Do you recall that?

A. But they were with me at all times, so he must have been there during the depos and in court. He must have been there, but —
Q. Did they ever tell you why he was going to be there with you?
A. Oh, because he said he had to give me strength, or that I — this I remember, that the reason why was so that I could pretend I was talking to him.
Q. Okay.
A. Because I was afraid of the attorneys and the courts.
Q. Before we were talking about Janet Reno. Is there, other than what you've told me, anything else that you can recall about your relationship with her, anything else that happened?
A. No. That's all I remember, that she visit me and —

When she visited you, would — do you recall if she was alone or with someone else?

A. I don't remember. I just remember her visiting me and we'd talk. And — but most of the time I was quiet. She would do all the talking.

All right. Now I want to get back again to these — the sessions that you had, because the next names on my list here are Dr. Rappaport and Dr. Haber.

Do you recall if — when they would start these sessions what would they say to you? Do you recall what they would say?


No. I can hardly remember. This has been so long. You know, I remember just that I will calm down, and I just wanted to get it over with because, you know, they told me this happened, this happened, this happened. And I will break down and say no, no, no, it didn't happen. And then they would tell me that yes, I have to accept it, I have to confront it. So they were long sessions and tiring. I just remember that that was the procedure.

And I would go to bed, and I don't know why, but I would dream about the same things the kids were saying and the same things they were telling me.

So I came back, and the first question was so what did you dream about last night, did you have any bad dreams or did you not. If I had bad dreams I had to tell them about my bad dreams in detail. And they did tell me, you see, you remembering.

And then I say no, it cannot be because I have b— I still have no memory, I just have bad dreams.

And they say that that was the way of me remembering. So it was shocking, you know, and-up to today, you know, I've been confused, you know, did that really happen or not, because I have no memories of it.


Did they — do you recall them teaching you in any way how to remember things? Did they give you any instructions on what to do?


No. Just that during the sessions they would repeat the — they said that — they would tell me that — I think the state or Von Zamft, I don't know who, would give them the information about what the kids were saying, and they would tell me what the kids were saying and they would ask me about it.

And I'd go back to bed. And then I remember having bad dreams about it. They told me that that was a technique of remembering bad things.

Q. Did they ever tell you to relax?

Yeah. When I — when I went to the sessions and I had — they told me I had to feel clear, I had to clear my mind about anything else that was happening. I had to forget that I was in jail, and I had to think that I was back in the house. And then I —

Q. Were you able to see those thoughts once they start to —

Yeah. I can actually be in the house. I mean I could go to any room. I can — they would tell me just, you know, close your eyes and think you are walking into the room.

And I had to give them details of the room first, where the bed was, where the lamps were, whatever I could remember. And then I have to visualize the events, what the kids were saying, and visualize my dreams.

And I had to tell them, you know, if it was something in the kitchen, I had to think about the kitchen, how the kitchen was. And I have to picture myself in there. And then I have to tell them about my nightmare that I had in the kitchen.

And then I had nightmares about the living room, I had nightmares about the main room, and I had to do the same thing.

Q. Now when that would happen and you like woke up from these nightmares, if you can recall them, did you believe it was true?
A. Yes, because I was in there. You know, the same things I was dreaming, I was in there. I could actually feel I was in there. I remember the walls, and then I'd remember Frank, too.
Q. Do you recall if during these sessions that anyone took any notes?
A. Yeah, they took notes.
Q. Drs. Haber and Rappaport took notes?

Yeah, they took notes. And they said that I was remembering, and then after remembering I was going to feel better. And that I needed to help the children, and the only way to help them is remembering and backing their word up. I have to back up their word.

Q. Do you want to take a break, Ileana?
A. No.
Q. Do you want a tissue?
A. That's all right.
Q. Okay. Now, do you recall how — I know you indicated before that there were a lot of sessions. Can you recall how long a session would last approximately?

No. I just remember they were long, or until I remember.

And when I came back with nightmares that I have had the night before, we had to go through the nightmare again. I had to tell it and I had to transport myself into the house again. And once that was over, then we'd take a break into the next day.

