The Christchurch Civic Creche Case

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Toddler Testimonies, Index

Analysis of Christchurch Creche Evidential Videotapes
by Barry S. Parsonson
MA DipClinPsych PhD FNZPsS


All names amended to match the pseudonyms used in A City Possessed




Part F

Kari Lacebark (DoB  Aug 96) Age at first interview 5yrs 6mo

1.0       Summary

1.1        Interviewer:

a)       Large number of interviews: Six between February and October 1992

b)      Extensive use of suggestive and / or direct questioning

c)       Use of social influence, including asking child how she thinks accused will react to her allegations

d)      Extensive use of toys and props, sometimes suggestively

1.2        Possible sources of. external contamination:

a)       Mother has questioned her and given information

b)      Knows and has contact with other creche children, Zelda and Chase

1.3        Child's demeanour

a)       No evident indices of emotional distress or disturbance, plays happily

b)      Off-task, focused on toys and dolls

c)       Appears to incorporate fantasy with toys and dolls into reports

d)      Toys appear to have a stimulus control element

2.0       Interview 92/ 82 27.02.92

2.1        Allegation of indecent exposure by Peter Ellis:

2.1.1     Using a mixture of open, direct and suggestive questions, the interviewer explored Karl's allegation (Transcript p5-7) that Ellis had shown her his penis in the toilet, that other children were present, that he had moved it up and down (p6) with his hands (p7). A suggestive question (p6), "Have you. So when he, did, did he get the kids to touch his penis or not?", was answered, "Yes. He got them to touch his penis too.". Asked, "How do you know that?", Kari answered, "Just cos I were watching. I tried to help the little children, but they just didn't believe rne."(p6). No effort was made to clarify what this last statement meant.

2.1.2     In response to direct questions, Kari alleged that this had happened when she was first in creche [April 1988] and that it was done to her every day.

2.1.3     Asked (p7) what made her tell her mother, Kari said "She just asked me about Peter. 'What happened to you?'." (Note: This raises the question of possible contamination through parental questioning and possible use of suggestion or provision of information).

2.2        Allegation of fellatio by Peter Ellis with Sue and Bart:

2.2.1     Kari alleged (p7) that Sue and Bart used to suck Peter's penis, that she saw this and that it happened on her first day [April 1, 1988] and at the "Big End", in the toilets.

2.2.2     The allegation was not followed up immediately, but the interviewer referred to it again later (p17), Kari appeared distracted by the toys and after a couple of probing questions, the interviewer directly reminded Kari of her allegation thus, "I mean Bart and Sue, you saw them suck his penis. Is that right?" (Note: This form of question may be particularly suggestive, with the 'Is that right' added).

2.2.3     Kari responded (p18), "When will we be finished?". Kari then appears more focused on her play, so that the interviewer's attempts at questioning get little of her attention. Suggestive questions were used, "...Did you see anything else happen to them or not?", "No."; Ok, so have you just seen that happen to Bait and Sue?", Kari does not answer this question, is focused on toys. "...So Kari, have you ever seen anything else happen?", "No...."I'll cook the breakfast.".

2.2.4     The topic was raised again later (p23), with the introduction of "Sue" and "Bart" dolls and a request to show what happened to them. A series of suggestive questions about detail followed. Sue and Bart were together, but only one was sucking his penis. Asked which one, Kari focused on feeling sick and did not respond. The interviewer then asked a suggestive question, "And so, Kari, when you saw that happen to Sue who did you see it happen to first, Sue or Bart? Who did you see it happen to first, Sue or Bart?" (Note: Implicit in this question is the suggestion that Kari saw it happen to both children, even though she already has said a few seconds earlier, "Only one."). Kari responded, "Sue and Bart.". The interviewer repeated her request for who it happened to first (p23). Kari answered, "Bait." (p24). Asked where Peter's hands were, Kari said, "They were where I showed you." [presumably, on their calves behind their knee].

2.2.5     Kari reported (p25) that her friend Zelda had touched her vagina. Adding she's safe now, Peter used to baby-sit her. Asked what she touched Kari's vagina with, she said her vagina. Asked if anyone else had touched her vagina before, Kari said, "No". (Note: This could suggest normal exploratory sexual play or might be thought of as sexualised behaviour if it was subsequent to the alleged events. The juxtaposition of vaginas is probably somewhat unusual in normal sex play).

2.3        Allegation of Peter Ellis seeing Kari's genitals:

2.3.1     Kari asked for a break (p8) because, "...I just want to have a wee play."

Comment: The interviewer (p9) appears to have used this as a means of introducing dolls with genitalia and nudity by inviting Kari to play at bathing the dolls. This use of such dolls and their nudity has suggestive potential).

2.3.2.    The clothes were taken off the dolls (p9) and the topic who gives Kari baths was raised. Kari volunteered that she had baths with her baby brother and sometimes with her mother. (Note: This could provide Kari with some knowledge of male genitals and adult secondary sex characteristics such as pubic hair, which may be pertinent, given her various allegations).

2.3.3     The interviewer (p9) leads into genitalia, "Um, whereabouts would the penis be? Would you show me? What would they be for, what are penises for?. Kari responded, "They're for doing wees ah into the toilet. But she hasn't got a penis cos its a girl.". "Its a girl, what do girls have?", to which Kari replied, "They have 'ginas.".

2.3.4     The interviewer used this introduction to pose a direct question, "Ok, Right. So who's seen your vagina before?", Kari said, "Peter.", asked when she said, "He saw it [pause] um, my first day at creche." (Note: Kari also has alleged (p7) that on her first day at creche she a) first saw Ellis' penis, saw him fellated by Sue and Bart).

2.3.5     Kari requested (p10) another break from talking.

2.4        Allegation of fellatio of Peter Ellis by Kari:

2.4.1     Asked suggestively, (p12), Hey, you know what you saw happen to Sue and Bart?".."Um, Peter's penis go in anybody else's mouth or not?", Kari answered, "In my mouth.". Asked what it felt like, she said it felt 'rough', and volunteered that, "Baby stuff came out of it.". The interviewer asked, "What did?", Kari said, "Baby stuff that makes babies.". Asked what colour, Kari said "We didn't see it.". Asked where it went, she said into 'our' mouth. Asked how she knew it was 'baby stuff, she replied "Just cos. Me knew the colour and it was plain white." (Note: This conflicts with her almost immediately preceding statement when asked the colour that she didn't see it.).

2.4.2     Asked (p13) who told her it was 'baby stuff, she said "Mummy.". (Note: This response must raise concern about possible contamination of Kari's testimony).

2.4.3     Kari alleged (p14) that she had told Marie, but that Marie didn't listen, that Peter was present when she told and had denied it. She also later referred to this with dolls (p21), stating she had gone up to Marie and said that Peter was hurting her. She said Marie had said no he isn't and walked away.

2.4.4     Asked directly how many times Peter's penis went into her mouth, Kari said, "Lots of times.".."He only did it once a day.". Asked (p14) how many days, Kari said (p15), Mondays and Fridays.

