Saturday, October 22, 2016

Sexual Abuse Claims and Polygraphs

Many years ago, I interviewed a child about sexual molestation where she claimed mom's boyfriend molested her when mom was at work.  This was typical for child protective investigators; more routine than the public knows.  

The child's language did not include the word "molest." 

The interview was recorded and transcribed.  

The alleged perpetrator was asked if he would be willing to write out a statement about what happened before the interview and agreed, stating without qualification, "I did not molest her" in the free editing process.  This is a Reliable Denial for the accusation of "molestation."  

The analysis of his statement, however, showed deception.  

I sent the statement to an analyst and instructor with more than 30 years experience, with only the allegation.  While awaiting the response, I analyzed the child's interview transcript.  In this, I asked "what happened?", followed by "what happened, next?" and avoided introducing any new language to the child, as is the wont of legally sound interviews with children.  The child was just shy of 10 years of age.  

He returned it with "deception indicated" in the precise places that my analysis showed. 

The child's transcript (statement) showed veracity.  

Lastly, I compared his written statement with the timeline created by the child's statement, focusing in, particularly, on his whereabouts when the alleged molestation took place.  His whereabouts matched the description given by the child.  

The family was in an uproar with much anger towards me because while the investigation continued, the boyfriend voluntarily moved out of the apartment.  

The above account has taken place many times over the years, but in this case, there was one significant difference. 

The boyfriend  took and passed a polygraph for local law enforcement.  

Perplexed, I sought to learn the content of the pre-polygraph examination interview, and the specific wording of the polygraph questions.  The pre-screening interview can literally teach the subject how to beat the test.  It is to contaminate the results.  

I believe the polygraph, when applied with only the subject's own words, has an accuracy rate even more than what polygraph examiners claim.  

The case was closed and the boyfriend moved back in with the family.  Years later, someone close to the family said, "yeah, he did it again."

                                     What went wrong?

Like us, children have a personal, subjective dictionary, with each individual having his or her own.  In statement analysis, we not only avoid interpreting words, we literally seek to "decode" the internal dictionary of each subject.  

In training seminars, I ask attendees to write down the first thing that comes to mind when I say a word.  

When I choose "boy", in a class of 25 investigators, the understanding of the word "boy" shows:

New born infant boys.
7 year old Little League boys.
21 year old military soldiers overseas.  

The range of 21 years shows just how vast this internal dictionary of subjective words is.  

In child protective cases, the perpetrator, too, has his own language and sometimes he shares this with the victim.  

One child said she didn't want to "play monopoly no more" with her mother's live in boyfriend.  At an age being too young to play the board game, "Monopoly", the child protective worker asked, "How do you play Monopoly?" and the child described a sexual assault.  

Another described the "ice cream cone surprise" a deviant devised for sexual abuse.  

"We play WWF when mommy isn't home!" 

My response to this was, "What does WWF look like?" The description was criminal.  

One child had "cool freezer pops" that her neighbor gave to her whenever she slept over her little girlfriend's house.  Her girlfriend's dad was "really cool" and "makes my favorite flavor" and "they are specially made just for me!"  He made her feel wanted, unique and special.  Our investigation, on a Friday noon preempted what still bothers me today: 

A planned Friday sleepover, that day, after school. 

On this sleepover, she would be "really special" because her girlfriend and her mother would be out of town at a Girl Scout's convention and "they love me so much that I was still invited!"

In fact, she was "so special" that the sleep over was actually a secret she could not even tell her girlfriend.  It was just between "me and her dad.  He really loves me!"

The freezer pops were laced with Vodka.  

He had been showing her "yucky" movies and this "thing" (sexual device) that "only we are allowed to touch it."

He had his big night planned and if you know anything about most states' child protective services:  they are overrun and investigations get delayed frequently.  

"I did not molest her" was true, according to his internal subjective dictionary.  

The victim never claimed he "molested" her:  she said he "tickled her" above and below her clothing.  

In sexual abuse investigations, for all ages, the investigator/interviewer should never accept any word related to sexual activity without asking the subject to define the term.  This is a principle without exception.  Not for children, nor for adults, as the definition of "sex" varies dramatically from person to person.  This includes discussion between spouses on infidelity.  "Linguistic Gymnastics" will bend words out of proportion and with the polygraph, the subject's own definitions must be learned.  

