Both pleading "not guilty", Robyn Kay Drown and husband Graydon Drown begin their defence case today before Judge Hart and a jury in Marion County, Oregon.
Yesterday the court was stunned by a audio tape, which was secretly recorded by the eldest son, in which prosecutors assert and children testified the six year old daughter was severely beaten with a fiberglass tent pole with a rubber attachment. The beating, which sounded like the cracks of a bull whip, continued for over two minutes, gaining intensity while the child was screaming and crying. After the beating her father Graydon Drown made references to her being "rebellious" and the "promised land". In the background, a voice identified as that of her mother, Robyn Kay Drown, could be heard chatting. In the tape, at no time did anyone come to the defence of the obviously distraught and injured child.
While the tape played, Robyn Kay Drown wept slightly - the first emotion of any kind she has displayed during the case, except smiles to supporters as they arrive in the courtroom. It is not known how Graydon Drown will frame a defence, however indications by her attorneys have already shown Robyn Drown will present a defence of "abused wife syndrome" or "Stockholm Syndrome" (loyalty to a more powerful abuser in spite of the danger that this loyalty puts the victim in. It should be noted that Stockholm Syndrome is not a recognized Medical Subject Heading, with most sources of information for widely publicized cases being of varying reliability in terms of the events that led to the diagnosis). ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome)
The Drowns had all nine of their younger children removed from their home in June of this year after the oldest two sons reported the abuse to people they trusted at Temple Beth Shalom in Salem Oregon. The children were all placed in foster care. Three older children were removed from their home for child abuse in California in the 1990s and were raised by his extended family. Robyn and Graydon Drown fled to Alaska and had the younger nine children, living a nomadic and secretive life while keeping in touch with her family in Anchorage Alaska.