2.4.5     Asked (p15) if Peter's penis went anywhere else on her body, Kari indicated not.

2.4.6     Kari said (p15) she was getting tired and began to play with the toys and explore the room.

2.4.7     The interviewer tolerated some play (pp16-19) and dealt with Sue and Bart, she then introduced the doll with a suggestive question (p19), "Yeah. Now, Kari, could you come up here and help me? I'm going to use this baby to help me now. Um, show me where abouts the penis went?". "Went into there."(indicated mouth).

2.4.8     Further suggestive questions followed (p19-22), in response to these Kari responded in the negative regarding other parts of Peter's body touching her (p19), or anything else happening to her body (p20) [Kari was busy with toys at this stage). She volunteered (p20) that the stuff in her mouth made her feel sick Asked, "When Peter's penis went in your mouth, where abouts were his hands?.", Kari indicated to her calf, by the back of her knee. (Note: If his hands were on her calves behind her knee, the question is what relative body positions would be possible so that he could get his penis into her mouth?) Asked (pp20-21) to show on a doll, the demonstration is hard to see because the dolls are small. Using a toy toilet and dolls, Kari said she sat on the toilet to do wees and he sat on her (p21). (Note: This description does not clarify the matter in terms of relative body positions and possible penis-mouth contact, since the positions of the child seated with the adult seated on her do not seem to make sense in terms of the allegation.).

2.4.9     In response to questions Kari reported (p22) that the fellatio occurred only in the toilet.

2.4.10   The topic was returned to much later in the interview after a long period of play (p33). The interviewer referred again to fellatio and asked if Peter had said anything or not. Kari said, "No. Can I go?", "Soon, And did you say anything or not?", "No.". A suggestive question followed, "So I was wondering if anyone ever told you not to tell or not?"..."He said that if, if I give you ice, I give you a ice block, promise not to tell anybody, and I did, I wanted to."..."..And and he said that he would hurt um me and that he would burn his, my parents up .".

Comment: Kari had clearly indicated she was tired, felt unwell, or wanted to terminate the interview on at least three occasions. She evidenced distractible behaviours and spent quite long periods engaged in play with the toys. This time, having denied anything was said, she indicated a wish to go. The interviewer said, 'soon' and continued with a suggestive question. It is possible that the indication of being able to go soon was interpreted by Kari as a reward if she answered questions, and that if she told what was wanted, she could go.

2.5        Allegation of sexual violation by Peter Ellis:

2.5.1     Again (p34) Kari said, in an almost whining demanding voice, "I want to go." Another direct question followed, focused on whether Peter had touched her anywhere else ("No."), interspersed with another request to go ("Yeah, nearly finished.").

2.5.2     Asked (pp34-35) a direct question about whether any adults had touched her 'fanny' (p34), Kari answered "No. Peter's only..." (p35). The interviewer said, "Pardon?", Kari said again, "Peter's only.." and, distracted, looked at the play doh and said "What have you made there?" The interviewer now asked a suggestive question, "When, when did Peter touch your fanny?" (Note: It was not at all clear that this was what Kari was going to say, so words have been put into her mouth by this question). Kari tries to respond, Don't know, no he didn't, only touched me..". The interviewer asked, "He only touched you what?" and Kari was distracted by the arrival of a note from the monitor. Kari was asked to retrieve it.

2.5.3.    The interviewer returned (p35) to her suggestive questioning by recapping her version of what was said, including "...You said Peter touched your fanny, and I said where, and you said no he didn't, he only touched you-what?". Kari said, "He only touched me here." (indicating groin). Asked, "What did he touch you with?", Kari replied, I don't know.". The interviewer pressed her, "What, what?", Kari replied, "His penis." and added, "I want to go." to which the interviewer responded "Yeah, I know, yeah." and Kari again appealed, "Can I please go." in a pleading voice. (Note: On two previous occasions (p15, p19), Kari had indicated, in response to direct questions that there had been no other touching other than that already alleged (i.e., fellatio) and she had indicated in the current questioning 'No he didn't' (p35) and when first asked what with, said (p36), 'Don't know', before coming out with 'His penis').

Comment: This allegation arose out of direct and/or suggestive questioning, and was compounded by a misrepresentation of what Kari had said, or was trying to say, so that the interviewer put it to her that Kari had actually said something that she had not, but that the interviewer had herself said. The child was indicating a wish for the interview to be terminated, but questioning continued. She twice had previously denied any other touching, and appeared to be trying to deny it again, and to be attempting an explanation on a number of occasions. This appeared to be ignored by the interviewer who both misinterpreted what she was trying to say and continued to press her for an answer. The demand characteristics of the interview at this stage were such that she was being required to stay and answer questions despite repeated indications that she was tired, felt unwell, and wanted to go. The possibility that the allegation arose as a consequence of the method of questioning and the child's strong desire to terminate the interview cannot be ignored, raising doubts about the validity of the allegation made in this context.

2.5.4     In response to her plea to be allowed to go (p35), the interviewer promised "Pretty soon..." and continued to question, produced some dolls and asked Kari to sit near her. Kari, in a voice approximating crying said (p36), "I don't want to." and "I want to go home.". Told, "Alright.." the direct questioning continued. Kari indicated her clothes had been on and that Peter's clothes were on. In response to the question, "They were on too?", this was amended to "Yeah, but not his trousers.". Further questioning was interrupted by more intense pleas to be allowed to go. She was asked to come back and talk some more.

3.0       Conclusions:

This interview involved considerable levels of suggestive and/ or direct questioning, use of dolls to create opportunities to discuss genitalia and introduce topics, and what could be interpreted as the reward of



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Comment: From this exchange it is difficult to tell whether any of this alleged event involved any intentional sexual elements. There is a strong suggestive component and little focus on context or circumstances. While it is possible that there may have been some deliberate action, it also is possible that Kari assumed Ellis had seen her vagina and that he was seen by her accidentally. One would want to know more about the layout of the toilets and the circumstances of the alleged event than is provided in this allegation. Molly Sumach (92/261) admitted "peeking" into the toilets when Ellis was there, so it is possible, if this occurred, that other children did it without the knowledge of staff. Kari may have done so too. Molly Sumach also alleged that Ellis had "peeked" at her vagina when she was being helped on the toilet. Perhaps he did. Equally, children in the toilet may assume that any person, especially of the opposite sex, who comes by has such intentions, even if they do not and even if seeing their vagina was improbable under the circumstances of their being seated on the toilet.

4.4        Revisiting the allegation of penis-vagina contact:

4.4.1     The interviewer introduced this topic by general reference to things being told the previous day (p20). Kari was asked (p21) to show on the anatomically detailed female doll what Peter's penis did. Kari said, "It went like this." and rubbed the doll's genital area. Asked what it felt like, she indicated not very nice. Asked where Peter's trousers were, she said "Don't know..." and inserted her finger into the doll's vagina, saying "..You can fit your finger up here because it's a doll." The interviewer said, "That's right"(p21). Kari noticed the doll's bottom (p22) and asked, "It's funny, why is it like this?"