Accomplished, pathological or habitual liars, are so good at 'word-smithing' or 'linguistic gymnastics' that they hold to a very strong expectation that you will interpret their words, rather than listen to them and ask appropriate clarifying questions.  

Subject:  "Me?  Have sex with her?  You'd have to be sick in the head to have sex with her! She's retarded!"

This statement led to:

"Sir, do you have a mental health diagnosis?"

He did.  

In his subjective dictionary, his illness was in his "head."

He was arrested for sexual exploitation of a woman under guardianship, who was incapable of giving consent.  

Do not interpret.  

It only takes a few extra moments in an interview to ask,

"What is sex?"

Even when an answer appears thorough, we always ask,

"What does ______  sex look like?" 

The answers are often shocking.  We ask the question with the wording "look like" for many things, but especially sex.  This may appear a "child interview only" type of question, but if you apply it in a sexual assault case, you will find that whatever your personal definition of ______ sex is, you will find others who have very different viewpoints. 

Habitual Liars are counting on you and I to interpret their words.  This is how the habitual liar, one who is smooth and practiced, has such a high success rate.  

In the polygraph, "Did you molest ______?" with the answer, "no" showed no physiological reaction. 

Had he been asked, "Did you tickle her on her chest?" the results would have been different.  

Polygraph examiners well trained in Statement Analysis are a force for justice.  

Investigators assigned to sex crimes unit will benefit from language specific training found in our Advanced Course.  Learning the difference between statements made coming from experiential memory is key, but even perseveration within the statements presents a unique challenge beyond what most trainings cover.  


tania cadogan said...

Off topic

AN IRAQI asylum seeker who confessed to raping a 10-year-old boy in a swimming pool, claiming it was a "sexual emergency", has had his conviction overturned.

In a truly shocking twist the Suptreme Court decided the grown Iraqi man may not have realised the 10-year-old did not want to be sexually abused by him.

Amir A, 20, was visiting the Theresienbad pool in the Austrian capital of Vienna last December as part of a trip to encourage integration.

When the youngster went to the showers, Amir A. allegedly followed him, pushed him into a toilet cubicle, and violently sexually assaulted him.

Following the attack, the accused rapist returned to the pool and was practising on the diving board when police arrived, after the 10-year-old raised the alarm with the lifeguard.

The child suffered severe anal injuries which had to be treated at a local children's hospital, and is still plagued by serious post-traumatic stress disorder.

In a police interview, Amir A. confessed to the crime; telling officers the incident had been "a sexual emergency", as his wife had remained in Iraq and he "had not had sex in four months".

A court found Amir guilty of serious sexual assault and rape of a minor, and sentenced him to six years in jail.

However, in a bizarre twist, the Supreme Court yesterday overturned the conviction, accepting the defence lawyer's claim that the original court had not done enough to ascertain whether or not the rapist realised the child was saying no.

According to the Supreme Court President Thomas Philipp, while the verdict was "watertight" with regard to the serious sexual assault of a minor, there was not enough evidence to support the second charge of rape.

The appeal court said the initial ruling should have dealt with whether the offender thought that the victim had agreed with the sexual act, or whether he had intended to act against his will.

The sentence was therefore lifted, although Amir is expected to remain in custody until the rape case returns to the regional court next year.

A court had previously awarded the child's family £3,700 (€4,700) compensation, after prosecutors described the boy as suffering both physical injuries and "profound depression".

The child's mother, who moved to Austria as a Serbian refugee during the civil war, said it made her "blood boil" to hear Amir describe the incident as a sexual emergency, and added that she regretted telling her five children to treat refugees with the same hospitality she had once received as a new arrival.

The case sparked outrage across both Austria and Europe, causing a backlash against migrants which saw support for anti-immigration groups rise as a result.

tania cadogan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The entire civilized world should boycott Germany and Sweden.

Anonymous said...

A sexual emergency? Never had one of those
Poor little boy
Ignorant court
Despicable non human

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the authority in Austria is as bad as the mslms.

Lis said...

It seems like polygraphers would do well to be trained in statement analysis as well!

Bobcat said...


A young couple has been found dead in Michigan. The Village Manager has made some odd statements. He has been in LE for 40 years and is currently campaigning for Sheriff.

