The tale that Kim Logerquist told on the morning of January 12, 1992, was shocking.
Logerquist sat in the offices of a Green Bay, Wisconsin, attorney and spoke of her onetime pediatrician, Dr. John Danforth. Then 29, the nurse said she'd recently had "flashbacks" of events that allegedly had happened two decades earlier, at Danforth's office in Mesa, Arizona. She'd been between 8 and 10 years old at the time.
Logerquist claimed a television commercial about children's aspirin had triggered her repressed memories.
"I was standing in front of Dr. Danforth, with no clothes on, no gown, no covering of any kind," she told the lawyer. "He was standing in front of me, facing me, and I had my hand on his left shoulder. I can feel clothing beneath my hand, and I have my knees separated and my legs bent slightly, and something that feels hard and cold is being inserted into my vagina. And I feel the pain from that, and I have a sense of wanting to cry, but holding back, and a fear of losing my balance, feeling as if I would fall off of the exam table."
Describing another "flashback," Logerquist said the doctor had "asked my mother to leave, which she did without question. Again, I was told to take off all of my clothes. I recall . . . something being inserted into me. Again, I did not see it, and I started to cry. I was threatened that if I did not stop crying and stop making a fuss, that I would be given a big shot. At that point, a syringe was taken out of a drawer and set next to me on the exam table."
Logerquist also said Danforth had been smoking a cigar on each of her visits, that his exam room had a poster of a giraffe on a wall, and that she'd heard him using profanity in the hallway.
She said she'd told her mother, Lucille, that she didn't want to return to Danforth's office, but to no avail. (Lucille Logerquist died in 1980.) Logerquist claimed her panties were soaked with blood after an assault, but she'd thrown them into a garbage can out of embarrassment.
"All I could tell her was that I didn't want to go to him because I always had to take my clothes off," she said. "She sort of made light of the situation and said, 'Well, he's a doctor. That's what you have to do . . .'"
The recent revelations had made her suicidal, Logerquist said, and she'd recently overdosed on Tylenol PM. In fact, she'd just been released from a psychiatric hospital after 47 days there.
On November 19, 2001, almost 10 years after providing her tape-recorded account, Kim Logerquist took the witness stand in a Maricopa County courtroom. She was about to testify as the plaintiff in the case of Logerquist v. Danforth, a landmark medical-malpractice lawsuit.
By his own account, Kent Turley, Logerquist's attorney, had spent more than $300,000 of his firm's money to fund the case. He would ask the jury to award Logerquist up to $5 million.
Across the courtroom from Logerquist, 69-year-old John Danforth -- still practicing in Mesa after four previously unblemished decades -- awaited the next act in what had become the most hellish experience of his life.
The doctor steadfastly denied any wrongdoing. His attorneys, Frank Parks and Kari Zangerle, claimed that, if Logerquist had been assaulted, the guilty party was a family member. They planned to argue that therapists during another Logerquist hospitalization two years before the alleged "flashbacks" persuaded her that someone had molested her.
An extremely controversial Arizona Supreme Court ruling in April 2000 had turned Logerquist into a nationally scrutinized case.
Unlike all other state Supreme Courts, Arizona's highest court decided 3-2 in Logerquist to discard the judge's gatekeeper role in filtering out so-called "expert testimony."
Justice Stanley Feldman wrote for the majority that Arizona jurors should be allowed to hear all such testimony -- in this instance, about the supposed legitimacy of "recovered memories."
In so ruling, the court reversed the decision of the trial judge in Logerquist, who said studies about the effect of trauma on memory are not "generally accepted" by mainstream scientists and researchers.
Legal scholars nationwide expressed dismay and amazement at the ruling. Within months, Logerquist's potential ramifications became a hot topic in periodicals, and at State Bar seminars and law school debates.
Many predicted that, if other Supreme Courts followed Arizona's lead, the specter of "junk science" could resurface en masse, reversing recent legal trends to the contrary.
One law school student, Tomika Stevens, warned last year in the respected Villanova Law Review that "admitting testimony of questionable validity increases the risk of false accusations of abuse, and subsequent adverse verdicts."
The high court's divisive ruling would get put to the test at the Logerquist trial, in the form of testimony provided by two true heavyweights in the politically charged world of trauma and memory research.
The task of the 10-person jury at downtown Phoenix's Old Courthouse was basic: Listen to testimony from all comers, then decide if Kim Logerquist was telling the truth about Dr. John Danforth.
