While looking back on the disgraceful career of now-retired Judge Garry Ichikawa, one family court advocate mentioned a case that thrust Garry Ichikawa into the national spotlight.
We’re not sure if many people know his, but as an attorney, Garry Ichikawa represented a father who admitted to molesting his stepdaughter, in an infamous case known as “The Amy Case”. “The Amy Case” made national headlines because the judge presiding over the matters held the then 12 year old girl in contempt at the Solano County Juvenile Hall for not testifying against her stepfather.
The New York Times writes:
In a court case that has attracted national attention, a 12-year-old girl, held in isolation in the Solano County Juvenile Hall here since Dec. 30, was released to a foster care home tonight on a writ of habeas corpus.
The girl was being held in contempt of court because of her refusal to testify against her stepfather, who is accused of molesting her.
Judge Richard M. Harris of Superior Court ordered the girl released temporarily, pending a hearing Tuesday on the writ charging that she was being illegally detained. Elated defense attorneys who had sought her release said they were relieved and gratified that she was out of the isolation ward in Juvenile Hall and that she would be treated like a member of the family in the foster home.
The New York Times continues on:
”I think it is tragic,” Garry Ichikawa, a lawyer for the stepfather, said earlier of the girl’s detention. Mr. Ichikawa said he was looking for some way of ”unraveling this knot but there doesn’t seem to be any easy way out.”
”It is a Greek tragedy in which everyone has a part to play,” he said.
Reporters have voluntarily withheld the names of the girl and her parents. The stepfather is a doctor.
The charge against the stepfather was filed by the District Attorney’s office after the physician, his wife and the girl voluntarily sought counseling and the alleged molestation was revealed to the counselor. Counselor Reported Case.
Under a comparatively new California law, counselors are required to report admissions of child molestation to the authorities. It was after the counselor reported the case that the District Attorney’s office decided to prosecute.
Mr. Ichikawa said: ”She has a general suspicion of the court process. You have to remember that this family sought counseling and they find themselves deeper and deeper and deeper into the system, not just the court, but the entire system. I think at some point, she felt she just had to draw the line. That is what is going on.”
Read the full article here: https://www.nytimes.com/1984/01/08/us/girl-in-california-held-in-contempt.html
To reiterate: A physician molested his stepdaughter. He admitted to it and reported it to a counselor that was assisting the family in “working through” the issue privately. Due to a relatively new (at the time) California law, the counselor was required to report the crime. The District Attorney prosecuted and Garry Ichikawa defended a child molestor.
It’s no wonder that Garry Ichikawa routinely advocated for male perpetrators of domestic violence and sexual assault, while serving as a Judge, and routinely disregarded credible testimony from female victims. He advocated for a male, in a position of power, who molested a child. His track record as an attorney, was clearly a predictor for his rulings on the bench.
Here’s another article regarding the court case: https://www.upi.com/Archives/1984/01/14/Veil-lifts-on-family-child-molestation/5780442904400/