Troopers: Man made up dozens of fake child abuse cases

By Conor Mooney
By Perry Russom

April 16, 2014 Updated Apr 17, 2014 at 7:48 AM EDT

Kirkwood, NY (WBNG Binghamton) State Police arrested a Whitney Point man they said reported 48 instances of child abuse, none of which were actually true.

Troopers said from Sept. 27, 2013 to Feb. 17, 2014, Harry Clauson, 43, called a child abuse hot line dozens of times, reporting instances of children being abused, or living in an abusive environment.

"When Child Protective Services calls my department, New York State Police, and says we have a report on the hotline of a child abuse, that jumps right to the top of the list," said Fred Goodall, senior investigator for the New York State Police.

Clauson allegedly made most of the reports anonymously during odd hours of the day, but for some, used the names of other people without their knowing.

"It's very frustrating because it is a total misalignment of our resources," said Julia Hepworth, director of Child Protective Services.

For every report of child abuse, law enforcement must respond to the residence in question, and expose children to sensitive interviews.

"When you have this number of false reports, it's really hard to go in and say 'What if this is true?' If you don't you could be making a fatal mistake," said Hepworth.

There were more false reports made from the same location as Clauson's 48 claims making the total number of false reports 83. Goodall said the suspect in the other 35 false claims has not been charged.

Officials arraigned Clauson in the Town of Chenango Town Court and took him to the Broome County jail on of $1000 cash bail and/or $2000 property bond.

He is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and 48 separate counts of making false child abuse reports to the New York State Child Abuse Hot line.