What they'd experience in Superior Court Judge Kenneth Mangum's courtroom would be a profound intersection of the law and science, and of the logical and the mystifying.
Born in Mesa in August 1962, Kim Logerquist was the third and final child born to Lucille and Clyde Logerquist. Court records indicate she was an ebullient child -- "a showgirl," one relative said -- until she was 5 or 6.
Then, according to family members, Logerquist became moody and something of a loner. She also was beginning a lifelong struggle with obesity. But even as she showed signs of depression, Logerquist maintained above-average grades during elementary school and afterward.
In March 1971, her mother drove her to Dr. John Danforth's clinic after the 8-year-old contracted an ear infection.
Danforth had chosen pediatrics as his specialty during his two years in the Air Force. The Danforths had moved to Arizona from New York in 1964 after their oldest son became arthritic.
Danforth went into practice by himself in 1970. Gregarious and something of a wise guy, the father of eight struck a positive chord with the vast majority of his patients: These days, he's treating the grandchildren of many of his early patients.
Kim Logerquist was the first in her family to be treated by Danforth. The doctor's records indicate he treated her for 20 minutes on that first visit.
According to trial testimony from Danforth and ex-employees, he rarely was alone with patients. And he said he wouldn't have asked Logerquist to disrobe, and certainly never would have stuck objects into her.
Records show Danforth treated Logerquist three more times -- in April 1971, December 1971 and March 1972 -- for a total of about 30 minutes. The second visit was for a urinary tract infection, the third for a rash, and the final one for a recheck of the rash.
Logerquist's sister, Debbie Clements, later testified that Kim (who is 12 years younger) had been "very upset" before those visits. But even though the sisters shared a room, Clements said Logerquist never confided in her about the alleged molestations.
Time passed, and Logerquist decided a few years after graduating high school that she wanted to become a nurse. To that end in the mid-1980s, she enrolled at a college in Green Bay.
Around that time, Logerquist had what she later characterized as the sole romantic liaison in her life. That relationship ended in the late 1980s.
Kim Logerquist was a regular at Green Bay-area hospitals in the late 1980s, and not just as an aspiring nurse. Records show she was hospitalized a remarkable 57 times in the three years before her "flashbacks," with distresses from headaches on down.
In early 1989, she drove herself to an emergency room after intentionally overdosing on pills. Logerquist told doctors she'd been overwhelmed by suicidal thoughts, but had no idea why.
Another overdose later in 1989 landed the woman in a Green Bay psychiatric hospital. A nurse then noted Logerquist was "looking for answers and relief from the depression."
Both the nurse and her treating psychiatrist urged her to search her memories for traumatic experiences she may have had as a child.
"[Logerquist] should work hard at trying to unfold the past, find the mysteries in the past that will explain her current problems," Dr. Howard Davis wrote in a June 1989 progress note.
The psychiatrist said he'd told Logerquist that "the years when she was in grade school might be fertile ground to look for the antecedents of her problem[s] . . ."
Such advice was typical of the era. Most clinicians believed then (and many still do) that the trauma of childhood sex abuse may result in amnesia of the awful events.
The so-called "recovered memories" movement peaked in the 1980s, with thousands of Americans coming forward with allegations of sexual abuse -- often at the hands of family members -- that had returned in "flashbacks."
Some allegations were confirmed by corroborated evidence, including valid confessions and the existence of other bona fide victims. Other accusations, such as those in the infamous McMartin preschool case near Los Angeles, turned out to be provably untrue. Many of the false claims in McMartin and other cases had been cultivated by manipulative therapists.
Years later, at the Logerquist trial, Dr. Melvin Guyer, a University of Michigan professor who is both a psychologist and an attorney, testified for Danforth on the power of such suggestibility.
"People can be made to believe, endorse or accept things that did not happen," Guyer said. "They [Logerquist's therapists] told her to try and come up with a traumatic event, and if you can't, you're going to stay sick. That's an enormous incentive to try to come up with something . . ."
That said, experts still disagree vigorously on whether "repressed memories" are real and, if they are, how to distinguish them from memories that have been invented or contaminated.
The best bet for therapists, according to textbooks on the subject, is to seek corroboration of the alleged events. Short of that, one book says, "There is currently no method for establishing with certainty the accuracy of such retrieved memories."
Kim Logerquist graduated from nursing school in June 1991, and found work at a Green Bay hospital. But she didn't get the job she wanted -- as a pediatric nurse -- and later said she just hadn't fit in.
