March 21st, 2005 Trial Analysis: Detective Conn Abel (Cross Examination), Dr. Anthony Urquizo, Lauren Wallace, and Louise Palanker (Direct Examination), Part 2 of 3
The next prosecution witness was Dr. Anthony Joseph Urquiza, the Director of Mental Health Services at Care Center, a child abuse treatment program, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the UC Davis Medical Center.
Dr. Urquiza was subpoenaed as an expert witness for the prosecution due to his extensive research into the behaviors of abused children. In a nutshell, he was called in to testify so that he could explain why Gavin didn’t disclose his abuse initially to his parents or teachers. Here is some of his background on this area:
26 Q. Doctor, you tell us you also do research and
27 have continued to do research. What does that mean.
28 A. One of the — and I can answer that specific 2864
1 to my field, which is child abuse and family
3 One of the things that we have been trying
4 to do is to move knowledge forward with some
5 empirical or research foundation. And so typically
6 it means undergoing a methodological process where
7 we acquire data, we analyze those data, and we make
8 some determination or interpretation of the data.
9 Then the last part of it is we write the
10 results up and submit it for publication in a book
11 or a journal.
12 Q. And have you done publications in the course
13 of your academic career.
14 A. I do. I have.
15 Q. Can you give us a sense of what that
16 involves and how many publications, the nature or
17 the type.
18 A. I don’t know exactly how many. I’d say 35
19 to 45 publications, at least. That’s an estimate.
20 I don’t keep track of that. And they’re all — or
21 mostly on issues of child abuse. Some of the
22 areas — well, there’s been an overriding theme to
23 the research that I do.
24 One of the things that happens with a child
25 who’s been abused is that it has a disruption in
26 their capacity to have positive and healthy
27 relationships as they grow older.
28 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; nonresponsive. 2865
1 MR. ZONEN: It’s about the nature of the
3 THE COURT: Sustained.
4 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Can you tell us if there is a
5 common theme to the publications that you have
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And what is that.
9 A. This issue of relationships, which is
10 fundamental to healthy development in children, is
11 disrupted when children are physically or sexually
12 abused or neglected. And so that has been the
13 common theme: In what way does sexual abuse or
14 physical abuse or neglect impacted — or impact
15 their developing capacity to have satisfactory
16 relationships in adolescence, peer relationships,
17 even into adulthood in being able to have
18 satisfactory marital relationships. That has been a
19 consistent theme.
20 I’ve also been interested in methodological
21 issues, how to conduct good research related to
22 child abuse.
23 And I’ve also been very interested in ethnic
24 minority issues as they apply to different types of
25 child mental treatment.
26 Q. You teach as well, do you.
27 A. I do, yes.
28 Q. And where. 2866
1 A. Within the Department of Pediatrics and
2 usually within the Care Center. But I think
3 teaching encompasses more than — I should back up a
4 little bit.
5 I don’t teach in a classroom setting. I
6 used to when I was at San Diego State.
7 I now teach people to be psychologists or
8 social workers, to be professionals. And so I teach
9 in the capacity of supervision, seminars, training.
10 I also teach in workshops, in conferences that are
11 beyond the medical center and throughout the United
12 States and sometimes even internationally.
13 Q. And do you deliver papers in conjunction
14 with those lectures.
15 A. I do, yes.
16 Q. And what types of papers are we talking
18 A. Pretty much the same as the research
19 publications: The effects of abuse on children, the
20 impact abuse has on developing relationships.
21 Again, issues of methodology, as well as the impact
22 of abuse on people of color.
23 Q. I think that you had said earlier that you
24 have seen perhaps a thousand children or more in the
25 course of your career.
26 A. Who have been abused.
27 Q. Yes.
28 A. Probably — certainly more than a thousand 2867
1 children who have been abused. Several thousands
2 who have been either physically abused, sexually
3 abused or neglected during the course of my life
4 that I have provided service to. That would be much
5 larger when you incorporate people that I supervise.
6 But for direct service, certainly a few thousand
8 Q. What percentage of them, in your opinion,
9 are victims of child sexual abuse.
10 A. That I have seen.
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. I’d say at least a third. I mean, I’d
13 say — again, I don’t keep numbers as to how many,
14 but I’d estimate maybe a thousand children, or at
15 least a thousand children that I have provided
16 service to, either therapy or evaluation, during the
17 course of my career.
Next, Dr. Urquizo is asked to define Child Sexual Assault Accommodation Syndrome:
4 Q. Have you ever been retained by either the
5 prosecution or the defense in criminal proceedings
6 dealing with allegations of child sexual abuse.
7 A. I have, yes.
8 Q. Can you give us a sense of how many times
9 you’ve been retained by either side.
10 A. Again, an estimate would be about 85 times
11 for a criminal matter.
12 Q. All right. Can you tell us what percentage
13 of that you’re retained by the prosecution, what
14 percentage by the defense.
15 A. Most of that has been for the prosecution.
16 Probably be about four or five times that I have
17 been — that I’ve actually testified for the
18 defense. Although I’m contacted by the defense,
19 probably only four or five times that I have
20 actually gone to court and testified for the
22 Q. All right. When you’re testifying on behalf
23 of the prosecution, do you ever address the issue of
24 Child Sexual Assault Accommodation Syndrome.
25 A. Yes.
26 Q. And have you been asked to do that on this
27 occasion here today.
28 A. That’s my understanding, yes. 2870
1 Q. Tell us, what is Child Sexual Assault
2 Accommodation Syndrome.
3 A. Sure. That syndrome is really a phrase
4 that’s the title of an article or coined in an
5 article by a man by the name of Roland Summit, who
6 is a psychiatrist I believe at the University of
7 Southern California. It was published quite some
8 time ago, in 1983, in their Journal of Child Abuse
9 and Neglect.
10 The reason he wrote this article was
11 specifically for therapists who would be treating
12 children who are sexually abused to dispel any
13 misperceptions or myths that they had, so they would
14 be better able to understand what really happened
15 with children who are sexually abused and then to be
16 able to treat them better.
17 The Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation
18 Syndrome has five parts or components. I’ll just
19 identify them. They are a sense of secrecy,
20 helplessness, delayed — I’m sorry, entrapment and
21 accommodation, delayed and unconvincing disclosure,
22 and then the last one is retraction.
23 Q. Tell us what the first one means, secrecy.
24 A. In order to understand the concept of
25 secrecy, actually in order to understand how
26 children respond to being sexually abused, it’s
27 important to understand the context in which abuse
28 occurs, and the context is a relationship between a 2871
1 perpetrator and a victim.
2 One of the misperceptions that occurs or
3 myths that occur with sexual abuse is that children
4 are sexually abused by somebody who they don’t know.
5 That’s just not the case. Most children — by far,
6 most children are sexually abused by somebody with
7 whom they have an ongoing relationship, not a
9 That’s important because it sets up the
10 dynamics for this issue of secrecy. Children tell
11 us, and the research supports, that there is usually
12 some type of mandate imposed upon the child to keep
13 them quiet about the abuse; hence, the term
15 This mandate can be something like a threat,
16 threat of physical aggression or threat of coercion
17 of some type. It can also be special attention,
18 special favors, bribes. And it can also be
19 misinformation or informing the child of the bad
20 consequences that would occur should they disclose
21 all part of this mandate or this coercion meant to
22 keep kids quiet so they don’t disclose. What
23 Dr. Summit said, that that is a part of this idea
24 called secrecy.
25 Q. Explain to us how special attention or
26 favors somehow translates to secrecy.
27 A. With sexual abuse, you don’t have to
28 physically assault a child to molest them. In fact, 2872
1 that happens fairly infrequently. Coercion and
2 manipulation is probably a much more effective
4 And what kids tell us happens is that a
5 relationship is established between them and the
6 perpetrator. It may be a very positive, fun,
7 enjoyable relationship, in which the child is put in
8 a position where they like, or in some cases,
9 especially in an interfamilial situation, an incest
10 situation, they may actually love the perpetrator.
11 And then that is supported by things like special
12 attention, favors, doing special things or
13 activities with the child, all aimed at creating an
14 environment where the child will feel very
15 positively, very warmly, very affectionately toward
16 the perpetrator.
17 Q. Helplessness, the second one, what does that
19 A. Helplessness — it’s easier to start with
20 the misperception.
21 Q. Yes, please.
22 A. The misperception is if you’re a child and
23 you’re sexually abused, you’re being sexually
24 abused, that you will be able to fend off the
25 perpetrator. You’ll be able to do something to
26 protect yourself so that you won’t be abused.
