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Screenshot 2023-07-24 ABel Screening_edi

Court Cases

Court Cases Using 

The Abel Assessment for sexual interest™ (AASI)


AASI Accepted by Courts


U.S. v. Joseph Stoterau
(No. 07-50124)
US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Central District of California, Judge Andrew J. Guilford, April 29, 2008
The Judge ruled that “the district court did not abuse its discretion in imposing Abel testing.”
View case:
U.S. v. Joseph Stoterau

U.S. v. Lamont Robinson
(No. 99-20063-01)
US District Court, Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette-Opelousas Division, Judge Tucker Melancon, April 17, 2000
The Judge ruled the AASI met the Federal Daubert Standard.

State of Texas vs. Michael Ray Taylor

No. 3777, 287th  Judicial District, Parmer County, Texas. November 7, 2023.

The court ruled that the Abel Assessment for sexual Interest meets the Nenno standards 

(Nenno v.  State, 970 S.W.2d 549 (Tex. Crim. App. 1998): https://casetext.com/case/nenno-v-state

and the results, along with the clinician's written report, were admitted into evidence.

State of Louisiana v. Robert James Lege
(Docket Nos. 34746 and 34747)
Judicial District Court, Judge Durwood Conque, April 26, 2001.

State of California v. Jose Flores
(Docket Nos. 34746 and 34747)
San Francisco County Superior Court, October 20, 2003.

State of New Mexico, Children, Youth and Families Department
(D-132-JQ-01-00009)
In the matter of M-S, Judge Barbara Vigil ruled that the AASI met the Daubert Standard for admission as evidence, August 9, 2001.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Kruger
Superior Court, Middlesex County, May, 2002

Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Robert Anderson
(WOCV2001-01348)
Worcester Superior Court, May 14, 2002

Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Aron Lyons, a.k.a. Roy Swimm
Superior Court, Plymouth County, June, 2002

Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Leonard Hewson
Superior Court, Middlesex County, June, 2002

Illinois case involving heavy equipment operator convicted of touching his stepdaughter. He was placed on probation with treatment.

Illinois case involved an inmate who had been released into an outpatient treatment program. The group leader wanted to send him back to prison because he had been to a mall with a girlfriend who had a child. The AASI was used to help document his current status, and he was placed with another group leader for the duration of his treatment.

Juvenile Cases in St. Louis County and City, Missouri. Children were alleged to be perpetrators of sexual abuse. By using the AASI, it was determined that one charge was a mistake, one claim was valid, and the other was found not guilty by judicial decision. The AASI assisted in the recommendations for treatment for the juvenile that was convicted.

David Walker, M.D., was allowed to present the results of an AASI in the sentencing phase of an incest case in Federal Court on October 15, 2001.



AASI Not Accepted by Courts


U.S. District Court, District of South Dakota, Western Division
(CR.01-50002-01-KES 2001 DSD 38)
Judge Karen E. Schrier, November 13, 2001
Original Court Case: U.S. v. Guy Randy White Horse
The judge in this case separated the AASI into two parts. Part I includes the AASI Graph produced from the slide data and the AASI Questionnaire Summary produced from the AASI Questionnaire. Part II includes the Probability Values produced from the logistical regression equations.

 

Part I Ruling:
The judge used the four elements a district court is to consider when determining if a scientific methodology meets the Daubert Standard. The judge’s rulings on the four elements were:

        1. Whether the theory or technique has been tested — despite the fact that sufficient studies have been performed to conclude that               the AASI was valid, the judge concluded that the AASI had not been tested using a statistically significant sample of Native                             American subjects. Had Gene G. Abel, M.D. been allowed to address this issue, we believe the judge may have ruled otherwise                       since Native Americans comprise slightly more than 3% of our database.
        2. Whether the theory or technique has been subjected to peer review and publication — the judge ruled this element had been met.               The known or potential rate of error of the method used and the existence and maintenance of standards controlling the                                   technique’s operation —the judge ruled that the published (Gene G. Abel, M.D., et al., Screening Test for Pedophilia, 21 Criminal                     Justice and Behavior, 115-131,1994), false-negative rate of 24 percent of classifying admitted pedophiles would not “assist the                       jury in understanding the evidence or determining a fact in issue.” Error: The article referenced did not address the AASI, but                           addressed the Abel Screen which is an entirely different test used only by Dr. Abel in his private practice and was never available                   commercially.
       3. Whether the theory or method has been generally accepted by the scientific community —the judge concluded that this element                had not been met based on the ATSA Standards and Guidelines that give preference to the PPG in the assessment of deviant                        sexual interests. We have been informed by ATSA that the Standards and Guidelines will be revised to remove the preferential                        treatment given the PPG.


