It was a horrific child abuse scandal that rocked the nation in the mid-’90s.
The case that became known as “The Wenatchee Witch Hunt” eventually ended with 43 parents arrested on heinous molestation charges. It also resulted in dozens of children being forced into the foster care system. This series of incredible real-life events is now the subject of Fox Nation’s newest true-crime docuseries — In The Valley of Sin.
This six-part series examines how police uncovered what appeared to be a horrifying child sex ring known among its members as ‘”The Circle.” Local authorities alleged that dozens of children were raped in the bedrooms of their parents, in the homes of their neighbors, and at ritualized orgies on the altar of a church.
In The Valley of Sin follows several families involved in these allegations along with how the truth finally came to light — that there was no sex ring after all!
The series dives into the lives of several key characters in the case, including Pentecostal pastor Roby Roberson, who was among the first to recognize the innocence of the accused. But as the series continues and Roby sets out to fight for the innocent, he and his wife find themselves in the center of this controversy.
Viewers will see the story of Wenatchee sex crimes detective Bob Perez, whose 9-year-old foster daughter, Donna Everett, becomes the impetus for the wild accusations that unfold. Donna, now 40, tells her gut-wrenching story for the very first time, revealing the shocking evolution of the lies and the lives destroyed.
Reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials for which the Wenatchee incidents were eventually named, many innocent people were prosecuted, tried, and convicted of heinous crimes they never committed. And like in Salem, it was often on the unsubstantiated “eye witness” claims of children.
The final episode of the series, titled “The Truth,” shows the exoneration of many key players in this witch hunt while revealing no accountability and how justice is never served upon the real perpetrators — the system.
In the end, it was determined that the cases of the accused were mishandled by the police, and proper protocol was not followed when interviewing the children, who were often threatened and coerced. Those who were convicted were freed and had their convictions overturned or pleaded guilty on lesser charges. Five served their full sentences before their cases were overturned. Some lost parental rights. By 2000, the last person in custody, Michael Rose, was released after a judge vacated his March 1995 convictions.
In The Valley of Sin documents the perseverance and resilience of the accused and their supporters in the face of overwhelming odds, untold suffering, and unthinkable accusations.