Sect Member Breaks Silence

Mother Faces Trial For Starvation Death Of Son

News Channel 10/August 4, 2003
By Alison Bologna

Former Attleboro sect member Karen Robidoux commented Monday for the first time since she was charged with starving her son to death. She released a statement exclusively to News Channel 10.

"My inner feeling that I want to express to the world is that I know that I did all that was in my power and ability to stop what was happening to Sam. Those who controlled the group made my efforts impossible and created this tragic result," Robidoux said.

Four years have passed since Robidoux's son, Samuel, starved to death. The group Robidoux belonged to would not talk to News Channel 10. But Robidoux's attorney, Joe Krowski, did. He said she is not responsible for starving her baby to death.

"Absolutely not," Krowski said. "In no way is she responsible."

Krowski said Robidoux has changed. He said she is no longer controlled or manipulated by the sect she once belonged to.

"I think there are those who think I'm trying to victimize Karen. I'm not victimizing her. I'm going to be telling the story. The story of what happened to Karen," Krowski said.

The story began at a Knight Avenue home in Attleboro. It is where Robidoux lived as a member of a religious sect and it is where her son, Samuel, was allegedly starved and later died.

According to the Bristol County District Attorney's Office, the baby was starved after a sect member reportedly got a vision from God telling Robidoux and her husband, Jacques, to stop feeding the child anything more than his mother's milk.

Robidoux was charged with second-degree murder. Jacques Robidoux was convicted of first-degree murder.

Krowski said Karen Robidoux did not ignore her baby's cries when he was crying for food.

"That will come out during the course of the trial," Krowski said. "It was not ignoring the baby's cries, that's what I'll say at this point."

Bob Pardon is an expert in cult behavior.

"People end up believing that if they don't follow through with what the revelation that has come down is, that God will kill them. He may take some of their other children. He may take their husband. That there's going to eternal consequences that they pay," Pardon said.

Bologna: "And now she's reflecting on that and seeing it differently?"

Pardon: "Realizing that she's been duped, that she's been totally manipulated."

As Robidoux and her attorney prepare their defense on what happened, the sect she used to belong to has grown. According to Pardon, another family has joined within the last year-and-a-half.

Pardon said he doubts Robdioux would go back to her old lifestyle if she's acquitted and set free.

"Absolutely not," he said. "Would anyone want to go back to a life that was torture in prison? Karen realizes now that she is free to become the person that she was always intended to be."

Today, Robidoux is in the Taunton State Hospital. Her trial keeps getting delayed because a judge keeps ruling that she is not competent to stand trial.

Although Krowski and Pardon insist Robidoux will not return to the sect, it's unclear what, if any, plans the sect may have for Robidoux.

"She's a decent, honest girl with a lot of strength who's trying her best to be a good human being," Krowski said.

The Bristol County district attorney would not talk to News Channel 10 on camera about the case.

Robidoux's next hearing is Sept. 23.

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