And then the next day I had nothing to say. And then they'd tell me something else that the kids said, and I have no memories, and I tell them I don't remember, I don't remember. So they said that then it was time for me to go and rest. And I had to think at night before going to bed, I had to think and try to remember real hard. And I just had to clear my head again and then rest, and that everything was going to come up, because it was a defense that I had. My own mind was defending me from the memories. So that's what I used to do for that whole period.

Q. Did there — did there come a time during these sessions that you believed or came to believe that you, you know, and/or Frank had sexually abused any of the children?

I — after — how can I explain you? After talking to the psychologists and after having the bad dreams, I came to a point that those things really had happened because they convinced me that I was remembering everything through my dreams, and I came to realize that maybe those things happened.

But one thing that I always argued with them is how come I didn't have memory of it. I mean — and they told me that with time I will know it.

But, you know, it's like when you know you did something, you broke something, but you know you did it, you know, even if you — if you tell your mom, no, I didn't do it, but you know you did it.

And I didn't have that feeling. You know, it was just — it was just something that had happened that it was true, but I didn't know about it because of this blackout that they said I had.

Q. Let me ask you this question, see if you can answer this. If you now believe that your prior belief is untrue, what you just told me about, why have you changed your mind now?

Well, I came back to Honduras, and like I say my nightmares are fading, and I still don't remember none of those things happening. But I decided to — I mean what can I do about it? You know. And those things probably happened, and that's what I've been believing all those years, those things probably happened, but I still don't remember, you know.

And — but ten years have gone by, and I still don't remember. And so I decided just to keep living my life, you know, and try to forget that that ever happened to me and better myself.

Until about a year ago, like I said, I didn't know that someone was researching and worrying about, even listening — listening to me. And I thought they had forgot about me or anything. And then you guys came up with this proofs with these things that might have happened, and to a lot of answers to my questions. So now I'm back into that stage, you know.

Q. You feel that some of your questions are beginning to be answered now?
A. Right. You know, that never happened. But I have nightmares about it, but that never happened because I never did anything.
Q. When you say you never did anything, you never did anything regarding what you were accused of or convicted of?

Yeah, right. And I never saw anything happening, either.

So those bad dreams, you know, that's one question now I hope that somebody can answer to me.

But when you — but when we talked about a year ago and you told me about how I was feeling and probably this had happened, or you told me about this doctor that believes that this and that and, you know, about — described me, described me practically just from reading my deposition and reading about me, and it was incredible. I felt like this person knew me. And I have never talked to anybody about this case.

Q. Making reference to Dr. Ofshe?
A. Yes. Hm-hmm. I never talked to anybody about this case, not even my own family, you know. The only person that I talked to about it was Dr. Rappaport and Dr. Haber and the court, you know, when I testified. And after that, I never talked to anybody about it or testifying because I don't like to talk about it.
Q. Let me ask you this, if you can recall: When Drs. Rappaport and Haber would come to do these sessions with you were you sitting at the time? Would you sit in a chair?
A. Yeah. I sit in a chair.
Q. What about Drs. Rappaport and Drs. Haber —  Dr. Haber?
A. They'd be standing up.
Q. They would stand up?
A. Yeah.
Q. Both of them?
A. I don't recall. Whoever was talking to me. Dr. Rappaport was always standing up.
Q. How did that make you feel?
A. Back then I was very afraid. I didn't want to say the wrong thing.
Q. For fear of what?
A. For fear of what? Because, you know, I will be in that solitary for the rest of my life.
Q. That's what they told you would happen?
A. Yes. And that people would dislike me and that people hated me.
Mr. Cohen: All right. We're going to take a short break because I'm a little warm and I want to get something to drink, and your — the tears are coming down your eyes. Okay. (Thereupon, a recess was taken at 1:19 PM., after which the following proceedings were had at 1:22 P.M.:)
By Mr. Cohen:

We're back on the record at approximately 1:20 P.M. Ileana, I want to stay on this course that we were on here with your sessions with the doctors and just talk about this a little bit more.

When you'd have these sessions, do you recall anyone else being present other than Dr. Rappaport and Dr. Haber?

