It started with touching, the girl said. She said her father named his penis “Baldy” and told her to play a game called “pet the bald-headed mouse.”
“Pet it until it sneezes milk,” she said he told her when she was 8 years old.
The girl was Casey Anthony. She told court-appointed clinical psychiatrist Dr. William Weitz that her father, George Anthony, raped her “a few times a week” from the time she was 8 until she was 12. Then he did it less often, perhaps because she got her period and he was afraid she might get pregnant. Though her mother was a nurse, Anthony during her childhood never once went to see a pediatrician.
These and other lurid details of Anthony’s alleged incestuous relationships with her father and later her older brother are all contained in court records related to her trial for the murder of her daughter Caylee. Anthony’s attorney, Jose Baez, alluded to the allegations in the trial, and even asked George Anthony in court whether he had ever sexually molested his daughter. Anthony testified that he had not, and the judge ruled the incest allegations irrelevant.
In any event, Baez had no need to use Casey’s interview with Dr. Weitz in her defense. The prosecution’s case was so weak that Anthony was famously acquitted of the murder charges after jury deliberations of under 11 hours.
But in the court of public opinion, fed by the cable demagoguery of Nancy Grace and her ilk, Anthony was declared guilty as charged. The prosecution, unable to win in court, pursued its case in the media, and a whole industry of Casey-haters worked to affirm her guilt, no matter what the evidence or lack thereof.
However, in the details that were not introduced during the trial, there lies a plausible explanation not only of Anthony’s innocence, but of the circumstances of her daughter’s death and the part George Anthony may have played in covering it up.
I co-wrote the new book with Jose Baez, Presumed Guilty, in which he lays out this scenario. The haters are already ganging up against the book, most without having read it.
I believe Baez’s story has to be told. I went into our collaboration a skeptic — an agnostic even, who came to the Caylee Anthony case with no preconceived notions of guilt or innocence.
Here’s why I’m now convinced that Casey Anthony didn’t do it.
About the time George Anthony stopped the habitual rape of his daughter Casey, according to her statements in court records, her older brother Lee started entering her room at night while she lay in bed and would fondle her breasts. He did this, she told Dr. Weitz, from the time she was 12 to age 15.
She never told her mother, Cindy Anthony, about what her father was doing. Once, however, Casey tried to tell her about the brother’s sexual abuse. Cindy’s response, according to her daughter, was to call her a whore.
Casey said that after she turned 12, her father continued having sex with her, but far less frequently. When she was 20, she became pregnant, and for seven and a half months she hid her pregnancy. At a wedding of Cindy’s brother, she clearly was showing and everyone wanted to know if she was pregnant. She denied it, but more bizarrely, with great vehemence so did the girl’s parents.
Casey wondered whether George Anthony might be her baby’s father. The police later had a suspicion that Lee might be the father. (DNA tests later showed that neither was the father.)
Apparently George also felt he might be the baby’s father.
When the baby was born, photographs showed him in the delivery room on the receiving end as the baby was coming out. And, with the results of the DNA testing due to come in a couple days, on Jan. 22, 2009, George Anthony tried to commit suicide. He left a text message that said in effect, “I’m sorry. Please tell Casey I love her.”
After Caylee Anthony was born, Casey was mortally afraid that her father would sexually abuse her daughter the same way she claims he had abused her. It was why she always slept in the same bed with her daughter, locked her door at night, why she showered with her daughter, and why she never let her daughter stay in the house alone with her father.
“She feared he would molest the daughter the way he had molested her,” said Dr. Weitz. “She never felt comfortable and wouldn’t leave her — if at all possible — leave her alone with George.”
Said Dr. Weitz, “According to Casey, her father had sexually assaulted her many times over a number of years; that she felt that he was highly impulsive, erratic; that … he could lose control over his behavior easily, and so she feared him and feared for her daughter’s safety.”