Woman convicted in day care abuse case wants end to probation
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Cheryl Amirault LeFave, who was convicted in one of the nation's most bitterly disputed day care molestation cases, has asked a judge to end her probation early.
LeFave, her brother Gerald "Tooky" Amirault and their mother, Violet Amirault, were convicted of sexually abusing young children at the family's Fells Acres day care center in Malden more than 20 years ago.
Supporters of the family argued the charges against the Amiraults were part of a national hysteria in the 1980s that led to a string of high-profile child abuse prosecutions of day care workers. The Amiraults said the children who claimed they were abused were badgered by well-meaning therapists until they concocted their tales of abuse.
LeFave served eight years in prison and has been on probation for the last eight years. Harvard Law professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr., an attorney for LeFave, filed a motion in Middlesex Superior Court last week asking to end her probation two years early.
Ogletree said in court papers that LeFave has led a law-abiding and exemplary life since her release from prison. She has worked at the John Hancock Life Insurance Co. since 1999, bought her own home in 2001 and volunteered for various charities.
He said LeFave was applying for a management job at John Hancock that would require long hours and travel, making it difficult for her to comply with the requirements of probation supervision.
LeFave did not immediately return a call seeking comment Monday. A spokesman for Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone had no immediate comment on LeFave's request.
Gerald Amirault was convicted in 1986 and served 18 years in prison before being freed on parole in 2004.
Cheryl and Violet Amirault were convicted in 1987, then released on bail in 1995 after winning a retrial. Violet Amirault died of stomach cancer in 1997.
In 1999, a judge allowed the eight years Cheryl Amirault had served to stand after prosecutors did not oppose her motion to reduce her sentence.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)