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Cohen noting the difficulty of interviewing Polizzi. The jury had the opportunity to witness defendant's repetitive oral behavior firsthand on multiple occasions when Polizzi was on the stand. Goldsmith also found that "[h]e has memory problems. He has difficulty in providing really specific information about times and dates.
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There has been a real problem throughout the course of the interviews with him. He has misinterpretations of statements. Sometimes you would ask him a question, he really doesn't understand what you are asking him and you have to re-ask it in a different way. During his first sessions with Dr.
Goldsmith, Polizzi did not disclose what had happened to him in Sicily. This was not surprising to the doctor, given "the type of trauma that [Polizzi] experienced," because of the issues of "humiliation and shame and fear [that] pervade the adult mind" in such a victim of "severe child sexual abuse. When informed of the abuse, Dr. Goldsmith found Polizzi credible:. And it is not only what he says, that he was abused, and how he says it, and how he gives it such rich detail, reflective of just a true autobiographical experience that's so convincing, but what is really convincing about why this is not a malingered post-traumatic condition is all of the clinical factors there follow the trauma and abuse that he could just not make up.
It's the re-experiencing phenomena, the description of the flashbacks. It is not just saying I have flashbacks, but describing what he goes through in showing it to me in the office, when I interview him about this, and how literally his mind and body kind of separate and he begins to just follow like he's back in the experience that he shows all of this emotion that is just reflective of true experience.
After Polizzi revealed his childhood sexual abuse, Dr. Goldsmith added a PTSD diagnosis, id. In Dr. Goldsmith's opinion, Polizzi "when viewing child pornography on the Internet had a retraumatizing experience. In a regressed and obsessive state he downloaded and searched child pornographic images for evidence of victimization, something he had experienced as a child. Goldsmith's Addendum: Psych. Really just not sensible. His PTSD, the expert believed, had caused Polizzi to develop OCD: "[T]he obsessive pathology that he experiences, that he has in adult life, is really a way to control everything in his environment so that it doesn't hurt him.
Of sexual deviance in Polizzi Dr. Goldsmith found no trace. His first report, written before he learned of Polizzi's child abuse, did hypothesize that Polizzi had "possible low level deviant sexual arousal," but concluded he "[did] not confer high risk for future dangerous" and did not meet the DSM-IV criteria for pedophilia. Goldsmith explained why he had initially noted "low level sexual deviancy": because he had had no other explanation as to why Polizzi collected child porn.
At that time Mr. Polizzi was presenting consistent with that and it just didn't make sense why he clicked on the images. Once he learned of an alternative reason — Polizzi's childhood trauma — Dr. Goldsmith concluded that Polizzi in fact had no deviant sexual arousal. In my previous report from June 9, , I speculated that Mr. Polizzi's past behavior of downloading and viewing child pornography was perhaps related to sexually deviant thinking.
However, after further assessment it is my opinion, with a reasonable degree of psychiatric certainty, that Pietro Polizzi's encounter with child pornography elicited a post-traumatic stress reaction. Pietro Polizzi credibly describes how the child pornography pictures triggered memories from the past. Consistent with his compulsive hoarding behavior he downloaded hundreds and hundreds of images. While viewing these images Pietro Polizzi describes it as if he was reliving his own childhood sexual abuse. He looked for signs of forced injuries on the victims and evidence for the perpetrators.
In summary, his behavior of downloading and viewing child pornography is directly related to his history of childhood sexual abuse and obsessive compulsive behavior. The images triggered painful traumatic memories that had been repressed for many years.
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This behavior was not related to sexually deviant thinking or pedophilia. Polizzi does not pose a risk of sexual predatory behavior against children. He has no paraphilia [sexual interest in children in general], he has no deviant sexual arousal or interests. Like Dr. Cohen, Dr. Goldsmith did not believe Polizzi was malingering. Naftali G. Berrill, a board-certified forensic psychologist, testified as the government's expert. Polizzi initially attended Dr. Berrill's clinic for mandatory sex offender counseling as required by Pretrial Services. Berrill's private practice assesses many defendants accused of sex offenses.
