Tell me how Ileana got on the scene.
I met Ileana first. We were at, I think, it was a flea market, or it was like a
big market. I met her. And she was beautiful. She was a very beautiful woman. I
fell in love right away. And I said, "Dad, I met a beautiful woman, she's my
girlfriend." And he was laughing with me. I introduced him. And he met the
family. My dad is a very charismatic fellow, the way he holds himself. And they
all [hit] it off, and ended up getting married.
When you say charismatic, in what sense?
Dad is very intelligent. And he doesn't come off that way. He doesn't have this
like ego problem. He comes off [as] understanding. He's willing to listen, he's
willing to talk. He's never had a problem talking with anybody. He's never had
a problem conveying his feelings about things. He's always very honest. ...
How was their relationship, that you remember?
Very affectionate. We're very close; we're a very close family. I'm an
affectionate person, so is my dad. We had no problem showing our love or
feelings. If they ever had any problems, at least I never saw it. I'm sure they
had their own problems; every marriage does. But [they were] pretty
She, at some moment, decides to create a -- would you call it a day care
center? What would you call what she did? Bringing babysitting into the
Yes, some of the kids around the neighborhood. ...
A lot of kids?
I believe seven or eight, nothing too extensive. But a good amount of kids from
the neighborhood, at least that I can remember.
What was the idea? It was basically her job?
So she didn't have to leave the house to go to work. Dad is a Cuban man. He
wants to take care of his wife. He wants to provide the home and provide his
role, so to speak. And that way she could stay home. She could cook, she could
take care of me. She wanted to have her own job, do something where she could
bring a little money in for herself. And that seemed like a great idea.
How did you feel about her?
Ileana? I had a crush on Ileana probably more than anything. She was smart. I
mean, when she was beautiful, she was very like my dad in a lot of ways. And I
believe if all this controversy had not happened, things might have turned out
differently between her and him, but also definitely between me and my father.
They were very close-knit. They had a lot of the same soul. ...
When did you know that there was trouble?
I was pretty much kept in the dark, until one day, Dad wasn't there, and I was
staying with my grandmother. I still didn't really know anything, until one
day, I talked to him on the phone. And he gave me kind of a basic understanding
that he's in jail, that he's innocent. ...
What did you think happened? What did you think at the time?
Everything was fairly quick, between the moment that Dad was in jail and the
moment that I started going to all these counselings and questionings and
interrogation-type things. That was pretty much the basis on what I formed my
first opinion on what was happening. ...
Tell me about that very first [counseling session], through the eyes of the
6- or 7-year-old.
For me, being six, that was not too big of a deal. The biggest deal when I
walked into there is that this room is covered in toys -- every toy you can
think of. You've got battleships, dolls. You're in Willy Wonka land. And so,
you love playing. I would sit down. And I was already hyperactive. I'm a kid
who wants to touch and play with everything. "Sit down, and we're going to tell
you what's going on, and we're going to tell you how you can help us and your
father," which I was told. "And then you can play all you want." ...
How did you feel about the Bragas? Describe them to me as you remember
The Bragas, they were interesting, because they both almost look alike. I don't
know if anybody is familiar with the way the Bragas look, but they all have
these long ponytails, white hair and the suits and stuff. So I was kind of more
curious about anything. I wasn't defensive or weary. I kind of opened up. I was
a lovable kid, I liked everybody. I was really... I was happy.
Had you ever met anybody like them before?
Actually, yes and no. I've been through a lot of therapists in my life, and all
the therapists have that same kind of, I guess, underlying quality. A quiet,
calm demeanor; you know, the intelligence look in their eyes. And so with that, that's been throughout my life.
But with them, they were
cold, I guess might be the best way to put it. But seemingly smiling. When I think about them now, I don't necessarily picture the face,
and I don't picture the words. But I picture the feelings that I feel inside of
me, which aren't that good. And I don't get that feeling from anybody else.
I mean, it's a mix between, trying to forgive the tinges of like hatred and
anger, and the tinges of sorrow, because of all this they're going through
-- because they knew what they were doing.
What was your impression of why you were there? What did they say to you, or
your mother say to you, or anybody say to you?
My mother said that they were going to ask me some questions. She hated all
this, and she still didn't know what was going to go on. The counselors are
very, "Your father is very sick. He's sick in the head. We're going to help
him. We're here to help him. We're here to help you. And we're going to tell
you about some things that happened. In basic terms, you're going to say,
And that's what's happened. "If you want to help your father, then this is what
you got to say."
Were you nervous, suspicious, weary at some of the things they would say?
"Your father is sick."
