Polygraph Testing News

Polygraph Admitted, Defendant Acquitted, According to Dr. Louis Rovne

Wednesday September 5, 2007 8:30 am ET

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The following release is being issued by ESS, Inc.: A polygraph test was admitted into evidence at a criminal trial in Ohio last week, the first time this has happened in more than thirty years. As a result, an innocent man regained his freedom and his reputation. The main witness for the defense was Dr. Louis Rovner of Los Angeles, California, a renowned scientist and polygraph expert.
The case of Ohio vs. Sahil Sharma had been hotly contested for more than a year. Mr. Sharma was charged with Sexual Battery, and found himself in the proverbial he said-she said situation. Two 20-somethings met at a wedding rehearsal dinner, went out drinking, and ended up in the same hotel room. The next morning, the young lady claimed that she had too much to drink, fell asleep, and was taken advantage of by Mr. Sharma. Mr. Sharma said that she was wide awake and that having sex was actually her idea. Since both parties admitted that sex had occurred, and since there was no physical evidence of force, a court had to decide whether the "victim" was telling the truth, or whether Mr. Sharma was being unjustly accused of a serious crime.

Mr. Sharma's defense attorney, Kirk Migdal, sought out the services of Dr. Rovner, who is widely acknowledged as one of the best polygraph examiners in the country. After a polygraph test that lasted more than 2 1/2 hours, Rovner concluded that Mr. Sharma was telling the truth when he said that the woman was wide awake and that the sexual encounter was consensual.

Judge Judy Hunter held a special pre-trial hearing in order to determine whether polygraph testing, as it is now practiced, is supported by scientific research and the scientific community. Upon learning that forty years of high quality scientific research establishes polygraph as one of the most accurate forms of scientific evidence, the judge overruled the prosecution's objections and, contrary to Ohio state law, decided to admit the polygraph test at trial. An Ohio appellate court refused to overturn Judge Hunter's ruling. Rovner returned to Ohio for the trial and testified in open court, examined first by the defense, and cross-examined aggressively by the prosecutor. During the reading of the verdict, Dr. Rovner's testimony was cited as one of the primary pieces of evidence that led to the finding of Not Guilty.

Voice Analyzers: A Hoax

March 30, 2006
A Pentagon study obtained by ABC News finds that a new kind of voice lie detector used by the U.S. military and American police departments is no better than "flipping a coin" in detecting lies. Until the Pentagon ordered a halt to its use, the Voice Stress Analyzer was being used by military intelligence interrogators at Guantanamo Bay and in Iraq. Several suspected terrorists were released from custody based on the machine's results and former Iraqi deputy prime minister Tariz Aziz was one of the many "high value targets" who were hooked up to the now discredited machine.

Missouri Man Draws Attention of Many

By WOODROW WILKINS JR. - Mississippi Delta Democrat Times
click here for entire article or read excerpt below.

Mark P. Smith shares that belief.
Smith, of Pompton Plains, N.J., is a retired prosecutor's office detective with extensive experience in adult and child sexual assaults, child interviewing, witness and suspect interviewing, and polygraph examinations. He has worked with sex offenders from both sides of the law - as a police investigator and for defense attorneys. "Essentially, their sexuality is focused toward children," he said. "And it's very difficult to change that attraction. That would be like telling a heterosexual, 'You have committed a crime, now you have to be homosexual.'" Smith said if a person is under supervision and knows others are watching, that individual will do his or her best to obey the law. However, he said it's very hard to change what a person is sexually attracted to. "They can go through the steps just like an alcoholic would go through," he said. "They can avoid a liquor store. Or they could go into a store and try to rationalize: 'I'm only going to get a bag of peanuts.'" Smith used the same scenario with a child sex offender. "If they see a child walking down the street, they need to make a decision: 'I need to walk on the other side of the street, or I'll walk on this side of the street because it's sunnier.' They'll rationalize it." Saying "Hi, how ya doin'?" may lead to a situation where the offender ends up sexually abusing the child, Smith said. "It's a rather simplistic way to put it, but I think it addresses the reasons why they do what they do," he said. "Even one who makes a mind up to stop and try not to hurt anyone, ... they struggle with that every day." Smith questioned the laws that leave it up to the offenders to notify authorities of their changes in residency. "You're relying on their good will to comply with that regulation," he said. "I don't know if that's the best thing to do. "It's like telling a criminal, a burglar, 'Don't go break into any houses; we're gonna trust you.'"