27 And that just doesn’t happen. We are not —
28 the research actually shows quite clearly when 2873
1 children are presented with a perpetrator who is
2 bigger, stronger, more worldly, has more resources,
3 that they are not able to fend off and protect
4 themself, and the phrase that I usually use is “to
5 ensure their own sexual safety.” They’re not able
6 to keep themself from being sexually abused.
7 Q. Do children understand a need to do that.
8 A. I’m not sure I understand your question.
9 Q. Well, you said that they’re not equipped to
10 do that. Does that mean that they understand at the
11 time that they actually need to do that.
12 A. To protect themselves.
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. Well, depending upon the age, they may not
15 fully appreciate the inappropriateness of the sexual
16 activity between them and the perpetrator. Or they
17 may be vulnerable to distortions, or lies, or
18 miscommunication, or maybe misinformation on the
19 part of the perpetrator; that this is okay, or this
20 behavior is okay within the context like, “You and I
21 can do this, but we’re not supposed to tell anybody
22 else,” giving the child the impression that, you
23 know, “I can’t tell anybody, but maybe this is not
24 such a bad thing.”
25 Q. Number three, I think you said entrapment
26 accommodation. Tell us what that means, please.
27 A. It’s two parts. The — and it’s two parts
28 because in the entrapment part, if you’re a child 2874
1 who’s being sexually abused, and you can’t tell
2 anybody about it, that’s the secrecy. And you can’t
3 do anything about it to stop yourself from being
4 victimized, that’s the helplessness sense. And then
5 you’re stuck. You’re trapped. Dr. Summit uses
6 maybe a fancier word of “entrapment.”
7 And the reason why that’s two parts is, if
8 you’re in that situation and you can’t do anything
9 about it, then what do you do. Hence, the word
11 I think an easier word than “accommodation”
12 is “coping.” Kids learn to cope with the experience
13 of being sexually abused because they have no other
14 alternative. They have to learn how to manage the
15 feelings that they have about their victimization,
16 and those feelings can be really difficult. Those
17 include shame and embarrassment, humiliation.
18 Sometimes they will be traumatized. All of those
19 are very difficult to manage, and that’s part of
20 what the accommodation process does is enable the
21 child to manage a difficult situation that may be
22 unbearable at times.
23 Q. Delayed unconvincing disclosure. What does
24 that mean.
25 A. Again, that’s one that has two parts to it.
26 Q. Yes.
27 A. The misperception is a good place to start.
28 The common belief is if you’re a child and you’re 2875
1 being abused, then you will immediately — as soon
2 as it happens, you’ll immediately go tell your mom,
3 or your dad, your teacher, your best friend,
4 someone. And that really doesn’t happen very often,
5 and that’s why it’s the misperception.
6 It is common that children have a delay and
7 often a significant delay in disclosure from the
8 first time of abuse to when they’re eventually able
9 to disclose. There are now actually several studies
10 that have looked at this issue of delayed
11 disclosure. And one that I often cite is by Diana
12 Elliott and John Briere, which found that from the
13 time of the first incident of abuse to when the
14 child discloses, that about three-quarters of them
15 had failed to disclose within the first 12 months.
16 Q. Excuse me, 12 months.
17 A. 12 months.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 A. So most kids don’t disclose right away.
20 What that means is that clearly there’s a delay in
22 What I think that also means is, whatever
23 that mandate or coercion that was imposed on the
24 child, that secrecy part, must have been pretty
25 strong if it keeps most kids quiet for at least a
27 Now, there’s also a fair amount of research
28 that would suggest that somewhere between 30 and 50 2876
1 percent of children fail to disclose in their
2 childhood; that is, they may keep the secret of
3 their victimization quiet until their adulthood,
4 which again supports this notion that there’s a
5 significant delay in disclosure.
6 Q. What are the issues that a child deals with
7 in determining whether or not to disclose that
8 they’ve been a victim of child sexual abuse. What
9 do they wrestle with, kids.
10 A. Well, I’ll start by telling you that I often
11 tell kids when I’m in therapy with them that it was
12 a courageous thing for them to do, because they are
13 overcoming a lot of issues. They may be overcoming
14 threats. They may be overcoming a sense that
15 they’re going to get in trouble if they disclose.
16 Lots of times kids feel like they’re not going to be
17 believed. They’ll disclose to somebody and, you
18 know, they’ll get blamed for what happened.
19 For a lot of children, especially males,
20 there is this issue of stigma attached to
21 homosexuality. That is, most perpetrators are male.
22 And so for a male victim, not only do they have all
23 of these other issues about being afraid to
24 disclose, but if they disclose, the people will
25 think that they’re gay, that they’re homo. I mean,
26 those are the kinds of things that are teased or
27 ridiculed by adolescents or peers. And so it
28 becomes a very difficult thing. 2877
1 In addition to that, it matters who they
2 disclose to. It’s a hard thing to talk about. I
3 mean, we can sort of think about it as adults
4 retrospectively, but I think it’s more important to
5 try to think about it in the frame of a child. It’s
6 a really hard thing to tell somebody something that
7 may be humiliating or embarrassing and traumatizing,
8 especially if it would involve penises and vagina
9 and oral copulation and sodomy.
10 Those types of things are incredibly
11 difficult, and so kids have to overcome a lot of
12 barriers to be able to say that to somebody, and
13 they often pick on somebody that they feel will be
14 supportive of their disclosure when they initially
15 start to make disclosures, somebody that they feel
16 that they can trust.
17 Q. What situation would pose the greatest
18 likelihood of a disclosure. What’s the combination
19 of factors that would most encourage a disclosure.
20 A. A child — that would promote a disclosure.
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. A child who is disclosing to somebody who
23 they felt, with some confidence, would be attentive,
24 caring, responsive. Wouldn’t be blameful, wouldn’t
25 say, “Well, okay, you had it coming”; or “This is
26 all your fault”; perhaps somebody who would be
27 believing of the position that they’re taking by
28 disclosing. 2878
1 It can be a lot of different types of
2 people, but generally it would be somebody who the
3 child had some trust or confidence in.
4 Q. All right. Are kids concerned about whether
5 they would be believed. Is that one of the issues
6 that they deal with.
7 A. Very much so, yes.
8 Q. Now, would you expect that a child who does
9 disclose having been a victim of sexual abuse, that
10 that child would disclose to their closest relative.
11 A. If they perceive that closest relative to be
12 somebody that they had confidence in, that — that
13 would be, you know, somebody that they felt would be
14 positively responsive to them.
Next, Zonen asked Dr. Urquizo to explain why a male victim is far less likely to disclose his abuse than a female victim:
21 Q. Doctor, does it make a difference, in your
22 opinion, the gender of the child in terms of the
23 ease with which they can give a disclosure of sexual
25 A. Yes.
26 Q. In what way. Explain that to us.
27 A. It goes back a little bit to what I said
28 earlier. The basic issue is I think it’s more 2882
1 difficult for males to disclose than it is for
2 females. Because on top of all of the traditional
3 difficulties, the basic barriers that I described,
4 since most perpetrators are male, and if you happen
5 to have a male victim, you also have the stigma or
6 the potential exposure to ridicule and embarrassment
7 because you’ll be identified as gay or homosexual.
8 I mean, those things get tagged onto a child. And
9 particularly at certain ages, that could be very
10 difficult to cope with.
11 Q. What kinds of ages.
12 A. Developmentally, a lot of early adolescents,
13 males and females, go through a period where it’s
14 difficult to clearly sort through their sexual
15 orientation, the sexual feelings, sexual desires. I
16 mean, most of us, as early adolescents, recall the
17 sense of the early sexual feelings that we have.
In this excerpt, Zonen asked Dr. Urquizo about why a victim would have material inconsistencies in his initial and follow-up disclosures; essentially, Zonen wanted to find a way for Dr. Urquizo to excuse Gavin’s ever changing storyline!
16 Q. Okay. Doctor, when a child does disclose
17 for the first time, is it your experience, your
18 expectation that that child would disclose each and
19 every fact and piece of information about the
20 molestation in its entirety on the first disclosure.
21 A. No.
22 Q. Explain that to us, please.
23 A. No.
24 I have to remember this microphone thing.
25 Q. Yeah. We all have to do that.
26 A. No. It’s actually quite uncommon that a
27 child would make a disclosure and fully and clearly
28 articulate everything that happened in their sexual 2884
1 victimization experience and be able to do that with
2 detail. That doesn’t happen very often.
3 Q. What are the issues that impact a child. I
4 mean, what happens to a child who’s giving a
5 disclosure for the first time.
