Feb 10, 2014
12:56 PM
Connecticut Today

Woody Allen Enrages Connecticut Prosecutor From Dylan Farrow Case; New York Times Won't Run Maco's Response

Woody Allen Enrages Connecticut Prosecutor From Dylan Farrow Case; New York Times Won't Run Maco's Response

Associated Press photo

A 2011 AP file photo published with Andy Thibault's latest column on the Woody Allen-Dylan Farrow case.

Editor's update: Following the events described below, Frank Maco experienced a sort of double-jeopardy. Based on his outrage over Woody Allen's oped, he sought to respond. "Notably, when the prosecutor cited in Allen’s op-ed submitted a short statement to The New York Times, the paper rejected it," freelance writer and Connecticut Magazine contributor Andy Thibault says in his latest column on the situation. The column, published on Valentine's Day, looks at the Times' handling of Allen's oped and the paper's subsequent response to Maco.

Frank S. Maco, the former Connecticut prosecutor who found that probable cause existed to file charges against filmmaker Woody Allen for allegedly sexually assaulting his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow when she was 7—but did not prosecute out of concern for the impact on Dylan—is expressing outrage over Allen’s “I didn’t do it” missive published by The New York Times.

Maco said in a Sept. 24, 1993, statement detailing his decision that he found probable cause existed to proceed with charges against Allen, who had been involved in a long relationship with Mia Farrow and allegedly assaulted Dylan in Farrow’s Litchfield County home. But ultimately Maco said he could not initiate a prosecution because of his fears about what the process would do to Dylan.

Dylan renewed the claims recently, and The New York Times posted Allen’s response last Friday evening—a response that contained the line “The district attorney was champing at the bit to prosecute a celebrity case … .”

That prompted the following statement from Maco today:

My name is Frank S. Maco. I served the State of Connecticut for 31 years as a prosecuting attorney, retiring in 2003 as the State's Attorney for the Litchfield Judicial District. My total service in the criminal justice system of the State of Connecticut spanned five decades.
In 1992 I directed the investigation involving sexual assault allegations against Woody Allen. The location of the alleged incident was Bridgewater, Connecticut, a town within the Litchfield judicial district. The manner in which I conducted myself during that investigation earned me the honor of being nominated by Richard Bozzuto of Watertown, Connecticut for the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 1994.  I will forever be grateful for that honor. 
Before being appointed Litchfield State's Attorney in 1988, I served as a prosecutor in Bridgeport, Connecticut from 1972-1986. I joined the Office of the Chief State's Attorney in 1986.
I believe those who knew me and my work prior to 1992 would agree that I was a prosecutor who took a case, tried the case to a conclusion, if necessary, accepted the decision of the judge or a jury, remained silent, and took on my next case. I would only speak publicly when to do less would undermine the community's confidence in my office, the Connecticut justice system or me personally.
My outrage today is directed at Woody Allen's letter to the N.Y. Times describing me as a district attorney "champing at the bit to prosecute a celebrity case". The attack upon my character was unprovoked, gratuitous, unwarranted and most importantly, unsupported by my history as a prosecutor. For me to sit silently in the face of this assault would do nothing less than betray the encouragement and support of so many, especially those who stood by me for the better part of five years of my career defending against Allen's disciplinary complaints--all of which were dismissed.
 In conclusion, my history as a prosecutor was completely opposite to the "headlines seeking" prosecutor that Allen describes.
Accordingly, in coming days I will consider the wisdom of seeking legal representation in order to further address Allen's assault upon my character.

Maco's handling of the case is chronicled in an extensive 1997 Connecticut Magazine story by veteran journalist Andy Thibault.

Fast forward to 2013.

The old allegations resurfaced after the Golden Globes earlier this year, sparked by Diane Keaton’s ode to Allen and gushing praise about how well he understood women. (Look back at the chain of events and see our 1997 story here.)

Dylan Farrow (shown here in a Frances Silver photo released to the Associated Press) renewed the allegations in a letter published online by the Times. Near the beginning, it says:

For as long as I could remember, my father had been doing things to me that I didn’t like. I didn’t like how often he would take me away from my mom, siblings and friends to be alone with him. I didn’t like it when he would stick his thumb in my mouth. I didn’t like it when I had to get in bed with him under the sheets when he was in his underwear. I didn’t like it when he would place his head in my naked lap and breathe in and breathe out. I would hide under beds or lock myself in the bathroom to avoid these encounters, but he always found me. These things happened so often, so routinely, so skillfully hidden from a mother that would have protected me had she known, that I thought it was normal. I thought this was how fathers doted on their daughters. But what he did to me in the attic felt different. I couldn’t keep the secret anymore.

The media crush descended on the story again, and then, last Friday evening, the Times posted Allen’s response that has Maco firing back.

Stay tuned. Meanwhile, read the full Sept. 24, 1993 Statement of Decision by Maco, and our latest update, liking to the 1997 Connecticut Magazine story.

For Thibault’s take on Allen’s response, see his latest column, which has resonance with Vanity Fair’s 10 Undeniable Facts About the Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation by Maureen Orth, who also extensively researched and wrote about the case.


Woody Allen Enrages Connecticut Prosecutor From Dylan Farrow Case; New York Times Won't Run Maco's Response

Reader Comments

comments powered by Disqus