The story seems like America’s answer to the infamous Josef Fritzl case, in which an Austrian man imprisoned his daughter and fathered six children by her. America’s answer to the Fritzl story is even more bizarre. Aswad Ayinde, 51, is accused of raping five of his daughters repeatedly over a five year period and impregnating three of them. A total of six children survived this series of crimes, which spanned a period of about 20 years and ended in 2002. The judge in the case has recently ruled that his ex wife can testify against her ex husband, despite laws restricting spousal testimony.
Isolation and brutality made the crimes possible. Ayinde rationalised his actions by saying that he and his family had been chosen to survive an apocolypse and that he was creating a “pure bloodline” from which the world would be populated. He is being held on 1 million dollars bail.
In a bizarre twist to the case, it turns out that Asawad Ayinde had a prior reputation not as a violent pervert but as a producer of music videos. His video “Killing Me Softly” by the Fugees ,
was featured on MTV, as reported on the Huffington Post blog.
There are plenty of questions for child welfare authorities in New Jersey, where the crimes took place. The Daily News reports as follows.
“His arrest prompted a probe by the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services to determine how the suspect allegedly turned his daughters into sex slaves without their knowing.
Some of the crimes allegedly occurred while the family was under scrutiny by the agency – and after the dad admitted to a 2000 attempt to snatch his children from a hospital while the state had temporary custody.
Prosecutors said Ayinde kept the kids from blabbing by beating them with wooden boards or kicking them with steel-toed boots.
“I was afraid to ever accuse him of being demented or being a pedophile,” Beverly Ayinde, who married him in 1977, told the court. “I knew the word, but I wouldn’t dare use it because it would result in a beating.”
For the sake of future investigations, it needs to be asked what could be done to prevent future lost opportunities.What warning signs were there? And how could New Jersey child welfare authorities have broken the spell of intimidation that kept the mother of the abused children and the children themselves silent. Did the celebrity status of Aswad Ayinde play a role in more lenient treatment by state authorities?
How do you reach children who are in such a sealed environment? A child who goes to school with other children can compare experiences and realise that something is amiss in his or her home life. But what of a child who is in an isolated environment. Perhaps the key is the mother in this case, whose identity, like that of her children is being withheld from the public due to the nature of the crimes. Unlike her children, Aswad Ayinde’s ex wife knew of life in homes other than the one in which she spent her married life. How do you reach such a person. We have 1 800 COP SHOT in New York City. Maybe therecould be a national rescue number with a toll free exchange and a number that spells out NO ABUSE.
How long after the divorce did the abuse continue? What could the wife have done after presumably she was out from under Ayinde’s spell.
It is very difficult to use the term “alleged” in this criminal case. Six children are living and breathing testimony that terrible crimes were committed. Their DNA will say whatever they can not. Aswad Ayinde will likely spend the rest of his life around people who will not be as easy to intimidate as his family.
Forensic psychologists are going to have a multitude of questions about how abused women and children can be empowered to walk out of such situations as existed in the prison that Ayinde called a home. Perhaps the public discussion might bring other yet undiscovered cases to light.
The Ayinde family will need years of counseling to overcome the daily horror of their lives in their home. Perhaps in helping themselves, they might uncover emotional truths that could help others break free of domestic imprisonment. And perhaps the knowledge that they have helped others might provide them with healing and consolation. Sphere: Related Content
Last updated: Saturday October 24, 2009, 12:44 PM
A man accused of impregnating his daughters in an attempt to create purebred offspring was ordered by a state judge on Friday to undergo psychiatric evaluation after his attorney suggested the defendant is incompetent to stand trial.
The competency issue emerged as a surprise during a hearing to review the bail status of defendant Aswad Ayinde, who is also known as Eric McGill. Ayinde, 50, of Atlantic City, had been free on $500,000 bail since his 2006 arrest but was recently remanded to the Passaic County Jail when prosecutors discovered errors in paperwork he submitted in putting up his home to secure part of that bail.
State Superior Court Judge Raymond A. Reddin in Paterson ordered a reappraisal of that home, which may have lost value since 2006 with the declining real estate market, to ensure it still secures $390,000 worth of the bail, as it’s supposed to. He also ordered all proper mortgage and title search documents to be resubmitted.
What’s more, at the request of Passaic County Senior Assistant Prosecutor Lisa Squitieri, Reddin raised Ayinde’s bail to $1 million. Squitieri told the judge the higher bail was necessary now because Ayinde is a greater flight risk since DNA evidence developed by the state makes conviction more likely.
That evidence, she said, proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Ayinde is the father of six children born from three of his daughters. Those children are all under the age of 10. The daughters now range in age from 18 to 29.
Reddin not only raised the bail but required that, if posted, $500,000 must be cash. “I think he is a tremendous flight risk,” Reddin said, despite protestations by defense attorney Daryl Pennington of Newark that his client has shown up dutifully for all pretrial hearings while out on bail since 2006.
Pennington also noted that it was an administrative error by the county bail unit – not Ayinde – that was the cause of the paperwork error involving title search documents.
Reddin acknowledged that Ayinde has shown up when required but that the stakes were different now. “Just because he’s been here doesn’t mean he’ll stay to see what the outcome is,” Reddin said, noting Ayinde is facing more than 100 years in prison on multiple sexual assault counts.
As to the issue of competency, Pennington argued that his client’s mental capacity seems to have declined since he was remanded to the county jail last month. “He may not fully appreciate some of the things that are going on,” Pennington said.
Reddin asked Ayinde a series of questions designed to determine if a defendant is competent, such as whether he understood where he was, what time of year it was and the seriousness of the charges. Ayinde answered clearly and accurately, leading the judge to believe there was nothing wrong with his mental capacity. Nonetheless, Reddin ordered a state psychiatric evaluation.
“If you sense that something’s there, I’m going to err on the side of safety,” Reddin said, noting that while some lawyers try to play the system by making incompetency claims, he believed Pennington had a genuine concern.
“It’s been put on the table. If I don’t look into it, there could be a claim made down the road that it should have been done,” he added. Reddin prohibited the posting of any bail pending the outcome of the psychiatric evaluation.
If found to be incompetent and a danger to himself, Ayinde could be committed to a state psychiatric hospital indefinitely, with periodic reviews of his competency.