6 A. Well, what we’re talking about with regard
7 to the Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome,
8 what we’re talking about is that fourth part,
9 because it was delayed and unconvincing disclosure.
10 The unconvincing disclosure is rather than
11 thinking of the disclosure of sexual abuse as an
12 event, or as an act, it’s better to think of it as a
13 process. That is, it’s the process of overcoming a
14 lot of those barriers and fears about what would
15 happen when they disclosed.
16 And the research supports the notion that
17 kids often will — when they finally get around to
18 being able to make a disclosure, will make a
19 statement, and it may be a relatively vague
20 statement. “He touched me in a weird way.” Or, “He
21 touched me and it made me feel uncomfortable,”
22 something like that.
23 If the response had been, as I suggested
24 earlier, supportive, then they may feel more able to
25 talk more about what happened and continuing on. As
26 time goes on, if they feel more and more supported
27 in being able to talk about it without fear of
28 retribution, without fear that they’re going to get 2885
1 blamed, without fear that any sigma might get
2 attached to them, all of those fears that they have
3 might start to get — to fall away. Then they’re
4 eventually able to provide a more complete
6 The difficulty is, if you have one, two,
7 three, four, five disclosures, multiple disclosures,
8 and they’re not exactly the same, and they often —
9 the research shows us that they’re often not the
10 same, then it looks unconvincing, which is why
11 Dr. Summit wrote, 20-some years ago, that kids who
12 are sexually abused go through this process of a
13 disclosure rather than an event.
14 Q. And referred to it specifically as a
15 process; is that correct.
16 A. Yes. Yes.
Next, Dr. Urquizo is asked by Zonen if it’s possible for a victim of child abuse to become “attached” to their abuser, to enjoy their abuse, and to achieve an erection and orgasm during their abuse:
2 Q. Doctor, let me ask you a couple questions
3 about victims of sexual abuse and their relationship
4 with the offenders. Is it possible for a child to
5 actually have a sincere love and affection for the
6 person who is molesting them.
7 A. Certainly.
8 Q. Explain how that would be.
9 A. Well, actually it’s not only possible, in
10 some situations it often happens. Going back to
11 this basic issue, even as a part of this sense of
12 secrecy, a relationship is developed between the
13 perpetrator and the victim. And as a part of that
14 relationship, in many instances the child likes this
15 person. It’s really difficult to just walk up to
16 somebody and start fondling or molesting them.
17 Usually, as I said earlier, sexual abuse happens in
18 the context, and the context is that relationship.
19 So from the perspective of the child, “I
20 like this person, I enjoy doing things with them,
21 they’re fun, I like that they like me, I want people
22 to like me,” and so the sexual activity becomes an
23 unpleasant, disliked part of a relationship that is
24 bigger, that they, in fact, enjoy.
25 And, for example, in an incest situation,
26 you may have a child who is being sexually abused by
27 a family member. It may comprise a portion of their
28 life that is unpleasant and they don’t like and they 2889
1 feel very bad about it, but the needs that they have
2 as a child, the need for a positive affiliation or
3 positive relationship, affection, the need to have
4 somebody who cares about them, they comprise a much
5 larger sense.
6 And it is quite common for kids to sustain a
7 relationship that may be abusive, adding in the fact
8 that there’s a secrecy and helplessness they can’t
9 do anything about anyway, because the larger scope
10 is that there’s this relationship that is very
11 important and they have needs as a child that have
12 to be met.
13 Q. Doctor, you said the “unpleasant” part of
14 the molestation itself. Are there ever occasions
15 where it’s not unpleasant for a child; that a child
16 actually doesn’t view the actual act of molestation
17 with repulsion; that a child might actually find it
18 enjoyable. Does that ever happen.
19 A. It does, and in my experience, usually in
20 two situations: One is very unusual, with long-term
21 abuse, where the child sort of becomes a part of the
22 relationship or thinks that the relationship that
23 they may have with the perpetrator is more like
24 boyfriend/girlfriend. I’ve had some clients who
25 said, “I don’t want to disclose because he’s my
26 boyfriend,” and they were 11 and the perpetrator was
27 35. So it was an abusive relationship, but their
28 perception was that it was not. 2890
1 The other one is with certain situations
2 with sexual abuse with males, particularly with oral
3 copulation. It is confusing — or I should say, my
4 experience when kids come to therapy, one of the
5 common confusions that they have is, “I didn’t like
6 what happened, it was embarrassing or humiliating,
7 but it felt good, and I don’t know what to do about
9 And the basic issue is the penis is designed
10 to feel good. It’s designed to, if you stimulate
11 it, to get an erection and to have pleasurable
12 feelings. So in the process of oral copulation, if
13 it’s stimulated, it may well appear to the child —
14 it may well be a pleasurable feeling. And at the
15 same time, the child has the experience of being
16 embarrassed and humiliated and disgusted by what’s
17 going on. It is an odd situation that I have seen
18 in many instances with boys who have been sexually
20 Q. Is it unusual that a child, a boy, could
21 actually achieve an orgasm or ejaculate during the
22 course of molestation.
23 A. Not unusual at all. Again, that’s one of
24 the things that penises were designed for. And you
25 stimulate it enough or in a particular way, if
26 they’re old enough, they will have an erection and
27 they may well have — they may well ejaculate.
Next, Zonen asked Dr. Urquizo if it would be possible for a child’s sexual inhibitions to be lessened through exposure to pornography, because having Dr. Urquizo validate this method would give more credibility to the prosecution’s claims that Jackson used pornographic materials to seduce Gavin:
28 Q. Doctor, in cultivating a relationship with a 2891
1 child to the point where the child accommodates acts
2 of molestation, are there materials that can be
3 shown to a child that would tend to accommodate that
4 procedure; in other words, allow a child to be able
5 to be more accepting of what’s happening to him.
6 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.
7 MR. ZONEN: This is an expert witness, Your
9 THE COURT: Overruled.
10 You may answer.
11 THE WITNESS: Can you ask your question
13 MR. ZONEN: Yes.
14 Q. Is it possible to use certain types of
15 materials with a child that might lessen that
16 child’s sexual inhibitions.
17 A. Well, as I said earlier, it’s a difficult
18 thing to just walk up to a child and stick a hand in
19 their pants and start fondling them. And I don’t
20 mean to be crude about it, but that is a good
21 example, because it’s likely if you were to do that,
22 that the child would — would be offended, repulsed,
23 afraid, and difficult then to follow through and
24 molest that child in a more extensive way.
25 And you don’t have to do that. What kids
26 tell us happens is that they have this relationship,
27 it’s somebody that they like, somebody that they
28 enjoy, they enjoy spending time with them, and some 2892
1 minor sexual content gets to be a part of the
2 relationship. It may be an off-color joke. It may
3 be a comment about some girl’s bottom or breasts
4 that — who walked by. But it’s a minor thing.
5 And then over time, it may be watching an
6 R-rated movie, and making comments about people who
7 don’t have clothes on in an R-rated movie. Or even
8 more, introducing the issue of pornographic
9 materials, X-rated magazines, or videos, or touching
10 the child.
11 For example, I had a client once who said
12 that the perpetrator would give them back rubs. And
13 it started with back rubs, and then it gradually,
14 over a period of a couple weeks, progressed to be
15 more and more sexual, where it involves penetration.
16 The point is that what starts as relatively
17 innocuous sexual content, like an off-color joke,
18 gradually increases, desensitizing the child to
19 sexuality, so that eventually when you engage in a
20 more overt sexual behavior, like putting your hand
21 in their pants and touching somebody’s penis or
22 vagina, then the child is more comfortable, they’re
23 more used to it, and put in this odd situation that,
24 well, okay, you can now get in trouble, because it
25 wasn’t just this, but “Yesterday we were looking at
26 magazines, and we were making these jokes, and
27 looking at these videos.”
28 Q. What happens to — we’re now talking about a 2893
1 boy, a young adolescent boy, who is shown porn —
2 who is shown sexually graphic material with visual
3 images, pictures. How does a young boy react to
5 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Foundation and
7 THE COURT: Overruled.
8 You may answer.
9 THE WITNESS: Depending upon the age of the
10 child, I mean, we’re really talking about
11 stimulation. As I said earlier, there’s certain
12 ages in adolescence and early adolescence where
13 there’s an increased interest in sexual activity,
14 people of the opposite sex, a lot of confusion, a
15 lot of exploration, a lot of seeking more knowledge,
16 and in some cases experimentation about sexuality.
17 So that could be very exciting, certainly; enticing
19 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: A ten-year-old boy, would a
20 ten-year-old boy be old enough to find exciting
21 looking at sexually graphic material.
