SAMPLE DIRECT EXAMINATION OF DEFENSE EXPERT USED TO COUNTER GOVERNMENT EXPERT ON COUNTER-INTUITIVE BEHAVIORS
Questions by the civilian defense counsel:
Q. Dr. G give the judge a quick rundown of your military and educational history.
A. Sure. Your Honor, military-wise, I retired as a Navy 0-6 in October of 2007 with 30 years in. Undergraduate degree in Zoology from the University of Michigan; 6 years on active duty with Nuclear Propulsion Program; medical school at Uniformed Services University in Bethesda; internship -- rotating internship in medicine, neurology, and psychiatry and other specialties at Bethesda; 3 years psychiatry residency at Bethesda; 2 years at Orlando as Chief of Service; and from '93 to 2007, Faculty at Uniformed Services University; and ended up as a full professor of psychiatry there. I also completed a clinical research fellowship from '93 until '94.
And I'm a research consultant to the Rand Corporation for its recent Rand Workplace Sexual Relations Survey.
Q. Dr. G, how many times have you been qualified as an expert in a military court-martial?
A. I've been appointed for probably about 180 cases and probably testified in 130, 140.
CDC: Judge, we would ask that you recognize Dr. G as an expert in forensic psychiatry for the purposes of this motion?
ATC: No objection, Your Honor.
Q. Dr. G, do you know Dr. V?
A. I've worked in cases where she was involved.
Q. So you've heard her testify?
A. I have.
Q. You've heard her testify as a blind expert?
A. I did.
Q. Okay. Dr. G, what is your concern with regards to the methodology that Dr. V uses in formulating her testimony?
A. Well, the information comes from a number of different types of studies that are done, many of which were done simply for the purposes of understanding sort of the sociology and psychology of the way people understand sexual assault
Some of them were done by, for example, the Department of Justice; or the things that we're working on at Rand to determine prevalence rates in a general population. Some of the studies deal with so-called rape myths. Those would be the college survey studies where a very limited set of questions would be asked, and people would rate their attitudes toward those particular questions. All of the survey studies -- and really most of the work is done in survey studies, but I'll talk about the exceptions after a bit, have different problems with the methodology. For example, at Rand what we're looking at -- you know, we sent off a very detailed study this time which was much crisper than the 2012 study. The 2012 study kind of conflated sexual harassment, sexual misconduct with rapes. So you couldn't actually separate out, for example, what were penetration crimes, what were non-penetration crimes, what were attempts.
CDC: And are you talking about the survey that is frequently cited in the military with regards to the prevalence of sexual assault -- frequently cited in the media with regards to prevalence of sexual assaults in the military?
A. Yes. But even the way the media reports, it doesn't accurately reflect some of the precision of what that study does in terms of breaking it into different categories so that it might appear that those are all rapes when, in fact, some of those were other aspects of sexual behavior.
Q. And what is the relevance of that study as it relates to concerns about Dr. V's methodologies?
A. Well, I mean even that study, which we've gone to great lengths to try to make as accurate as possible, suffers from the problems of most survey studies. One of those is, as you're trying to allude to, selection bias. That people who don't have an interest in the topic do not decide to participate in the study. So you get an over representation of people who have an interest in that subject. So it may be an over representation of people who were actually assaulted or it may be an over representation of people who want to magnify the problem of sexual assault.
So the first case they might answer honestly, and the second case they might exaggerate their answers to bring more light to the perceived problem.
Q. And is that a problem that is simply endemic in that previous military study or is your concern with all survey-type studies?
A. Well, all survey studies suffer from that to one degree or another. So one of the things we're doing -- and I'm actually meeting with the research team next week -- week after next. We're trying to look at verification of some of the rates that were reported. For example, if we have let's say 27,000 people who reported that they were sexually assaulted, by the time you extrapolate that out; and of those, let's say 10 percent say that they reported to formal authorities, so 2,700. If we find out that, for example, only 2,000 people actually reported to the authorities, when 2,700 people on the survey are telling us that they reported to the authorities -- and again we're talking extrapolated numbers going out -- what that tells us is that we have a biased survey, and we need to correct to match what the SAPRO office is actually collecting on reports that are being filed as restricted or unrestricted reports. So there's that type of a problem with the surveys.
There also isn't much detail in those surveys. When you conduct large scale surveys, the more questions you ask, the lower your response rate because people only have a tolerance for so many minutes of taking a survey. So we can ask basic questions like, you5 know, "Were you assaulted? Did you know the assailant? Did you report it? Did you not report it? Did you report it within 24 hours? Did you report it later than 24 hours?" You know, "What are your demographics? What's your gender? What's your age bracket? What's your racial makeup? What rank are you?" So we can break it down into basic demographics and the basic crime and some very basic information about whether they reported it. But it doesn't get into details of, you know, why didn't you report it? We might ask some basic questions about why didn't you report it but not any combination of factors that would give you any direct insight into a particular case.
