California psychologist says that low-IQ girls ‘suffer less’ trauma from sex assault

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Stan Katz– Forensic psychologist Dr. Stan Katz
An expert hired by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) argued in court that a 9-year-old girl seeking damages after she was sexually assaulted would be protected from emotional stress by her low IQ.

Court documents obtained by KPCC investigative producer Karen Foshay detailed forensic psychologist Dr. Stan Katz‘s 2013 testimony in a trial to determine how much in damages the 9-year-old girl would receive after she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a boy at one of the district’s schools.

The girl reportedly had an IQ between 64 and 70, but the boy was not developmentally disabled.

According to the transcripts, attorney David Ring, who represented the girl, asked Katz to explain what he meant when he said that the girl’s disability “acts as a protective factor.”

“There’s a relationship between intelligence and depression,” Katz replied. “What happens is the more you think about things, you can ruminate, you can focus on things, you can look at the complexities of the matter and become less depressed.”

“So because she may be less intelligent than a general education student, she’s going to suffer less depression because of it?” Ring pressed.

“Very possible, yes,” Katz insisted.

[That sounds like a contradiction to me – more depressed or able to lessen depression through “rumination?”]

He did agree that the girl would need therapy to cope with the trauma. But he said that he had interviewed the girl in 2012 – two years after the 2010 sexual assaults – and had determined that the crime was not connected to her emotional distress. Instead, he blamed her problems on a lack of a father in her life, and on her mental disability.

School Argues Low IQ Girl Won’t Remember Sexual Assault

School Argues Low IQ GirlKPCC talked to two experts who said that there was no science to support Katz’s testimony.

“I have never seen developmental disability in a child that age used as a protective factor with respect to how they handle trauma,” University of California San Francisco psychiatrist Dr. Lynn Ponton explained.In fact, developmental disability quite often puts them at risk for this type of trauma.”

University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine associate professor Dr. Steven Berkowitz agreed that disabled persons may have difficulty “decision making or problem solving around the use of coping strategies to assist them in dealing with the stress or trauma.”

In the end, the jury awarded the girl $1.4 million in damages, even though her lawyer had only asked for up to $12,500 to pay for therapy.

“The jury was offended, they were disgusted and they thought it was unbelievable that an “expert witness” could come in and say something like that,” Ring recalled to KPCC.

Katz, who was better known for his numerous appearances on reality television, was also consulting with LAUSD about another child abuse case that was scheduled to go to trial in February.

People with developmental disabilities have higher rates of mental illness, so essentially, he’s making up stuff to suit the district’s narrative. Trauma is trauma, no matter how high you score on an IQ test.

Comment: Thankfully for the 9-year old girl, the jury didn’t buy the lie. They recognized that the slime-ball psychologist (and defense attorney) was blaming the victim.

Interestingly, the LA School District seems to choose legal defense teams that artfully blame the victim:

Los Angeles school district fires lawyer who successfully defends them by blaming 14-year old for sexual relationship with teacher

 

Related:

LAUSD expert argues girl with low IQ may suffer less after ..

Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline – Academia.edu

The Sexual-Abuse-to-Prison Pipeline | Lisa’s leaks

Can Emotional Intelligence Be Taught? – NYTimes.com

lisa’s leaks » Education

Childhood trauma may induce epigenetic changes

Childhood trauma linked to higher rates of mental health problems

Post-Traumatic Stress May Harm Kids’ Brains

Brain Shrinkage Results From Trauma

Trauma, PTSD Followed By Reduction In Region Of The Brain Involved With Memory

 

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1 thought on “California psychologist says that low-IQ girls ‘suffer less’ trauma from sex assault”

  1. I bet he has first hand experience on that subject

    Like

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