ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Infant Sexual Abuse Case : Female Child Care Director: WI

Paragraph 27 reads:  “The defense witnesses Thursday
included a psychologist who evaluated Benz and agreed with her prior diagnoses
of being manic-depressive and bi-polar and suffering from depression and
anxiety. Dr. Gene Braaksma said Benz was taking anti-depressants
and mood stabilizers in June 2007.”

http://www.sheboyganpress.com/article/20091204/SHE0101/912040448/1062/SHE01/Judge-to-rule-today-on-mistrial-motion-in-Mary-Benz-infantabusecase

Judge to rule today on mistrial motion in Mary Benz infant abuse
case

By Eric Litke • Sheboygan Press
staff • December 4, 2009

The defense is seeking a mistrial in the Mary
Benz infant abuse case after Benz’s attorney stumbled upon evidence he said was
valuable to his client’s case and not previously disclosed by the
prosecution.

Defense attorney Richard Hahn made the motion Thursday after
spotting a social worker’s case file while he was in District Attorney Joe
DeCecco’s office editing an audio recording earlier in the day. In a notation
made June 28, 2007 ­ two days after a 10-month-old girl was found to have
significant vaginal injuries ­ the doctor who examined her said the parents
could not be ruled out as suspects and the injuries could have occurred earlier
than he said when he testified.

The note was made before the
pediatrician, Dr. Thomas Valvano, interviewed the parents and differs from his
final findings, but Hahn said he should have been made aware of the report so he
could question Valvano about the statements. Valvano testified Wednesday and has
since returned to Oregon, where he now lives.

“All of this from an
investigative standpoint is a complete and absolute surprise,” said Hahn, adding
that he said he should have received the file during discovery. “That raises
three issues that I would have utilized with great prominence in my cross
examination of Dr. Valvano.”

Judge Terence Bourke will rule on the motion
for the mistrial this morning.

This was the fourth straight day Hahn
sought to have the case thrown out before it reached the jury, but the first
time DeCecco asked for time to prepare a response before Bourke
ruled.

Court records show Hahn filed his demand for discovery in June
2008. Discovery is when attorneys for both sides must share the evidence they
have gathered.

Hahn said he spotted the file sitting in a box on
DeCecco’s floor while the two editing an audio recording of an interview with
Benz that was played for the jury Thursday. That editing delayed the start of
the trial from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The file in question was created by
the Sheboygan County Division of Social Services, which conducted an
investigation in cooperation with but separate from the Sheboygan County
Sheriff’s Department after the girl’s injury was discovered. The injury, an
inch-long vaginal tear, was discovered the same day the child was cared for at
Our Lady of the Lakes Child Care Center in Random Lake, where Benz was

director.
(2 of 3)

Benz, 51, is charged with felony child abuse and
three counts of misdemeanor resisting or obstructing an officer. Her trial began
Monday after 2½ years of delays from a 10-month investigation, numerous pretrial
motions and two adjourned trial dates.

The case file has not yet been
mentioned in the presence of the jury, as Hahn presented his motion after the
jury was sent home for the day Thursday. After the motion, social worker Laura
Lemon was called to testify as an unscheduled witness about the contents of the
case file.

Lemon said such files are typically given to the District
Attorney’s Office upon request, but she did not know if it was requested in this

case or when. The file includes a record of people contacted during Lemon’s
investigation, a final report and documentation gathered throughout the
investigation.

The case was closed Aug. 14, 2007, because no perpetrator
had been identified, Lemon said.

The key section cited by Hahn was a note
from a Social Services employee who fielded the call from Valvano and reported
that he wanted the agency to know the parents could not yet be ruled out and the
incident could have happened June 25. Valvano said at that point the day care
appeared the “most suspicious” in terms of where the injury likely
happened.

Valvano testified Wednesday that the injuries occurred 12 to 24
hours prior to his examining the child at 2 a.m. June 28.

Another case

note said Valvano told Social Services in a June 28 meeting at Children’s
Hospital in Milwaukee that the girl’s injury could have been caused by a finger,
and there is no indication a sharp object was used or what exactly caused the
injury.

Benz in third interview: ‘I don’t recall’

The
shortened day of testimony preceding Hahn’s motion included a third recorded
interview with Benz in which she changed key details from prior interviews and
repeatedly said “I don’t recall” when confronted about
inconsistencies.

The interview was conducted by Detective Mark Mancl of
the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department on July 26, 2007, after serving a
search warrant at Benz’s home.
(3 of 3)

Mancl focused several of his
questions on Benz’s alleged actions after a June 29, 2007, interview. After Benz
told Mancl then that she changed only two of the girl’s diapers on the day in
question, two day care employees testified that she called and asked them to say
they changed two other diapers when they hadn’t.

