Gerald A. "Tooky" Amirault (born March 1, 1954) was convicted in 1986 of molesting and raping eight children at the Fells Acres Day Care Center in
He and his wife Patricia, a schoolteacher whom he married in 1977, have three children: Gerrilyn, Katie, and P.J.
Testimony in the cases included stories of Amirault dressed as a clown and raping children with knives, and ritual slaughter of animals. It relied heavily on testimony from young children extracted through long sessions with therapists. The Amiraults insist they were victims of the day care sex abuse hysteria that swept the
Many believe Amirault was railroaded, including writer Dorothy Rabinowitz (a member of the Editorial Board of The Wall Street Journal), who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2001, partly for her coverage of the case. The case was also the major topic of her book about miscarriages of justice, No Crueler Tyrannies (ISBN 0743228340).
In 2002, then-Acting Governor of
Amirault was released from the Bay State Correctional Center on April 30, 2004, 18 years after his conviction. His sister and mother, Cheryl Amirault LeFave and Violet Amirault, were convicted of related charges in a separate trial, and both released from prison in 1995.