4.4.2     The interviewer (p22) repeated the question about what it felt like, she repeated that it was not very nice. Asked where Peter's trousers were, she said on him. Suggestive questions followed about whether they were up or down, she said up. The question about clothes being off or on was repeated, Kari replied, "On on on on on on, and then he let me go cos..Shall we get these dolls out (of the bath). (Note: In the previous interview (92/ 82, Kari had said (p36) at first Peter had his clothes on and then that his trousers were down. Her current statement in response to direct questioning contradicts this earlier assertion about his trousers.)

4.4.3     Asked what his penis looked like (p22) Kari said, "It looked like a normal penis.". A suggestive question followed, "Was it hard or soft or hanging down or standing up, or what was it doing?". Of these options Kari chose, "Hard, a bit hard."(p22) and went on (p23) to say, "Yeah, a wee bit hard. What time is it?" (Note 1: A five year-old is unlikely to have much experience of making discriminations of this sort, particularly of erections or even penises in general. Note 2 Kari, in asking the time, is perhaps indicating a lack of serious attention to the task and a wish to terminate the interview).

4.4.4     The interviewer said (p23), "It's nearly time to go.." followed by a further suggestive question, "...And was it standing up or hanging down?" Kari chose, "Standing up."

Comment: Again, in response to suggestive and direct questioning the child has indicated that the penis was a wee bit hard and that it was standing up. The question is just what this means in the context of the proffered options that the child has selected and the child's possible experience and knowledge of penile erections. If she had touched the penis, she might have been in a position to judge what it felt like, but this is not stated. Further, what sort of 'standing up' is a penis described as 'a wee bit hard' likely to do?

4.4.5     Asked how often this occurred, Kari said once, asked three times where, she said at first that she didn't know, but later said in the toilet (p23). Asked were her pants on or off, she said "On." (Note: Consistent with 92/82, p36).

4.4.6     Asked twice (because of focus on dolls) if his penis touched underneath or on top of her pants, she said (p24) "Underneath." (Note: Apparently with her pants on). Further direct suggestive questions were asked about detail, in response to these Kari selected options that suggested she was standing that Ellis was kneeling and that the fly on his pants was "Op..shut"(p24). Asked how, in this case his penis had touched her vagina, Kari said "Because he pulled it straight up and I saw it." (Note: No clarification was sought nor given in respect of this unusual response).

4.4.7     The male anatomically detailed doll was produced (p25) and undressed. Kari noted the difference, because of the penis. (Note: The doll's penis is semi-erect, in that it is horizontal to the doll's body). She said of the dolls, "They've got married." [Kari laughs and jiggles doll's penis]. Kari now was asked to show the interviewer what had happened using the dolls. Kari indicated that the male doll, which the interviewer was dressing "No, doesn't need his pants on like that." and doll is left with underpants on. (Note: This did not match her descriptions of Ellis having his pants on and zip up, see 4.4.6 above).

4.4.8     Kari now looked at the dolls and attempted to juxtapose the dolls' genital areas, having the female doll bending over backwards and the male doll in front. Both are in underwear. She said that this was what happened really. (Note: The demonstration appeared to follow some consideration by Kari of how the dolls might be fitted together, and it did not match her earlier (p24) verbal description of the alleged events, which had her standing and Ellis kneeling).

Comment: Not only are anatomically detailed dolls potentially suggestive by virtue of the genitalia, but children may simply engage in play with them. Further, any demonstration may be deemed to represent fact, when if is possible that the child simply follows the logic of trying to juxtapose the relevant body regions. In the present case, it appeared, and possibly was the case, that Kari was trying to make sense of how to go about fitting the dolls together, rather than necessarily demonstrating an actual event.

4.4.9     Kari maintained that 'the event happened only once and that during it Ellis had his clothes on (pp25-26). Asked where her pants were, she initially shrugged and said nowhere (p26). Now asked directly whether her pants were on or off, she said 'On'(p26). (Note 1: This is consistent with her most recent statements re his clothes, and with all previous statements concerning her own. Note 2: Kari appears to be engaged in fantasy play with the dolls, suggesting (p27) the male doll is going to come and stay with her).

4.4.10   Asked suggestively, "You said that it touched you underneath your pants before. Is that right or...?" Kari said "Yes.", and the interviewer completed her question, "...wrong?". Kari then said "Wrong." (Note: This represents a reversal of what had been said earlier (p24, see 4.4.6 above). The interviewer checked with a multiple-choice question of on top of or underneath her pants. Kari pointed to her groin area during the question and maintained it was "On top of the pants."

4.4.11   Kari continued fantasy play with the dolls and when the interviewer tried to get her to focus On the topic, Kari said, "Yeah. And then we can have a good play.". She was asked (p27) directly if anyone else had ever touched her fanny with their penis, she said not. She was asked again to show the interviewer how the penis had touched her. (Note: Much of this action was not visible to the video-camera). She showed the top of the front section of the female's underwear being pulled down and said, "It went like that and it went in there.", indicating the vulva region. (Note: If this is an accurate demonstration, to achieve contact with the vulva in this way, either the penis would have to combat the tension of the panty elastic or the front of the panties would have to be held down by hand).

4.4.12   In the light of the above demonstration, the interviewer suggested (p27),"Ok. So it went underneath your pants.." "Yeah.", "..or over the top?", Karisaid, "Underneath." (Note: This now represents a further change in testimony, since she now has changed from her previous statement (p26) back to the earlier statement (p24).

Comment: This changing scenario of the disposition of clothing and bodies highlights the problems of determining any fact when using suggestive questions and suggestive toys. Kari has changed her statement in important ways across a number of questioning and demonstration contexts. The question for the trier of fact is which, if any, to believe. When young children who are responsive to suggestive questions are asked such questions, they tend to track the suggestive elements, and their testimony may prove inconsistent as a result. Kari appears more interested in the toys and in her imaginative play than in the interview topic. She appears to not be focused on her testimony, this may contribute to her inconsistency.

4.4.13   Kari played contentedly to the end of the interview, answering questions with a lilt in her voice (p29) and indicating she did not want to come back tomorrow or the next day.


5.0       Conclusions:

This was the second interview in two days for Kari. The interviewer often used suggestive methods to introduce and explore a range of topics. Using these methods, she obtained allegations from Kari that Ellis had seen her vagina in the creche toilet and that she had seen him urinating. Little contextual detail was obtained, despite the extensive use of closed or multiple-choice questions with direct or suggestive focus. The primary focus of the interview was on revisiting the allegation, generated the day previously (92/82) using particularly suggestive methods. This time, anatomically detailed dolls were introduced by the stratagem of giving them a bath. This provided the interviewer with opportunities for direct and suggestive questioning about the alleged contact between Ellis' penis and Karl's vagina. Much of the detail was obtained by these methods. In the process, Kari provided conflicting testimony about the dress and the body positioning of herself and Ellis during the alleged events, tending to follow suggestive elements in the questioning or provided by manipulation of the dolls.