Not really. I was very trusting. ... I thought these people were here to help
me. These people were here to help my father. And because of them, I'm going to
see my father soon. "Yes, that sounds perfect, let's do it."
Walk me through it. What do they say to you? What kinds of things did they
tell you? What kinds of things did they ask you?
They started familiarizing me with things about my father. Basic, I guess, that
he had been sick, and that he had done some things to children. We had a lot of
visual tools, like the little dolls, anatomically correct dolls. So this is two
dolls and this is the males and this is the females. So I'm just taking this
in. The whole process kind of blurs with me now.
But I remember a lot of times, "No, no, that didn't happen." "Oh, yes, it did.
You're not understanding." And then before you know it, "OK. Yes, he did that,
but he was sick," and they would offer that as like an excuse. "But he was
sick, Noel, you know he was sick. And he won't be sick anymore, once we're done
And so, "Yes, OK, he did it, but he was sick. And now you can play." And it's
like, "OK, let's play." And so it was like positive reinforcement, and then
[negative] reinforcement. I'm not too familiar with the psychology; I got to
take it this year. But I'm sure I have a lot better understanding of what kind
of techniques were used. ...
In my reading of your sessions with the Bragas, you either don't understand
what they're talking about, or don't believe that what they're asking you to
agree to ever actually happened. Which was it?
You notice in the depositions I sound like totally confused. I'm saying this,
I'm saying that. It's like some parts are contradictory. "Oh, no, it didn't,"
"Oh, yes, it did."
You see that boy's confused. He doesn't know if he's up or he's down. It wasn't
that I was an unintelligent kid, or I wasn't just messing up. But I had been
told this, I'd been told that. I couldn't say my own memories, because that was
considered wrong. And this was wanted so much that anything I didn't know was
presumed: "Oh, he doesn't want to know it. He's lying because he loves his
father." There was no possibility that I was just telling the truth, and this
was a normal day-in and day-out life. ...
I know it's hard to remember. But when a little kid hears the word
gonorrhea, what does it mean to a little kid?
Absolutely nothing. Here's another thing. I don't even know if you know this
about the gonorrhea. The hospital that took this test, and says, "Oh, Noel has
gonorrhea," because they've seen some bacteria in my throat. It could be a
cold, flu, could be so many number of things. But "He's got gonorrhea."
And so then they went in, they gave me a whole bunch of shots. I mean, one day,
bam, bam, bam. I remember that, because it was painful. And a kid hates
needles. Doesn't know what gonorrhea is, but hates needles. And I remember the
And then after that, sent me on my way.
And we have no papers. We don't have the culture. We don't have anything.
Everything's gone. Nobody knows where it's at, or it's just been destroyed. And
hospitals don't do that; they keep all these great records and stuff. But,
before you know it, it was "He had gonorrhea, he got treated, he's cured, here
you go. And Frank Fuster is guilty." ...
Did anybody ever tell you that you supposedly got it from your father
sticking his penis in your mouth?
Oh yes, that was what I told what happened -- and sooner or later, made to
believe that this is what happened. Any way they could get it to me. Whether I
said no seven times, "Well, you didn't know about it, you were asleep. You were
hypnotized," anything. Because they went off on the deep end with my dad. He's
a devil worshipper, he's a satanist. Anybody could have came up
with the charge against him, and found some way to prove him guilty of it. So
there was no limit to the extent that they could have gone on with the stories.
You're telling me they kind of convinced you.
They convinced everybody. With me, they couldn't do the type of measures they
did with Ileana, my stepmother at the time. But if you ever read about the
things they did with her, I mean, it was God-awful. This is America. These
people were torturing her. And so this is what she went through. With me, it
was more psychological. It was more mind games. They were playing games with a
6-year-old's head. And they were good at it. ...
How did you know what they wanted you to say?
... It was very subtle. "Well, you had gonorrhea, somebody had to do it. Your
father, he's the one who tried to do it." This and that. And slowly but surely,
they form my conclusion. They helped form that. ...
What did you finally tell them so that they would basically leave you alone
and be happy with you?
... That my father had, I guess, put his penis in my mouth because he
was sick and I was sleeping, so I must have not known about it. That Ileana had
kissed the bodies, which supposedly they said "the bodies" means the private
parts of the genitalia of the boys. And that they had danced. There was some
dancing going on. I think I have vague details about mostly everything, but
they would try to narrow on and make their own assumptions or lead me to that.
Did part of you think maybe it is true?
Not really. I would have remembered something. And if my father was guilty of
this, yes, I would love him because he is my father. But I wouldn't lie for
him. I would want him to pay for what he's done, not only to me, but from the
children, from the parents. For a long time, I probably would have been angry
with my father. I might have even been bitter. I would have gone through the
whole process. And then OK, it's my father, I've got to forgive him, even
though he's done these horrible, horrible things. And that's probably what my
life would have been like.
