Thursday, March 30, 2017
Child Molestation Analysis and Polygraph
Analysis of words is not reality; it is the subject's verbalized perception of reality.
Every polygraph examiner should be formally trained in Statement Analysis.
Only twice in my career did my analysis oppose the results of a polygraph. It is, professionally, a very uncomfortable position to be in, as I have great confidence in the polygraph when the subject's own words are used.
Each subject has a personal subjective dictionary. The most common example is:
"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky."
President Clinton would have passed a polygraph if he had been asked this very question. Had he been asked, "Did you have sexual contact with Ms. Lewinsky?" and denied such, he would have failed.
Sexual activity is a specific topic in with the investigator/analyst should never assume or interpret. The wide variance in personal subjective dictionaries is highlighted most in this topic.
In statemnet analysis , we have perspectives that often sound unusual to the untrained, but make sense to the trained. We say, for example, "a man cannot molest his own daughter", while knowing that men do molest their own daughters. This perspective is in the language. We find that molesters will "change" their victims from "my daughter" to something else, including "the girl" or "she" during the time (in the statement) where the molestation took place.
Child molesters routinely minimize. They did not "hurt" nor "harm" the child (see Michael Jackson's language). When they did not physically inflict injury in some cases they will make this claim. They routinely shift the blame to the child, and in some cases, to the mother for "allowing" them to act upon this immoral and acutely damaging instinct.
Of the two cases in which I opposed the passed polygraph, one was the analysis of a 911 call which, after 2 years, ended with a conviction of double murder. This meant that a short, 3 minute 911 call was weighed against decades of homicide experience, and the entire case file; interviews, forensics, analysis, and so on.
The words that the one who passed his polygraph revealed:
that he did it;
his disposition towards the victims (including a child)
why he did it and
what his background investigation would reveal.
The 3 minute call to 911 gave us his guilt, his motive and verifiable aspects of his history of both violence and greed. When the hosting police captain asked me, in front of the class, how certain I was, I said, "I stake my career on it."
Because his words talked me into it.
I began the analysis, live before experienced detectives, with the presupposition that the caller:
did not do it, and was calling to help police learn the truth.
He talked me out of it, line by line, and word by word, and he left me with no choice.
The other case where my analysis opposed the passed polygraph was a child molestation case.
I had both the perpetrator's and the victim's written statement, as well as audio interviews of both.
The analysis matched. The written statement of the perp showed, for example, the skipping over of a specific period of time. The child (10) wrote that he had 'tickled' her at the very time period in which the perp skipped over. This was just one of many indicators within the statements.
I sent the statement (redacted) out, as is routine, for a second opinion, from a professional instructor.
He wrote back that the child, for example, was telling the truth as to when and where the molestation took place, and that the perpetrator was deceptive.
Yet, the perpetrator (child's mother's boyfriend) passed his polygraph and was allowed to return to the home. He boldly stated, "I did not molest her!"
Months later, I learned he had reoffended.
In his language, he did not "molest" the child. He was "tickling" and was "affectionate" (his language).
How did the failure to properly use his own wording in the polygraph impact this victim?
The perp was obviously empowered. Whenever justice is perverted, denied, or lost, criminal behavior increases. This is human nature.
I don't know what became of the young victim, but I can imagine that not only was she re-victimized by the sexual abuse, but what of her family's viewpoint that she was lying? Victims of childhood sexual abuse show an acute need to be heard. It echoes throughout their language.
How might this impact not only her relationship with her mother, but later, with her own children?
"Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks" is truth.
The "heart", that is, the seat of the intellect and emotions, is a source of "abundance." It is deeply filled with tens of thousands of words, and myriad emotional connection to words and experiences.
When one speaks, we may know the truth, even when the subject intends to deceive.
Truth is not impacted by time nor culture nor external influences.
Analysis of the words gets to the truth and trained analysts run regularly at or near 100% accuracy. When a polygraph examiner is trained in Statement Analysis, it is to combine great skills and science together.
hat tip: John