Karl's mood throughout is generally happy, her focus was on the play with the dolls and, as in the first interview, time is taken up with this play activity. During her making of allegations, no evident change in mood, voice, or demeanour was noted. She does not use mood terms in describing the alleged events that suggest any fear, anxiety, or distress at that time.

The mechanics of getting the penis of a kneeling adult close to the vulva of a standing four-year-old might prove awkward, especially if both are clothed. No information was provided on whether the toilet door was closed, where the adult's hands were, or whether or not the child was held. This lack of context, plus that relating to how she was got into the toilet and what happened subsequently leaves many questions unanswered. Detail on the state of erection was obtained under suggestive questioning and the child's explanation of how the penis was exposed, given the trousers were up and the zip not undone, was not clear enough to be readily understood.

In sum, this was not a well executed interview. Little of the information was freely obtained using non-suggestive means, which resulted in that being produced as essentially a product of the interviewer's multiple-choice options or closed questioning, and of promptings with the anatomically-detailed dolls.


6.0 Interview 92/119 18.03.92

6.1        Knowing other children:

6.1.1     Kari (Transcript p1, p4) identified a Lara and a Zelda as creche children known to her. She was aware Lara had been interviewed [Query: Could the be Lara Palm, first interviewed 09.03.92?[. She was going to McDonalds this day with Zelda.

6.2        Alleged threats:

6.2.1     Kari claimed (p6) that Peter Ellis had told her not to tell her mother the truth and had said he would burn her parents and school teacher. (Note: Previously (92/82, p33) Kari said she had been offered an ice block if she promised not to tell. She had at that time indicated a threat to burn her parents, but not mentioned the teacher).

6.3        Allegation of sodomy and of attempted intercourse:

6.3.1     Kari said (p7) Peter Ellis had taken her to his house. Toys were produced so that Kari could recreate the house.

6.3.2     Kari said (pp7-8) that Peter probably would be inside the house because he would probably be in trouble for "doing all those nasty things.". She later said (p8) "...He could be in jail.".."He's in jail and I'm safe at home.".

Comment: This may suggest Kari has overheard discussion by adults and/or other children and/or been reassured re Peter Ellis.

6.3.3     Asked suggestively by the interviewer (p8), "Yeah. What was the worst thing he did to your body?", "Touching it.", "Where abouts?", "With his penis, about here (points to back of leg), my leg" The interviewer asked Kari to name the part touched 'round there', she said "My bottom."

6.3.4     Asked how many times this occurred, Kari did not answer (p8). She concentrated on play with the toys, setting up a house, including her baby brother in the game (pp8-10). The interviewer directed Karl's attention back to Peter's house, asking her to make the house and tell her what happens when she goes there. She says there are two things she wants to be told (p10). Kari is engrossed in play and appears to be making her own home (p11-12).

6.3.5     A doll was produced (p13) and Kari reminded about Peter touching her bottom and asked to show where that is on the doll, which she does. Asked what are bottoms for, she says, "They're for getting poohs out". Asked what it felt like on her bottom, she said "Not very nice.", and said she did not know when asked what it felt like afterwards. This question was repeated and Kari now said it felt sore for about an hour. Asked how often, Kari said "Every day..." then asked about arranging toy furniture (p13). She repeated every day she went to creche. She said it had started up the 'Little End' (Note: This allegation is not consistent with an earlier interview (92/ 82, p19) in which she had said the penis had not touched her anywhere other than the mouth.).

6.3.6     Kari was asked closed ended and multiple-choice questions about where the alleged event occurred (pp14-15), producing responses that it had been in the toilets of both the 'old' and 'new' creches and the 'Womble' and 'big' ends. Kari said Peter had threatened to eat her up and was scared when at home in bed (p15).

6.3.7     Suggestive questions (p15) were asked about whether he hurt her bottom with any other part of his body ("No."), and a female doll, wearing a dress but no panties, and with external genitals was produced by the interviewer who pointed to the behind and said "..Did his penis go anywhere else on your body? It went there.". Kari said, "Yeah, and it went up there [points to genital area] and it went on my leg.". Pointing to the genitals, the interviewer said, "What's that one called?", Kari replied, "A vagina, and he went here.". "And when his penis went on your vagina, what did it feel like?", "Didn't feel very good.". Asked how many times it went there Kari said, "About seven times."(p15). (Note 1: It does not appear that Karl's counting skills were checked by the interviewer. Note 2: In interview 92/83, Kari was asked this question (p25) and said only once.).

6.3.8     More suggestive questions followed (p16). In response Kari selected options that her clothes were on, but that her underpants were off when the penis touched her bottom. When asked about when it touched her vagina, Kari said, "Off and they were on the ground.", asked how they got there, Kari said, Peter threw them on the ground.". Asked about Peter's clothes, she said he had put them on the ground. (Note: In interviews 92/82 and 92/83 Kari had said on a number of occasions her panties stayed on, in interview 92/83 she had kept the underwear on the dolls on when demonstrating acts. The details of Ellis' clothing had varied from his trousers being down to his trousers being on and zipped up.).

Comment: The doll used had no panties on, in fact her underwear was found during this segment. This raises the question of whether Kari's responses are controlled by current stimuli, i.e., the doll with no pants whose pants are just found, or by actual memory, given the inconsistent reporting noted above and her possible suggestibility.

6.3.9     Asked how her vagina felt afterwards, she said not very good. (p16). Asked about any other feelings, she said "No." Asked if anyone else had done that to her bottom and vagina before, she said "No.." and focused on imaginary play.

6.3.10   Kari busied herself with the toys and was asked a suggestive question re her body position during the alleged sodomy (p17). She selected, "Kneeling." and kept on playing. With two very small dolls, she was asked to show how he put his penis. Kari said she was kneeling and he was sitting on his bottom. [The demonstration was hard to see]. Asked directly if he was standing up or sitting down, Kari at first repeated sitting and then changed to "standing" She appeared to push the dolls together and said, "He went like that and it hurt.", ..."And then he hurt my vagina like this." [Puts dolls together, but demonstration obscured] (p18). The interviewer asked again if he was standing up or sitting (p19), Kari repeated, "He was standing up." Asked how her bottom had been used, Kari changed her statement on her position to, "Um I was standing up too." (Note: Just previously she had said three times (p18) that she was kneeling).

6.3.11   Given the unlikelihood of both standing, the interviewer asked a suggestive question, "Cos if you were standing up, well I was thinking cos if he was standing up, you would be down there [puts dolls together], so how did his penis go near your bottom and vagina?". Kari put the dolls together quickly (Demonstration not clearly visible].

6.3.12   Asked (p19) to show where Ellis' hands were, Kari bent the male doll's arms back behind the body like wings.

6.3.13   The anatomically detailed dolls now were produced (p19). While they were being got, Kari sang a little. A small toy toilet was produced and Kari undressed the male doll.