But this is so much different, because there is no recollection. And I remember
a lot of things and feelings. None. Life was so normal. ... Even though I was
five and I was six, I would have known if kids were dancing around naked, there
was devil worshipping, and people were getting in these sex orgies, all the
things they said. I would have. Anybody would.
So why did you admit that something happened?
The way I looked at it, it had to have happened. I had to have been wrong.
There was something wrong with me, something wrong with my father. These
people, that's just the way it had to be. And I tell you, I've dealt with this
on so many different levels and so many different times, thinking how did it go
down. And I don't know.
These people, I don't know what they were, but they did a number on me, they
really did. And so now it's just trying to figure out what we're going to do
What did you think happened to Ileana? Did you know what had happened to
Never heard about it again. Just disappeared off the face of the earth. ...
How does it feel, Noel, to know that you were one of the most important
things -- maybe the most important thing, because you were a kid and because
of the testimony that kids don't lie -- how does it feel to know that you, more
than maybe anything else and anybody else, are responsible for sending your
father to prison for life?
It almost destroyed me. For a long time, I went through every type of negative
emotion. I blamed myself. I went through that whole thing. ...
Who do you blame for what happened to your father and to you?
Fear. I believe that's what happened. These parents, I don't blame them. They
hate me ... right now. And they're going to be spitting at the TV screen. But
they're victims, too. They've grown up their whole lives thinking their kids
have been through this. These kids have thought their whole lives that they've
gone through this. God only knows what they're going through in their own
lives. And just the mere thought of this might have happening to them might
have sent them on a whole different bad path... We're all victims of this.
But who victimized you?
Victimized me personally? The people probably I was interviewed with, [who]
most directly wanted their answers. The Bragas, all the way up to even Janet
Reno, who was at the time the Dade County state attorney. This is why it's so
difficult to put this out, because you've got powerful people in government.
Everybody who dealt with the case, in their own way, was responsible.
But how in your mind, did Janet Reno do anything to you?
Just she was the top of the line. She's the one that condoned
everything. It's like if I'm a peasant and a soldier comes and kills me, it's
not really the king's fault, because the king didn't kill me, but he's the one
on top of the chain. And so she's the one that had the Bragas put there and
this and that. ... They had no idea what they were doing, but they knew how to
speak, and they knew how to manipulate with words. And, I guess, this was the
most important thing.
All these things were known about, and everybody's profited from it. Janet Reno
profited from it; I mean, look where she is now. This was a very popular case.
It was a very powerful case. A lot of money, a lot of publicity. And she came
out of it with a higher name for herself. So she's profited from my father's
misfortune, and so has many other people, all based on a lie. ...
Now, Noel, you love your father; love him very much.
Now, you wish he was out of prison.
Would you lie for him now?
No. I tell you, if my dad was guilty, I would tell him, "I love you, Dad, but
you've got to pay for this, because you hurt a lot of people." I've done a lot
of bad things in my life. One lesson that God told me is that you have got to
pay for that. You will answer for the things you do. No matter what it is, in
some way, in some form or another, these things will come back to you. You have
to pay for these things in some way or another.
And my dad would need help. The things that they charged him with -- I'd tell
him, "Dad, you need help. Look at the things. I remember this. I was there."
But because I know he's innocent, and I know the things, I will fight for him,
because he deserves at least that from me. I don't do as good as I should do
all the time for myself and things. He doesn't deserve this; nobody deserves
this. So if he was guilty, I would be here to say, "My dad is guilty." I would
write to the families, hope they forgive him. I would support that. ...
Any time anybody changes their story, people, television viewers, they say,
"Which Noel do I believe? Do I believe the 7-year-old kid who was closer to
the event at the time and maybe he actually did witness them and have them
happen to them? Or do I believe the 20-year-old young man who loves his father
and would just as soon see him get out of prison?" Which Noel do we
The 7-year-old Noel went in saying his father was innocent, that he loved
his father very much. The 7-year-old kid has recorded evidence of the type
of manipulation used. The 20-year-old Noel never says, "Maybe my father did it,
but now I don't think he is [guilty]." The 20-year-old Noel knows that his
father was innocent from the beginning, like you say, when he was seven, and
he's never had this time of changing or conveying of feelings. It was as a
simple truth, and the truth is that my dad is innocent.
And the problems with me dealing with it don't matter. It just comes down to
that one simple truth, that I said when I was seven and I'll say now, and if I
have to, I'll say it when I'm 50: My father's innocent of what he's been
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