22 A. Certainly.
23 Q. 13-year-old boy.
24 A. Certainly.
Zonen then asked Dr. Urquizo about why a child victim would have a sudden change of behavior, and if being disruptive at school is a symptom of the type of behavioral change that a victim of child abuse would exhibit:
25 Q. I’d like to ask you some questions about how
26 a child’s behavior, a child who has been exposed to
27 sexual molestation, are there ways that their
28 behavior thereafter could change. 2894
1 A. I’m not sure I understand your question.
2 Q. Is it uncommon for a child to act out in
3 some fashion, a child who’s been sexually abused.
4 A. That can be very common, yes.
5 Q. In what ways.
6 A. Well, I hate to be stereotypical about this,
7 but in fact it’s supported by research. The
8 experience of being sexually abused is distressing,
9 has lots of feelings that are difficult. The way in
10 which boys express distrust tend to be
11 externalizing. The way that girls express distrust
12 tend to be internalizing. What those mean, is
13 internalizing tend to be sad, withdrawn, crying,
14 depressed, those types of behaviors. Externalizing
15 behaviors tend to be aggression, acting out,
16 defiance, swearing, name-calling, those kinds of
18 So those are common behaviors that we see
19 with children who experience some type of distress
20 or trauma, and also with sexual abuse.
21 Q. Are there other types of abuse that could
22 lead to that type of behavior as well.
23 A. Certainly.
24 Q. Does it have to be necessarily sexual abuse.
25 A. No. It can be neglect, but more likely it
26 could be sexual abuse or physical abuse.
27 Q. And both of which could manifest that kind
28 of behavior in a young, adolescent boy. 2895
1 A. Certainly, yes.
2 Q. Would that behavior include such things as
3 talking back to teachers.
4 A. That would be — yes, that would be sort of
5 a poor response to authority.
6 Q. Getting into fights.
7 A. Getting into fights would be one.
8 THE COURT: Counsel. It’s time for our
10 MR. ZONEN: Thank you.
11 (Recess taken.)
Shortly thereafter, Zonen ended his direct examination, and Mesereau began his cross examination by asking Dr. Urquizo about his experience as an expert witness, and about the compensation that he is being paid by the prosecution (which could surely influence his objectivity!)
6 BY MR. MESEREAU:
7 Q. We’ve never spoken before, right.
8 A. I don’t believe I have ever spoken with you.
9 Q. My name is Tom Mesereau and I speak for Mr.
10 Michael Jackson.
11 A. Okay.
12 Q. Now, first of all, you’ve indicated the
13 great majority of your expert witness testimony has
14 been for prosecutors, for the government, correct.
15 A. That’s correct.
16 Q. What percentage of your expert witness
17 testimony would you say has been for the government.
18 A. Well, actually, the clarification would be
19 of criminal and juvenile court. So of criminal
20 court, you know, four or five times I’ve testified
21 for the defense, and then about 85 times total, so
22 that would be — you could do the math, but that
23 would be the portion.
24 Q. So about 90 percent.
25 A. Roughly.
26 Q. 90 percent for the prosecution.
27 A. Correct.
28 Q. In criminal court, correct. 2898
1 A. In criminal court.
2 Q. Now, when you testified in juvenile court,
3 they were prosecutions, correct.
4 A. No.
5 Q. What were they.
6 A. They were part of the juvenile court process
7 where the issue is related to the safety and
8 well-being of a child, through the child welfare
9 system, is placed in foster care, and then there’s
10 an 18-month process by which there’s unification.
11 So it could be in any aspect of the child welfare
12 system, but it doesn’t include any criminal
13 involvement, at least for the part that I do.
14 Q. So you were not involved in efforts to
15 convict juveniles of crimes.
16 A. That is correct. I have not been involved
17 in juvenile prosecutions —
18 Q. And —
19 A. — or in juvenile prosecutions through the
20 child welfare system.
21 Q. When you testified in juvenile court, who
22 hired you.
23 A. I’m usually paid for either by the county or
24 by the court.
25 Q. Okay.
26 A. Sometimes I’m paid for by the parties, but
27 for the most part, it’s by the county or the court.
28 Q. Were prosecutors involved in these juvenile 2899
2 A. No.
3 Q. Okay. Are you being paid for your services.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What are you being paid.
6 A. My rate’s 175 an hour.
7 Q. Okay. Have you been paid any amount of
8 money to date.
9 A. No.
10 Q. How much do you expect to be paid.
11 A. Well, of course, it’s 175 an hour. I don’t
12 know how long my testimony will go.
13 Q. Okay. How many hours have you put in so
15 A. Oh, about maybe ten hours. That’s just an
17 Q. And —
18 A. Maybe less than that.
Mesereau than asked Dr. Urquizo about the possibility that children lie about being sexually abused, and the fact that Dr. Urquizo is not an expert in the research of false claims of abuse. This was an obvious attempt to diminish Dr. Urquizo’s influence on the jury, who were no doubt impressed by his tremendous credentials in the field of psychiatry.
Dr. Urquizo also admitted that, while he was aware of the McMartin Preschool case, he didn’t have any knowledge of the Bakersfield case, which you would think that an expert in child abuse would be aware of:
27 Q. Now, you’ve published a lot of papers about
28 various aspects of clinical psychology, correct. 2904
1 A. Mostly related to child maltreatment.
2 Q. Okay.
3 A. It may not always be related to psychology.
4 Some of the things I do are related to child welfare
5 services or social services, not psychology.
6 Q. You would agree that false claims of sexual
7 abuse are made by children.
8 A. Certainly.
9 Q. And none of the papers you’ve published have
10 ever dealt with that subject, correct.
11 A. Correct. That’s not an area of research
12 that I do.
13 Q. And you’ve also generated a lot of papers on
14 various aspects of your work that have not been
15 published formally, right.
16 A. Some. I don’t know that I would say a lot,
17 but I have some manuscripts that are in preparation.
18 Maybe four, five or six that are included on my CV
19 that are not in — that are not currently in a
20 journal or a book.
21 Q. And none of those papers have ever dealt
22 with the subject of false claims of sexual abuse by
23 children, right.
24 A. That’s correct. Again, it’s not an area of
25 research that I do.
26 Q. There are people in your position, Ph.D.s
27 and clinical psychology, who do specialize in the
28 area of false claims of sexual abuse by children, 2905
2 A. I’m not sure that they specialize in it.
3 There certainly are people who are my colleagues who
4 have done research in the area of false allegations
5 of sexual abuse.
6 Q. And they’ve actually published papers on
7 that particular subject, right.
8 A. There are several publications related to
9 false allegations, yes.
10 Q. And you’re aware that in California there
11 have been some high-profile criminal cases which
12 involved false claims of sexual abuse by children,
14 A. I need more information.
15 Q. Are you aware of a case in recent years that
16 took place in Bakersfield where children testified
17 they’d been sexually abused, there were convictions,
18 and years later these testifying children came
19 forward and said what they said was false.
20 MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object as exceeding
21 the scope of the direct examination and relevancy.
22 THE COURT: Overruled.
23 THE WITNESS: I’m not aware of a case like
25 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You’ve never made any
26 study of that particular case, right.
27 A. I’m not aware of any case like that.
28 Q. Have you ever heard of a case called 2906
1 McMartin that took place in Los Angeles County many
2 years ago.
3 A. I’m aware of the McMartin case.
4 Q. Are you aware that false claims of sexual
5 abuse were made in that case.
6 A. I am, although my knowledge of the McMartin
7 case is rather small. I wasn’t involved in that
8 case, so I know very little about that case.
In this excerpt, Dr. Urquizo explains the reasons why a child would falsely accuse someone of abuse:
13 Q. When you teach about the subject of false
14 claims of sexual abuse by children, do you teach
15 your students some of the reasons you believe
16 children make false claims of sexual abuse.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And please tell the jury what those reasons
20 A. Sure. Well, and it’s founded on what the
21 research is, not necessarily what my personal
22 opinion is, because it’s the research —
23 Q. Sure.
24 A. — issue with the caveat.
25 Q. Sure.
26 A. There are, in fact, a history of research
27 related to false allegations that kids make; that
28 is, false allegations being that they make an 2911
1 allegation that they were sexually abused, but it
2 turns out that they were not sexually abused.
3 And the difficulty, with the caveat, and I
4 impress so many times, sometimes it’s really
5 difficult to determine whether somebody was abused
6 or not.
7 The research shows that there are a few
8 dominant reasons why kids would make false
9 allegations. Actually, primarily one reason why a
10 child would make a false allegation, and that would
11 be related to issues with a marital dissolution
12 custody dispute, animosity between a husband and
13 wife who are breaking up.
