Parts of this post were used in Aggravated.
Overview of the Summary
In September 2004, Steve’s original attorney, Roland Mathis, filed a motion requesting records from any medical or psychiatric reports that the DA’s office might have. Hanna’s medical records and Ada Dixon’s session notes were the two primary things Mathis was looking for. It was nearly the end of April 2005 before the doctor’s reports were submitted to the court. Ada Dixon also provided a summary of some of her therapy sessions with Hanna. I don’t know the exact date, but it was mentioned during a late-2004 brainstorming session between the investigator, Tom Swearingen, Steve and Roland Mathis. I didn’t see the summary until mid-2016 when I obtained a copy of it from the DA’s office, but they talked about it during the brainstorming session, so I knew they already had it by late 2004.
Steve said that originally Dixon resisted releasing anything, but she eventually wrote a summary of her session notes and — probably sometime in early October 2004 — submitted it to Judge Hawes for approval. He ruled that the summary, which consisted of just two pages of notes (covering five sessions Hanna had with Dixon between May and September 2004), would be acceptable.
The summary covers a fifteen-week period between April 27th and September 5th, so Dixon only gave the court a summary of about a third of her earliest sessions with Hanna, and she squeezed those onto two pages. Three of those sessions were in May, the first sessions Hanna had with Dixon. The summary then jumped to mid-August, and then to early-September.
I believe that Dixon chose the five sessions she thought were most likely to highlight her client’s victimization. Here’s the important point, though. Every incident that Dixon listed came from Hanna’s mind, not from any other witness or video or forensic proof. The excerpts Dixon chose to reveal to the court were, I think, based on those stories that were the most negative toward Steve, or that illustrated a particular point that was included in the indictment against him.
Early in the brainstorming session they brought up a few important points. Steve told Tom that Hanna was claiming that the molestation happened “over ninety times, and just all the time, anytime, anywhere.” He added that Hanna said it “happened in front of my daughter, in front of my wife, in the bed. Everywhere. In the truck with my son. It just goes on and on.”
In April 2004, Hanna said in her affidavit (under oath), that she had been abused “several times,” but a little over four months later — after twelve to twenty visits to her counselor — the number had risen from “several” to ninety. What happened between the end of April and early-September was that Hanna started having therapy sessions with Ada Dixon.
On September 7th, 2004, Hanna told Dixon, “We had sexual experiences approximately ninety times,” and it “lasted almost three years.” In her affidavit, though, Hanna said it was “several times over the past 3 years.” A note from Deputy Knox after he interviewed her, said that Hanna had told him that “she had been sexually abused by Steve Sirois about 50 times over the past three years.” Even that number nearly doubled after she had sessions with Dixon. The disparity between the claims of “several,” “fifty,” and “ninety” times should make it clear that Hanna’s story was fluid leading up to 2006 (in my opinion because she was still constructing and perfecting it). As the trial approached, she settled on the number “eighty to ninety” incidents of molestation.
In the book, Aggravated, using Hanna’s own timeline, I show that the molestation she alleged (which I don’t believe ever occurred) would have taken place during a period of no more than two years and a couple of months (not three years), and I also use a variety of data to show why the number of opportunities Steve had to commit any of the acts she claimed was near zero.
Dixon’s summary also handily mentioned the three incidents alleged in the affidavit, and added several more, like a twenty minute ride to see the first Harry Potter movie, during which, Hanna said she fondled and masturbated Steve while she was in the back seat and Steve was in the front passenger seat. She said all of this was done in the presence of three other witnesses in the truck (Steve’s son and daughter, and Hanna’s brother, Aaron), and she also claimed that fondling and masturbation occurred inside the movie theater, all of which is thoroughly discredited in Aggravated (partly by proving that some of it would have been physically impossible). That ride to the movies got added to the stories she told in the trial, along with some others which surfaced during her sessions with Dixon.
We’re not quite through with the summary. In the next post, I have something to say about a few alleged incidents that became part of the trial. Some were mentioned in the affidavit, but not in the summary, and vice-versa.
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