Is the ABEL Assessment a valid tool for determining interest in paraphilias?
2 attorney answers
I have used the ABEL assessment in defending clients accused of pedophilic crimes twice in one court and once in another. The prosecutor in the court where I used it twice relied on it enough to offer my clients pre-plea diversion with therapy instead of a conviction. The other prosecutor laughed it off as a joke. We went to trial and my client was acquitted (much to the prosecutor's consternation). I was not able to introduce the ABEL test at trial.
I don't know if that helps, but that has been my experience with the ABEL assessment.
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The assessment is specifically designed to measure a client's sexual interests and obtain information regarding involvement in a number of abusive or problematic sexual behaviors. However, depends upon what county or court your case is tried. With most assessment, there are ways to validate it or invalidate it. That depends upon your attorney and the expert that he utilizes. Again like any assessment as a defense attorney, either I can utilize it toward favorable result or I can poke a hole in validity of the assessment in general, as it has subjective measurement component.
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I've described the test that was given to me to others and, in at least one instance, I heard the test described as a "K" test... the test you used and the one I saw may have been different since the original ABEL assessment had legitimate value. Showing images that are obviously staged and judging the viewing time seemed like little more than a formality. I appreciate your experience, however.