A. No, I don't recall anyone else.
Q. And you said that sometimes you'd be in the jail cell, in your jail cell?
A. Yes.
Q. Other times you'd be in a little booth?
A. Yeah. In a little booth. And then I don't remember. I just remember their faces and — because I'd get so involved.
Q. Describe — can you recall what Dr. Haber and Dr. Rappaport look like? Can you give me a description?
A. Yes. Dr. Rappaport was very tall and had — I think he was losing his hair a little bit. Had a little. I don't know if it was long or not. And had a beard.
Q. What about Dr. Haber?
A. Dr. Haber, she was — she wasn't as tall as Dr. Rappaport. And she was very sweet. And she had — maybe her hair was to her shoulders, something like that. But I remember her.
Q. All right. Now when they asked you questions, would they ask you to just like freely recall what happened like I'm asking you or would they —
A. No.
Q. — do something else?

No. The sessions were, you know, we'll start talking about anything. Anything. About how was my day, what I did or who did I call over the phone or if my mother visited me.

And then they said well, we're going to start talking about your dreams, did you have any bad dreams or not.

And then when I had nightmares, you know, they would tell me, you know, you have to clear your head, you have to forget that you're here.

Q. So they would like try and get you to relax, is that what they were doing?
A. Yes. I have to get relaxed.
Q. What else would they say? Were there any other words other than the word "relax"?
A. I'm trying to think. I'm trying to think because — I mean those are the days that I — all these years I've been trying to forget, you know.
Q. Take your time. See if you can remember any other words or phrases that they used other than "relax."
A. No. They just tell me to clear my head, and I have to close my eyes and I have to transport myself to the house, you know, and — oh, I think one day they showed me a picture of Frank. And since I was very afraid of him, you know, I was actually living the times — they would tell me to think about all the horrible times that he — when he hit me and how he yell at me.
Q. Do you recall Frank ever hitting you?
A. Yes.
Q. All right.

I remember that. He was very violent. And — so they tell me that I have to think about that.

And then I had to think about my nightmares. And just by detailing it, just by being in the house — I have to transport myself into the house, and don't be afraid to walk in the house. And I will actually — you know, I close my eyes and I would be actually walking into the house and I would be detailing everything to them.

Q. Your eyes would continue to be closed while you did this?

Yeah. That was the only way to picture the house. And then I will retell my nightmares, part by part. And some of the things that I dreamt were so awful that I didn't want to — I didn't wanted to repeat the nightmares.

Q. Right.
A. But they said I had to because that was the only way to liberate my mind from it. So —
Q. Do you recall what those dreams were?
A. Some of them I do.
Q. Can you talk about it?

You know, they were like games. And I will see all the kids in there and I will see Frank in there doing weird stuff.

And that was what happened, you know, that was what my mind — my mind couldn't take that, so that's why they were in the back of my memory. But I had to back up the kids if I wanted to help them. And that's why it was so hard to dream that.

Q. But these were —

Some of the stuff they told me I couldn't dream about it. And they would get mad, but I couldn't dream about it, so —

Q. So just so I have this straight, they would —
A. They told me that in the future I was going to remember, actually I was going to dream again.
Q. Just so I have this straight, they would — during the sessions they would tell you certain things about the children, and the children said this or the children said that?
A. Yeah.
Q. And then they would tell you that you have to visualize yourself in —
A. In the house.
Q. — in the house, and visualize what they told you the children said, and put it all into perspective?

Yeah. Only if I dream about it. Because other times they told me well, this really happened.

And I said no, because that wasn't in my dream.

They said well, you will dream it. And it was true.

Q. So they would tell —
A. That's why I believed it, because it was true. You know, every time they tell me I would dream about it, even if it took two, three days later, it was true, I would dream exactly the same things. And I started to believe it that they really happened.
Q. So you would start to dream the things that they talked to you about?

Yeah. Every time I would dream the same things. Maybe they were a couple of things that were not in my dreams. They told me that after this was over and after I was away that they would come up again and I was to call them and tell them.

Q. During the period between when you gave your deposition and when you testified at trial do you recall speaking with anyone then during that time period?
A. During the trial?
Q. Well, it would have been between when you gave your — the time period between your deposition, which was, you know, September 12th, September 18th, 1985, and the time that you testified at trial, which would have been I believe sometime in October —
A. Yeah.
Q. — okay, do you recall talking to anyone about your deposition or your trial testimony?

