Expert Evidence regarding recovered memories can no longer be used

to confirm a witness's recovered memories.

July 31, 2016

 

[3]         The respondent testified that about 15 years ago when she turned 50 years of age, she recovered memories of horrific and repeated sexual and physical abuse at the hands of her brother that the respondent says occurred when she was 4 or 5 and continued until she was 20 years old.

[4]         The main support for the respondentís evidence came from her expert witness, Dr. Sarah Maddocks. Dr. Maddocks is a psychologist who was retained by the respondentís prior lawyer to provide an opinion concerning an assessment of the respondentís alleged recovered traumatic memory, her mental status, diagnoses and prognosis, along with the impact of the alleged sexual assaults on the respondent, and her recommended treatment plan. She was qualified at trial ďto give expert evidence generally in the area of psychology, and in particular in relation to sexual victimizationĒ. She opined that, while she could not know for sure if all of the memories were depictions of actual events, there was a strong indication that the respondent had been sexually and physically abused by the appellant on a regular basis over a long period of time.

 

 

A must read case on recovered memories of sexual abuse

Whitfield v. Whitfield, 2016 ONCA 581