Polygraph Testing Case Studies

Case Study: Attorney's Quandary©

(All names have been changed to maintain the privacy of the individuals.)

A local attorney called our office asking for advice. He represented a young man who was accused of rape. The alleged victim and her parents were pressuring the police to make an arrest but the police were skeptical of the victim’s story. They thought the sexual contact between the two might have been consensual.

The police had offered the young man the opportunity to take a polygraph examination to clear his name. If his polygraph test indicated he was telling the truth when he denied raping the young woman, the police would not charge him with any crime. The attorney asked Mr. Bassett to test the young man first. He passed Mr. Bassett’s polygraph test. No rape had occurred. After reviewing the findings, the police decided that giving the young man a second polygraph test was unnecessary. No rape charge was brought. An innocent man avoided the cost and emotional toll of a criminal trial.

Case Study: Employee Theft©

A $1500 cash deposit was missing from the store’s safe. Since only five managers had the safe combination, it was assumed that one of them had committed the theft. Up until now, all five had been trusted employees.

At first, the company wanted to ask all five managers to take polygraph examinations. However, none of the five had exhibited “reasonable suspicion” as outlined in the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) of 1988 and necessary to satisfy the requirements of the Federal polygraph law. Upon contacting us, we advised the company to administer Specific Loss Questionnaires™ to each manager with the hope that the answers provided by one or more of them would provide the basis for “reasonable suspicion” required by the law for polygraph testing.

One of the managers — Eleanor — provided the following answers to the questions below:

SLQ Question #7: “Suppose the investigation of this crime is completed. You are approached by the chief investigator who says to you, ‘We have collected all the facts and analyzed them. There is no doubt that YOU committed this theft.’ What would you say to him?”

Eleanor’s response was, “I would tell him I quit.”

SLQ Question #9: “Suppose you were charged with this theft and the case went to court. If you had the chance to tell the judge anything you wanted to tell him or her, what would you say?”

Eleanor’s answer was, “I would ask them if they could just give me community service.”

We offered our opinion that Eleanor’s answers to these questions provided a basis for reasonable suspicion that she had stolen the deposit. The store’s attorney concurred. Eleanor took the polygraph test and flunked. When she was confronted with her polygraph test results, Eleanor confessed.

Case Study: Suspected Infidelity©

Sylvia suspected that her husband, Frank, was cheating on her. After three months of counseling, the marriage counselor threw up her hands in frustration. She told them that they could make no progress until they learned whether or not Frank had been unfaithful to Sylvia. The counselor suggested that the couple call our office for a polygraph examination. Both readily agreed.

Frank answered this pertinent question on his polygraph examination:

Since you married Sylvia, have you had sexual relations with anyone else?”

When Frank said “No”, the polygraph said he was telling the truth. Frank and Sylvia completed counseling successfully and are still together.

Contact us for more information about our polygraph testing in the Jacksonville, FL area or for a referral to a qualified polygraph examiner in your area.