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Who is Frank Maco? Ex-Connecticut state attorney regrets halting investigation into Woody Allen’s alleged abuse

In the docuseries 'Allen V Farrow', Dylan Farrow meets with Maco, who oversaw the investigation into the sexual abuse allegations and put a halt to it out of concern regarding 'the further traumatization' of Dylan
Frank S. Maco was Litchfield Connecticut state attorney from 1988 to 2003 (HBO)
Frank S. Maco was Litchfield Connecticut state attorney from 1988 to 2003 (HBO)

HBO's four-part docuseries, 'Allen V Farrow', which looked into the allegations of sexual abuse made by Dylan Farrow against filmmaker Woody Allen, came to an end on Sunday, March 14, with a grown-up Dylan speaking about the allegations as well as meeting Frank S Maco, the former Connecticut State Attorney, who was in charge of investigating the allegations and chose to halt the investigation out of worries of traumatizing the then-seven-year-old Dylan further.

Dylan Farrow accused Allen of sexually molesting her in 1992, however, Allen, who is now married to Mia Farrow's adoptive daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, dismissed the allegations and claimed that Mia Farrow had coached their daughter to take revenge for his relationship with Soon-Yi. 


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In the docuseries, Dylan meets with Maco, who oversaw the investigation into the allegations and put a halt to it out of concern for "the further traumatization" of Dylan. During their meeting, Maco tells Dylan that he felt deep regret over the decision to halt the investigation.

Dylan and Mia Farrow (HBO)

Who is Frank Maco?

Frank Maco was a young prosecutor in the 1970s before he became a state attorney. He was sworn in as a prosecutor in 1972, then as Litchfield County's state's attorney in 1988. He served as the head of the racketeering unit for the chief state attorney and was recommended to the position of a state's attorney by the late Supreme Court Justice T Clark Hull.

Maco's record includes the arrest and conviction of Edward Palmer, a man who was known as Bridgeport, Connecticut's "bumper rapist." There had been nine known attacks against women by the then-unknown man when Anthony Fabrizi, a former Bridgeport police inspector, came up with a plan with Maco to catch the culprit.

With Maco prosecuting Palmer, he received the longest sentence in Fairfield County history, a minimum of 77 years in prison, and a maximum of two life terms plus 57 years. 

Frank Maco and Dylan Farrow (HBO)

Maco was also responsible for the sentencing of Roy Duntz -- the brother of cocaine kingpin Richard Duntz of Northwest Connecticut in the 1980s -- for burning down the Salisbury Town Hall in the aftermath of his accomplice, Earl Morey II, being killed by Richard after he confessed to the police of Roy's and his actions.

Maco first learned of Dylan Farrow's allegations against Woody Allen in August 1992, when he got a call from prosecutor David Shepack. During his investigation into Allen, Maco received a warning from a high-ranking state police official that Allen's people "were hiring private detectives to try and get some dirt on us."

Maco also said that when he tried to speak to Dylan about the incident during the investigation, he saw "complete withdrawal," saying, "This was complete withdrawal and regression. At the time she was so fragile and damaged I knew she would not be a good witness. I knew she needed healing. I was not going to interfere with her recovery.”

Young Dylan Farrow (HBO)

Later, when Maco said he had decided not to approve an arrest warrant into Allen to spare Dylan the trauma of the trial, he also said that the state police had compiled enough evidence to charge Allen with a crime.

Allen objected to Maco's characterization of him and filed an ethics complaint against Maco with both the Statewide Grievance Committee and the state's Criminal Justice Commission. The Criminal Justice Commission exonerated Maco, but the Statewide Grievance Committee voted to investigate Maco for alleged misconduct. After more than four years, the grievance committee voted unanimously to dismiss Allen's complaint, but some members criticized Maco for his "lack of sensitivity in this case to the concept of presumption of innocence."

Maco announced his retirement in November 2002, effective from February 2003.