That September, Logerquist allegedly had her first "flashback," tried to kill herself with pills, then landed back in the psychiatric ward.
Records suggest her memories of the alleged sex abuse at first were foggy. (Those memories apparently cleared up by the following January, when Logerquist provided elaborate details to the Green Bay attorney.)
According to a November 7, 1991, evaluation at the psychiatric unit, Logerquist claimed Danforth's alleged attacks had been "discovered at the time, although the parents never acknowledged it. At about age 10, though, the patient changed pediatricians and recalls some discovery and possible incarceration of the pediatrician." (Logerquist later denied saying that.)
Logerquist spent hours in therapy at the mental ward. Though she'd deny it at her trial, hospital "progress notes" suggest she was considering that men other than John Danforth had sexually abused her.
"Patient thinks maternal grandfather was molester," one note said. "Abused mom physically and may have abused another aunt . . ."
Another time, Logerquist mentioned her late Uncle Wally as her possible attacker.
During her stay, Logerquist's therapists assigned her The Courage to Heal, a self-help book that has sold more than 700,000 copies since its first publication in 1988.
Written by two non-clinicians, the book became the backbone of treatment for those in the "recovered memories" movement. Some still swear by it, especially if the abuse has been corroborated; others say it's dangerous.
"It's a book that can make somebody crazy," Melvin Guyer testified at Logerquist's trial. "It says that failure to remember [being sexually molested] is proof that it happened, and remembering it happened is proof that it happened. It's like a prescription. Ten minutes of that book can taint your recollection."
Logerquist later said she'd read only about 75 pages of The Courage to Heal, which is more than 500 pages long.
Dr. Davis diagnosed Logerquist as suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome and borderline personality disorder. The latter is a mental illness that includes depression, a poor self-image, impulsiveness, anxiousness, and suicidal thoughts.
But now, at last, Logerquist was certain she'd found the "answer" for all her problems.
"I had been through psychiatric treatment in the past for depression and suicide attempts without any cause that anybody could come up with," she said in 1992. "My therapy didn't really get anywhere because they didn't know what was feeding into this. And when these flashbacks came back to me, I was told that they felt that this is what's been causing these feelings all along. That I had repressed it and had no conscious memory of it."
Because the alleged attacks had happened in Arizona, Kim Logerquist needed a local attorney to take her case. She found one in Kent Turley, an experienced, loquacious barrister based in Phoenix.
Turley filed the lawsuit in September 1992.
The following March, he asked John Danforth in a deposition, "And you feel indeed that you are being falsely accused by her?"
"Do you have any thoughts why?"
Dr. Danforth's co-counsel, Frank Parks -- one of Arizona's preeminent medical-malpractice lawyers -- interrupted his client: "We are not going to answer that we think she is a crazy woman. . . . We are not going to get into that."
"Is he correct, that you think she's crazy?" Turley asked Danforth.
"I can't say, because I don't know her," the doctor replied, "but I certainly think the charges are false. Why she's doing it, I can't read her mind, whether she's a kook or whether she's been misled by some kooks."
In late 1993, Logerquist phoned the Mesa Police Department to report her alleged molestations of 22 years earlier. A detective later wrote that Logerquist told him her attorney had suggested she call.
Logerquist added a new wrinkle during her interview: "She also remembers Dr. Danforth saying, 'If you tell your mom and dad about the things that are making you cry, I'll tell your mom and dad there is something wrong with you, and you will have to go away and live where bad kids live.'"
The detective concluded, "At this time, I find that there is no probable cause to believe that a crime was committed in this case."
Both sides started marshaling the expert witnesses that inevitably accompany such cases.
Logerquist hired Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, the distinguished director of The Trauma Center, located near Boston. He has treated hundreds of apparently verifiable survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and authored the well-considered book Traumatic Stress.
Van der Kolk agreed to testify generally on the phenomenon of stress and how, in his estimation, it sometimes causes a kind of amnesia. But he never would interview Logerquist about her allegations.
Danforth's attorneys retained Dr. John Kihlstrom, a renowned researcher and psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley. Unlike van der Kolk, Kihlstrom doesn't treat patients. But he's written chapters on memory in standard texts used by students and professionals.
