UT: Ban polygraph tests for those who report sexual abuse, Utah lawmaker proposes

Source: sltrib.com 1/23/24

A recent investigation from The Tribune and ProPublica showed the damaging effects a polygraph test had on one Utahn who reported that his therapist had touched him inappropriately during sessions.

Utah could soon ban government officials from asking alleged sexual assault victims to undergo a polygraph test — joining a growing list of states that bar the practice.

Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, said she has introduced legislation banning polygraph tests in hopes that it will remove a barrier that could prevent someone from reporting they were sexually abused. Experts says that polygraph tests are known to be specifically unreliable with victims of sexual abuse, and other states have banned them for that reason.

“Polygraph tests can sometimes be misunderstood and be considered like a lie detector test, and victims feel like they’re not believed,” Romero said. “Around the country, people are starting to see that this is probably not the best way in which to interview the victim of sexual assault.”

It’s not clear how often Utah law enforcement officials or other government employees have asked alleged sexual assault victims to take polygraph tests. But a recent investigation from The Salt Lake Tribune and ProPublica showed the damaging effects a polygraph test had on one Utahn who reported to state licensers that his therapist had touched him inappropriately during sessions.

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Ah, the famous “one victim so must create new law” story. 🙄

If someone can come up with a logical reasoning of how polygraphs are considered unreliable garbage in everything but sex offense “treatment”, I’ll eat my laptop.

Same legislator who keeps introducing a bill to make sexual conduct without affirmative consent a felony registrable offense. HB 162.

But it’s okay to continue using this very flawed and expensive tool in other areas?

It only applies to those who are the alleged victim because it it faultless and perfect 100% of the time with everyone it is used on…good grief, junk science does not discriminate regardless of the criteria. Utah knows better. The elected official should ban its use altogether within the state lines from being used by any entity that is state level or below regardless of the situation.

The polygraph is most definitely unreliable as I have experienced. While on parole, I was required to take a polygraph test. Among the other initial calibration questions, I was asked various questions about my parole conditions as to whether I had violated any of them. I hadn’t and answered truthfully and yet the results of the test were “inconclusive”, as if there was some wiggle room between truth and lies. In the judgment of the examiner as he explained it to me, it was a pass but I really wonder what he reported to my parole agent, whether he said “pass” or “inconclusive.”

This was my first polygraph test and I went in not trusting the technology and I suspect that is what was reflected in the results.

Sorry, but all I could think throughout the entire piece is “Alleged” victim. So this means that we automatically believe everyone who points a finger and instantly put it on the accused to prove their innocence, of a crime where in most times there is no evidence.
And automatically believing some accuser instantly destroys the defendants life and reputation, even if they are eventually able to prove that the accuser is full of shit, the arrest ECT stays on your record.