Double Crossed

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The next day, Ingram showed up at Cipriano's New York office. He says the investigator had written a declaration for him to sign; it stated that Spiegelman and Berry used large amounts of cocaine and preferred sex with underage boys: "Mr. Berry was a classic example of a 'Chicken Hawk,' which in street vernacular is a term for an adult male who has sexual relations with boys under the age of 16....Mr. Berry told me that he would sodomize these boys and have them orally copulate his penis. Between May 1984 and February 1985 I personally observed at least 50 to 60 boys between the ages of 14 and 16 in the company of Mr. Berry at the law firm....I also observed a side of Mr. Berry which I felt was even 'seedier.' He used to frequent the Anvil Club in Greenwich Village in New York City. Homosexual males at the club would orally copulate and sodomized each other in open view of the other patrons. Inside the club they also practices [sic] sadistic and masochistic sex acts upon each other, including inserting their greased hand up the rectum of the other and placing their penis through a hole in the wall, commonly called a 'glory hole,' where an anonymous male would orally copulate it. Mr. Berry once told me about taking a boy of 12 years of age to the Anvil Club for the purpose of introducing him to gay sex."

Cipriano says he balked at signing the document. "He took my basic statements and painted a different picture than I had presented the day before. I told him that this was not what I had said, and he instantaneously became furious and belligerent with me again, because I dared to challenge him on the ages of the males involved with Mr. Berry. He said, 'The next time you open your door at home it is not going to be me, but New Jersey. Now sign it.' "

Finally, Cipriano signed the declaration. He says Ingram told him the document would be filed with the LAPD and would probably never be used.

"We [Berry, Spiegelman, and Cipriano] did the drugs," Cipriano says today, "but the other statements were distortions. This is not what I said."

Jerome Spiegelman, who was also approached by Ingram, tells New Times: "There was very little in [Cipriano's 1994 declaration] that was true....It's nonsense. Absolute, total nonsense." Spiegelmen acknowledges that young men did work for Berry, but he says they were not underage boys. "There were some guys working there who were in their early 20s....[Ingram] asked me if Graham took out people who were 14 to 15. I said, 'Don't be stupid.' "

Spiegelman says he never went to The Anvil and never knew Berry to go there. "Those were heavy-duty places. Graham wasn't into that kind of thing....Graham is not a pedophile. He likes young attractive guys, but that doesn't mean age 13, 14, 15. I have never seen him with anybody underage, and he's never spoken about underage boys," Spiegelman says. "If, today, Cipriano is saying he didn't see Graham with 14-year-olds, then he's telling the truth."

Cipriano says he regrets signing the false declaration five years ago but that it seemed the only way to get rid of Ingram. "I was afraid he was going to turn me in to authorities in New Jersey. I was also physically afraid of him. I really had no feelings one way or the other about Graham Berry."

As it turned out, Cipriano had little to fear when he eventually crossed the Hudson River and faced New Jersey authorities. He pleaded guilty to "Failure of Required Disposition" and was sentenced to probation. His probation would end when he paid off the $24,500 debt to the creditors in the criminal case, which he was ordered to do at $750 a month. A year later, he had brought the debt down to $18,500 but again ran out of money. He moved back to the L.A. area and ceased making payments on the debt. He temporarily forgot about Ingram, Berry, and the declaration.

Then, one day in 1997, he purchased an America Online account and logged on to the World Wide Web for the first time. Succumbing to a common form of vanity, he entered his own name in a search engine.

What came up mortified him.

Imagine the Roman Catholic church withholding the contents of the Book of Genesis from 90 percent of its 900 million worldwide adherents. That's 810 million Catholics kept in the dark about "Let there be light," Adam and Eve, and the rest of the Christian origin saga. And imagine that the Catholic church called Genesis a "trade secret" that could only be revealed to Catholics who had spent years, and hundreds of thousands of dollars, obtaining the correct level of experience to be allowed to read their own religion's version of how the universe started and where people came from.

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Tony Ortega
Contact: Tony Ortega