Kihlstrom says proof of trauma-induced amnesia is extremely rare, and that clinicians should find solid corroboration before believing a patient's accusations. In a May 1994 deposition, he said of Kim Logerquist:
"People like Logerquist are looking for reasons, are looking for answers, are trying to find out what caused them to have the difficulties that they are experiencing. . . . [But] there is nothing about Kim's memory that leads me to conclude that it is an accurate memory, and there are many things about Kim's memory that lead me to conclude that it's an inaccurate memory."
Logerquist's legal quest seemed doomed in 1994, after a judge dismissed her lawsuit on statute-of-limitation grounds. But an appellate court in 1997 reversed that ruling on technical grounds, which revived the case.
That decision merited a story in Valley newspapers, which referred to a Mesa pediatrician, without revealing Dr. Danforth's name.
A Mesa woman who read the story soon phoned attorney Kent Turley. She alleged that a Dr. John Danforth had acted inappropriately with her in the late 1960s (when she was about 12), unnecessarily rubbing just above her groin during an exam.
The call thrilled Turley. It was prospective corroborative testimony that could sink Danforth at trial, or at least force serious consideration by the doctor of an out-of-court settlement.
Turley said later he'd expected a flood of calls after hearing from the woman. But it didn't happen. And, as it turned out, her account was fraught with glaring inconsistencies, and was given little weight by jurors at Logerquist's trial.
Another huge hurdle for Logerquist loomed in April 1998, when Maricopa County Judge Michael McVey conducted an important pretrial hearing in the case.
The decision at hand was whether to allow Bessel van der Kolk to testify at Logerquist's trial. In so doing, the judge didn't have to actually study the science and research related to traumatic stress and repressed memories. He just had to determine if the theories espoused by the psychiatrist have been generally accepted by other researchers.
If McVey said they were, van der Kolk would be allowed to testify. If he said they weren't, the jury would never hear the expert's testimony -- clearly a fatal blow to any chances Logerquist might have of winning.
McVey heard lengthy testimony from Kihlstrom and van der Kolk, and arguments from Kent Turley and Kari Zangerle.
In June 1998, the judge ruled against Kim Logerquist.
"Studies in the area of the effect of trauma upon memory are in their infancy," he wrote, ". . . and are not generally accepted in the relevant scientific community of trauma memory researchers."
Logerquist didn't stand a chance without van der Kolk's testimony, and Turley knew it. He appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court, which took two years before it issued its stunning ruling in April 2000.
The high court's ruling bucked conventional legal thinking from around the nation -- that judges are more qualified than juries to recognize good science from junk.
Justice Stanley Feldman wrote of Dr. van der Kolk: "We are not dealing with an alchemist attempting to change lead into gold or an astrologer predicting events from the movements of the stars, but one of the leading researchers and authorities in behavioral science."
Feldman said it should be up to the jury, not the trial judge, to decide if Logerquist was telling the truth.
"We are quite sure that the nature of the case and the evidence produced by [Logerquist] may well engender some skepticism in the minds of the jurors, just as it did with the trial judge. But we believe the [case] should be decided by the jury."
Justices Frederick Martone and Ruth McGregor argued vehemently against Feldman and the other two justices, Tom Zlaket and Charles Jones.
"After today's decision," Martone wrote, "any 'expert' can walk into an Arizona courtroom and testify about human behavior without any threshold showing of scientific reliability."
Last November 13, Kim Logerquist, John Danforth and their attorneys settled in Judge Kenneth Mangum's courtroom to pick a jury. Ten Maricopa County residents -- five men and five women -- would decide the case.
The panel included a special-education teacher, police dispatcher, retired program analyst, homemaker, corrections officer, retired tool designer, member of the Arizona Air National Guard, custodian, retirement plan administrator, and freight company employee.
Kim Logerquist sat adjacent to the jury bar, so close that some panelists could have touched her if they'd wished. Her attorneys, Kent Turley and his associate, David Davis, sat next to her, organizing mounds of paperwork.
Across the room, Frank Parks and Kari Zangerle also readied themselves next to Danforth, who chatted nervously with his wife, Mary, and one of their daughters. (Many of the couple's eight children attended the trial at various times.)
Said Turley in his opening statement last November 15:
"Kim's case is essentially that childhood sexual abuse occurred, that her memories were blocked, not by her intentionally or anything -- just happened -- and her life has been a nightmare ever since."
Frank Parks took his turn after Turley. Deliberate and thorough in his presentation, Parks said Kim Logerquist's memories were, at best, tainted:
"Dr. Davis and the therapists suggested to her that an explanation for her problems, for her suicide attempts, for overdosing on medication, her hospitalizations, her bulimia, her overweight, may be due to sexual abuse. They planted that seed in her."
