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Some Mallery testimony kept from jury

As the child sex-abuse trial of Pacific University administrator Michael Mallery entered its final stages Friday, his defense attorney struggled to show that the older alleged victim may have mental health issues that could have clouded her testimony.

Mallery, 48, is charged with seven counts of first-degree sex abuse stemming from incidents that allegedly occurred in 2010 and 2013 and involved two female relatives who are now 11 and 15 years old. Closing statements from the prosecution and defense are expected Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court.

Judge Thomas W. Kohl has kept some of the more than 3,000 pages of documentation in the case — many related to the 15-year-old’s medical and psychological history — from being presented to the jury.

At one point March 14, Kohl warned defense attorney Richard Cohen of Cohen & Coit law firm in Clackamas that he had been “testing my patience throughout the trial” as Cohen tried to provide a defense for his client without the ability to introduce evidence that one of his accusers has been diagnosed with mental disorders.

Lesley Hallick, president of Pacific University, testified that she had worked with Mallery — the Forest Grove school’s vice-president of finance and administration — for 10 years at both Oregon Health & Science University and Pacific. “I have worked with a lot of financial officers over the years and I have never known one to have the integrity, the insight and the character of Mr. Mallery,” said Hallick.

Dr. Christopher Johnson, a Vancouver, Wash., psychologist, testified without the jury present that the older girl had been assigned a “Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF)” score of 25, which he said is “extremely low” and “suggests a dramatic level of dysfunction if not psychotic adaptation.”

Later, on the stand, Johnson said that when a child is subjected to multiple interviews or counseled multiple times regarding an event, collation of the many reports can influence what is eventually produced. “You don’t know what the child has been exposed to,” he said, explaining that some of the material comes not from professionals, but from parents or others with their own particular biases. “So, it can be a huge problem as to whether it represents what actually occurred.”

Other testimony returned to issues that had been covered in the courtroom before: Mallery's behavior around children and hot-tubbing practices.

Called by the defense, Mallery’s cousin, Holly Ensign, testified that “I would let him watch my kids alone.”

Under cross-examination, Senior Deputy District Attorney Kevin Barton asked Ensign if she had ever seen Mallery in a hot tub. She indicated she had. “Was he wearing a swimsuit?”

“Yes. I would certainly remember if he wasn’t … I’d be totally freaked out,” she replied.

Barton reminded the jury that the older child had testified earlier in the week that Mallery had hot-tubbed with her naked several years ago. He asked Ensign whether she thought it was appropriate for a man in his forties to hot-tub with an 11-year-old.

“I think there is potentially context to it, if it is dark and whatever,” said Ensign. “I know my in-laws always hot-tub naked with their children and with my children, to be honest.”

But when Barton repeated the question, pressing for Ensign’s opinion of the practice in Mallery’s case, she also said “I think that would be a lapse in judgment.”

In re-direct, Cohen asked whether Ensign believed an adult man hot-tubbing with an 11-year-old was “sexual.”

“No, I don’t,” Ensign replied.

Kohl has ordered Sarah Haggerty, mother of the children involved in the case, to return to the stand when the trial resumes Tuesday. Closing arguments are expected following her testimony.



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