Doctors dueled over a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder Thursday in the final day of testimony in the rape trial of former University of Montana quarterback Jordan Johnson.

One physician, a paid expert witness for the defense, reviewed the counseling and medical records from UM’s Curry Health Center of the woman who says Johnson raped her on Feb. 4, 2012. Nothing in those records supported the PTSD diagnosis of one of the four people who treated her there, Dr. William Stratford testified.

“While there were some symptoms for sure – she was crying, she felt particularly low – the criteria for PTSD were not met in a way that would match this book,” said Stratford, brandishing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders that’s the standard for such diagnoses.

But one of those four who treated the woman at UM, Curry’s Dr. David Bell, testified Thursday afternoon as a rebuttal witness for the prosecution that although he never wrote down PTSD as a diagnosis, the woman met all the criteria for the disorder.

“Viewed in totality,” Bell said, referring to the records of all four people who treated the woman over several months last year, “there’s documentation … that she met all of the criteria for PTSD.”

Both physicians testified that sexual assault is a leading cause of PTSD in women.

Johnson, who testified Monday and again Wednesday, maintains that he and the woman had consensual sex as they watched a movie at her house. He faces a charge of sexual intercourse without consent, which carries a maximum sentence of 100 years to life in prison.

On Friday, after closing arguments and Missoula District Court Judge Karen Townsend’s instructions to jurors, the seven-woman, five-man jury will begin deliberations.

Much of Thursday morning’s testimony focused on the PTSD diagnosis by Drew Colling, a counselor who treated the woman at UM’s Counseling and Psychological Services Center.

Colling, who also testified during the trial, was the third UM counselor to treat the woman. Neither of the other two, nor Bell, diagnosed PTSD. However, the other two counselors saw her within 30 days of the incident. One criterion for PTSD is that its effects linger beyond 30 days.

That said, Colling’s diagnosis did not include enough of the other criteria for PTSD, Stratford testified.

They did, however, point to an anxiety disorder, which is what the other counselors and Bell mentioned in their reports, he said.

Prosecuting attorney Adam Duerk referenced the reports by Bell and the other counselors, asking Stratford on cross-examination whether those other criteria for PTSD were found in the reports.

Yes, said Stratford – although those criteria also applied to other conditions, such as depression.

“If you make me look at the whole record, that (PTSD) criteria is met. But it’s also consistent with sadness,” he said.

Bell had testified that listing the woman’s disorder as unspecified anxiety was more a coding issue. Such codes are largely used for insurance purposes, he said.

Still, defense attorney David Paoli pointed out on cross-examination, “You thought about PTSD, and you thought about PTSD-type things, and you chose not to enter that code.”

When Duerk questioned Bell, he posed the following: “Regardless of how we label (the woman’s) problems with emotional distress, was she suffering from emotional distress?”

“Yes.”

“What was the basis?”

“My understanding was that it was sexual assault,” Bell said.

Paoli raised his voice when cross-examining Bell about that statement, pointing out that Bell was relying on the woman’s own report that she’d been sexually assaulted.

“You don’t know the cause, do you?” he said.

“I don’t know the cause,” Bell said.

Paoli called Stratford back onto the stand as a rebuttal witness after Bell’s testimony. Stratford said he’d watched that testimony, and that it left him “a little fired up.”

“He cannot tell you what caused anything,” Stratford said.

Missoulian reporter Gwen Florio can be reached at 523-5268, gwen.florio@missoulian.com, or @CopsAndCourts.

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(50) comments

RPT

Not Guilty !!... Glad they got it right.

Leadfoot

I know Dr. Stratford and he has spent a career counseling patients who have suffered many different forms of mental stress or anxiety. He is a straight shooter and calls them as he sees them. Mental Health counselors envision him as a threat to their "expertiece." From day one, there could be no way that the defendant could be proven to be a rapist. He said, she said. His testimony has been solid and consistent. Hers hasn't. Her mental health records were not allowed to be released. Those, I am certain, contained something that the defense knew would have made it easy for the jury to determine that this accuser has had previous problems that would have lead to this accusation. Her male roommate was on the other side of the bedroom door, and yet, no cry of help was forthcoming. Strange? Yet, there was time to immediately send a Text Message to him. How modern is that? The County Atty's Office is under fire from the Feds to get tough on rape in Missoula, Co. So, do they choose one of dozens from the last two years that had clear proof? No, they chose to make an example of a sports leader, who happens to be white, while many of those that stupidly provided physical proof are of the politically incorrect ethnic background. There is none now, nor was there ever ANY proof of sexual assault to bring this case to court, and much less destroy a man's life whether or not he is found guilty. She has been branded the "Victim" by the judge, and he the alleged rapist throughout the case. How much more can the Co. Atty have the deck stacked in his favor? In the end, this quiet, modest young man will be found innocent by not enough evidence to convict....the same as it was on day one of this trial. Juries are much smarter than most people, and I can assure you, most judges, think. In every way, the "victim" has been given the benefit of the doubt throughout this trial to show the world just how unbiased we are. If someone asserts that she has not behaved as such a victim should, the accusations of Woman Hater go out. If Jordi is attacked, man-hater is the cry. Listen, this young man did not rape this young lady with many health problems. When the slowly made judgment of "INNOCENT" comes back (to not appear as a rush to judgment) don't be surprised. That was the inevitable outcome from day one, because the Co. Atty could not manufacture enough confusion to make him, Mr. Johnson, look guilty.