Kim Logerquist took the stand early in the trial. She said her problems -- obesity, self-mutilation, bulimia and depression, to name some -- had plagued her long after she'd had her "flashbacks."
Logerquist evoked tears from empathetic jurors after her attorney asked her why she'd sued Danforth. "Because the things he did to me when I was a child are so awful that he has to be held accountable for what he did," she said. "He can't get away with it. He just cannot get away with this."
Turley finished by asking Logerquist what she'd done after court the prior Friday night. It had been her dog's 7th birthday, she said, so she bought it a new toy, got some ice cream at Sonic, then drove home and shared the treats with her pet.
Frank Parks was almost gentle with the plaintiff during his cross-examination, but made his points with surgical precision.
Despite strong evidence to the contrary, Logerquist insisted that her therapists never had counseled her to reexamine her childhood for traumatic experiences. But Parks noted that even her lawsuit alleged she'd "recovered" the bad memories with the help of psychotherapy.
"In your mind, the perpetrator was Dr. Danforth?" Parks asked.
"Not in my mind," she countered. "He was."
These days, Logerquist testified, she works out of her Mesa apartment as a medical transcriptionist. She said her life remains gloomy, and she's still battling her bulimia and other psycho-medical problems.
But Parks displayed a blown-up photograph published in the Arizona Republic after the final game of the Arizona Diamondbacks' inaugural season in 1998. It showed a joyous Kim Logerquist holding up a sign that said, "THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES."
The irony escaped no one.
"Diamondback games are a different situation," she explained. "I can focus on that. It's given me a focus I can drown myself in, so to speak. It is one of the three of four things that [give me pleasure] . . ."
Logerquist glared at John Danforth as she returned to her seat.
Tucson psychologist Cheryl Karp testified on Logerquist's behalf, "I would say she had a flashback, and was vivid in what she saw. It is my opinion that Kim Logerquist's history, symptoms and presentation do coincide with those of a CSA [childhood sexual abuse] survivor."
Dr. Bessel van der Kolk flew in from Boston to testify for Logerquist, and was an engaging witness. He and Kari Zangerle had been sparring over "flashbacks" and repressed memories for years in the Logerquist case, and each seemed to anticipate the other's next move.
"So your experience has been that people who have flashbacks don't end up having inaccurate recollections of those events later?" Zangerle asked him.
"At this point, that's what I say," van der Kolk replied.
John Kihlstrom countered that the psychiatrist's theories "are quite interesting, but they are just that. They tend to fall short with the science."
Dr. Kihlstrom said the most salient response of someone exposed to trauma isn't to forget, but to remember -- vividly: "Science tells us what will happen to an emotional experience is that the central details of an experience will be remembered well, and always."
The trial's most colorful witness was William Offenkrantz, a cantankerous Scottsdale shrink hired by Danforth's attorneys to interview and evaluate Logerquist. Now in his early 80s, Offenkrantz said it marked the first time in his half-century career that he'd testified in a court case.
He said he suspected Logerquist's 1991 breakdown hadn't been because of a "flashback," but by a delayed reaction to being abandoned by her lover.
"By generating a fantasy of being sexually abused by Dr. Danforth," Offenkrantz explained, "she has been able to remedy the feeling that no one found her interesting, as well as her feeling of being powerless."
A few of Danforth's ex-employees described a safe, friendly clinic, and a wonderful employer. They testified they'd never seen the doctor smoke at the office, that he never kept large syringes in his exam rooms, and that he'd only rarely been alone with patients.
But Danforth's sister-in-law and ex-employee Terry Thorpe allowed Logerquist momentary respite from what had been an onslaught of testimony seemingly adverse to her cause. During cross-examination, attorney David Davis asked Thorpe if she'd ever seen Danforth smoke.
Yes, she said, "One time, I saw him smoking . . ."
Some jurors seemed surprised.
Thorpe explained she'd seen the doctor smoking during a holiday party at his home, probably in the early 1990s.
This presented a bit of a problem, even though it still was light-years from proof that the doctor was a pedophile.
Frank Parks wisely addressed the cigar issue head-on early in his questioning of Danforth. The doctor explained that, on a whim, he'd once tried a cigar with his sons at his home.
"I was wheezing and coughing my head off," Danforth testified, "and I was determined I was gonna do it."
But, he said, it was ludicrous to think he'd ever smoked at his clinic.
