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Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse (Read 10429 times)
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Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse
Feb 17th, 2004 at 7:09pm
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Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse

By JOHN SOLOMON
Associated Press Writer


WASHINGTON (AP)--The former chief internal watchdog at the FBI has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl and has admitted he had a history of molesting other children before he joined the bureau for a two-decade career.

John H. Conditt Jr., 53, who retired in 2001, was sentenced last Friday to 12 years in prison in Tarrant County court in Fort Worth, Texas, after he admitted he molested the daughter of two FBI agents after he retired. He acknowledged molesting at least two other girls before his law enforcement career, his lawyer said.

Conditt sought treatment for sex offenders after his arrest last year, said his attorney, Toby Goldsmith.

``The problem these people have is they don't really feel like it is their fault,'' Goldsmith said. ``The treatment doesn't work unless you admit you are the one who instigated it, and he did that.''

Conditt headed the internal affairs unit that investigates agent wrongdoing for the Office of Professional Responsibility at FBI headquarters in Washington from 1999 until his retirement in June 2001, the FBI said. He wrote articles in law enforcement journals on how police agencies could effectively investigate their own conduct.

FBI officials said Tuesday they had no information to suggest that Conditt had any problems during his career and he was never the subject of an investigation.

Goldsmith said he was concerned about the safety of his client in prison given that he is a former FBI agent and an admitted child molester. ``He's not going to be comfortable in the penitentiary,'' the lawyer said.

Goldsmith said his client had admitted that he had molested at least two other girls before he became an FBI agent more than 30 years ago, but that there was no evidence of any wrongdoing while he served in the bureau.

``It seems that he never did because he had stricter control at that time,'' the lawyer said.

Conditt could have faced life in prison, and prosecutors requested he get 50 years. The judge sentenced him to 12 years in prison, in part citing Conditt's decision to spare the victim the trauma of a trial, Goldsmith said.

Conditt's conviction is the latest controversy to strike the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility.

Last year, FBI Director Robert Mueller transferred the head of the office to another supervisory assignment outside Washington, three months after rebuking him for his conduct toward a whistleblower.

That whistleblower, John Roberts, alleged the FBI disciplinary office had a double standard that let supervisors off easier than line agents.

Those allegations prompted investigations by Congress and the Justice Department inspector general. The latter concluded there was no systematic favoritism of senior managers over rank-and-file employees but there was a double standard in some cases involving crude sexual jokes and remarks.


AP-NY-02-17-04 1508EST

Copyright 2004, The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP Online news report may not be published, broadcast or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/ap/ap_story.html/National/AP.V4502.AP-FBI-C...
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Re: Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse
Reply #1 - Feb 17th, 2004 at 8:47pm
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Human Subject,

Conditt Jr. began his career with the FBI more than 30 years ago.  I don't believe he was subject to polygraph testing.  You can't blame this one on the poly.  If Conditt Jr. had been administered a polygraph prior to his employment with the FBI it is at least possible that his illegal activities would have been discovered.  (Again, I'm assuming he did not take a polygraph) Does anyone know when the FBI began screening applicants with the polygraph?

This article probably makes a good argument FOR pre-employment polygraph testing.  I have had a significant number of admissions made by applicants relating to incidents of child molestation.  Quite frankly, without polygraph these issues would never have come to light.    These admissions have come after the applicant has failed a CRIME related question.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse
Reply #2 - Feb 17th, 2004 at 10:53pm
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True enough, I think it was 1983.
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Re: Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse
Reply #3 - Feb 18th, 2004 at 1:25am
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Failed only because they were stupid enough to believe the polygraph worked. I mean, I'm glad those people were caught, but the "tool" is so easily beaten that you have to wonder how many have dodged that bullet.
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Re: Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse
Reply #4 - Feb 18th, 2004 at 2:51am
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The FBI began pre-employment polygraph screening in 1994, in reaction to the Aldrich Ames espionage case (strangely enough, because Ames had twice beaten the polygraph).
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Re: Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse
Reply #5 - Feb 18th, 2004 at 3:15am
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Mr. Truth,

Taking Mr. Conditt's case as an example, would you agree that had he been administered a pre-employment exam by the FBI there would have been at least a chance that his hidden illegal activities would have been discovered?  Would this not be the case for every child molester, drug dealer and criminal that applies for a law enforcement position?  