Wrongfully Evicted
Wrongfully Evicted

I'm with Duck and I will support Jordan sueing the county for defamation, the prosecuting attorney team needs to lose their jobs, their livliehood. That isn't a threat on their lives but the way they make money, the crooked way.

Wrongfully Evicted
Wrongfully Evicted

"sexual assault is a leading cause of PTSD". Well Golly I have PTSD my doctors tell me, Its from having cigarette ashes poured in my cereal bowl as a child by my own mother, then beat with a belt until I ate it all. That's for the problem the night before when she beat me again and made me all President Nixon from our Kalispell home. But of course it could be caused, apparently from the two rapes I have endured by law enforcement while incarcerated for false arrest, or the three near death beatings which they did before they raped me. Then again it could be from the 14 or 15 times SWAT has entered my home when my mother called them while I had dual state restraining orders placed on her to protect my life, my family and my career she destroyed because she ENVIED my success as an Architect. Then again it could be from the cops kidnapping me a week ago today in efforts to get me into the jail so they could finish me, That blew up in their faces with support from real people, witnesses I am being stalked by Missoula law enforcement. I have cc'd this to others to ensure its not forgotten I used my civil right of freedom of speech to post this.

SteviGirl

The PTSD issue is so critical for the prosecution because it's really the only way to rationalize all of the bizarre behavior by the accuser. They think PTSD will explain why she didn't scream for help, why she gave him a ride home after, why she sent texts like "this is going to hit him like a ton of bricks," why she said "I honestly don't think he thinks he did anything wrong," and "maybe it's my fault," so on. In the absence of a PTSD diagnosis, it becomes clear that the accuser -- while, indeed, suffering from some mental issues -- had them prior to interaction with Johnson. And, while the one night stand made her feel bad and may have even exacerbated her mental issues, she is not a victim of rape.

Johnson appears to take ownership in the fact that he didn't treat her very well. He acknowledges that he feels bad that she feels bad -- pretty conscientious and empathetic for a purported rapist.

Been There

No matter what the verdict is--the lives of these two young people will never be the same.

Salish

Looks to me as if everyone here has forgotten that the Defense specifically asked that Doe's mental records from childhood forward be made available to him (a long time ago)....and the court denied the request. From what we have learned about Doe....I believe the Defense had a good reason to want a review of those records. This poor girl had deep-seated mental/emotional problems coming into all of this. Hopefully, the Jury will take this into consideration during their deliberations. Personally, I'm not expecting this to be a quick and cut and dried decision anytime soon.

MontanaJim72

I can only follow this trial from the Missoulian reporting. All I have seen is every prosecution "expert" witness is made to explain what happened if it was a rape. Then the defense asks the same question and the same "expert" witness says it could have been consensual. A total wash. Nothing I have read in the Missoulian would make me convict Johnson, although Gwen Florio has worked for months to make it different. I can't see the prosecution winning this. However, if the defense wins, why is the "victim" allowed to remain nameless? Johnson has had his family name dragged through the mud. I would think we should have known her name, at least since she pushed it to trial. Sometimes, it works both ways.

Roger
Roger

Indeed - in fact, why is the woman allowed to remain nameless at all? Why is she referred to as "the victim" in the trial - when the defendant is entitled to presumption of innocence?

Answer - anti-male bias in the "justice" system.

hellgatenights

When Duerk questioned Bell, he posed the following: “Regardless of how we label (the woman’s) problems with emotional distress, was she suffering from emotional distress?”

Yes, I think we get that. But what caused the distress? Rape......or regret? The answer appears to be regret, and that is why the doctors did NOT label this a PTSD crime.

