Ohio judge forces rape victims to take polygraph tests

The Plain Dealer in Ohio is reporting that Cuyahoga Juvenile Court Judge Alison Floyd has ordered at least four teenage girls, all victims of sexual assault, to submit to lie detector tests.

It is unclear from her orders what Floyd’s intention was in having victims take polygraph exams or what questions would be asked of them.

“The situation made no sense to us,” the mother of a 16-year-old victim said in a message relayed through Cleveland Rape Crisis Center Director of Advocacy Ashley Hawke.

“I believe even more damage was done by the judge letting the perpetrator know she was ordering the victim to take the polygraph. He apparently took this to mean the judge did not believe her and he used this to tell their peers that the judge did not believe her and was ordering her take a lie detector test,” the mother wrote.

“It felt like the blame was back on her and she was being victimized, by not only him [again], but by the system as well.” (Emphasis mine)

Exactly. And I have to wonder how many robbery victims Judge Floyd orders to take lie detector tests. I’m guessing none. By making these young women submit to polygraphs, the judge is sending a very clear message: I don’t trust you, the system doesn’t trust you, and you won’t find justice here.

The office of prosecutor Bill Mason has filed briefs asking the judge to stop ordering rape victims to take polygraph tests, arguing that Floyd doesn’t have authority over victims and that the orders violate Ohio’s rape shield law.

In the meantime, you can find Judge Floyd’s contact information here.

Join the Conversation