Do you have a better way to detect hidden issues in an applicant's background?

Here's an example. Ten child molesters apply for the FBI; five are detected using the polygraph, five "beat" the test using George's CM's.  That's still five less child molestors working for the FBI.  (As a disclaimer, I'm using these numbers as an example. These days I think the poly is rarely beaten by applicants using CM's.  In fact, I had an applicant admit to a rape AND use of CM's learned on this site...he had a hard time suppressing his relevant responses  Wink)

What do you think?

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Re: Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse
Reply #6 - Feb 18th, 2004 at 3:53am
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Ray,

First, I must admit that I agree with one of your thoughts - using your example, keeping five child molestors out of the FBI (or whatever applicable agency) is a very good thing.  However, we seem to also agree that a number of child molestors may actually move past the polygraph and perhaps even the background investigation phase.  That's bad.  One other point neglected - what about those 1 or 2 qualified candidates that might be unfairly labeled as child molestors because of this flawed process?  Is it really worth it?  Certainly the perfect tool does not exists.  But should we be using this one in the mean time?

However, my primary reason for responding to your post was your mention of an examinee that admitted to both rape and the attempted use of countermeasures.  You state "he had a hard time suppressing his relevant responses."  In this case, your subject was actually guilty.  Could you comment then on the use of countermeasures by those that do not need to lie on relevant questions but would rather reduce the chance of a false positive? 

I firmly believe that, by having knowledge of control question polygraph tests (meaning being able to effectively differentiate between control/relevant/irrelevant), an applicant is at a severe disadvantage in that responses to probable lie control questions will not be adequate simply because the "fight or flight" response allegedly measured by the machine will not necessarily be present.  In this case, should the examinee become "bothered" (in ways other than actually lying) by a relevant question and a response results, that examinee would most likely be considered to show deception for that relevant question.  Please comment and by all means correct any of my statements as needed.  Thanks.
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Re: Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse
Reply #7 - Feb 18th, 2004 at 4:59am
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Ray wrote on Feb 18th, 2004 at 3:15am:
Mr. Truth,
..In fact, I had an applicant admit to a rape AND use of CM's learned on this site...he had a hard time suppressing his relevant responses  Wink)

Congratulations Ray. I hope the rape admission is admissible evidence in your state. As for the CM's taught on this site, I don't believe "suppressing his relevant responses"  is the teaching though it is an  often described ad-hoc CM.

As for Anonymous's post, I too am concerned that persons that are aware of the various polygraph techniques, but for personal reasons decide not to use CMs, are more apt to produce a false positive or inconclusive result.

-Marty
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Re: Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse
Reply #8 - Feb 18th, 2004 at 5:44am
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Ray,

You would have us believe that a law enforcement applicant who applied countermeasures learned on this website decided to admit to the same AND confess to a felony crime (rape). Tell us, then:

1) What happened to this applicant next?

2) Was he arrested? If not, why not?

3) If he was in fact arrested, then you should have no objection to posting the confessed rapist's name. After all, arrests are public records.

4) Were criminal charges filed based on the confession you say you obtained? If not, why not, and what is the disposition of this case now?

5) If criminal charges were filed, what is the docket number of the case?
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Re: Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse
Reply #9 - Feb 18th, 2004 at 1:57pm
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Anonymous Too,

Quote:
Ray,

You would have us believe that a law enforcement applicant who applied countermeasures learned on this website decided to admit to the same AND confess to a felony crime (rape). Tell us, then:

1) What happened to this applicant next?

2) Was he arrested? If not, why not?

3) If he was in fact arrested, then you should have no objection to posting the confessed rapist's name. After all, arrests are public records.

4) Were criminal charges filed based on the confession you say you obtained? If not, why not, and what is the disposition of this case now?

