The Norman Transcript


October 31, 2013

Psychologist says it’s possible that witness filled in memory gaps with fabricated events



Esplin said he couldn’t tell if she was using knowledge from other events and incorporating that into an incident.

The witness also testified that the girl’s description of events was unusual because she just described basic information without much detail.

The topic of a child disclosing sexual abuse to a stranger during their first interview also was discussed.

Esplin agreed that children are less likely to disclose in that situation if they have not disclosed to another authority figure such as a parent, which the girl had not done.

However, children do vary, and forensic interviewers do a pretty good job of extracting information from children, he said.

The act of grooming also was heavily discussed in regard to Pellebon’s actions toward the girls he allegedly sexually abused. Esplin described grooming as progressive in nature, beginning at a certain point and progressing to sexual acts.

Several testified that Pellebon gave gifts to the girls, gave a great deal of attention to them, kept their secrets, was friends with their parents and was described as touchy or affectionate.

Some hugs, kisses and gifts progressed to Pellebon allegedly getting into bed with a child and stroking her body from head to toe, which Esplin agreed could be actions of sexual intent.

Also having a sexually toned conversation with a child, such as a sex-ed talk, while stroking the stomach of a child, which Pellebon allegedly did, Esplin agreed is a sexually toned situation.

On the other hand, during a grooming process, the abuser would typically want to desensitize a child by touching them and make them aware of that progression, he testified.

It wouldn’t be typical to touch the child while they were asleep and touch them on their side, avoiding private parts, he said.

He also said you could expect someone who sexually abuses a child to view child pornography.

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