HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There are shocking allegations against a former news reporter, accused of sexually abusing his young daughter.
For the first time his wife is publicly defending him and is asking for donations to help his case, reports CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.
It was a stunning on-camera appearance – the wife of former FOX 5 reporter Charles Leaf defending him on her new website.
“Hello, my name is Monica Leaf and I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about the great injustice that has been done to my family,” she says on the site.
“One year ago my husband was falsely accused of sexually abusing our daughter, who was then 4 years old.”
Prosecutors allege the sexual molestation took place inside the leaf home in Wyckoff, N.J.
“Our family has been shattered and ruined,” Monica Leaf said.
But she said her husband passed a polygraph test and that their nanny at the time encouraged their daughter, now 5, to lie.
“She told me ‘mommy, daddy never hurt me. Daddy never touched me in a wrong way,’” Monica Leaf said. “She then proceeded to tell me that our nanny had told her to say these things. Why? To this day I don’t know.”
No one answered the door Wednesday at Mrs. Leaf’s home. Sources told Sloan it was the nanny who took the case to prosecutors.
“At first I didn’t know what to believe, clearly. Do you believe your daughter? Do you believe your husband? But within hours I knew that this was not true,” she said.
The Bergen County prosecutor has not commented, but a former prosecutor with the office told Sloan polygraphs are admissible and that investigators are thorough with cases like this.
“They have special investigators that have been trained to interview children. When they interviewed the child, that would be videotaped,” attorney Jay Fahey said.
The former reporter is also charged with having child pornography on his computer. There’s no mention of that on the website. Still, Monica Leaf is asking for help with legal fees.
“We need to bring this loving father and husband and innocent man home,” she said.
Charles Leaf will appear in the Bergen County courtroom on Dec. 9. Could the charges be dismissed? Legal analysts said it’s highly unlikely, but added what is possible is his wife taking the stand in his defense during the trial.
Charles Leaf has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, including possession of child pornography.
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