5) If criminal charges were filed, what is the docket number of the case?


Would you have us believe that another polygraph operator has fabricated a story to suit his purposes?  Shocking!?!  Shocked  Your logic concerning his story leaves Ray precious little room in not providing the information you seek should he care to retain any credibility whatsover.  Time to show em or fold em, Ray...
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1) WhRe: Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse
Reply #10 - Feb 18th, 2004 at 5:34pm
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Anonymous and Marty,

You make some valid points in your posts.  I'll try to address each of them to the best of my ability. 

Quote:
However, we seem to also agree that a number of child molestors may actually move past the polygraph and perhaps even the background investigation phase.


I think a very minimal number of applicants with relevant issues "move past" the polygraph, with or without the use of George's CM's.  The point here is that there is no effective alternative to the polygraph when it comes to uncovering undisclosed activities such as criminal activity.  The majority of admissions that occur in pre-employment polys would NOT be discovered in an intense background investigation.

Quote:
One other point neglected - what about those 1 or 2 qualified candidates that might be unfairly labeled as child molestors because of this flawed process?


First of all, no applicant is labeled a "child molestor" at least by my department.  Child molestation falls within a larger category of "crime."  Let's just say this - an applicant who fails this question is usually going to take you to the problem. 

I believe false positives occur but, they occur far less than most anti-poly people think.  I think it is unfortunate when it happens and I genuinly feel bad for those that have gone through it.  However, failing one department's or agency's polygraph DOES NOT bar you from employment with another agency or department.  This is a fact. 

Quote:
persons that are aware of the various polygraph techniques, but for personal reasons decide not to use CMs, are more apt to produce a false positive or inconclusive result.


Here's my take on this.  First of all, if an examinee fails to tell me what he or she knows about polygraph then that's on them.  I can't read minds Smiley  However, I understand why they may be reluctant to speak with me openly because this site puts an examinee between a rock and a hard place. George and other posters on this site present examiners as being evil and the enemy (not an exact quote but you get my drift) Make no admissions!!!  The reality is that if an applicant tells me what he or she knows I'll have a better opportunity to present a fair test.  It makes my job more difficult but then it's on me.

If an applicant fails to tell me what they know then the test essentially becomes a known-lie test.  IMO, this test is still valid however I think the odds of inconclusive results are somewhat increased. 

I agree that this is an issue that needs further exploring.

Anonymous Too,

How ironic is it that you're asking me to identify myself, my employer and an applicant while you call yourself ANONYMOUS TOO.  Anyway, let me answer your questions.

1) What happened to this applicant next? He was disqualified from the process.

2) Was he arrested? If not, why not? Unfortunately he was not.  The two primary reasons are 1) length of time that had elapsed since the crime  2)  Applicant could/would not identify the victim.   No victim no crime. 

3) If he was in fact arrested, then you should have no objection to posting the confessed rapist's name. After all, arrests are public records.  Even if he had been charged I would not identify him because he was an applicant when these disclosures were made.  We have a non-disclosure policy.  If he is reading these boards (you know who you are) perhaps he'd like to post his name Smiley   

4) Were criminal charges filed based on the confession you say you obtained? If not, why not, and what is the disposition of this case now?   Again, statute of limitations and no victim identified.  Being in law enforcement, you should understand how difficult rape cases are even with a victim identified.  Very unfortunate and often frustrating cases to work.

In my experience, most applicants are not charged for the crimes they disclose.  It all depends on the time frame surrounding the criminal activity, nature of the crime and supporting evidence. 



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Re: Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse
Reply #11 - Feb 18th, 2004 at 6:21pm
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Ray,

Thank you for your reply.  I appreciate your genuine and non-hostile response.

I agree with much of what you stated.  Regarding applicants being labeled child molesters (just realized this is the correct spelling), I understand that falls under a more specific testing category (at least with pre-employment screening) and this just happens to be what your applicant admitted to.  I was just going along with your example.  Sorry for the confusion.

