California Judge Orders Admission of CVSA® and Confession
California, Chula Vista P.D. – Analyst/Det. Sgt. John Stires reports that during a therapy session, two sisters (12 years-old and 9 years-old) disclosed sexual abuse by a family member. Chula Vista Police detectives were notified. The sisters and their brother (11 years old) were brought to Children’s Hospital for forensic interviews. The children disclosed numerous acts of child molestation and inappropriate acts by their 29 year-old-stepfather. Detectives from the Family Protection Unit developed probable cause and arrested the suspect. After a lengthy interview the suspect continued to deny the allegations and agreed to a VSA exam. Detective Sergeant J. Stires from the Violent Crimes Unit conducted the examination. The suspect completed the exam and analysis of the second chart clearly showed deception indicated. In a post-exam interview the suspect made several admissions to Detective Stires. The F.P.U. detectives were then able to obtain a detailed confession from the suspect that resulted in seventy- seven charges being filed. The suspect’s defense attorney filed a motion to suppress the confession based on alleged deception and offers of leniency by the detectives. The defense also submitted a report by an “expert witness” (Thomas Streed, Ph.D., Forensic Consultation International) alleging the CVSA was used as a “stress inducing tool to compel” the suspect to confess resulting in a coerced statement. The Superior Court Judge reviewed the video tape of the interview and CVSA examination. Defense and Prosecution then argued the case with testimony by the detectives and the suspect. The Judge denied the motion to suppress and placed several limitations on proposed testimony by the “expert witness” for the upcoming jury trial. The defense then asked that the entire CVSA exam with the confession be admitted into trial. The judge agreed. The accused then decided to accept a plea deal that included 18 years in state prison.