Just Von Zamft and the doctors. They also — Von Zamft told me to take a lie detector test. I remember they took me to the DA's office and I took a lie detector test. I took two or three. And I passed two of them I think, but — I know I passed one or two of them, but — I am not sure how many there were, but I failed one. I think it was the last one.

And — but I kept having the sessions during that time with the doctor. So I was — in my mind I was confused when they will ask me the same things the doctor said that really had happened.

I don't know why I failed the last one. I was supposed — and they say that they didn't know how I passed those two, that I needed to say the truth.


Do you recall anything else that you said during that interim between deposition and trial testimony that — you spoke with your attorney, you spoke with the doctors. Do you recall what you spoke about?

A. During the lie — during —
Q. Well, during the time period between your deposition and prior to your trial testimony, do you recall what you spoke about?
A. Well, we talk about my nightmares, we talk about the things that the kids said, because I needed to match everything the kids said.
Q. Who told you that?
A. The doctors.
Q. They told you that you had to match everything —
A. The kids said.
Q. — the kids said to what you were going to say?
A. Right.
Q. So that's what you talked about during the time period between the deposition —
A. Right.
Q. — and the trial?

Because — but I didn't remember it, so I — that's why they said they had to see me so much, because the trial was getting there and I didn't have enough — had not given the state enough information.

Q. Do you recall as it got close to the trial was Janet Reno still visiting you then? Trying to get a time period.

She stopped by that time. I think she stopped. That's when somebody said in court that she went to see me. I don't know. Then she said she couldn't come back to see me no more.

Q. You don't recall when?

After that — back then I really did not care who came or not. I came to a point that I really didn't know — I just wanted to get it over.

Q. Do you recall if — prior to you giving your deposition had Janet Reno seen you on any occasion? Your deposition was in September.
A. Oh, yeah. I don't want to say — I remember seeing her and her coming to see me, and it was near the trial, the depos, but I don't remember when exactly.

Okay. What about during the trial? I know that Ms. Reno sat in the first row while you testified. Do you recall her being in the courtroom?

A. Yeah, she was there.
Q. Do you remember —
A. Everybody was there.
Q. Who is everybody?
A. Mr. Hogan, Mr. Von Zamft, Janet Reno was there, Frank was there.
Q. Did you know that Janet Reno was going to be in the courtroom prior to you testifying?
A. Yeah.
Q. How did you know that?
A. Somebody told me. I think Dr. Rappaport.
Q. He told you that Janet Reno would be in the courtroom?
A. Right.
Q. What about Dr. Rappaport, was he in the courtroom?
A. Yeah, he was there.
Q. Do you recall where he was sitting?
A. No. Because again, when I was going to testify they told me I was supposed to look at the jury or at the judge, and —
Q. Who told you that?

I don't know. I think it was Mr. Von Zamft and the doctors, but one of them two.

Because I was supposed to — I was supposed to do the same thing, like when — like I had to pretend I was —

Mr. Cohen:

Stop. I wasn't paying attention. (Thereupon, a discussion was held off the record and the tape replaced, after which the following proceedings were had:)

By Mr. Cohen:

Okay. We're back on the record. It's approximately 20 minutes of two, and what happened was the tape machine was at the end of the tape. And I have a new tape in now.

Are you ready to proceed, Ileana?