Article 1:
Cameron and Courtney Hulet were lying on their living room floor when a neighbor saw them.
The neighbor didn’t think much of it. She heard moans and figured they were asleep. She closed the front door, which the couple had a habit of leaving open, David Uhl, manager of the southeast Michigan village of Dundee, told The Washington Post.
It was Tuesday morning.
The neighbor said she didn’t see the Hulets all day, according to Uhl. She went back to check on them later that night. They were still lying next to each other. Taco Bell bags and drinks sat next to them on a table, untouched.
The woman had a male friend check on them, Uhl said. Police were called to the apartment shortly before midnight on Tuesday
Uhl said the young couple had probably been dead for at least 12 hours. When the neighbor saw them that morning, they probably were already dead or “very close to it,” he said.
There were no signs of a break-in or physical trauma. The leading theory is that drugs may have been involved, though there’s no evidence that the two had overdosed. Toxicology results won’t be available for two weeks, Uhl said.
“It’s very suspicious. It’s really weird,” he said. “You’d think you’d find something. Pill bottles, needles, something. And there’s nothing.”
Authorities did find a pound of marijuana in the kitchen, though police don’t know whether that had any connection to the deaths. Uhl said the drugs were being divided to be sold.
Uhl said police had been to their apartment several times after neighbors heard them screaming at each other. Two small children were living with them, but they were taken to foster care before the parents were found dead.
Uhl said that authorities don’t know much about Courtney Hulet but that Cameron Hulet, who attended school in Dundee, had been previously arrested on drug-related charges.

Article 2:
A neighbor who stopped by their apartment around 9 p.m. believed Courtney and Cameron, who were ultimately found on their side and facedown respectively, to be sleeping. When she checked in again three hours later and saw they hadn’t moved at all, she called police. “It’s really a puzzle,” Dundee Village Manager Dave Uhl told Monroe News. “There is no indication as to what happened. It’s a mystery.”
Authorities believe drugs are a probable cause (drug paraphernalia was found inside the apartment and a pound of marijuana was found on the table, seemingly being divided up for sale), but have not yet been able to officially confirm the couple’s cause of death. There are no signs of trauma or a break-in that would’ve indicated foul play.
According to FOX 2, the state’s Child Protective Services recently removed two young children from the same apartment. A Facebook post from the Dundee Police Department confirms the children were the Huletts’ and they were with CPS at the time of their parents’ deaths. FOX 2 notes Cameron has a criminal record dating back 10 years.
Autopsy results and toxicology reports are pending.

Bobcat said...

OT Part 2:

Article 3:
Police were called around 1 a.m. Wednesday. Inside the home, they found the bodies of a 28-year-old man and 20-year-old woman lying on the living room floor.
At this point, police haven’t yet indicated how the pair might have died. Dundee Village Manager David Uhl said there were no signs of foul play — at all.
“Right now it’s remaining a mystery,” Uhl told WWJ’s Dave Ramos. “There’s no sign of forced entry. No other signs, no evidence like pills or needles, any drug paraphernalia. And definitely no sign of a struggle. We don’t believe there was any violence involved whatsoever.”
No weapons were found inside the home, but investigators looking for possible clues did find approximately one pound of marijuana that had been “cut up” in the kitchen area. At this point though, it’s not clear if the drugs had anything to do with the deaths.
“I’m guessing that they probably were for distribution,” said Uhl. “Some of it was in baggies and some of it was already in glass jars.”
Uhl said police have been called to the home several times in the past on “civil issues,” but nothing was ever criminal.
Investigators believe this is an isolated incident and there’s no threat to the public.
“We just want to make sure that everybody is at ease in the village. There’s no cause for alarm,” said Uhl. “We are just waiting for toxicology reports to come back from the Wayne County Medical Examiner.”

Article 4:
The husband and wife, who have been identified as Cameron Hulet, 28, and Courtney Hulet, 20, had been living in Monroe County for just six months, but authorities were familiar with the couple. “Cameron had some drug issues,” Dundee Village manager and former police chief David Uhl told Us Weekly. “Our department had also responded there several times on domestic issues. A lot of complaints from neighbors saying there was yelling and screaming.”
While Uhl suspects drugs were involved, police are awaiting the results of a toxicology report to determine the cause of death.
I don’t think Cameron and Courtney died from marijuana,” Uhl told Us. “But marijuana can be laced with something, and we’re having a lot of trouble with fentanyl. That can kill you immediately.”
A neighbor in the Hulets’ triplex found the pair lying on the floor at 9 a.m. on October 17 and assumed they were sleeping. “She heard a groan and then closed the door and left,” said Uhl. When the same woman returned at 1 a.m. and found them in the same position, she called the police.