14 The notion would be husband and wife break
15 up, husband or wife are angry with the other one, so
16 they make an allegation of sexual abuse because this
17 issue of custody is pending. It’s a problem that is
18 extremely difficult for family court systems who
19 actually have funded some of the research related to
20 false allegations.
21 I don’t know if that was — I mean, that was
22 the primary reason why false allegations occur.
23 Q. There are other reasons, too, correct.
24 A. There may well be other — that’s the
25 largest. There could be other reasons. They would
26 tend to be more, maybe, situational or case
28 Q. If you saw a situation where parents were 2912
1 involved in a very, very acrimonious divorce –
2 okay. – and for the first time in that relationship
3 allegations of serious physical abuse were
4 surfacing, and in the middle of this acrimonious
5 divorce all of a sudden one parent goes to the
6 authorities and says, “My soon-to-be ex-spouse has
7 been molesting a child for years,” would that cause
8 you to pause regarding the accuracy of that
10 A. That’s a tough question for me to answer.
11 The reason being, it’s not my job to make a
12 determination about whether a particular child has
13 been abused or not.
14 I could argue — you phrased it that, okay,
15 there’s a late or delayed accusation about sexual
16 abuse, and maybe the parent put the child up to it.
17 I could similarly argue that circumstances
18 within the family or maybe the relationship between
19 the parent and the child had changed. Maybe the
20 parents had separated and the child felt safer and
21 able to disclose the sexual abuse. It’s difficult
22 to not disclose physical abuse, because if you get
23 hit, you have red marks, you get a black eye.
24 That’s really hard to keep secret. Sexual abuse is
25 a lot different.
26 So I could make an argument for both sides;
27 that, okay, I should be concerned or that it’s
28 common for kids who have been sexually abused. I 2913
1 think the primary statement that I would make is
2 it’s not my place as a mental health provider to
3 make a determination about whether a child has been
4 abused or not, sexually abused or physically abused
5 or in any other ways.
6 Q. Excuse me.
7 And is what you’re saying that your line of
8 work is primarily to do research in these areas as
9 opposed to evaluate; is that correct.
10 A. Well, evaluate — almost. Evaluate in the
11 context of mental health problems. I certainly
12 assess and evaluate children or families all the
13 time. But I assess and evaluate regarding whether
14 they have a mental health problem or not, not
15 whether they’ve been abused or not.
16 Q. Okay. And would it be correct to say to the
17 jury that, as you sit here today, you don’t make a
18 living evaluating whether or not claims of sexual
19 abuse by children are true or not, right.
20 A. Certainly. I make a living being faculty in
21 the Department of Pediatrics, being a psychologist,
22 conducting research, providing mental health
23 services, teaching. I am not involved in the
24 determination of whether a particular child has been
25 abused or not.
26 And it’s not my place and I don’t —
27 actually even further argue it is not the place of a
28 mental health provider to make a determination about 2914
1 whether a particular person was abused or not, or
2 whether a particular person is a perpetrator or not.
3 In the criminal setting, that’s the responsibility
4 of a jury.
5 Q. Now, you made a comment that parents can put
6 their children up to lying about sexual abuse,
8 A. I think I made it as a part of an example.
9 Q. And you would certainly agree that parents
10 can encourage or induce children to make false
11 claims of sexual abuse, correct.
12 A. Particularly within that context of
13 animosity between parents in issues of custody,
14 which is where most of the writing with regard to
15 false allegations comes. That has been a concern.
16 Now, I always hate to go to absolutes, so it
17 is possible for a child to be supported in their
18 false allegation by their parent.
Next, Mesereau asked Dr. Urquizo about a hypothetical family, where the mother and three children “adopt” a man to be their “father figure”, and they grow attached to him and his lifestyle, but then there is a sudden breakup of the “family”, and the new father figure distances himself from them; would it be possible for that mother to get her children to falsely accuse the father figure of abuse as a form of revenge?
(Gee, I wonder who inspired that hypothetical family!)
19 Q. If you had a situation where you had a
20 mother and her children, and you had evidence that
21 the mother and her children had, from a
22 psychological standpoint, adopted someone as a
23 parental figure. Maybe there isn’t a formal
24 marriage. Maybe there isn’t a long-term
25 relationship, but —
26 MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object as compound,
27 Your Honor, and the narrative of the question
28 itself. 2915
1 MR. MESEREAU: I haven’t finished my
2 hypothetical, Your Honor.
3 THE COURT: He’s allowed to form a
4 hypothetical. Do you — do you want the court
5 reporter to read to where you were.
6 MR. MESEREAU: I can rephrase it. Thanks.
7 THE COURT: All right.
8 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Let me give you a
9 hypothetical question: You’ve got a mother and
10 three children. There is no father figure present.
11 There has been a traumatic divorce of recent
12 vintage. For whatever reason, the mother and her
13 children pick someone and adopt that person as the
14 father figure. And they refer to that person as
15 “daddy,” and they refer to that person as the father
16 of the children and the mother encourages the
17 children to refer to that person in that light.
18 And suddenly there is a split. The mother,
19 the children sense that the person they’ve adopted
20 as their surrogate father, as their father figure,
21 is bailing out, is getting out of the situation, for
22 whatever reason.
23 You could imagine, couldn’t you, as a
24 professor of clinical psychology, a situation like
25 that where the mother suddenly induces the children
26 to make false claims of sexual abuse.
27 A. As you frame that question — I mean,
28 there’s two parts to my answer. As you frame that 2916
1 question to me, I can imagine it, because you just
2 framed it for me.
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. But that would seem to me, in my experience
5 and the research that I know about sexual abuse and
6 even false allegations, to be fairly incredible.
7 The issue being, one, as I said earlier, it’s about
8 custody. And the research, with the caveat about
9 false allegations, is when there is a custody
10 dispute; that is, mom doesn’t want the kids to go
11 over to dad because she’s — or he’s maybe sexually
12 abused them, or vice versa, and there is this issue
13 about who has legal right to these children. And
14 that scenario that you just gave me doesn’t seem
15 like there would be that issue about who has legal
16 right to it.
17 And on top of that, the research that we’re
18 talking about, just to make sure that we’re clear,
19 the prevalence of it, is that the numbers are really
20 pretty small. It’s difficult and maybe misleading
21 to say, okay, well, there’s these large number of
22 kids who are making false allegations. The studies
23 show that somewhere, at least around 2 to 6 percent
24 of kids who make allegations make allegations that
25 are false or that may be false. So we’re looking at
26 a very small number of kids to begin with, and with,
27 what I would argue, doesn’t fit into that high
28 percentage group that the research describes. 2917
1 Q. But, Doctor, you know that in nasty
2 divorces, very often one spouse will induce a child
3 to falsely accuse another spouse. Not just to get
4 custody; to be nasty and to hurt the person. You
5 know that happens every day, doesn’t it.
6 A. That may be your experience, but it’s not
7 supported by the research, that kids make false
8 allegations related to being sexually victimized
9 every day, or make a lot. I mean, those are words
10 that you qualified with. The research does not
11 support that.
12 Q. But you just said you’re not an expert in
13 the area of false allegations of sexual abuse by
14 children, didn’t you.
15 A. No, I don’t believe I said that.
16 Q. You just said you don’t do any research in
17 that area, correct.
18 A. That’s not an area of research that I do. I
19 do a different area of research.
20 Q. And you’ve never published an article about
22 MR. ZONEN: Your Honor, I ask the witness be
23 allowed to finish his answer in its entirety.
24 THE COURT: Sustained.
25 THE WITNESS: But of the research that
26 exists, I have read most or all of the existing
27 research – research, not just writing that somebody
28 did – related to false allegations. 2918
Next, while in the middle of asking Dr. Urquizo about the Bakersfield case (of which he already testified that he had no knowledge of), Judge Melville briefly interrupted Mesereau to inform the court about the laws governing the asking of hypothetical questions to expert witnesses:
1 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You don’t know anything
2 about the recent Bakersfield case, correct.
3 A. I —
4 MR. ZONEN: I’ll object. Assuming facts not
5 in evidence that there is a recent Bakersfield case.
6 THE COURT: I’ll allow you to answer.
7 THE WITNESS: Yeah, I’m not aware of a case
8 in Bakersfield.
9 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You’re not aware of a case
10 where false allegations of child molestation were
11 made, people were convicted, were incarcerated.
12 MR. ZONEN: Objection; asked and answered.
13 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You never heard of it.