A. Yes.
Q. All right. We had talked about before, the portion that didn't get on the tape because it had stopped — and just to condense it, we were talking about a time period between your deposition and your trial testimony, and that you had met with Dr. Rappaport and your attorney, and you spoke about your upcoming testimony. Is that correct? Is that what you said before?
A. Yes.
Q. Okay. Now I'm curious, when you stated before that you were told that your testimony had to match what the kids were saying, who said that to you again? Was that Dr. Rappaport?
A. Yeah. The doctors. Because that was the only way to help the kids.
Q. And they told you that?
A. Yes.
Q. At that time what you were saying, what you were not saying, was it matching up to what the kids had said? Do you recall?
A. No, it's just I have nothing to say.
Q. So at that point in time, this is between deposition and trial time, you still had nothing to say?
A. No. Before deposition they were already seeing me.
Q. All right. Okay. Because when you gave your deposition you made the allegations or you started giving the statements that things did happen. Do you recall that?
A. Right.
Q. All right. So I just don't want to get confused here. Because you said before between deposition and trial that's when they worked with you —
A. Right.
Q. — to match up what you were going to say with the children.
A. No. They were — they were seeing me before the depositions.
Q. All right.
A. I had to get ready for the depositions —
Q. Okay. I got you.
A. — and then the trial.
Q. I got you. Okay. So it even started before your deposition?
A. Yes. Way back. We had to work long hours, and every day, even weekends. I was tired, very tired.
Q. Do you recall what month that might have been?
A. I have no idea.

Do you recall about how far in advance of your deposition it was?

A. No. I have no idea about the time or anything else. Back then — I can hardly remember the events of back then, less the time.
Q. All right. Now you said before that at some point in time you were shown a picture of Frank.
A. Yes.
Q. Is that correct?
A. Hm-hmm.
Q. And I think you also indicated that doctors told you that — that he was bad. What did they say about Frank?

No, they just told me if I recognize him. And because I was so afraid of him I would break down. You know, even today I —

Q. So when they would show you a picture of him you started to cry?
A. Yeah. Because I'm — you know, I'm afraid of him — well, today I'm — I guess I'm not as afraid as I was ten years ago, but yes, back then I remember break down and crying. And I thought he was going to get me. And I used to have nightmares he was going to get me.
Q. Did they — other than that — how many times did they show you his picture? Just once?

No. A couple of times. When I was — because sometimes I refused to talk or I didn't want to talk about anything else, and I told them I have no dreams or nightmares, even though I was having them, because I was so tired.

And so when they would show me the picture I will get mad and, you know, I will get angry and I will get afraid, and then I will start talking about the nightmares or about him.


Just give me one moment here.

All right. Now do you want to say something?

A. No, no. I was — you know, I think I told you this before. I just — you know, I like somebody to explain me what happened, what happened to me.
Q. Let me ask you this, Ileana: When you gave your deposition and when you gave your testimony at trial, were you still taking medication, if you recall?
A. Yes. The nurse always came in. I needed to rest. I remember the rooms were very cold, too. The room was very cold.
Q. The jail cell?
A. Yes. And that would — that would help me sleep.
Q. Well, my question was when you went to give your deposition in September and when you testified at trial do you recall if you were taking medication then or not?
A. Yeah, I was — I mean the nurse kept giving it to me. There must be records of it. I don't know.
Q. Okay.

But the only time I felt totally clean was when I was in Lowell when I was sent to the youth offender program, because over there I didn't get medications or anything.


All right. Now I just want to — I know it's going to be real difficult for you, but I just want to talk briefly again about — about Frank.

You indicated that you were afraid of him back then, and that you told the doctors about this. Is that correct?

A. Yes.
Q. Why were you so afraid of him?
A. Because when — when I used to live with him he was — he used to treat me really bad and he used to hit me. And I was never myself. But he told me what to do, what not to do, what to wear and what not to wear. And before I knew it I was in this problem and I was arrested. And I didn't know a lot of things about him. So I came to realize who I was with for those months.
Q. And —
A. But, you know, but I didn't have no memories of the charges of abusing kids.
Q. But you had memories of Frank treating you bad?
A. Yeah. And that I have —
Q. That was part of your life?
A. Right. And that — that happened to me.
Q. Versus what happened to the children?

Exactly. I have no memories of that because nothing really happened. I mean nothing. I just remember them being there and the parents coming and pick them up.

I don't know. You know, I have no experience with kids and, you know, that's — you know, that's the truth. You know, I have no experience if — if a kid was to wait for too long, that type of thing maybe happened, but I have no memories about anything happening at all in the house with the kids.

Q. Why do you think that is?
A. Why what?
Q. Why do you think you have no memories of it?
A. Because those things never happened. They only — the big questions that I have had this year is how come I only remember to my nightmares back then, and how come those nightmares are fading, you know, to the point that this day I don't have no memory — I mean no nightmares?

