A Time Line

1962: Louis J. Poetter founds Anneewakee as an adolescent psychiatric care institution specializing in wilderness therapy.

-1970: Poetter is removed as administrator of the facility following a state Department of Human Resources (DHR) investigation of alleged sexual misconduct with male patients. The investigation is not made public, and Poetter remains executive director.

July 1972 – The Division of Children and Youth and the State Board for Children and Youth are abolished, and responsibility for Anneewakee is
transferred to newly created Department of Human Resources (DHR).

November 1973 – Prompted by inquiries from Poetter, DHR Deputy Commissioner T.M. “Jim” Parham writes a memo to staffers about Anneewakee’s
problems obtaining license as a special hospital.

March 1974 – Anneewakee receives special hospital license.

October 1979 – Mr. Parham returns from a job in the White House and accepts a position on the Anneewakee board of trustees.

-July 1, 1986: Poetter resigns as Anneewakee board chairman, remains executive director.

July 1986 – Mr. Parham becomes chairman of the Anneewakee board, and orders an internal investigation of reports about sexual misconduct and
financial wrongdoing. Poetter resigns as executive director. Law enforcement authorities also begin an investigation.

-Mid-August 1986: Douglas County Sheriff’s Department and GBI begin examining allegations of patient abuse.

-Oct. 1, 1986: Poetter charged by Douglas Sheriff Earl Lee with three counts of sodomy, one count of cruelty to children and one count of simple battery. At the time, Poetter is believed to be in Mexico City. Carl Maxwell Moore, Poetter’s chauffeur, is charged with sodomy.

-Oct. 5, 1986: Poetter surrenders to authorities.

-Oct. 6, 1986: DHR begins its Anneewakee investigation.

-Oct. 9, 1986: Six victims of alleged physical and sexual abuse file suit charging facility officials, including Poetter and Moore, with racketeering to defraud and abuse patients.

-Oct. 14, 1986: Douglas deputies arrest James C. Womack, co-director of therapeutic services, and charge him with “numerous counts of sodomy.”

-Oct. 17, 1986: Daniel T. Herrera, an Anneewakee employee, charged with cruelty to children. Second group of alleged victims sues.

October 1986 – Poetter is arrested for sodomy and other charges, and later is released on $1 million bond. Nine other former Anneewakee
employees, including his wife, Mable Poetter, are arrested.

-Oct. 30, 1986: Poetter charged with stealing $29,500 in Anneewakee funds to buy land for personal use in Mexico.

-Nov. 3, 1986: Robert Lee Winebarger, former group leader, charged with sodomizing young male patient between January 1978 and January 1980.

-Nov. 7, 1986: Nine young women, ages 19 to 24, sue Anneewakee, charging the hospital with racketeering and conspiracy to abuse them sexually and physically, and defraud them financially. Poetter released after five weeks in the Douglas County Jail when friends and supporters raise his $1 million bond.

-Nov. 21, 1986: Twenty-two former Anneewakee patients sue the hospital, naming Poetter, board chairman Jim Parham and other current and former trustees as defendants. This is the fourth suit against the facility and the first to name Parham as a defendant.

-Jan. 25, 1987: Subsidiary of Hospital Corp. of America – HCA Psychiatric Co. -agrees to take over the day-to-day operations of the three Anneewakee facilities. Arrangement prevents the state Department of Human Resources from revoking the facility’s license.

-Feb. 27, 1987: Poetter indicted in Douglas County on 22 more sodomy counts dating from 1971.

-March 6, 1987: Poetter, his wife, Mable, and his son-in-law, James Henry Evans, charged with failure to report child abuse. By now, there are 10 criminal defendants in the case.

-March 8, 1987: HCA Psychiatric Co. signs five-year agreement to manage the camps. That same week, the parents of a former patient sue in federal court in At lanta over dispute in therapy time. Fifth civil action.

April 1988 – Poetter pleads guilty to 19 counts of sodomy involving 12 former Anneewakee patients. As part of the same negotiated settlement,
Mrs. Poetter also pleads guilty to misdemeanor charge of failure to report child abuse. The Poetters agree to give up about $5 million worth of
land, which they have bought through a private corporation and leased to the non-profit Anneewakee foundation. The land will be deeded to

-April 8, 1988: sentenced to eight years in prison, 12 years probation.

-Oct. 10, 1989: First of six civil trials begins in Fulton County. To date, there are eight lawsuits, 131 plaintiffs and 31 defendants.

-Dec. 19, 1989: After 10-week trial, Fulton Superior Court jury awards $5.2 million to three young women made to work as construction laborers.

-May 24, 1999:  Poetter Seeks to Overturn Sodomy Conviction in Anneewakee Attacks.  Fulton County Daily Report

This information was taken from The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution and from freinds