Lawyer for CDC official accused of molestation seeks to use polygraph evidence

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official charged with molesting a 6-year-old boy wants a favorable polygraph test entered into evidence — unprecedented in Georgia criminal cases, her lawyer says.

Bob Rubin filed the motion last week in DeKalb County Superior Court on behalf of his client, Kimberly Quinlan Lindsey, indicted in January along with her husband, Thomas J. Westerman, on two counts of child molestation each. He says changes to the state’s evidence code, revised effective Jan. 1, 2013 to more closely mirror federal evidence guidelines, allows for the admission of lie detector exams.

“(We) ask the court to permit the introduction of polygraph evidence only in cases, such as the present case, in which the evidentiary proponent presents ‘clear and convincing proof’ that the polygraph evidence at issue is reliable,” Lindsey’s defense team wrote.

The test was administered by former FBI polygrapher Marc Foster, who asked Lindsey, 45, whether she had sexual contact with the 6-year-old or participated in illicit acts in his presence, as alleged in the indictment. Her denials “are not indicative of deception,” Foster wrote.

University of Georgia law professor Ron Carlson said Lindsey’s defense team faces an uphill battle.

“But this is not a frivolous request by any means,” Carlson said. “A former FBI examiner — you can’t get any better than that.”

Concerns about accuracy and the “overly influential nature” of the tests have led most judges to block their admission, Carlson said.

However, “there are some judges that have been sympathetic,” he said, adding, “It may not work on the trial level but could be used in an appeal. They’re definitely seeking to break new ground.”

The defense also moved to introduce the findings of behavioral scientist Gene Abel, who met with Lindsey before her indictment and concluded she was not a pedophile.

The allegations against her are “inconsistent with the results of her testing,” said Abel, according to court documents.

The DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office doesn’t comment on pending cases, spokesman Erik Burton said when asked about the motions Thursday.

Lindsey faces the possibility of life in prison if found guilty of the charges. Her husband, Westerman, faced similar accusations in 2008 but was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Those allegations coincided with a divorce suit brought by his first wife. Attorneys for Westerman and Lindsey have suggested that lingering acrimony from that case led to the current charges.

DeKalb police were notified of the accusations against the couple in August 2011 by a pediatrician who learned of the alleged abuse from the boy’s grandmother.

Lindsey, an Emory University graduate, returned to work soon after her arrest in October 2011. She’s been with the CDC since 1999 and at one point was responsible for overseeing a $1.5 billion fiscal allocation process for terrorism preparedness.

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