In the recording played
Thursday, Benz said she didn’t recall discussing the case with anyone other than
Ed Ritger, an attorney affiliated with the day care, didn’t recall telling one
girl she had been framed ­ as the girl testified she did ­ and didn’t
recall leaving a voicemail saying she messed up and needed help. That voicemail
was played in court Tuesday.

Benz did, however, say for the first time
that she changed all of the victim’s diapers on the day in question. She would
not say why she said otherwise in the two prior interviews, June 27 and
29.

Benz also wouldn’t say why she claimed June 29 that a volunteer had
been caring for the infants during the victim’s first 90 minutes at the day care

when on June 27 she didn’t list that worker as one of the people present. Benz
then said she didn’t recall if the woman was there or had worked with the
infants.

The woman, Rita Schmid, has testified she arrived at 6:30 a.m.
­ around the time the victim did ­ but left when Benz said she wasn’t
needed. She also said Benz called her after the June 29 interview and asked her
to say she worked until 8 a.m. and saw the victim in good spirits.

Asked
directly, Benz repeated previous denials in saying she has no knowledge of the
girl’s injuries and didn’t cause them.

“There was nothing wrong. I had no
concerns when (the victim) left at 4 o’clock,” Benz says in the interview before
deflecting responsibility. “This is the first time dad picks (her) up, and now
we have a problem.”

More defense witnesses testify

The five-hour delay
further disrupted scheduling for the trial, which was to end today. The
prosecution still has not formally rested its case, as Mancl has been on and off
the stand three times to allow witnesses for the defense to testify as
originally scheduled.

The defense witnesses Thursday included a
psychologist who evaluated Benz and agreed with her prior diagnoses of being
manic-depressive and bi-polar and suffering from depression and anxiety. Dr.
Gene Braaksma said Benz was taking anti-depressants and mood stabilizers in June
2007.

Braaksma, who spent about seven hours testing Benz and looking
through her mental health history, said she is “limited in her capability” to
deal with stress. In response to a question by DeCecco referencing Benz
allegedly asking the workers to lie and forging a document, Braaksma said he
would expect a person with Benz’s diagnoses to “crumble” rather than take
logical action to cover a crime.

Benz, 51, is charged with felony
child abuse and three counts of misdemeanor resisting or obstructing an officer.
Her trial began Monday after 2½ years of delays from a 10-month investigation,
numerous pretrial motions and two adjourned trial dates.

The case file
has not yet been mentioned in the presence of the jury, as Hahn presented his
motion after the jury was sent home for the day Thursday. After the motion,
social worker Laura Lemon was called to testify as an unscheduled witness about
the contents of the case file.

Lemon said such files are typically given
to the District Attorney’s Office upon request, but she did not know if it was
requested in this case or when. The file includes a record of people contacted
during Lemon’s investigation, a final report and documentation gathered
throughout the investigation.

The case was closed Aug. 14, 2007, because
no perpetrator had been identified, Lemon said.

The key section cited by
Hahn was a note from a Social Services employee who fielded the call from
Valvano and reported that he wanted the agency to know the parents could not yet
be ruled out and the incident could have happened June 25. Valvano said at that
point the day care appeared the “most suspicious” in terms of where the injury
likely happened.

Valvano testified Wednesday that the injuries occurred
12 to 24 hours prior to his examining the child at 2 a.m. June
28.

Another case note said Valvano told Social Services in a June 28
meeting at Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee that the girl’s injury could have
been caused by a finger, and there is no indication a sharp object was used or
what exactly caused the injury.

Benz in third interview: ‘I don’t recall’

The
shortened day of testimony preceding Hahn’s motion included a third recorded
interview with Benz in which she changed key details from prior interviews and
repeatedly said “I don’t recall” when confronted about
inconsistencies.

The interview was conducted by Detective Mark Mancl of
the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department on July 26, 2007, after serving a
search

Reach Eric Litke at (920) 453-5119 and

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ANTIDEPRESSANT: Woman Becomes Violent: Canada

Paragraphs 20 through 22 read: “Her fiance told the court they were arguing because he disapproved of her drinking. A Type 1 diabetic, Maitland was also taking medication for anxiety and depression.”

“She said she had not taken her scheduled insulin that night. She told the judge that the medication she’s taken for seven years to treat anxiety and depression affects her memory.”

“‘It makes things a little more fuzzy,’ she said.”