Polizzi participated in group counseling; Dr. Berrill did not treat him. Polizzi eventually requested that the court approve his transfer from the clinic to private counseling, citing the trauma he experienced during group therapy with other child sex offenders. It was approved. See Jan. After Polizzi had filed a notice of intent to raise the insanity defense, Dr.
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Berrill evaluated Polizzi for an hour at the government's request and administered several standard tests. One of his associated counselors wrote a report. During his first interview with Dr. Berrill, Polizzi did not disclose his history of child abuse. Berrill later evaluated Polizzi again for an additional four hours during which Polizzi informed him of his past abuse; the doctor then wrote a second report himself, but never spoke with Polizzi's wife or sons.
Berrill initially diagnosed Polizzi as having an adjustment disorder with anxiety and possibly generalized anxiety disorder. Such conditions, in his opinion, "shouldn't interfere with someone's ability to think clearly. After the second interview, id. Berrill, Psycho-Legal Eval. On the witness stand, the doctor agreed that defendant had some obsessive-compulsive personality disorder "features," but not OCD itself.
Having OCD in any event does not prevent a person, in Dr. Berrill's opinion, "from being [able] to appreciate what they are doing or knowing. Berrill considered Polizzi's history of child abuse irrelevant because "psychological testing. Had Polizzi suffered from PTSD, the doctor believed he would have avoided child pornography, not sought it out. The "criminal behavior" Dr. Berrill typically associated with PTSD, moreover, was an "explosive kind of behavior," not a prolonged quest. Id at His second report diagnosed Polizzi with "paraphilia" not otherwise specified sexual interest in children in general , "hebophilia" sexual interest in adolescents , and possible pedophilia sexual interest in young children.
He gave no reasons for these conclusions in the report.
Such diagnoses were appropriate, Dr. Berrill testified at trial, because.
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Based on one of the tests that we had given and based [on] Mr. Polizzi acknowledging that he was looking at both young kids and adolescents in terms of the child pornography that he collected, number one, the tests results suggested first and foremost he was likely interested in adolescent girls, that is referred to clinically as Hebephilia. I wasn't really sure whether he was interested in young children. I really couldn't tell based on my interview with him. He denied or disavowed an interest in all of this but nonetheless, testing raised some issues about teenagers and the fact that he collected pictures of kids who were younger than 10 raises a distinct possibility that was an area of interest.
The doctor was concerned that Polizzi had "provided contradictory information during the evaluation," id. Polizzi had received a low score on the Abel Assessment, a test designed "to ascertain whether or not somebody is sexually interested in kids. He had "not endorse[d] items that reflect the types of rationalization or excuses frequently used by individuals sexually involved with kids," id.
Berrill's Internet activity questionnaire were suspicious. There, Polizzi had checked several boxes indicating he had looked at child pornography "to avoid having sex with children" and "out of curiosity," which had raised concern in the doctor's mind.
go to site Berrill did not explain the questions to Polizzi nor did he ask him why he had marked the boxes. On the stand, Polizzi described what he had meant by his checkmarks — that he looked at the photos "to avoid [stop] [child abusers from] having sex with kids" — and that he was "curious" to find out how the photos came to be on the Internet, i.
Why this was over there. Why this material. It is a lot of do you understand there's a lot of material, understand where this comes from, whose behind this, the curiosity, you know, why are they doing this. Although Dr. Berrill never mentioned malingering specifically in either of his reports, at trial he testified at length about Polizzi's possible exaggeration of his symptoms.
I said one has to imagine that that is a possibility.
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The doctor pointed out that Polizzi's second MMPI-2 diagnostic test included several true-false answers reporting paranoid or delusional symptoms, which Polizzi had not reported on his first test a year before. Polizzi trying to exaggerate some of the symptoms he's having right now. He's exaggerating the level of distress or exaggerating the kinds of problems he is encountering.