Simple. Only when we see the doctors trying to manufacture the "Desired" outcome to we find confusion.

sport

It just seems odd to me that these 2 simple points weren't mentioned by either side today: 1. PTSD doesn't equal crime. And 2. Absence of PTSD doesn't equal No crime. That could have just been the end of the whole discussion spin.

The arguments they were making today didn't seem significantly relevant to answering the only 2 questions the jury is allowed to answer in this case based on Montana law - "was there consent and was there knowledge of consent." Today was just sort of a waste of energy pin -pong match, where both sides seemed out of touch with the bottom line and the attorneys on both seemed out of their league. Both witnesses I know to be honest and credible based on their experience and respective professional practice. Bell has spent many years in and is still hands on in his clinical practice area. He has a son and a daughter each in their 20s. The defense witness by reputation also has credible experience in his practice area and has worked with soldiers experiencing PTSD. And we all know that not all soldiers suffer from it even if they've experienced the exact same events. It seems the Prosecution could have called him out on that point or even emphasized that PTSD sufferers still go on participating in life, to better nullify Statford's testimony against their own rebuttal witness. I felt they missed that opportunity.

I am familiar with how the DSM-4 manual is used to classify disorders and how diagnosis codes are used for insurance purposes, based on personal educational experience. I think it should have been important to confirm the distinctions between the diagnosis of "anxiety response" and "PTSD" and their relevance to sexual assault. Both sides missed the opportunity to capitalize on their arguments, such as, Can someone with the "lesser" diagnosis still have experienced trauma? And does PTSD equal crime.

Additionally, it seems the prosecution could have countered the defense's dispute of PTSD by exploring the statistic that 1 in 4 women experience PTSD in this type of trauma. This implies that 3 don't, which would trump the argument by the defense that only 3 of the 4 professionals diagnosed Doe with PTSD. It seems that each side was committing to the wrong argument or at least a different significant one was available. And they both seemed to get side-tracked to the actual relevance of their arguments to answering those 2 very select questions. None of it created any more or less doubt because it's statistically known PTSD may or may not be associated with sexual assault. The argument, once again became null in terms of really proving anything. Maybe the many "leftover" points will be made in closing arguments, but again time is limited.

After 2 weeks, for me, it just all came back again to He said, She said. And it seems that no matter who you're rooting for, neither side unequivocally proved or disproved anything. Because it seems to be impossible to do that. I guess that's the reality of the process despite the best efforts of both sides. The prosecution has the burden, based on the criminal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt in criminal defense. And the question remains as to how much doubt the defense created for the jury, based on all the testimony and documentation that we don't have. So glad I am not a juror. I'm merely neutrally on the fence, not any closer to knowing what REALLY happened despite all of our collective opinions, judgements, and sympathies. As has been said many times before: A conviction doesn't necessary equal guilt and an acquittal doesn't always equal innocence.
Its just an imperfect system. And often no one "wins."

Bittersweet
Bittersweet

I think what it boils down to is the state never did have much of a case to present. They kept emphasizing PTSD meant rape.....at least that is what they wanted the jury to believe. They were just grasping for straws.

Bittersweet
Bittersweet

This is what the prosecution was getting at..."Sexual assault is by far the most common cause of PTSD for young women." I believe they said 90 to 95% of cases of PTSD in women? I could be wrong, but I do recall it was a very high #.

duck79

Good grief.
At the end of this trumped up saga my hope is that Mr. Johnson exercises his fundamental civil right to sue for slander and defamation. Now where is the image of the plantiff?

Bittersweet
Bittersweet

I don't think the alleged victim would have brought it this far if she hadn't been prodded along. Remember through testimony she just couldn't resist following "media reports" even though she was advised by many to refrain.

Jazzy

jsommersby what is your point; seems you're rhetoric doesn't go any deeper than hating athletes.

Very relieved that Dr. Stratford put Bell in his place;,Adam Duerk obviously understands nothing about PTSD or that mental health treatment evolves very rapidly; to think that the same treatment prescribed in 2005 is the same treatment used today shows an individual who has obviously not done his homework.

Jordan Johnson is a stand up guy; sommersby condemns him for underage drinking yet doesn't criticize the accuser for doing the same and misrepresenting her alcohol consumption to medical providers. Johnson's story never changed whereas the accuser's was fraught with contradictions to the point that her own parents admitted under oath that they did not agree with her representations about her role in the family and being bullied. i was particularly struck by her assertion that her counselor said that Johnson had assaulted other women only to have the counselor deny that representation on the stand. The accuser has repeatedly perjured herself; in a just world she would be prosecuted.