SSRI Stories Note: The Physicians Desk Reference states that antidepressants can cause a craving for alcohol and alcohol abuse. Also, the liver cannot metabolize the antidepressant and the alcohol simultaneously, thus leading to higher levels of both alcohol and the antidepressant in the human body.


http://nnsl.com/northern-news-services/stories/papers/aug31_09arm.html#Scene_1

Charged for flicking blood

 Ebony Maitland is accused of mischief and assaulting a police bloodElizabeth McMillan
Northern News Services
Published Monday, August 31, 2009

SOMBA K’E/YELLOWKNIFE – A woman accused of assaulting a police officer told a judge Thursday that after responding to an RCMP officer’s request to see her bleeding wrist, he pepper sprayed her, and dragged her to a police cruiser by her hair.

Ebony Maitland is accused of mischief and assaulting a police officer after her blood made contact with an officer during her arrest on July 6, 2008. – Elizabeth McMillan/NNSL photo

Thirty-year-old Ebony Maitland is also on trial by judge in Territorial Court for a charge of mischief.

The assault charge stems from an allegation by police that when she extended her arm, she flicked blood onto RCMP Const. Phil Unger’s face, who was standing about a metre away.

The woman told Chief Judge Brian Bruser she had cut her arm in two places after smashing it through a window during a night of heavy drinking and arguing with her fiance.

During cross examination, Crown prosecutor Diane Keats did not dispute Maitland’s claims about the pepper spray, and being dragged into the police cruiser by her hair, but questioned the accused’s memory about the nature of the interaction between herself and Unger and the manner in which she moved her arm.

Maitland said she recalled being told she was under arrest for causing a disturbance when Unger asked to see her injury. She said she extended her arm with her palm facing upwards.

“He wanted to know how bad it was,” she said. “We didn’t have a conversation. He just asked to see my wrist.”

Unger and another RCMP officer, Const. Jarret MacDonald, responded to a call of a domestic disturbance at Ptarmigan Apartments on July 6, 2008 at around 5 a.m., according to Keats. Maitland was in the parking lot when they arrived, said the prosecutor.

The five-foot-seven, 150-pound woman was barefoot and wearing only shorts and a T-shirt when she was arrested.

Maitland said she was pepper sprayed again while she was sitting in the back of the police cruiser. Keats said it was because Maitland was yelling and smearing blood from her injury on the inside of the vehicle.

The prosecutor said Maitland was behaving aggressively – screaming, swearing and waving her arms in the air when Const. Unger tried to arrest her.

Maitland told the court that Const. Unger threw her against the cruiser before forcing her into the vehicle. “They opened the door and threw me in head first … then they kicked me in the butt,” she told the court.

Keats asked for details about the hours leading up to the parking lot altercation and the soft-spoken woman said she didn’t remember much of the evening.

She told the court she’d been to the Raven pub for several hours that night.

An ambulance attendant testified she told him she had consumed 12 beer.

Keats told the court the two officers had previously responded to a call to the woman’s apartment that evening where Maitland and her fiance were fighting loudly.

Maitland testified she had no memory of their initial visit.

After police left, Maitland and her fiance continued arguing. Maitland said she cut her arm in two places when she hit a window twice. Both Maitland and her fiance said her arm was bleeding profusely when she left the apartment.

Her fiance told the court they were arguing because he disapproved of her drinking. A Type 1 diabetic, Maitland was also taking medication for anxiety and depression.

She said she had not taken her scheduled insulin that night. She told the judge that the medication she’s taken for seven years to treat anxiety and depression affects her memory.

“It makes things a little more fuzzy,” she said.

The fiance said Maitland was extremely intoxicated and he’d been unable to control her. He became flushed and cried as he told the court about watching Maitland interact with the police after she’d been pepper sprayed the first time.

“I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing,” he told the court. “He lifted his boot and kicked her in the butt and started laughing to the other officer.”

An ambulance arrived after Maitland was restrained in the police cruiser. The fiance said he told the driver of the ambulance about Maitland’s medical condition.

Another ambulance attendant, Craig MacLean, testified Maitland resisted treatment, and was swearing and spitting as he tried to assist her.

When questioned by defence lawyer Jay Bran, MacLean said her combative attitude may have been caused by her diabetic state.

When asked about her behaviour in the police cruiser, the ambulance and the hospital, Maitland said she was confused and couldn’t see because the pepper spray had gotten in her eyes.

“I’m not really sure what I was doing because I couldn’t see … I was yelling and screaming because I was in pain,” she said. “My head hurt, my neck hurt, my throat, eyes (and) nose were burning,”

She said she regained her vision after a doctor treated her at the hospital. The injury to her wrist required eight stitches.

After being treated at the hospital, Maitland spent more than eight hours in the drunk tank.

She testified she later received medical attention for an injured toe, which she said was broken by one of the police officers during her arrest.

Maitland said she couldn’t work for two weeks because her job as a cleaner at the hospital required her to be on her feet for long periods of time.

The trial had originally begun April 2, but was adjourned until Aug. 26 and continued until last Friday. The trial resumes Sept. 11.

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