Unfortunately, there are the Sharon Andersons, who like Tara Levicy of Duke Lacrosse fame, bring an agenda to the table. Like Levicy, who claimed that no woman ever lied about being raped, Anderson seems to believe that every child she examines has been molested or assaulted. Unfortunately, because the judges in North Georgia are willing to accept her as an "expert witness," she is able to get on the stand time and again as part of the prosecution's team and give misleading or outright dishonest testimony.
In this post, I am going to include some comments from two SANEs that challenge what the prosecution has been giving the public. One of them has made comments on the blog, and this is what she has to say:
I am a coming a bit late to this case, but several things just scream falsehood to me.Regarding the next comment, I first note that someone on the comments section wrote the following:
I reviewed the partial verbatim testimony given by the SANE in this case. If I was presented with the same "findings" I would not be able to testify to any type of sexual assault. The findings she notes are what we in the business call "indeterminate" findings. Meaning it could be caused by many things and without clear, provable and concise reporting from the child, usually indicate exactly what it is. A normal active female child. She did not testify to any findings that actually are "definite" signs of sexual assault. Yet she states as an "expert" that her findings are consistent with sexual assault. Disgusting, unprofessional and a clear abuse of her power as a SANE.
She noted no tears in the hymen and apparently assumed that due to "rolling and thickening" of the hymen edges that it is sexual assault. Sighs. Apparently she did her coursework via mail order.
Lets add this, between 85% to 95% of all children who give clear, truthful and concise reports of sexual assault, will upon examination show NO SIGNS of assault. This is because those tissues are extremely resilient. In most cases, there are additional behavioral issues that bring the assault to light. The prosecutor more often than not is faced with a case where he must present the child's side against the adult's side since little to no physical evidence would be found.
Remember, this case is not about penetrating rape, it is about supposed digital penetration.
As a SANE/FNE I am appalled at her summation of her examination and the "conclusions" she reached based on that. It is too bad this case is not going on out here, that nurse would be looking for work.
I don't know anyone involved, but I know enough about medicine to know that the "expert" witness who testified that the girls showed signs of molestation was not qualified. In testimony that I read, she stated she examined all three girls in the supine, or laying on their back, spread-eagle position. Modern, as in within the past ten years, adolescent gynacologists examine in more than one position to rule out the fact that in between 10 and 50% of females there are naturally-occurring bumps and other "abnormalities" that when viewed ONLY in the supine position are easily mistaken for signs of abuse.I ran this statement by another friend of mine who is a SANE, and she replied:
If she had been subscribed to journals of adolescent gynacology, like any "expert" on child rape would, she would know this. I hope that Tonya's attorney knows about this and rips her apart. How many men and women have been sent away because an "expert" witness for the prosecution testified that a child was molested when in-fact they weren't? In this case two of the three were "suspicious," and one showed no signs at all.
I would say that before this witness said she was sure the girls were abused she should have examined in what is commonly called the "frog legs" position, the one MOST likely accurately show whether a girl was molested. There are so many grounds for appeal if she's convicted in this sham. It's really just wasting the tax payer's money. By so botching this whole affair, when the appeals court overturns this verdict the whole thing will have to be done over again, and by that time memories will have faded, and when the girls change their story it will all be over.
If the girls are or were examined by a REAL expert who determines they weren't abused at all, and if at some point someone in the prosecution camp admits to a set-up, I'm in favor of a law that would state that any one who accuses someone of a sex crime and it's proven that they lied about it, then they get to make a choice: they either can give the person they accused one-half of the money they earn for the rest of their life or they can spend the exact amount of time that the accused would have spend in jail, without any parole. There's a reason why God put "bearing false witness" in among the top ten things not to do.
This is actually accurate. The examination of the adolescent/pre-pubescent child is nothing like examining a sexually active female (teen and older). I would have to see what the “expert” actually testified to. Did she say exactly WHAT signs she saw. I say that since the only time we assume the possibility of assault is in penetrating vaginal injuries in a young girl. You would attempt to visualize the hymen (not always easy and in my book it suggests the “knee to chest” position with the “frog leg” being the next best. Supine in stirrups (like a normal adult female) is high discouraged since it is difficult to visualize anything. Use of a speculum is all but forbidden unless there is a penetrating injury and at that point the child is taken into an OR and put to sleep for the exam.It is time to tell the truth about the "expert witnesses" that the prosecution has trotted in front of us, "experts" who just happen to be associated with the Children's Advocacy Centers. These are not people whose testimony should be the basis of sending people to prison for the rest of their lives.
The above is why SANE-p are usually NOT the one to do the exam, but instead a pediatric Physician does it. I have assisted in numerous exam’s but I have NEVER done a child suspected of sexual assault solo. There is always a physician (Peds Doc) present.
I agree heavily with this post.
Let me put it even more plainly. By using these people who clearly are unqualified and, lets face it, dishonest and having an ideological agenda, the courts in North Georgia are declaring that truth does not matter, and that it really is not important if an accused person is guilty or innocent.
Now, I doubt that Chris Arnt and Len Gregor will care a whit, and I doubt that Brian House loses a minute of sleep when a person is wrongfully convicted in his courtroom. However, there are real people, decent people out there whose lives are destroyed, and whole families with ruined futures that suffer these fates because of men like Arnt, Gregor, House, and incompetent and unqualified witnesses like Sharon Anderson and Suzi Thorne.
While that state of affairs might be just fine with the editorial writers of the Times-Free Press and the politicians of North Georgia, it is not fine with a lot of good people with whom I have made contact. Right now, they feel helpless to do anything about it because the people with power and influence are people who do not wish to do the right thing.