Thursday, August 9, 2007

Pedophile's Ex May Lose House

Property may go toward $5.25 million jury award for failure to protect victims

By Daryl Kelley
The former wife of an admitted Ojai pedophile is faced with losing her $1.2-million home near Ojai after a Ventura County jury found that not only her husband was responsible for the sexual assault of two young sisters, but that she was also negligent.
A Superior Court jury found late last month that Maxine Wiley, the third wife of former truck salesman Carl Wiley, had failed to protect the girls from being molested by her husband, who is now an inmate in state prison.
During the civil trial, attorneys presented evidence that Maxine Wiley had known of the assaults, which she denied, and that Carl Wiley had been a child molester for more than a half century.
The jury awarded $5.25 million in damages against the Wileys, although attorneys think their assets are far less than that.
“The jury found that Maxine was negligent in supervising the kids,” said attorney John Howard, who represents the two victims, now aged 21 and 10.
Carl Wiley, now 79, has admitted sexually assaulting both sisters when they were very young and visited the Wileys’ home in the hills near Ojai.
“The message here is that if you are a pedophile, or if you know something like this is going on, then you better stop it,” Howard said. “The effect on these kids is devastating.”
Both sisters are being treated for psychological trauma, he said.
Howard said he will now target Maxine Wiley’s assets, including the modular home on five acres near Ojai and a duck hunting preserve in Kern County, to satisfy the civil award. She had gained ownership of those assets in a divorce after her husband’s arrest.
“We contend that the distribution of assets was done to protect the Wileys from having to pay a civil judgment to these kids,” Howard said.
Moves to collect the award will not occur until the Wileys’ attorney, Howard Cho, decides what legal steps to pursue.
“There’s always an appeal,” Cho said this week. “And we’re looking at other options — a new trial, because I think there was an error in law here.”
Cho declined to discuss that purported error. But he added that his client was not negligent.
“Mr. Wiley was dead wrong, and he pled guilty,” Cho said. “But I did not think Mrs. Wiley was negligent. All of that was denied ... Carl always had good excuses, and he was good at covering up stuff. He had everyone snookered, including Maxine.”
Carl Wiley was arrested in July 2004 on suspicion of nine counts of molestation against the two sisters in the early 1990s and between 2001 and 2003. The arrest followed a year-long investigation by the Sheriff’s Department, which uncovered a string of allegations of molestation by Wiley dating back five decades, as he moved from Hayward and Livermore in the Bay Area to Santa Paula, Oak View and finally Ojai.
He is now in Soledad state prison after pleading guilty in 2005 to three felony counts, including “continuous sexual abuse” of children. During the recent civil trial, Howard presented evidence that Wiley had molested at least eight girls, including his own two daughters in his first marriage, since 1948.
One of Wiley’s daughters, who testified against him at the civil trial, said she’d told Maxine Wiley that her father had molested her and her sister when they were children. Defense attorney Cho said the daughter’s testimony was fabricated.
But Howard said that it was a key part of establishing that Maxine Wiley was negligent. Additionally, Howard said, the testimony of a Santa Paula father that his daughter had been molested by Wiley in 1988 was also persuasive.
But Cho said the Santa Paula father’s claims were inconsistent, and that the mother of a second girl who was there during the alleged molestation did not believe the claim and continued to allow her daughter to visit the Wiley home.
Another piece of strong evidence against the Wileys was that sheriff’s deputies found a book on sexual disorders in the couple’s dresser drawer when they arrested him in 2004.
In addition, the oldest of the two girls suing the Wileys testified that she had told Maxine Wiley of the molestation in 2001 or 2002, during the same time period when her younger sister was being assaulted by Carl Wiley.
The girls finally told their parents of the sexual assaults in 2003 after psychological therapy, Howard said. But it took a year to put the case together against Carl Wiley.
In the civil trial, the jury also found the two sisters’ parents had been negligent. But they were not defendants in the lawsuit, so were held responsible for damages.
How Wiley got away with molestation for six decades is a good question, Howard said.
“What happens is that when children do report the crime, it becomes their word against a responsible adult’s. So it doesn’t get filed,” he said. “And most children are even afraid to report it.”


Anonymous said...

very proud of these girls for standing up to this sick man and all guilty parties!!

Anonymous said...

I am Carl Wiley's granddaughter. He is a monster. Thanks to the Ventura County Sheriff's Dept. he can no longer hurt us, or anyone. Mr. Cho saying that Gwen's testimony is fabricated is coming from a person who has no idea what my mommy and my auntie went through.

Cindi said...

Well, well, well....I had heard from my brothter that Mr. Wiley was in prison but I had to check it out my self.
I had the misfortune of meeting Mr. Wiley in the late 60s when he lived in Livermore with his family. My father purchased a horse for me and the Wiley's kindly let us keep him at their ranch till I got accquainted with him.
We knew the Wileys prior to that but I didn't have any 1:1 with Carl Wiley till I spent some time at the ranch with my horse. I'm guessing I was 12-14 years old and my father was a very very good friend of Carls. I recall a few times when left alone with Mr. Wiley that he would try to take advantage of me by putting a hand down my pants or up my shirt. I thank God I was with it enough at the time to stop him and walk away. At one point by their barn that was quite removed from their house he followed me away and tried to talk me into following him which I rejected (I'm pretty proud now that I did that!) The last time at during that year he was "helping me fish" in the pond close to the house. He got very very close and was trying to get his hand down my pants. After struggling with myself on him being such a good friend of my Dads etc I stood up and threatened to tell everyone on earth if he didn't stop. I remember him backing off right away and never approaching me again until many years later. I attemped in some weak way to approach my Dad but it was so weak both him and my Mom didn't take me serious and dismissed it as exagerating a story. I just learned to put it away till now.
In the mid to 70s I returned to college to live with Mom and Dad and needed a job. Dad told me to go see his dear old friend Carl Wiley at Peterbuilt! And even more stupid, I DID!!!! anyway about 3 minutes after me filling out some sort of application Carl had me in more truck giving me a personal tour of the trucks. He stopped out in the middle of the yard and laid it on me big time how he could help me etc etc etc. Thank God again that I backed up, walked out and never looked back and stupid me for ever going there!! I should have pushed the prior meetings but in those days it just wasn't something that was pushed and when I had pushed it I was rejected. If I had however I'm sure other people may have been saved dealing with this worm of humanity. I'm sorry for that.