"Expert" Stan Katz Says Low IQ Makes Sexual Assault Less Traumatic In The Dumbest Testimony Ever
Bafflingly, an expert witness for the Los Angeles Unified School District testified in court that a 9-year-old girl's low IQ may protect her from emotional harm after sexual assault. Psychologist Stan Katz testified that the girl, whose family was seeking damages after she was sexually assaulted five times in an after-school program, had a "protective factor" in her IQ, which was estimated between 64 and 70.
Katz made the statements in court in May 2013, but the horrific claim was revealed in court documents obtained by KPCC's Karen Forshay. In court, the family's attorney, David Ring, had asked Katz to clarify his "protective factor" testimony in court.
There's a relationship between intelligence and depression. What happens is the more you think about things, you can ruminate, you can focus on things, you can look at the complexities of the matter and become more depressed.
LAUSD was presumably using Katz to wriggle out of a $1.4 million lawsuit, which was settled in May 2013. Thankfully, it didn't work. The girl's family was awarded damages for the emotional distress she suffered from the continual assaults in 2010. Although district lawyers admitted that insufficient teacher-to-student ratios contributed to the incident, they repeatedly attempted to minimize the harm the student experienced. Hence the mind bogglingly inaccurate testimony. The jury, fueled by the gross arguments from the district, awarded 140 times the amount that the LAUSD lawyers argued she needed for therapy. Ring told KPCC:
The jury was offended, they were disgusted and they thought it was unbelievable that an expert witness could come in and say something like that.
Even a jury could sense that the Katz idea was bogus, and experts agreed. After reviewing his testimony two other experts said — and this may not surprise you — that Katz's testimony had absolutely no scientific backing. KPCC reported the psychiatrist Dr. Lynn Ponton said:
I have never seen developmental disability in a child that age used as a protective factor with respect to how they handle trauma. In fact developmental disability quite often puts them at risk for this type of trauma.
Aside from telling the mentally disabled that they do not deserve compensation for the effects of a school's inadequacies, Katz also has a celebrity psychologist career. He's been on several quickly defunct reality shows and testified in the 2005 Michael Jackson sexual assault trial.
He is apparently now working on yet another case representing LAUSD that involves a music teacher showering with students. Somehow, I feel like we should have passed on this guy a long time ago.