6.3.14   During undressing of the doll, Kari noted that she might return tomorrow to talk, saying she liked coming. (Note: This contrasts with attitude in 92/83). Kari now attempted (p20), with some difficulty, to fit the dolls together. As a result of her efforts she changed her statement concerning body position. She said "We were both lying down like that [female doll face down, male doll bent doubled back so as penis can be brought into contact with anus]". Kari said this happened in the toilets.

6.3.15   For demonstrating the penis -vagina contact, the Interviewer held the female doll in a standing position. She asked if Kari was standing or lying down, Kari said standing then proceeded to fit the male doll prone between the female doll's legs, saying "..He was lying down looking like that.". (Note: This was not what she described earlier (pp18-19), stating then that he was standing. In interview 92/83, p24, Kari had said she was standing and Ellis was kneeling).

Comment: These inconsistencies in position suggest that Kari is responsive to the questioning at the time and to the types of positions that she can arrange the dolls into in order to get the anatomies to meet. There is a danger in accepting that young children can adequately represent themselves in such reconstructions or that they accurately could remember and represent detail for events allegedly occurring 2 to 3 years previously. It would be injudicious to assume from her demonstrations, just because she finds ways to represent the alleged activity, that it either occurred or that she can accurately represent it. Given any of the positions described by Kari, actual sexual activity of the types alleged would likely be difficult, if not impossible, either by virtue of getting the required juxtaposition of anatomy or by virtue of the confined space of a toilet, and possibly one whose walls did not reach the ground and which would have been accessible to a large number of children and adults


7.0       Conclusions:

This is another interview in which suggestive and /or direct questions have been used extensively in order to try to obtain detail from the child. In addition, introduction of dolls, including anatomically detailed dolls, and specifically suggested games with them (e.g., bathing) has seemed to be used as a tactic by the interviewer to prompt reference to various sexual activities. One common problem with the use of suggestive techniques of investigation again showed itself, namely inconsistent reporting by the young child as they try to meet the demand characteristics created by questions and props, such as dolls and toys. Repeated interviewing and repeated questioning can result in children changing their reports (cf Ceci & Bruck, 1993; 1995), compounding any problems that emerge from suggestive questioning.

Kari's responses suggest that she is susceptible to suggestive influence of both direct and multiple-choice questions and from the toys and dolls used as props. That she does not remember what she has said between and even within interviews raises doubts about her ability accurately to recall detail from some 1.5 to 3 years previously..

Some of the body positions and actions that Kari described and their possible use in the site she proposed as the location of abuse raise doubts about the possibility of enactment. The inconsistency in her reports of events and the use of suggestive questions and props present as problematic in establishing whether anything occurred and, if it did, just what that involved. This is a serious fault in the techniques relied on in this interview to obtain evidence.

Karl's demeanour is essentially one of unconcern, she plays happily with the toys, asking for play breaks occasionally and evidencing an involvement of the items in imaginative play. She laughs occasionally and sang to herself on one occasion. She evidences no particular mood, voice, or behavioural changes when describing the alleged abuse, often continuing to play while answering questions about it. In describing the abuse, she uses terms like sore, and not very nice, and once said she got scared in her bedroom. There is no indication of the sort of distress that one might anticipate in a child exposed to regular sexual abuse of the sorts she describes having happened over her years at creche. Her negative opinions of Peter Ellis seem to reflect more what she might have been told or overheard at home than a heightened fear or anxiety cause by abuse.

Kari does know at least two other former creche children, she is aware that one had been interviewed and she has social contacts with another. These, along with what she learns from home could serve as possible sources of contamination of her memory. She mentioned a visit to her home by Cohn [Eadel, a police officer in charge of the case. What she overheard at the time and/or in subsequent parental discussion may also be material.

Kari indicated in this interview that she liked the interviewer and would like to come back next day. She made it clear at the end that she wanted to go home, but indicated that she would come back Compared with the second interview, she seems to be finding the activity more rewarding, which may prove a difficulty if she were to be tempted to invent allegations in order to maintain her visits. The interviewer tried to discourage her by pointing out that this would be her last time.


8.0       Interview 92/139 27.03.92

8.1        Knowledge of events re Peter Ellis:

8.1.1     In a number of instances (Transcript p4, p5, p6, p7) Kari mentioned Peter and jail.

8.1.2     On p5, she asked when it would be decided that Peter went to jail (She was told that was up to Colin).

8.1.3     On p7, Kari said his family didn't like him and that her mother had told her that.

Comment: These point to some discussion of matters at home which, if occurring might serve to cast Peter Ellis in a negative light. In the mind of a child, that might justify saying anything about him, just because he is seen as a bad person. If occurring this could function to contaminate evidence.

8.2        Allegations of indecent exposure by adults:

8.2.1     The interviewer led into this topic suggestively (p2), using social influence,"Ok. Right now, today what I'd like us to do is to play with the wee toys down here and um I know that you've been um to some places with Peter. Where are all the places you've been with him?" Kari identified Sumner beach (p3) and Willowbank (p4). Kari could not think of anywhere else (p5).

8.2.2     The interviewer then suggested Kari had said that she had been to Peter's house before and asked her to make Peter's house with the toys (Note 1: Kari had not mentioned it today among the places visited, the interviewer suggested it. Note 2: Kari had previously (92/119, p7, pH) made only passing reference to this visit). Kari declined to make his house at first, wanting to make her own house. She was asked who lived in Peter's house and said he lived alone. Asked (p5) about his friends, she said that he had lots of bad friends. Asked were they men or women, Kari said both, and indicated that she had met them, but that she could remember no names.

8.2.3     Asked (p6) what his friends were doing when she went there, she said, "They were all showing their penis and vaginas.". Given dolls and invited (p7) to name the friends, she listed Julie, Aime, Peter, and Joseph and James [one person?]. (Note: Just previously (p5), Kari had said she could remember no names. A question is just what is the role of the dolls in name allocation? Is she just making up names for the dolls, as a child might do, or is she now remembering names?)

8.2.4     Asked (p7) whose penis she say, she nominated Joseph, she says he's a man, in response to a multiple-choice question, and that he just teased the children with his penis [her demonstration is not easy to interpret]. Asked where his penis was going Kari opened the , dolls legs. Her response to subsequent questions (p7-8) is confused by her play with dolls. Asked where Joseph's pants were(p8). Kari said [in a sing-song voice], "I don't know. I wasn't there silly Kari. I put myself on the couch and I thought I would be one of the bad girls." (Note: Kari appears to be using the toys as part of imaginative play).

8.2.5     Kari was asked (p8) whether or not she had seen the bad people before. She said 'No' first and then changed to 'yes', saying she had seen them at Peter's house 'lots of times', 'every time'. "...And one was teasing you with his penis?", "Yeah. No they were all ....[inaudible]. (Kari is focused on toys).

8.2.6     Asked (p8) who the people were, Kari named Joseph, Peter and Jemma (Note: seemed to make Jemma up). Told only to use names she knows, Kari named "Joseph, Peter, Harry, no um Gina, Melissa." (Note: Jemma, Harry, Gina, and Melissa all were new names, not previously mentioned-see p7. On p5 she had said she could not remember any names.).

