The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #151081   Message #3524089
Posted By: Bonnie Shaljean
08-Jun-13 - 07:37 AM
Thread Name: News story on Bob Brozman allegations
Subject: RE: News story on Bob Brozman allegations
> ...there probably isn't going to be any public corroboration of all this messy stuff, nothing in the public record, but just because the victims haven't spoken publicly, doesn't mean it didn't happen.

It doesn't mean it *did* happen, either. No hard evidence, only hearsay. An accused man who can't defend himself, victims who don't - for whatever reason, can't/won't - speak up. A man who waits until his "perp" is dead, by which time the California statute of limitations has passed, before telling us about his 9-year-old daughter, who is now 28 and presumably able to speak for herself.

I'm not saying it didn't happen, I'm saying that it will take more than trial-by-internet/gossip to convince me that I have enough facts to really form a judgment on this man.

What Guest Henryetta said bears repeating: "Beware of web pages that resemble newspapers or magazines but don't do the things that real reporters are supposed to do - check the facts, get the whole story, present all sides of an issue. On the net it's easy to make a page LOOK professional, with borders and pictures, and fancy type faces. It's harder to do the real work."

Now spot the impeccable sources in this story:

- - -

The story of Bob Brozman's death has been one shock after the other... First, there was the initial, confusing news of his passing, which was vague enough that different outlets reported different dates...

The cause was initially said to be heart failure, but within a few days it was common knowledge that he had committed suicide. The story was about to get a lot uglier.

Because Brozman was only 59, and a much-loved figure both locally and in the global guitar community, many people who knew him latched on to the story that chronic pain from an automobile accident in 1980 had worsened and left him suicidal... It seemed a possibly credible motivation, even for a man who had reportedly been making rehearsal plans just hours before his death.

But it wasn't. In fact, it appears that the story actually originated not from Brozman's friends or family, but from a Guardian reporter who misinterpreted what he had been told in interviews, and reported it in his obit as fact. Though Brozman did complain of pain in the years before his death, the story that it led to his suicide took on a life of its own, circulating through the local, national and international media. Several people I interviewed immediately after his death related it to me, but in retrospect it appears they had gotten it second-hand, either from the Guardian story, one of the subsequent obits, or someone who had read or heard one of them.

None of them were prepared for what came next. Shortly after the Santa Cruz Weekly cover story on his death hit the streets, a much more sinister possible reason for his suicide came to light: there were accusations of child molestation against him.

Some of the people connected to these allegations began posting in the comments section of our web site. One was Gary Atkinson, Brozman's former UK tour manager, who declined to be interviewed for this story, but laid out the charges of "severe sexual abuse of a child" on the web site.

"This abuse happened some years ago..., " he wrote. "In more recent years he repeated this abuse on another underage person. All of his victims were well known to him. In addition, I tell can you that ... [in] 1994 on tour, he sexually abused my own daughter who, at the time, was nine years old. I have never forgiven him and I never will...."

None of the media outlets that eulogized Brozman have reported on the molestation charges. Meanwhile, Internet message boards have generated everything from seemingly useful insider insight to ludicrous misinformation.

Because of Brozman's death, there is much about his story that may never be known by anyone not directly involved. There will likely be no investigation into the molestation charges now. There may be suits or settlements one day, but I couldn't find any record of the mysterious "pending court date" that some have claimed specifically motivated Brozman's suicide.

If it was a civil case, it wasn't filed locally. If it was a criminal case, it would be subject to a complicated tangle of different statutes of limitations on child sexual abuse, which vary from state to state—some states have none at all, while California has a statute of limitation of six years, but several loopholes.

I didn't expect that anyone I approached who was close to this story would want to go on the record about it, and that proved to be correct. In time, more information may come to light, and Brozman's story may evolve further, for better or worse. But for now—like Jimmy Savile, Gary Glitter, Michael Jackson and other music figures whose legacies were tainted or outright obliterated by child sexual abuse cases — his has been instantaneously altered. Almost overnight, he went from one of Santa Cruz's most-talked-about cultural figures to one of its least-discussed scandals.