14 THE COURT: Sustained.
15 Just a minute. I want to stop for just a
16 second, just because the legal term “hypothetical
17 question” has just arisen in this case. And at the
18 end of the case, I’m going to instruct you on the
19 law concerning the whole entire case, but
20 occasionally because of things that happen during
21 the trial, I’m going to give you instruction to help
22 you deal with the evidence. And that’s the case
23 here, so if you would please listen to this
24 instruction, CALJIC 2.82:
25 “In examining an expert witness, counsel may
26 ask a hypothetical question. This is a question in
27 which the witness is asked to assume the truth of a
28 set of facts and to give an opinion based on that 2919
2 “In permitting this type of question, the
3 Court does not rule and does not necessarily find
4 that all of the assumed facts have been proved. It
5 only determines that those assumed facts are within
6 the possible range of the evidence. It is for you
7 to decide, from all the evidence, whether or not the
8 facts assumed in a hypothetical question have been
10 “If you should decide that any assumption in
11 the question has not been proved, you are to
12 determine the effect of that failure of proof on the
13 value and weight of the expert opinion based on the
14 assumed facts.”
15 Thank you, Counsel. Sorry for the
After the interruption, Mesereau asked yet another hypothetical using the Arvizo family as his inspiration, but this time with some additional facts included:
17 MR. MESEREAU: Thank you, Your Honor.
18 Q. I want to add a few facts to the
19 hypothetical I gave you. Okay.
20 A. Okay.
21 Q. Let’s assume, hypothetically, the mother and
22 son have been involved in prior litigation where the
23 son, at an early age, testified under oath in
24 support of the mother.
25 Let’s assume that lawyers were retained.
26 The mother and son had experience with lawyers, have
27 experience making allegation of sexual assault and
28 obtaining money in the process. 2920
1 Let’s assume the facts I just told you,
2 about the mother, the son, and siblings, for
3 whatever reason, adopting a new father figure to the
4 point where they’re referring to that person as
5 “daddy,” and referring to that person to various
6 people as someone who takes care of them, who has
7 adopted their family and become the father figure.
8 Let’s assume that the new so-called “daddy”
9 decides he doesn’t want to be around these people,
10 something doesn’t seem right, and let’s assume there
11 is a falling apart.
12 Let’s also assume the mother and son again
13 go to lawyers. Not the police-lawyers. And let’s
14 assume that they are interested again in financial
16 Given what I’ve given you in that
17 hypothetical, you can certainly envision the
18 possibility of false claims of sexual abuse,
20 A. The difficulty that I have with your
21 hypothetical —
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. — is that I perceive my responsibility
24 here is to provide information about what the
25 research has to say about child sexual abuse. And
26 while your hypothetical, your story, is clear, I
27 know of no research that goes to that point. So I
28 don’t think I can answer your question. 2921
1 Q. Well, you’re not telling the jury that there
2 has been no research on false claims of sexual abuse
3 for purposes of manipulating the legal system and
4 obtaining financial gain, are you.
5 A. My understanding of the research with regard
6 to false allegations, I don’t recall a single
7 article where the goal of the research literature,
8 where the goal was making a false allegation for
9 financial gain.
10 Now, perhaps making a false allegation to
11 retain custody of your child, as I mentioned
12 earlier, but I’m not aware of any research related
13 to false allegations for financial gain.
14 Q. But you’re certainly not suggesting to the
15 jury that false allegations of sexual abuse cannot
16 be made for purposes of financial gain, are you.
17 A. I’m not making that statement. I’m just —
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. — trying to describe what the research
21 Q. Have you had a lot of experience with
22 allegations of sexual abuse appearing in civil cases
23 as opposed to criminal cases.
24 A. A couple. But not very many. Maybe two.
25 Q. Do you know whether or not, if somebody is
26 criminally prosecuted and convicted of molestation,
27 whether or not the alleged victim would
28 automatically win a civil case if they filed one. 2922
1 MR. ZONEN: I’ll object as lack of
3 THE COURT: Sustained.
4 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Now, you’ve indicated that
5 you’re aware of false claims by children of sexual
6 abuse, right.
7 A. Me specifically, or with regard to the
9 Q. The research.
10 A. Okay, yes.
11 Q. And you’re aware that adults can encourage
12 children to make false claims of sexual abuse,
14 A. Certainly they can encourage. And again,
15 usually that’s within the context of marital
16 dissolution and custody.
17 Q. I know your point, but that’s — that’s
18 through the articles and research you’ve read. You
19 aren’t saying it can’t happen in other contexts, are
21 A. I’m not saying that.
22 Q. And you’re certainly not saying that parents
23 could not encourage children to make false claims of
24 sexual abuse for financial reasons, are you.
25 A. I’m not making that statement.
26 Q. Okay. Now, you’d agree that children will
27 sometimes exaggerate claims that they’ve been
28 abused, true. 2923
1 A. I’m not sure what you mean by “exaggerate.”
2 I know the casual term of “exaggerating,” but you
3 seem to have a more specific one related to sexual
5 Q. Well, I mean, you know what the word
6 “exaggeration” means, right.
7 A. That’s what I mean, in sort of casual terms.
8 But I guess I’m asking if you could be more specific
9 with regards to sexual abuse.
10 Q. Well, certainly you would agree that
11 children can be touched by someone, and at some
12 point in time exaggerate that touching to be
13 something along the lines of molestation or
14 inappropriate touching when it isn’t.
15 A. Certainly that would be possible.
16 Q. So what you’re saying is there are
17 possibilities of pure falsehood; in other words, a
18 child says sexual abuse happened when they aren’t
19 even touched.
20 And there are possibilities of exaggeration,
21 where a child is touched, but not inappropriately,
22 and then the child comes forward and says, “I was
23 touched inappropriately,” correct.
24 A. Those are two possibilities.
25 Q. Yes.
26 A. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered the
27 second possibility, but certainly it’s possible.
28 Q. Well, common sense would tell you that it’s 2924
1 certainly possible that a child could be touched
2 appropriately, and at some point come forward and
3 say that touching was either — either, “I was
4 molested” or “I was touched in an inappropriate
5 way.” That makes sense that that could happen,
6 doesn’t it.
7 A. It’s possible, yes.
Next, Mesereau questioned Dr. Urquizo about his earlier claims that abuse victims typically become more aggressive by asking him about scenarios when a child has a chronic history of disciplinary issues at school, including fighting with teachers and other students, and if it would be more difficult to use post-alleged abuse aggression as a sign of sexual abuse:
1 Q. And if you have a situation where a child
2 has been aggressive, say, in school before any
3 allegation of sexual abuse arises, you wouldn’t look
4 at that child and say, “I see evidence of sexual
5 abuse because the child’s being aggressive,” would
7 A. It is difficult to say if any particular
8 symptom, in this case you’re using aggressiveness,
9 is directly related to physical abuse or sexual
10 abuse. You can be aggressive for a lot of different
11 types of reasons. It is hard to say, “Okay, you’re
12 aggressive. You’ve been sexually abused.” I would
13 not go there.
14 Q. And it would complicate your ability to
15 attribute aggressiveness to sexual abuse if you knew
16 that particular child was acting aggressively in
17 school before the alleged abuse, right.
18 A. It may com- — I’m sorry, it may complicate
19 it. The issue, as I said earlier is, aggression
20 is — may well be a reflection of the distress that
21 a victim has, but it could also be something related
22 to another aspect of their life unrelated to being
24 Q. For example, if a child had been a chronic
25 discipline problem in school, a child had been
26 constantly called to the carpet for fighting,
27 getting up in the middle of class and singing,
28 disrupting teachers, calling teachers names, being 2927
1 bounced out of every class, ordered to detention and
2 not showing up to detention; if you had factors like
3 that, that would complicate your ability to say that
4 aggressiveness was a function of sexual abuse at a
5 later date, right.
6 A. Well, I would actually say it the other way
7 around. I would say that sometimes kids who are
8 sexually abused exhibit those kinds of problems. I
9 would be reluctant to say that because you exhibit
10 those kinds of problems, that you therefore have
11 been sexually abused.
12 Q. Right. Okay. Okay. Wouldn’t you agree
13 that children who actually have been sexually abused
14 tend to react to that abuse in different ways.
15 A. Certainly.
16 Q. Some children who have been sexually abused
17 appear severely traumatized, right.
18 A. Yes. But that’s actually a minority of kids
19 who are severely traumatized by sexual abuse. It is
20 something that some kids go through, but it’s not a
21 frequent occurrence.
22 Q. Well, some kids would seem to take it in
23 stride better than other kids, right.
24 A. That’s correct.
25 Q. Some seem to be very traumatized by it, and
26 some can show remarkable abilities to take it in
27 stride, correct.