8.2.7     Reminded she has seen Peter's penis (p9), Kari was asked how many adult penises she had seen, she. replied, "Lots."..then added.."But not as many." Asked if this was at Peter's place or elsewhere, she selected the former.

8.2.8     Asked (p9) to show on a doll where the man's hands where when he teased her with his penis, Kari put them out behind the doll's back (see also 92/119, p18 re Ellis). (Note: An odd position.). In response to a suggestive question, Kari selected 'stayed the same' for the state of the penis. She said (p10) she did not know what colour it was.

8.2.9     Kari stated (p10) that she had tried to escape but they had chased her and made her feel worse. Asked if she had tried to leave by door or window, she chose door. Asked what had stopped her she said "Him." (Possibly referring to a doll), asked which one, she said, "Peter." and added, "I missed assembly."

8.2.10   Asked (p11) about the colour of Joseph's clothes, Kari pointed to the dolls representing them and said "White, that colour (pointed), Peter's was that colour and Joseph was that colour." Asked about the clothes of the man teasing her with his penis, she 'pointed to another doll and said, "That colour." (Note: Stimulus control of dolls' clothing possible in shaping answers).

8.2.11   Asked (p11) to reproduce the mean look on the man's face, Kari said, "He looked like this, like that (tries to make face). Can't really make a face because I am happy." (Note: She is describing alleged abuse).

8.2.12   The interviewer attempted (p11) to introduce the anatomically detailed dolls so Kari could show how she was teased with the penis, but Kari resisted this, making a movement herself instead.

8.2.13   Asked (p12) about the women, Kari said "They didn't do anything (Note: On p6 she had said they showed their vaginas.). Asked how many men showed their penises, Kari said "Lots of mean men...(looking in toy box)...but Duncan (baby brother)..isn't...[inaudible]. (Note: Kari is engrossed in play).

8.2.14   Told (p12) that she [Kari] can't remember names of children involved, she was asked how many. "About five.". Asked if boys or girls, she said both. Asked which boy she liked who was with her at that time, Kari said, "Chase that I'm going to play with." (Note: Kari may have misconstrued the question as a request to name a boy she liked, Chase may have been named as he still is a playmate, not because he was there during alleged abuse). Asked if Chase saw the penis teaser, Kari said "Yes." (Note: Kari then proceeded to engage in imaginary play about Chase visiting her in the holidays, using the furniture to make him a bed). Asked (p13) what other kids were present, Kari said "Just Chase and me." (Note: On p12 she had said about five children were there.).

Comment: Imaginary play with the toys has the potential to contaminate the evidential content of Kari's reports, and appears to do so, e.g., naming clothing colours; involving Chase in play and evidence. This is a concern.

8.2.15   More imaginary play re Chase is evident on p13.

8.2.16   On p14, asked where Peter parked his car at creche, Kari pointed to the car near her arrangement of toys and said. "He parked it at his house, just there". (Note: More indication of possible stimulus control of toys on responding to questions).

8.2.17   Asked (p14) a suggestive question, "Yeah, so you know when that man was teasing you with his penis.."; "..Was that the same as what Peter used to do or is it different to what Peter used to do?" (Note: What is the evidential value of this response, given that Kari had already given a very vague indication of what it involved (p7) and has made a range of allegations re Peter Ellis?).

8.2.18   Kari again indicated a wish not to have to work with the anatomically detailed dolls, on the grounds that she just did not like doing it (p14). Kari was asked (p15) to demonstrate how she was teased, at first she said she did not know, and then was pressed to show with her hands, demonstrated [Left hand on palm of right, left index finger slightly extended, jabbed at palm], saying "Like this, over there and he had his penis in like that.". Asked what his penis did, Kari amended her demonstration [Left index finger extended and stroked across palm of left hand].

8.2.19   Asked (p15) where, Kari said "My body, on my vagina.". and asked for a break The request ignored, the interviewer asked how many had done that to her, Kari's reply was, "Oh, lots, Sue. Millions...I hope I didn't go to that creche."; "I really do want to go back to the creche."; "Yeah I really should go back, it wasn't fun there.". (All this in a matter-of -fact voice). The request for a break was repeated twice, and her persistence rewarded (pp15-16).

8.2.20   (p17) Kari again requested that the anatomical dolls not be brought out. A little later they were (p18), Kari noted the pubic hair on the male and asked what it was, saying twice she didn't know. Asked (p18) if she had seen it before near a penis, Kari said "no." and asked what it was. The interviewer asked her if she knew what parents had on their penis and vagina, Kari indicated not in her family. She was asked if she had seen her father's penis, and said, "Yeah, I'm not scared of it"; "Because that's my dad.". (Note: Kari had previously said she had seen Peter Ellis' and Joseph's penises and that lots of other men (millions!) had put there penis on her vagina, still she is bemused by the doll's pubic hair. Perhaps it was not realistic enough.).

8.2.21   Kari was asked (p20) to show with the anatomically detailed dolls how the man teased her with his penis. At first reluctant, she responds to the interviewer's insistence. [Dolls genitals are fitted with dolls at 180 degrees to each other]. (Note: This position seems unlikely to accurately represent how an adult and a child would do this). Asked in a leading fashion if Peter and Joseph have done this to her, Kari said "yep.", and focused back on her imaginary play with dolls and toys. In response to a suggestive question, Kari indicated Joseph's pants were off. Asked what her vagina felt like, Kari volunteered, "Not very nice.".

8.2.22   The interviewer applied an unusual form of social influence at this point (p21), "So if I asked Peter um about his friend Joseph, would he be able to tell me where Joseph is do you think?". Kari said "He'll probably tell lies, won't he."; "My mum says[? unclear] Peter, he says that he didn't do it and he did." (Note: This raises the question of external contamination).

8.2.23   Asked (p22) what happened afterwards, Kari said that she went back The interviewer suggested to creche, Kari agreed and said Marie had come and got us. Asked how Made knew where they were, Kari said she noticed children missing and guessed. (Note: This implicated Marie and suggested she was aware of children being taken to Peter Ellis' place).

8.2.24.  Asked who saw Joseph attempt intercourse with her, Kari said her friends had. (Note: On p13, Kari said only Chase had been present, now she uses plural).