Part II Ruling:
The judge ruled that the Probability Values (for molesters of girls and boys under 14 outside the home and liar/deniers) did not meet the Daubert Standards for the following reasons:
      1.  The test results were inconclusive, and therefore, the Probability Values were not relevant.
       2. The defendant was accused of an incest-only offense, and incest-only cases were excluded in the study supporting the validity of                the Probability Values.
       3. There has been no peer review. Since the article was published in a peer reviewed journal, we believe the judge meant that the                      ProbabilityValues have not been independently researched.
There was no evidence that the Probability Values are widely accepted in the scientific community.

Appeal:
The lower court ruling was affirmed by the 8<sup>th</sup> Circuit Federal Court on January 15, 2003.

Gerard Ready v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts
(No. 00-10390 SOP)
Judge Christopher J. Muse, May 17, 2002
The judge ruled that the evidence concerning the AASI be excluded from evidence because the evidence presented failed to show that it met the Lanigan/Daubert Standards or it's relevance.


Lanigan/Daubert Standards


Testing:

   1. The AASI has not been adequately tested because Dr. Abel’s 1998 study did not include the 2-4 year-old children and did not use the          AASI Questionnaire.
   2. No studies have tested AASI the questionnaire.
   3. Reliability has not been tested using the test-retest method.
   4. The formula has not been subjected rigorous scientific scrutiny.
   5. No studies outside the “close-knit world of ATSA” support the AASI.
   6. Boys ages 6, 7, 11 and 12 were assaulted and these age ranges are not represented in the AASI slides.
   7. The AASI’s susceptibility to manipulation has not been adequately tested.


Peer Review: “The AASI has not been subjected to publication and peer review.”

Known Error Rate:
The court found that the “high error rate” detracted from the petitioner’s contention that the AASI is “…scientifically sound and sufficiently reliable to assist the trier of fact.”

Generally Accepted in the Scientific Community:
The misuse of apparently misquoted ATSA ListServ communications caused the judge to believe that ATSA had changed its Standards and Guidelines “…solely to have the AASI admitted at this proceeding.” Because of this, the AASI was not found to be generally accepted in the scientific community.

Relevance:
The Court concluded that the AASI had no bearing on the issue of present sexual dangerousness, the sole issue to be decided by the jury and was, therefore, not relevant.

State of Montana v. Earl Hunt
(Case No. DC-01-296 [B])
Judge Katherine R. Curtis, May 24, 2002


The therapist’s testimony was not allowed. The judge’s ruling regarding the AASI was as follows:

   1. Because up to 35% of known, actual molesters of adolescent girls (therapist’s statistics) do not reflect sexual attraction to this age              group on the AASI, the defendant’s scores “…does not have a tendency to make the existence of any consequential fact in this case            more or less probable,” therefore, it is not relevant.
   2. The scientific basis for the AASI has not and cannot be reliably tested because the therapist did not know how the test was scored             (i.e. how the z-scores were derived)
   3. There is not sufficient evidence that the AASI has widespread acceptance within the scientific community for use as evidence during         a trial – its acceptance is as a clinical tool.
   4. The therapist’s training was questioned because he didn’t understand how or why the “rule of thirds” was developed or the basis for           it.

Court of Appeals for the 7th District Court of Texas at Amarillo, Texas
January 23, 2002
Judgment was reversed. The AASI was administered to the defendant, M. Keys, and its results showed that M. Keys had sexual interest in young children. The Court stated in its reversal that they “could not evaluate the methods, analysis, and principles relied upon by [the witness] in reaching [his] opinion.”

State of Texas, District Court Tom Green County, 340th Judicial District
(No. C-96-03830-J, In the matter of J.G.)
Judge Dick Alcala ruled that the trial court judge was correct in not admitting the results from the AASI because it was not relevant to the case. The science supporting the test was never questioned.

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