28 A. We call it resilience. 2928
1 Q. Yes. Some children who have been actually
2 sexually abused will tend to act out their sexual
3 abuse, correct.
4 A. “Act out” meaning. I mean, I have a sense
5 of what “act out” usually is, but I’m not sure if
6 it’s exactly what you mean.
In this excerpt, Mesereau questioned the role that a parent’s influence may have on their children’s ability and motivation to make false claims of abuse:
27 Q. Okay. Now, you’d agree that in your field
28 it almost goes without saying that parents can have 2936
1 a tremendous effect on whether or not their children
2 tell the truth, right.
3 A. Yes. It should be — actually, part of my
4 field is also child development. And I would hope
5 that parents have an ability to influence the lives
6 of their children in lots of ways, one of which
7 would include telling the truth.
8 Q. And if a child is continually exposed to
9 parents who are perpetual liars, that can have an
10 effect to a child’s view of whether lying is
11 acceptable, correct.
12 A. I would tend to agree with that, yes. I
13 mean, they’re not all cases, but I would tend to
14 agree with the sense that a child may have a value
15 about lying that might be similar to that of their
Here’s another series of hypothetical questions based on Gavin’s inconsistent storyline of abuse:
25 Q. If a child abuse — excuse me, let me
26 rephrase that.
27 If a child is claiming they’ve been abused,
28 and you notice, during a series of interviews, the 2948
1 dates of the alleged abuse start to change, okay.
2 A. Okay.
3 Q. That could be perfectly consistent with a
4 child who’s lying, right.
5 A. That’s possible.
6 Q. If you knew that an alleged child victim had
7 experience in the legal system making claims and
8 getting money from those claims, would that cause
9 you any pause with respect to whether or not the
10 child was telling the truth.
11 A. I’m — I don’t think that’s my area to
13 Q. How come.
14 A. Well, what I said earlier. I mean, if
15 you’re framing it within the context of false
16 allegations, kids, in fact, do make false
17 allegations. And when they make false allegations,
18 the reasons that I provided earlier were in the
19 context of divorce and issues of custody.
20 I wasn’t aware of — or I am not aware of an
21 instance where a child has made a false allegation
22 specifically for the purpose of financial gain.
23 It’s possible, which is the question you just asked
24 me, but I’m not aware of that. Nor am I aware of
25 any research that’s focused on the issue of
26 financial gain and false allegations.
Here’s a hypothetical based on Dr. Stan Katz’s involvement with Gavin Arvizo (he’ll testify later on in this trial):
15 Q. Let me ask you this, Doctor: Let’s assume
16 you’re doing what you just described. Based upon
17 what you know, someone, or maybe more than one
18 person, has made a determination that somebody has
19 been actually abused, okay.
20 A. Okay.
21 Q. And they come to you in this therapeutic
22 context, right.
23 A. Okay.
24 Q. And you start administering therapy to this
25 alleged victim, right.
26 A. Yes. Okay.
27 Q. And in the course of your counseling this
28 alleged victim, it suddenly dawns on you, “I don’t 2950
1 believe this person.” What do you do.
2 A. I don’t know that I’ve been in that
3 situation before.
4 Q. What do you do if it happens.
5 A. Probably try to address the related mental
6 health issue if it’s related to this perception that
7 I have that it’s a false allegation. Because my job
8 is not to investigate if there would have been a
9 determination. My job is if the child comes in and
10 they’re depressed, or they are anxious, or they’re
11 aggressive, is to address the mental health problem,
12 not to investigate whether they’ve been abused or
14 So if I have that thought or idea or
15 feeling, then my first inclination, I think, would
16 be to relate it to the mental health system, which
17 is, in fact, my responsibility.
18 Q. Well, your profession has certain ethical
19 requirements you’re supposed to follow, correct.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And as you’ve said earlier, you’re aware of
22 situations where people have come forward years
23 later and said, “That allegation I made as a child
24 was false,” correct.
25 A. And again, are you talking about within the
26 clients that I have seen, or just generally.
27 Q. Generally.
28 A. I’m aware that there are false 2951
1 allegations —
2 Q. Okay.
3 A. — yes.
4 Q. My question to you is, as a professional,
5 bound by certain ethical rules, if someone comes to
6 you for therapy, and it’s your understanding that
7 some other individuals, whom you may not even know,
8 have made a threshold determination, “We think this
9 child was abused,” okay.
10 A. Can I interrupt you in the middle of your
11 question. In your prior question when you said
12 “other individuals,” you pointed to these people
14 Q. No, I didn’t mean they had done it. No.
15 A. And I made the determination there was an
16 adjudication and the client was found — was
17 identified as being victimized by a jury, because
18 you went like that (indicating).
19 Q. No, I was not.
20 A. My mistake, then.
21 Q. The jury has nothing to do with this issue
22 at the moment.
23 A. Okay.
24 Q. What I’m asking you is, as a professional,
25 someone comes to your office for therapy. It is
26 your understanding that certain people in the system
27 out there, whom you may not even know, made a
28 threshold determination that they believed this 2952
1 person was the victim of abuse. You start your
2 counseling sessions. You start talking to the
3 person very intimately about what happened. You ask
4 them about their background. You ask them about
5 parental influence. You ask them how they live
6 their life. You probe into who they are. And at
7 some point a light goes off: “I don’t believe this
8 person. Something’s wrong.”
9 From an ethical standpoint, what do you do,
10 as a clinical psychologist.
11 A. It’s an interesting problem, and only
12 because I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a
13 situation like that, and because it really runs up
14 against this issue of confidentiality. What goes on
15 in a therapeutic office is confidential. Clearly
16 there are mandates to report if you reasonably
17 suspect somebody is abused.
18 But you’re asking me the opposite. And so
19 since I’ve never encountered a situation like that,
20 the first thing I’d do is go read the either state
21 ethics regulations or the ethics related to the
22 American Psychological Association, because I’ve
23 never encountered something like that.
24 But it would be significant for me to break
25 a client confidentiality, since it’s one of the
26 hallmarks of psychotherapy, so I’m not exactly sure
27 what I would do in that situation.
28 Q. Have you ever made a study of false claims 2953
1 of sexual abuse directed at celebrities.
2 A. I’ve never done a study like that, no.
3 Q. Have you ever read a study about that.
4 A. I have not.
5 Q. Have you done any research in the area of
6 false lawsuits being filed against celebrities.
7 A. That’s not my area of research.
Finally, Mesereau ends his cross-examination with a hypothetical situation based off of Jackson!
4 Q. Well, if, hypothetically speaking, you have
5 a situation where you learn that someone has been
6 very generous to a family in need, took that family
7 into his home, was told the child was dying, gave
8 them all kinds of benefits to help them with this
9 very difficult situation, was told the family was
10 impoverished, and at some point there’s evidence
11 that the person now decides, “They’re taking
12 advantage of me. I really want to disassociate
13 myself from them. They’re causing all kinds of
14 problems. They’re referring to me as the ‘daddy’ to
15 everybody when I can’t be their daddy,” and you see
16 evidence in the hypothetical that person is trying
17 to sort of gradually get away from them, it’s
18 unlikely a molestation is going to occur at that
19 point, isn’t it.
20 A. It’s not my place to make a determination
21 about whether a molestation occurred or not.
22 MR. MESEREAU: Okay. Thank you.
Zonen began his redirect examination by asking Dr. Urquizo if Jackson’s alleged actions of showing adult magazines and serving alcohol to Gavin would be consistent with plying, and Dr. Urquizo agreed. Pay attention to Judge Melville’s admonishment of Zonen for using the word “pornography”, after he had already ruled that it wouldn’t be used:
24 REDIRECT EXAMINATION
25 BY MR. ZONEN:
26 Q. Doctor, the example that Mr. Mesereau just
27 gave you of a person attempting to disassociate with
28 a victim, if the same person was, in fact, plying 2957
1 that child with alcohol and pornography, is that
2 consistent with grooming that child for purposes of
4 A. The prospect of giving alcohol, exposing
5 children or the victim to pornographic material, is
6 completely consistent with the notion of grooming.
7 That phrase, “grooming,” has specific meaning in the
8 field, but it’s consistent with the notion of
10 MR. MESEREAU: Object to the question. Move
11 to strike, violates the Court’s order.
12 MR. ZONEN: I believe that it was opened up
13 by the preceding question by counsel, behavior of
14 the suspect.
15 MR. MESEREAU: The Court has ordered not to
16 use the word “pornography,” and Mr. Zonen knows
18 MR. ZONEN: If I did use that word, I don’t
19 recall. I’m sorry.