8.2.25   Kari was asked (p22) how many times Joseph's penis had done this to her vagina, she said (p23), "Only once. Every day he did different things.", asked what else, she replied, "Nothing else.". Pressed to say what else, Kari said, "Nothing else, just do that. I can't remember." Pressed again with a suggestive question, Kari denied any other part of Joseph had touched her vagina. She was asked a further suggestive question re Joseph's penis on her body, she said, "No". Later (p23) a further suggestive question was asked, "Ok, alright. So he just did that to your vagina once with his penis?", "Yeah.". More suggestive questioning followed, "But he did some different things, did he do different things to you or someone else?", "Someone else." Kari then asked, "How long have I been here.". The interviewer persisted asking who Joseph as done things to. Kari said "Quite lots.." and diverted the questioner's attention (p23). Later (p24) the interviewer persisted again (Kari was busy at play with the toys, looking for a doll-character), "You know what Joseph did to you..?; "Have you seen that happen to other kids before or not?", "No. We'll have to tip it all out and find.." (Kari focused on finding the toy). Social influence was now applied, "Well what would Joseph say if he found out you had told?", Kari said, "I don't know.", and the question was repeated, "What would Joseph say?" (Note: This form of social influence was used earlier re Ellis (p21), and seems a particularly inappropriate form. Perhaps the interviewer thinks the child is fabricating or is trying to frighten her into responding to inadequately answered questions.). Kari keeps on looking for the toy, "Now where is Gonzo?" (p24).

Comment: In this section the interviewer applies pressure through repetition of questions, social influence and direct suggestive questions in an effort, it appears, to get the child to answer her inquiries. This approach seems inappropriate and unlikely to achieve the truth.).

8.2.26   The interviewer tries two last questions (p26) about Joseph and Peters bad friends, asking if there are any others at his place, she answers, "No." (Note: Kari named four other than Peter and Joseph earlier (p8).).


9.0       Conclusions:

This interview was characterised by frequent resort to suggestive questioning including use of social influence in ways that the writer considered quite improper, since it involved asking the child how people she accused might respond if they knew of her allegations. Kari showed herself to be responsive to suggestion, giving inconsistent and conflicting responses to repeat questions, responses being sensitive to options offered by the interviewer. Her allegations•tended to be vague, the descriptions of events also were, both often generated by suggestive questioning from the interviewer. Kari, also was more focused on imaginative play with the toys, with the characteristics of the toys often featuring in her responses on detail about people, as if she was responding to salient current stimuli rather than trying to remember facts.

Throughout, Kari seemed happy and relaxed, even when describing alleged abuse and, asked to describe how the penis felt in her vagina, saying "Not very nice." in a sing-song voice (p21) . Her descriptions of physical feelings at the time of the various acts alleged abuse are similar. She resisted production of the anatomically detailed dolls, but did not protest when they were brought out. She put them together in an unlikely sexual position, at 190 degrees to each other. Kari claimed 'million's' of men had put their penis on her vagina, but was non-plussed by the 'pubic hair' on the doll. She said she had seen her father's penis.

Kari indicated that if challenged Peter Ellis would deny abusing her and implied her mother had said that he says he didn't do it but he did. This raises the question of external influence.

In sum, the interview is another which has an excess of suggestion. Kari seemed distracted and focused on her play, imagination and the toys may also have affected her reporting.


10.0    Interview 92/626 28.10.92

10.1      Reason for further interview:

10.1.1   Kari (Transcript p2) appears less keen to talk this time, saying that her mother said she didn't have to do too much talking because she didn't have much to tell and she only wanted to take an hour, as the interviewer had quite a lot.

10.1.2   Asked (p6) to discriminate imaginary from real things, Kari says, "Lets play a different game. What about Peter?". Later (p7) she says she has come back just to tell true things, but that she doesn't remember, because she told her mother some more things and she wanted to come back to tell "Um about Peter's friend and people who hurt you.".."And about Peter's mother." (Note: Peter's mother had not previously been mentioned by Kari in four prior interviews in which she repeatedly was asked to identify adults involved.).

10.2      Allegation of sexual violation with a knife:

10.2.1   Asked (p8) to tell about Peter's friends, Kari said they touched her private parts and hit her. Asked to name them, she said Andrew, Mark, and Jason (Note: In interview 92/139 she had named Joseph, Peter, Harry, Gina, Melissa, and Jemma (p8)).

10.2.2   Kari said (p9) she had pointed out a man who had touched her to mother on the way to friends. She said he looked like he had long hair and had a twin brother. Andrew was described as a teenager (p9) and that Peter had said he was his friend. She alleged (p10) that Andrew hit her on her vagina and bottom, he touched her vagina with a very very sharp knife. Asked where he got the knife, she said his house (Note: Kari is willing to speculate). Peter and all his other friends were present (p10). Kari claimed (p11) that this happened at the creche, in the toilets. No other children were present (pp11-12), but Peter was, standing laughing. Asked (p12) about Peter's other friends, Kari said they had gone away and were at the house (Note; Further speculation).

10.2.3   Asked (p12) what the knife felt like on her vagina, Kari said, "Not very good.". She had to take off her clothes and they were on the floor (p12) because she had been told to (p13). It was in the 'big' toilets.

10.2.4   Kari thinks she , can remember a big Andrew and a little Andrew at creche. She said twice she cannot remember what happened before Andrew touched her with the knife (p13).

10.2.5   Asked (p14) about Peter's big friends she chooses both options, men and women, asked who the women were, Kari replied, "I can't remember. Sue, I haven't really got much to tell you you know." and, "I can't really remember much.". She added, "I only tell my mum a little little bit about Peter because I want to tell the rest to the judge." (Note: Someone has been talking to this child?).

10.2.6   Kari begins to indicate a wish to leave (p15) wanting to see her mother, and asking how long she has to stay. She is told until she has told as much as she can remember. (Note: This could be construed as being allowed to go as a reward for telling more).

10.2.7   Asked (p15) what made her scared of Peter, she says she cannot remember.

10.2.8   Asked (p16) what her bottom was touched with, Kari said a knife. Kari then said, "That's all I can tell you cos that's all I said to my mum.". Asked if anyone else had touched her vagina or bottom with a knife, Kari alleged Peter had, that it felt the same, and he had done it at the same time as Andrew had, while the other creche teachers were in another room, adding "Oh, that's all I can tell you."

10.2.9   Asked (p16) what had stopped her from telling the other teachers, Kari said nothing had. Asked did they know Peter had done this, she said yes. Asked how they found out, she said Peter had told her (p16).

Comment: This last assertion seems unlikely. In fact although much of this allegation is volunteered, and there is less suggestive questioning than usual, the allegation is not particularly convincingly described in the writer's opinion.

10.2.10 Kari (p17) evidences• suggestibility when it is put to her "Did they [other creche teachers) see or did somebody tell them. Kari seemed to become flustered and said, "They see, yeah ..[ [or known and someone told them. Yeah. That's the bit I can only tell you now.". Asked what else they did, Kari said she cannot remember, asked what other ways she was hurt, she said she cannot remember.

10.3      Allegation of being kicked and hit by Mrs Ellis:

10.3.1   The interviewer switched attention (p17) by introducing the topic of Peter's mother. She said Peter's mother had grey hair, and looked for a suitable doll. She went on (p18) to allege that Mrs Ellis had kicked her and hit her [moved dolls against each other] at Mrs Ellis' home, to which Mrs Ellis had driven her in a white van. Kari emphasised that she was telling the truth. Asked (pp17-18) who had gone with her, Kari said she could not remember. In response to a question (p18) asking if it was children or just adults, she said herself and just adults, identifying 'Gaye, Marie and Debbie. Kari indicated that was all she could remember.