Given your statements regarding knowledge of the polygraph, what would be your recommendation to someone facing a pre-employment polygraph that, although able to differentiate between questions types and understanding of each type's purpose, chooses not to use any types of countermeasures?  I've gathered that you feel an applicant should be honest about this knowledge.  What MIGHT happen next?  I realize you can't speak for every agency/every examiner.  What would you do in this case?

Also, what are your feelings on cognitive/mental countermeasures?  I've seen various statements indicating that (assuming one does not need to lie on relevant questions) several methods exist to provide a measurable response to controls in an effort to pass but WITHOUT using any type of detectable physical tactic.  Are these countermeasures, in your opinion, "seen" on the charts upon examination? 

Thanks again for the response.  Your willingness to share your knowledge is much appreciated.
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Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse
Reply #12 - Feb 19th, 2004 at 3:50am
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Ray,

You write, among other things:

Quote:
Here's my take on this.  First of all, if an examinee fails to tell me what he or she knows about polygraph then that's on them.  I can't read minds   However, I understand why they may be reluctant to speak with me openly because this site puts an examinee between a rock and a hard place. George and other posters on this site present examiners as being evil and the enemy (not an exact quote but you get my drift) Make no admissions!!!  The reality is that if an applicant tells me what he or she knows I'll have a better opportunity to present a fair test.  It makes my job more difficult but then it's on me.


I would not characterize polygraphers as being generally "evil" or "the enemy." A polygraph interrogation is, however, an adversarial situation. As polygrapher Jack Trimarco put it in a candid moment with a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, "You have to go in there with a gladiator mentality... It's a competition, and you have to win."

The American Polygraph Association seems unwilling to publicly state how its members are to handle subjects who admit to understanding polygraph procedure and countermeasures. APA president Skip Webb offered only a flippant, non-responsive reply when I put the question to him:

http://antipolygraph.org/read.shtml#informed-subjects

Until such time as the polygraph community publicly and unambiguously states how individuals admitting to knowledge of polygraph procedure and countermeasures are to be handled, and offers some credible assurance that such individuals will not be subjected to retaliation, reasonable people might wisely choose to conceal their knowledge of polygraphy from their polygraphers.
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Re: Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse
Reply #13 - Feb 19th, 2004 at 10:14am
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Ray,

You write:

Quote:
...The reality is that if an applicant tells me what he or she knows I'll have a better opportunity to present a fair test....


I tend to believe this is is complete and utter nonsense.  Please demonstrate my lack of faith not to be justified.  If that which you say is true please explain how you will modify your CQT exam when an examinee tells you that they understand the difference between relevant and control questions, what the true (not polygraph-exam stated) purpose is of these questions, and that they are fully aware of the lay and scientific writings dealing with countermeasures.  Absent a reasonable explanation from you as to how you would modify your examination, any examinee who would tell you of such knowledge is an absolute fool and has only himself/herself to blame for the DI result and likely accusation of countermeasure useage to follow...
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Re: 1) WhRe: Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Child A
Reply #14 - Feb 19th, 2004 at 8:00pm
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Ray wrote on Feb 18th, 2004 at 5:34pm:
If an applicant fails to tell me what they know then the test essentially becomes a known-lie test.  IMO, this test is still valid however I think the odds of inconclusive results are somewhat increased.

Ray,
I'm not sure what you mean here. I assume you mean a DLCQT?? Matte spends considerable effort in his books bashing the DLCQT and is of the belief that it yields too many false negatives - not false positives.

I am rather intrigued by Matte's use of additional questions, to hopefully address both fear the poly works and fear that it doesn't, as a means of compensating for the obvious anxiety a specific incident, forensic poly produces on the relevant questions. Possibly valuable to reduce false positives for uninformed subjects.  Again, I see this as something that is dubious in the case of an informed examinee.  I have found Matte silent on how an "informed" status impacts his exam assumptions though he asserts, by way of a cross examination script, that the testifying polygrapher would be just as accurately examined themselves. The obvious followup questions were not even broached in the script - nor in any other I read. So IMO the script's position (and Matte's presumably) is bluster.

-Marty
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