20 THE COURT: I haven’t forbidden anyone to use
21 the word “pornography.” The use of the word
22 “pornography” as applying to the materials being
23 introduced is forbidden, because that’s going to be
24 a jury question for how they characterize that
26 But as long as you’re not — as you’re using
27 “pornography,” that it doesn’t relate to the
28 evidence in this case, you can use that. It was 2958
1 used earlier in the hearing. But since you have a
2 hard time distinguishing that, maybe you should use
3 “adult material” all the time.
4 MR. ZONEN: I will.
5 Is that the extent of the objection.
6 MR. MESEREAU: It is.
7 MR. ZONEN: Then I’m prepared to proceed.
8 THE COURT: All right.
Zonen finalizes his redirect-examination by asking about how Jackson’s lavish Neverland environment could in and of itself be used to groom children, asking about the difficulty that children experience when disclosing abuse, and whether or not he has studied any cases were false claims were made for the sole purpose of financial gain:
9 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Doctor, a person who makes
10 available to a child, virtually 24-hours a day,
11 every form of entertainment, from video games to all
12 manner of other games, to no restrictions
13 whatsoever, is that something that could be
14 considered grooming for purposes of making a child
15 susceptible to sexual abuse.
16 A. Certainly. I mean, grooming is — and I
17 made reference earlier to this pattern of increasing
18 sexuality in the relationship. It desensitizes the
20 Grooming, I think, is a broader scope issue,
21 because grooming really involves the prospect where
22 a perpetrator provides a lot of desirable things to
23 a child, and those can be the special attention,
24 making best buddies, you know, sharing a lot of
26 It can also be sharing a lot of material
27 things, the coolest Nintendo games, the most
28 interesting bikes or nicest car, whatever. It can 2959
1 be a lot of things that essentially pair the
2 perpetrator with good, fun, enjoyable times.
3 And once that is established, then is when
4 the sexuality starts to become a part of that
5 relationship. And again, as I say, that’s part of
6 the grooming. The increased sexuality makes it more
7 accessible for the child to respond positively or
8 favorably to the sexual approaches of the
10 Now, the statement that you made is within
11 the realm of grooming behavior.
12 Q. How about encouraging a child to share not
13 just a bedroom with the suspect, but sharing a bed
14 with the person as well. Would that be considered
16 A. Certainly. That would be —
17 MR. MESEREAU: Beyond the scope, Your Honor.
18 THE COURT: Sustained.
19 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Doctor, in circumstances
20 where children have difficulty relating — or
21 relaying with some degree of accuracy events, tell
22 us, what is the difficulty associated with children
23 talking about when things occur, or how frequently
24 things occur.
25 A. Well, when things occur, is kids don’t run
26 their lives with watches and calendars like adults
27 do. So they may make mistakes about whether it
28 happened the day before, the day after, the 13th or 2960
1 the 14th. I mean, those types of things. They make
2 mistakes like this fairly commonly, not just within
3 the context of the sexual abuse. But kids do that.
4 So there’s the “when.” And I forget what
5 the other part of your question was.
6 Q. When or how frequently.
7 A. The “how frequently” is, if something
8 happens just once, usually this issue of frequency
9 is not hard to determine. If it happens twice or
10 three times, it’s not hard to determine.
11 If it happens more than that, then it’s easy
12 to not be clear about whether something happened on
13 the first time — well, actually the fourth time or
14 the sixth time. Because those things — the
15 specific events related to each of those incidents
16 may run together.
17 With regard to sexual abuse, if oral
18 copulation occurred on the fourth time and the
19 sixth, but not the fifth time, that would be the
20 mistake, the child would say, “Well, maybe it
21 happened on the fourth and fifth time.” They may
22 not be completely accurate in being able to be
23 reliable in describing those types of details.
24 Q. Doctor, are you familiar at all with any
25 studies that have been written that deal with the
26 issue of false allegations of child sexual abuse for
27 purposes of financial gain.
28 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; asked and 2961
2 MR. ZONEN: Not by me.
3 THE COURT: Overruled.
4 You may answer.
5 THE WITNESS: I’m not familiar with any
6 studies related to that.
7 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: None that you’ve read or none
8 that you haven’t read; in other words, studies that
9 you’re aware of their existence but haven’t read.
10 A. I try to keep fairly current with the
11 literature on all aspects of — most aspects of
12 sexual abuse. And particularly with issues of false
14 And there are, in fact, several studies
15 about false allegations, but I’m not familiar with
16 any study, either that I’ve read or just generally
17 aware of, where the purpose of the false allegation
18 was financial gain.
19 Q. Can I assume that over the past 20-plus
20 years that you’ve been dealing with this subject,
21 child sexual abuse, have there been any cases that
22 you have had personal contact with where there were
23 allegations of sexual impropriety for purposes of
24 financial gain.
25 A. I’ve never encountered a case like that.
26 Q. Doctor, of all the cases that you have dealt
27 with on a personal level, not research, but on a
28 personal level, have you had a number of cases where 2962
1 you were later able to determine were false
3 A. If the number is two, yes. I’ve had two
4 cases where there was a determination that the
5 allegation was false.
6 Q. That’s over 20 years with more than what,
7 a thousand cases.
8 A. Well, I started doing therapy with kids in
9 1983, so since that time. I’ve had two cases in
10 which there was a determination that the allegation
11 that the child made was false.
12 MR. ZONEN: Thank you. I have no further
14 THE COURT: Counsel.
Under Mesereau’s recross-examination, Dr. Urquizo described a case in which he made a determination of false abuse, stated that children can be manipulated by their parents to make a false claim, if he had ever researched a case where the alleged abuser is a world famous celebrity (and of course the answer to that question was “no!”)
17 BY MR. MESEREAU:
18 Q. In the cases where the false allegations
19 were made, were you the one determining that the
20 child made a false allegation of sexual abuse.
21 A. In one of them. It wasn’t — I wasn’t
22 making the determination. It was an incident where
23 a child made an allegation that he was sexually
24 abused by his father in a fast food restaurant. I
25 don’t remember what kind of fast food restaurant.
26 And the father had — it was a custody
27 dispute between the mother and the father. And the
28 father had videotaped the entire duration of the 2963
1 visit, and the mother was there through most of it.
2 And he videotaped driving in, the beginning to the
3 end. So it captured the whole interaction of him
4 and his child in the visit.
5 And I watched that videotape. And the child
6 said he was molested, and I never saw anything
7 related to that. So that was one.
8 The other one I didn’t make that
9 determination. It was a child who was on a locked
10 psychiatric unit, made an allegation of abuse of a
11 staff person on a particular day. And that staff
12 person was not working on that day and wasn’t
13 physically there. So it was impossible for him to
14 have been sexually abused by that staff person.
15 Q. Now, you’re not telling the jury that a
16 parent cannot manipulate children to make false
17 statements for financial gain, are you.
18 A. No, that was related to the questions that
19 you asked me earlier. I mean, I can’t make that
21 Q. In any of your work as a clinical
22 psychologist, have you ever done any investigation
23 or study of situations where parents have schooled
24 children to steal or lie.
25 A. Have schooled children to steal or lie.
26 Q. Yes.
27 A. So they coached them, trained them to steal
28 or lie. 2964
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. Not that I’m aware.
3 Q. It’s not your field, is it.
4 A. I’ve — I’m not aware of any research
5 studies. I have not done any research studying on
6 stealing and lying, at least directly. And I’m not
7 aware of any cases in which a parent had coached
8 their child to steal or lie.
9 Q. You can go back to the novel Oliver Twist to
10 see examples of situations where an adult —
11 MR. ZONEN: I’ll object as exceeding the
12 scope of the redirect.
13 THE COURT: The sounds like an argumentative
14 question to me.
15 MR. ZONEN: I’ll object in that way as well.
16 MR. MESEREAU: Okay. Okay. Okay.
17 Q. In any of these cases of false allegations
18 of child sexual abuse, was the target a world-famous
19 celebrity perceived as being very wealthy.
20 A. I’ve never been involved in a case like
21 that, nor read research related to that.
22 MR. MESEREAU: Thank you.
23 MR. ZONEN: No further questions.
24 THE COURT: All right. Thank you, Counsel.
25 You may step down.
26 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
27 THE COURT: Call your next witness.
28 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Lauren Wallace. 2965
To Be Continued: https://michaeljacksonvindication2.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/march-21st-2005-trial-analysis-detective-conn-abel-cross-examination-dr-anthony-urquizo-lauren-wallace-and-louise-palanker-direct-examination-part-3-of-3/