"Rebuilding the Lives of the Wrongfully Convicted"

John Stoll

stroll-smIn the 1980s, there were a flurry of arrests in Bakersfield California for child molestation. John Stoll was one of the many charged with multiple accounts of molestation...

 

stroll-sm Convicted of: Child molestation
State: California
Served: 19 years
Released: 2004
Compensated by State: 
Current Status: 
Health Insurance: 

Then: In the 1980s, there were a flurry of arrests in Bakersfield California for child molestation. John Stoll was one of the many charged with multiple accounts of molestation and satanic worship. The state refused to have the supposedly molested children examined by a doctor, claiming that the experience would be too traumatic. However, at Stoll's trial, children between the ages of 6 and 10, including Stoll's 6 year old son, were brought to the stand and cajoled into saying they were molested while pointing at Stoll. "If a five-year-old says you did it," Stoll says, "you did it." He was convicted on seventeen counts of child molestation and sentenced to forty years in prison.

After spending nine months in solitary confinement in San Quentin State Prison, he was transferred to Avenal State Prison where he began writing to lawyers, asking for help. In 2002, students and lawyers from the Northern California Innocence Project began gathering evidence to appeal Stoll's conviction which was eventually overturned when the original witnesses, including Stoll's son, admitted they had been coerced into providing false testimony. Stoll was released in 2004 on his sixty-first birthday. 


Hometown: Bakersfield, California