10.3.2   Asked (p19) why Mrs Ellis had assaulted her, Kari said, "I have no idea.". Asked how many times, Kari said 17, adding "each day" Asked how many days she was kicked, Kari said, "And 17 days a week" Asked what Marie, Gaye and Debbie did, Kari said she could not remember. Asked if they were present, she said, "No." Asked who was present, Kari started looking in the toy box for dolls. In response to a direct question (p20) she said Peter was not there, and that he was at the creche.

10.3.3   Kari added (p20) that she now wanted to go because that was all she could remember. Asked what it felt like having to remember, Kari said, "Not very good, but I can't even remember anything much now." [said quickly]; "Cos I've told you.", "I've forgotten it all, I am telling the truth."; "That's all I have to tell you Sue, that's all I can remember [sing-song voice].". Asked if another question can be asked, Kari said, "One more because I am getting sick", "I don't feel very so well.".

10.3.4   Asked (p20) how she knew it was Mrs Ellis, she said she just did. Pressed on how she knew, she said, "Peter told me.". Asked (p21) who lived with her. Kari said no one, and said she could not remember (twice) when asked what her house looked like. Asked if Peter's mother did anything else, Kari sang "No oh oh no." Asked to show where she was hit and kicked, Kari asked for the dolls. She said "He touched me there." [points to groin of boy doll, gets girl doll and points to vulva], "Touched me there.". Asked (p21) who did, Kari said (p22), "He kicked me and hit me there [points to groin of doll]. (Note Kari has said twice that He did things). The interviewer then asked a suggestive question, "Peter's mother did?", to which Kari replied, "Yes.". Asked where her clothes were, Kari said down on the floor, and that Mrs Ellis had hers on.

10.3.5   Kari became increasingly insistent that she be allowed to leave, responding to a request for one more question (p22) in begging tones.

10.3.6   The interviewer tried social pressure (p23), but modified the question part way through, "Now I've heard, um, have any other women ever done anything like that to your vagina before or not?". Kari responded, "No, I can't remember [said quickly]..Oh well, that's the last question. Karl pleaded to leave, said she had to come back, and then that she did not think so, and added (p24) there was no more to tell and begged to go.


11.0    Conclusions:

This interview was characterised by allegations volunteered by Kari and by less resort to direct and suggestive questioning than those that preceded it. Social influence is occasionally used, and on at least two occasions was used very inappropriately in the writer's opinion, as reference was made to persons Kari was accusing of abuse.

In making her allegations, Kari makes a serious claim of a knife being applied to her bottom and vagina by both 'Andrew' and Peter Ellis. She included names of a number of other people and then said they were not present. She alleged the event had occurred in the creche toilets with both adults present. Her detail is vague and non-specific, her demeanour is unchanged and she gives the impression of making the story up.

Similarly, her claim about Mrs Ellis lacked detail and conviction. Kari included other named persons, but they then are said not to be present, despite going to Mrs Ellis' house with her in a van. Kari said she was kicked and hit, but given a doll, alleged that 'he' had touched her on the vagina and hit and kicked her there. When pushed for detail Kari became increasingly insistent that questioning stop, appearing to feign feeling sick in an effort to terminate the interview.

The writer got the impression from initial statements that Kari had made more allegations to her mother, which had led to the interview. From the outset Kari said she had little to tell and gradually expanded on her story. She initially indicated she had wanted to come back, and that she had wanted to do a drawing Apparently, the process became less fun as the questioning progressed, so she wanted to terminate it.

Even though Kari had volunteered much of the information, the interview does not convince the writer that Kari was describing events she really had experienced. The question is, how different may the four preceding interviews have been if Kari had simply been invited to volunteer information, rather than being exposes to an array of suggestive questions and suggestive use of dolls and toys?


12.0    Interview 92/ 630 29.10.92

12.1      Telling the truth:

12.1.1   Kari insisted (Transcript p1) that she had told the truth yesterday (92/ 626).

12.2      Allegation of sexual violation with a knife by Gaye:

12.2.1   Kari said (p6) that she could remember about people, and named Gaye and Marie, alleging that Gaye was a person who hurt her, indicating pointing to the bottom of a doll and saying (p7) a knife was used (Note: Asked the previous day (92/626. p16) if any one else had touched her in this way, Kari indicated only Peter and Andrew had, under pressure and with some suggestion, she eventually recalled this in the present interview, p14). This had happened at the creche, 'a different part of the creche'. Asked how she meant different, Kari insisted she had not said anything about different and that she had said it was at the creche in the toilets.

12.2.2   Invited (p7) to point to where she was hurt on herself, Kari indicated her groin (Note: On the doll (p6) it was the posterior that was indicated). She said her clothes were on the floor because (p8) Gaye had asked her to take them off. Just she and Gaye were present

12.2.3   Asked how many•times Gaye had done this, Kari said, "Not very much.". The interviewer suggested, "Once.." Kari said yes, "..or more than once?". "Just once.".

12.2.4   Asked (p8) if any one else had done this before, Kari said, "No.". (Note: Kari appears to have forgotten that the day before (92/ 626) she alleged Peter Ellis and Andrew had done so). Asked (p9) if she was sitting down, standing up, or lying down, Kari chose sitting and said on the floor. Asked a number of other detail questions, Kari indicated she could not remember to each (p9).

12.2.4   Asked (p10) how the knife had touched her, Kari said, in a matter of fact voice, "Hm, Well, she put it up my vagina and I said...[inaudible]". Asked what she had said, Kari repeated, "She put it up my vagina [sing-song voice].". Asked if the knife moved or stayed still, Kari said she could not remember. Asked where the knife came from, Kari said, "I told you she got it from the kitchen." (Note: She had not said this before). The knife was described as a normal sharp knife.

12.2.5   Kari subsequently became increasingly resistant to further questioning (pp11-15), saying she could not remember, sighing, singing, insisting that the interviewer ask her mother for any further detail, that her mother had said that Kari had told her all the true things (p12) and increasingly insisting on seeing her mother and that she wanted to stop. With begging and pleading from Kari that only one, at most two, more questions be asked, Kari eventually recalled, after the interviewer suggested she had said it was a man (p14), that the previous day she had alleged Peter and Andrew had touched her with a knife. Insisting that her two questions had been asked, Kari finally agreed that the touching with a knife by Andrew and Gaye really happened. Pretending to cry, she begged to go home. The interview terminated.

13.0    Conclusions:

Again in this interview, Kari had volunteered the allegation, presumably having told her mother the night before. Again, there was little detail, much of-what little was given resulted from direct questioning. When pressed for detail Kari became agitated and wanted to go, insisting she could not remember, except when options were given, she was at times prepared to select one. The allegation that the knife was put into her vagina was stated in a sing-song voice, there was no indication of distress or negative affect. No recall of pain or distress, or report of physical damage from this  .....................................




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