Dundee Police Facebook:
Village Manager David Uhl and Chief Todd Opperman report that the Dundee Police Department responded to the 100 block of Riley Street at around 11:53 p.m. on Tuesday for a report of two deceased subjects inside of a residence.

Uhl For Sheriff Facebook:
Q: With the 2 deaths recently in Dundee why is the chief not speaking to this issue, why is Uhl? This draws concern about Uhl's style of management.

Reply: (Dave Uhl for Sheriff) Sorry for not covering the second half of your question Dan. As the village manager of Dundee the Police Department is under my supervision also. As the village manager I respond to major incidents within our community just as the Police Chief does. I was on scene prior to the Chief because I live closer to the village. Therefore the media spoke to me first. The media also spoke with Chief Opperman throughout the day. It is common practice for media outlets to speak with all authority figures within a jurisdiction when incidents occur. If you have any other questions Dan, please feel free to ask. I will do my best to answer. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Reply: (Dave Uhl for Sheriff) Sorry for not covering the second half of your question Dan. As the village manager of Dundee the Police Department is under my supervision also. As the village manager I respond to major incidents within our community just as the Police Chief does. I was on scene prior to the Chief because I live closer to the village. Therefore the media spoke to me first. The media also spoke with Chief Opperman throughout the day. It is common practice for media outlets to speak with all authority figures within a jurisdiction when incidents occur. If you have any other questions Dan, please feel free to ask. I will do my best to answer. Thank you.

I see sensitivities, but only surrounding his status. He desires respect.


Man rescued at sea plans memorial for presumed-dead mother, upsetting her sisters

Anonymous said...

Black Doctor Who Said Flight Attendant Stopped Her From Helping Passenger: ‘We Still Have So Much Further to Go’


Delta said in a statement that the company is conducting a full investigation.

“We are troubled by any accusations of discrimination and take them very seriously,” the Delta statement said. The company added, “Three medical professionals identified themselves on the flight in question. Only one was able to produce documentation of medical training and that is the doctor who was asked to assist the customer onboard. In addition, paramedics met the flight to assist the customer further.”

Cross’s account of the incident and Delta’s statement differ.

Cross says that Delta shared the information regarding the credentials with her approximately 24 hours after the company shared the statement on social media, telling TIME: “I personally did not see credentials presented,” adding “I personally did not witness a third physician involved in the care of this patient.”

Cross tells TIME she wants sensitivity training for the employee in question plus a public apology from Delta on the flight attendant’s behalf. While Cross believes this incident was unique to this one flight attendant, she sees the incident as a learning opportunity for everyone.

I have made it clear to several people that I am not looking to get the involved flight attendant fired. I do think she could benefit from sensitivity training. She may not be aware of her biases but in this case it caused a delay in medical treatment. A public apology from Delta on her behalf would seem fitting in addition to further investigation and ramifications that would prevent this type of event happening again in the future. I want us to learn from this event, hence my sharing it publicly. There are several learning points that can be drawn from this scenario for everyone. This unfortunate scenario has been used as a platform to open an uncomfortable discussion across America. Now that we are all discussing it, let’s work together to implement change."

Bobcat said...

He desires respect and he is in law enforcement. Red flags all over the place with this guy.

Peter Hyatt said...

Cross wanted attention and got it.

She may find that her abrasive "victim status mentality" ways of seeking to provoke an excuse to claim "racism!" are not well received by hospitals, doctors, businesses, black people, while people, or anyone else besides those who see themselves as victims.

She has lowered her demands, which, itself is important. She may be feeling a bit vulnerable since her claims have been met with skepticism.


John mcgowan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Father of missing Merced County toddler fears boy fell in canal

Grace4Ayla said...

Re: Anon at 5:01PM

“He was by himself with his grandma,”

Uh, no he wasn't, that is physically impossible. You can't be by yourself with someone else.

This won't end well I fear.

LisaB said...

Do you believe this could happen in the US??

Anonymous said...

ot above

Body of missing toddler found in canal in Central California

Habundia said...

Are they letting blind people controle these have to be really blind (and probably deaf) to think these men are under aged......if it could happen in US? If it can happen in UK it can happen anywhere.....only depands on how these men are being checked and by whom....US also has blind people working for the every country on the planet has!