So again these surveys are done to educate policymakers. They're done to provide general education to the scientific
community, but they're never intended to be applied in a judicial setting.
Q. In addition to -- you heard Dr. V testify and you've heard her testify previously that there are other -- there's other data that she relies upon besides survey studies. What is your concern with any of the other data that she relies upon?
A. Well, you know, they're often -- you know, you can call them different things. But you can call them case series studies, and you could call them focus group studies. You could call them, you know, court-directed studies of individuals. But again, you could have individuals who are over reporting, under reporting, exaggerating, minimizing what the involvement is; but again none of those studies get into the degree of detail that a court will see during the course of the gathering of evidence for the court or the presentation of evidence for the court.
So there is no study of any type that says, you know, this factor was present, not present. This factor was present, not present. This factor was present, not present. You come up with these sort of anecdotal collections of factors, but there's no way of applying those in any type of a predictive fashion that becomes useful to the members in terms of knowing whether something is more or less likely to have happened.
Q. Which brings me to my next point, Doctor. You're answering it a lot better than I asked it. But when we talked to Dr. V last night, you remember that she provided us with a number of factors that may be present as to why one does or does not stay in an abusive relationship, correct?
Q. What is your problem with that methodology? What is your concern?
A. Well, perhaps the easiest way of explaining that is to provide a contrast and that would be the sort of research that we did at the university in returning veterans with combat injuries. So we would apply, you know, well-validated scales on PTSD and depression for example. And they would be done with direct clinical interviews with scales that basically are shown to be probably about 95 percent valid, based on a large number of clinical scales that have been, you know, applied in that fashion. Then we would examine the demographics of the individual. "What rank were you? What gender were you? What age were you? How many months of combat deployment did you have? How many actual firefights, you know, within brackets were you actually involved with? You know, what were the natures of your injuries?" And then we apply all of that data all of those data into a logistical-regression-analysis formula, so I can end up making determinations of which factors are predictive of PTSD in are turning veteran, which factors are predictive of depression? And I could say, for example that, you know, non-Caucasians are at a 1.5-odds ratio of getting PTSD than Caucasians are, meaning that they 3 have a greater risk as a function of being non-Caucasian. Women have a 1.8-odds ratio of having PTSD. People with more combat exposures have greater ratios. People with -- who are married, have a greater propensity toward PTSD.
And so you can look at each factor and apply a risk factor for what does that factor mean about whether this individual is more or less likely to actually have PTSD.
Q. And how does that differ from the factors that Dr. V gave us last night?
A. There were no ratings. There were no odds ratios or relative-risk ratios to any of those multiple factors. So they're very much subjective to interpretation. I guess the other problem is the purpose. I mean, many of these studies were done for the purposes of educating law enforcement for example, investigators, prosecutors, in not immediately dismissing a case because it didn't make sense to them.
To the extent that an alleged, you know, complaining witness can explain every aspect of their behavior, step by step by step, the question is: What does this add to an explanation that's already been provided to the court in great detail for each episode.
Q. You and I discussed whether the presence or absence of any of these or all of these factors increases or decreases the likelihood that abuse occurred. What is your answer to that question?
A. It isn't helpful.
Q. Why is it not helpful?
A. Well, first off, the studies that -- I mean the factors she talks about -- I think she mentioned this -- are: If you know that an abuse has occurred, whether these factors increase or decrease the likelihood of someone staying or leaving. So you're starting off with presumption that there actually is an abusive relationship to begin with, which is the matter before the court. Not whether somebody left but it's whether the abuse occurred or not. So the staying in or the not staying in, whether you leave in 6 months or whether you leave at a year really doesn't answer the question of whether there is abuse or not. So it's not helpful in that fashion.
And, as I mentioned, there's no particular risk ratio for each of those elements, each of those factors.
Q. And when you talk about the lack of a weighted average, what is a weighted average?
A. Well, weighted average would be much like the logistical regression thing, that this -- this factor imparts, you know, percent of the choice to leave. This factor imparts percent of the choice to leave. This factor imparts percent. You know, how do you put those together. It's just a different way at looking at the8 printout from a logistic regression.
Q. And from your understanding are any of those weighted factors weighted averages rather, factored into Dr. V testimony?
A. Not from what we heard.
Q. Doctor, you also recall Dr. V talking to us about key triggers in leaving. And I believe that some of them were that the victim feels safer, that the offender crossed the line, that there was an escalation, that they have social support. Do you remember that from last night?
A. Yes. In some ways it's kind of the reciprocal of the factors for staying.
Q. Would you agree with me that the best testimony as to whether somebody felt safer is that individual them self?
A. I think they would have the only true knowledge of what their mental state was at any particular point in time.
Q. Thank you, Doctor. That's all the questions I have.