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United States v. Young

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
316 F.3d 649 (2002)


Roy Young (defendant) was convicted of two crimes involving domestic violence against Beatrice Patrick and acquitted of kidnapping Patrick. Although Patrick testified before the grand jury about Young’s actions, at trial she recanted her story and denied the kidnapping and abuse. In response, the government proffered the expert testimony of Dr. Ann Wolbert Burgess, a psychiatric mental-health nurse specializing in crime victims. Following Young’s objection, the court held a Daubert hearing and admitted her testimony. Dr. Burgess had a 40-year career treating victims of crime and published over 100 articles in professional journals on domestic violence, rape, and forensic nursing. Dr. Burgess also chaired a group that authored a book about violence against women for Congress. Before formulating her opinion, Dr. Burgess interviewed Patrick for over an hour and reviewed the FBI reports in this case, police reports involving Patrick and Young, Patrick’s grand-jury testimony, an order of protection Patrick had against Young, Young’s criminal history, letters between Patrick and Young, recordings of Young’s phone calls with Patrick from jail, and defense counsel notes of an interview with Patrick. After Dr. Burgess reached her conclusion, she interviewed Young as well. At trial, Dr. Burgess testified that abuse victims often recant accusations of abuse because of their limited ability to perceive a means of escape, and Patrick exhibited this behavior. During trial, Young did not dispute that he had beat Patrick for years. Following his conviction, Young appealed, arguing that Dr. Burgess’s testimony was inadmissible because it was based on anecdotal evidence, she did not interview him until after she reached her conclusion, and she did not interview Patrick’s friends and family.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Bauer, J.)

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