Let me ask you this: When talking about remembering, when you would have your sessions with Drs. Rappaport and Haber, what would happen if you told them that you didn't remember something?

A. Right. What would happen?
Q. Yeah. What would they say if anything?
A. Well, they would get — Dr. Rappaport would get angry. Sometimes he would laugh and would tell me what would happen to me.
Q. Well, when you said he would get angry, what would he do to exhibit anger that you recall?

He would stand and he would go like that with his hands, and say why, you know, why you don't remember, you know, do you want to spend the rest of your life here, you know. And do you want this to happen again to other kids, and what type of person you are.

But I didn't remember. You know, I — and then they said that to help me remember they will tell me what the kids were saying and would read me notes from what the kids were telling the Bragas.

Q. They had these notes in the session room with them?
A. Yes.
Q. Now you just indicated that they would say to you that they would help you to remember. Correct?
A. Yeah.
Q. Would they — would they tell you any exercise or anything that you could do to help yourself remember?

Just that I — before going to bed, like I said before, I was supposed to close my eyes and I was supposed to think of the house. And I was supposed to be standing in front of the house, and I was supposed to walk towards the house, towards the front door. And that I was afraid to open it, and I was supposed to open the door, and I was supposed to see what was happening.

And before I knew it I would fall asleep and that's what would happen. And I — plus I was, sleeping all the time, so —

Q. Did you feel tired?
A. Yeah. All the time tired.
Q. Did you know what time of day it would be or day of the week?
A. No.
Q. Were you able to keep track of time?
A. No. There were sometimes I remember. But I don't remember, but my mother said that, you know, she went to see me and that I didn't recognize her. But I don't remember doing that.
Q. Do you recall as we sit here today — do you recall what your — what the bulk of your testimony was at trial?
A. What the what?
Q. What — do you recall what your testimony was about at trial? Do you recall what you testified to?
A. It was the same things that I was telling the doctors of the nightmares. And even before that I gave my testimony, they repeated the same things to me on the last sessions because they didn't want me to make no mistakes, they said.
Q. Did they say that to you?
A. Yes.
Q. We don't want you to make any mistakes?
A. Hm-hmm.
Q. And that was Dr. Rappaport and Dr. Haber?
A. Yeah.
Q. Anybody else tell you that?
A. Yes, but they really believed that those were my memories. You know, I think they really believed it then.

I think I've just about covered everything that I wanted to cover here with you today, Ileana.

Anything else that you can think of that, you know, we've spoken about here today that you've told me that you might want to add to, or anything else that you can think of that I may not have inquired about that you would like to make part of your statement here today?


No, just that — that I'm still trying to clear up what happened, you know, after knowing that there could be a possibility that these things never happened. You know, I just — I want to know the truth. But the truth of it is that none of these things happened because there's no way that I cannot remember. How come I remember what I was six years old and how come I remember my school? I even remember the bad times I had with Frank. And I don't remember anything with the kids. And I always had the — you know, after getting out of the prison, you know, I told myself that maybe the kids would grow up and they will remember, too, that nothing happened to them. And that maybe if that happened then I'll know what really happened to me.

And the only things I remember is what I briefly told you, you know, is the times in jail. That's what's been traumatic to me. The times in jail were awful. I mean I had — I have no peace at all. I remembered that — the lights, the coldness, the people banging on the doors, you know.

And then the doctors, they were there day and night. They were there on the weekend. And I didn't rest until I said whatever I had to say, you know, whatever would help the kids in court, because otherwise he was going to get out and he was going to get me.

Q. I'm just going to — couple of quick questions. How much time did you serve in prison?
A. I served five years, a little bit over five years.
Q. That included your jail time?
A. Yeah, including my jail time.
Q. What happened when you were released from the Florida State prison system?
A. I was deported.
Q. Where?
A. To Honduras.
Q. And how much — how much further do you have to go in education until you get your degree?
A. I should get — by the middle of next year I should get my degree. And then I want to continue and get my Master's degree.
Mr. Cohen: All right. I don't have anything further. I'm going to conclude this statement at approximately 1:55 P.M. (Thereupon, the statement was concluded at 1:55 P.M.)

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