The doctor had waited almost a decade to tell his side of the story publicly. At one point, he became so emotional on the stand that Parks urged him to calm himself.
"It's been a cloud, what that lawyer and his client have held over my head for 10 years," Danforth said, his face reddening. "You can't imagine the effect that this has had on my practice, and the way I practice. I'm glad it's gonna come to some end."
"You don't want to call her a liar, do you?" Parks asked him.
"No. She was a patient. . . . And although she's wrong and, down deep I know she's lying, but, being polite, I say I don't know how she's thinking. I know what I am thinking, and I know I didn't do it."
On December 11, attorneys Turley and Parks made their respective closing statements.
Turley concluded by displaying a photograph of Kim Logerquist taken about six months before she first went to Danforth's clinic in 1971.
"I represent not only Kim who is here [in court], but I represent the little girl who is here," he said, gesturing to the photo. "The result of what [Danforth] did has been to alter her life drastically for years on end. . . . She's going to miss out on tons of things. And instead, she has a birthday party for her dog."
A just verdict, the attorney said, would be "around $3 million to $5 million."
Frank Parks began by speaking, not to the jury, but to John Danforth. "You who have been so wrongly accused must be vindicated," he said.
Then he turned to the jury: "Notwithstanding that you feel sorry for this lady, this is a court of justice, not a court of sympathy. Speak through your minds and not through your hearts."
Parks directed the panel's attention to Logerquist, who stared straight ahead.
"Her mind tells her that she was the chosen one," the lawyer said, emphasizing the words "mind" and "chosen." "She was the chosen one by Dr. John Danforth because he saw something unique in her that the rest of his patients didn't have, these unseen, unique qualities. And he decided to do this to her and nobody else."
In response to Turley, who'd made some historical references in his closing, Parks said, "In 1692, there was a very important event in this country, and that was the Salem witchcraft trials. Young girls had acted in an aberrant way, acting funny . . . and there was a witch hunt based on speculation. What this is is a Salem witchcraft trial in 2001."
Judge Mangum sent the Logerquist jury to begin deliberations at 4 p.m. December 11. Usually, when a panel gets a case that late in the day, they'll choose a foreperson and adjourn until the morning.
But less than 40 minutes later, the court bailiff stepped into the courtroom, where the attorneys still were gathering their things.
"We have a verdict," he said. "I'm not kidding."
A few minutes later, the clerk read it:
"We find for the defendant, John Danforth."
A loud cheer erupted from Danforth's family members in the gallery, as the judge banged his gavel and demanded order.
Kim Logerquist showed nothing. She and Kent Turley immediately left the courtroom.
The judge invited the jury to stick around to discuss the case. Nine of the 10 jurors took him up on it, and chatted with Mangum and his staff, Danforth and his attorneys, the doctor's family members, and others. The panel would end up kibitzing for longer than they'd deliberated.
One juror said the lack of other accusers against Danforth weighed heavily against Logerquist. "I have to tell you, there's just no way it would be just one person or even two over 30 years saying that he had done those things," she said.
Mary Danforth asked the jurors if they believed anyone had molested Logerquist. They nodded, with one juror saying it probably had been by a family member, and before Logerquist ever had met the doctor.
"I think she's genuinely sick," that juror said. "But $5 million ain't gonna make it go away."
John Danforth still seemed perplexed as to why Logerquist had targeted him: "I have always wondered, 'Why me? Why me?' I mean, she was accusing me of being a pedophile -- the worst of the worst. I didn't even remember her as a patient. I still don't get it."
The doctor also addressed the issue of his cigar smoking.
"Can you imagine me, as a new doctor in Mesa with a huge Mormon practice, smoking cigars in the office?" he said. "Unbelievable! Never happened."
What the panel said about the trial's key expert witnesses -- van der Kolk and Kihlstrom -- suggests Justice Feldman was right, at least in this case, when he wrote in 2000 that jurors can evaluate testimony as well as judges.
"The experts pretty much negated each other," a juror said. "We were more interested in the non-experts -- especially Kim and the doctor."
Added Ernest Valenzuela, who is a corrections officer in Florence, "We didn't really talk that much about the experts. Kim just didn't have the proof, not even close."
Before the group dispersed, foreperson Karen Scullion, a special-education teacher in the Mesa school district, had a final thought.
"When I get done being a teacher," she said, tongue only slightly in cheek, "I want to learn how to be an expert witness."
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