Eileen Treacy and the Michaels case

November 10, 2016

Dr. Eileen Treacy, a psychologist who testified for the prosecution in the Kelly Michaels case, has been the subject of remarkably unfair attacks by those who claim the Michaels case was a “witch-hunt.” There is a detailed section in The Witch-Hunt Narrative documenting numerous inaccurate claims about Dr. Treacy (Cheit, 2014, pp. 253-261). New York Supreme Court Judge Ralph Fabrizio has added to that material by clearly debunking the lingering claim by defense lawyers that Dr. Treacy’s actions in the Michaels case provide some basis for impeaching her testimony. They don’t. As Judge Fabrizio put it last April:

“Contrary to defendant’s argument, there was no judicial finding in the Michaels case that Dr. Treacy lied or that her testimony was not credible. The finding was that there was an insufficient foundation to support admission of her unobjected-to opinion that the behavior of the child victims in that case was consistent with their having been sexually abused…” 

“…the Michaels court was not at all troubled by the testimony offered by Dr. Treacy which did explain factors that jury could consider to assess credibility of the  alleged victims in terms of their delayed reporting. That is precisely the expert testimony proffered in this matter. The Court has already limited the scope of Dr. Treacy’s testimony to this area. Thus, the past ruling by the Michaels court has no impeachment value whatsoever. If anything, this line of cross-examination, if permitted, would tend to confuse the jury. At most, the Michaels ruling is a rebuke of the trial judge to allow a witness to offer legally inadmissible opinion testimony. This ruling has no impact on Dr. Treacy’s general credibility, let alone to her specific credibility concerning the subject matter of her proffered testimony in this case.” (People v. Wilson, Supreme Court of New York, Bronx County, Indictment No. 3089/2014)