Psychologist takes stand in State's case against Coe - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Psychologist takes stand in State's case against Coe

Dr. Amy Phenix testified Coe fits the definition of a violent sexual predator. Dr. Amy Phenix testified Coe fits the definition of a violent sexual predator.
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The State's main and last witness in the case against Kevin Coe took the stand on Wednesday for the second straight day.  Dr. Amy Phenix, a psychologist, has maintained for years that Coe deserves to remain in state custody because he fits the definition of a violent sexual predator.

Phenix began her testimony on Tuesday, right after Coe's testimony on the stand.  She continued to answer questions all day Wednesday.

When asked by State attorneys whether she believes Coe's alleged metal abnormality predisposes him to commit violent sexual acts, she said, "Yes, absolutely."

"In what way?" the state's attorney asked.

"Um, he has one of the most compulsive paraphilias that I have seen," she responded.

It was Phenix's diagnosis of Coe that quite possibly brought Coe to where he is today.  Her testimony in his probable cause hearing in 2006 set the case on a long road to trial. 

"He is a person with a paraphilia and he is aroused to rape," she said on the stand.

Phenix, who has spent more than 500 hours reviewing some 70,000 pages of documents, says Coe suffers from several types of paraphilia, or sexual abnormalities. 

"A drive toward non-consenting sex, a drive toward abnormal sexual behaviors that are against the law," she explained.

Phenix used several databases to come up with her with her conclusion.  She also requested that Coe take a sexual arousal test.  The court ordered that test in 2007.  He refused to take the test, prompting a stipulation by both sides to be read in court:

"The jury may infer from Mr. Coe's refusal that he is deviantly aroused by forcible, non-consensual contact with adult women."

The defense wasted no time in challenging the issue.  It was one of the first issues they brought up on cross-examination, asking what advantage Coe would have to take the test.

"If he flatlined, would you find that he didn't meet the definition?" asked the defense lawyer to Dr. Phenix.

"What definition?" Phenix responded.

"Of a sexually violent predator.  Would you have changed your opinion that you had already made prior to the request to do the test?"

"Uh, no.  That would not have changed my opinion due to the overwhelming evidence from his behaviors," Phenix shot back.

Phenix was due to be back on the stand Thursday morning to answer questions from the defense in cross-examination.  After Phenix's testimony is completed, the State will rest its case and allow Coe's defense attorneys to call their witnesses.

The defense's first witness is expected to be Kathleen Coe, Kevin's sister.
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