Here is hoping for a swift acquittal for the real victim of this judicial charade, Jordan Johnson.

Softballa10

I understand why the defense called on this witness to testify, to poke holes in the prosecution's witness testifying about the alleged victim's PTSD, but I don't think it was entirely beneficial. The witness was not there and did not interact with the victim. Basically he is looking only at facts on paper and the victim didn't have PTSD. At this point in the trial, I feel bad for both to an extent. This trial is yet another case of he said, she said and there is not any real definite evidence for or against the defense. Truthfully, it appears the entire trial is based on building each, the defendant and victim's, character. Always in a rape case, the defense will try to characterize the victim as promiscuous and unstable. If he is in fact found innocent, that does not prove that the victim lied, only that the jury had enough reasonable doubt to convict him guilty. I believe a lot of pity will be placed on Jordan, which is understandable for the amount of money his family has had to spent, but so has the victim. If she did in fact lie, which we may never know for sure, I feel sorry for her as well. She must be not fully stable and I feel sorry for individuals who are not fully "normal."

jacksommersby88

Please. I think you can rest assured the university boosters are secretly fronting the legal costs. Heck, his two lawyers may even be doing the case pro-bono what with it being such a high-publicity case.

msladon

this was a childish post jack,, your suppositions add what creedence to this discussion? that you have a biased vendetta here is beyond obvious.

dave ajou
dave ajou

How does Gwen have time to be posting as jack ?

Jazzy

sommersby
Where do you come up with this nonsense?

Softballa10

Oops! I meant to say if he is in fact found innocent, that does not prove that the victim lied, only that the jury had enough reasonable doubt to NOT convict him guilty!

mtmike

BS there softballa, you really think the dollars jjs folks have had to spend in his defense have any effect on a jury is laughable.

KoKO

One thing for certain, as many have testified, Jordan doesn''t talk much. Doesn't sound like these two communicated much at all. He texted, "Hey." They keep saying this is a he said/she said, but I think it's more of a he didn't say/she didn't say. I guess "You're bad" could mean no, but it could also mean "You're hot!" Or maybe she meant "Your bad." Too much for me to figure out. If he's determined to be not guilty will we learn her name? I wonder what she looks like.

jacksommersby88

So much ignorance here.

First, as someone already pointed out, not being PTSD doesn't mean you weren't raped. Second, just because you've got an anxiety disorder doesn't mean you make up a rape allegation. Third, Johnson's a "stand-up" guy? Yep, a real role model -- an underage drinker who cheated on his girlfriend. Oh, but he's an almighty football player, so that makes it A-OK, huh? And quite hypocritical in so many averring Johnson's character has been assassinated when those very same have no problem assassinating the rape victim's character. Oh, but she's a woman, and women were put on this planet just to be sexual outlets and babymakers, right? And people were impressed by Johnson's testimony? Yeah, while wiping his eyes with tissues. Boy, how subtle! And impressed by his father's testimony? He's his *dad* -- gee, what a surprise he had good things to say about him. (rolls eyes)

whitehairedguy

And most of that ignorance is on display in your posts. Hopefully the folks on the jury are a little more open minded than you. Lord knows that Johnson is probably the only college person in history to drink some beer while underage. Throw him in prison and destroy the key. His character far exceeds that shown by the alleged victim who has trotted out numerous revisions to her story. When did her character get assassinated? Is her name all over the Internet and newspapers....no. The prosecution had nothing to go on other than two openly immature young people doing what college kids all over the country do every day. The old adage "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" was never more evident. Yet you seem to know exactly what happened...odd that you were not called as a witness.

jacksommersby88

Uh, it's not just underage drinking, but cheating on his girlfriend. Both of which aren't really big deals, but when I read this garbage about how the defendent is "a stand-up guy" and a "role model," forgive me if I don't do a high-five to that just because he's a football star. And what a double standard you Johnson defenders have -- when someone sides with the victim, it's all "You must know everything...odd you weren't called as a witness" yet when you side with Johnson then, what, you know everything and should've been called as a witness?

Oh, and the defense attorneys *still* haven't provded a single solitary motivation for the victim to lie. Not one.

JMontana

First of all, if you paid any attention to the case, you would know that he was not "dating" this other girl, he liked her, and they had hung out a couple of times, hardly a steady girlfriend, so although he explains how bad he felt about this, not cheating, shows very little about bad character. 2nd, a 20 year old college kid drinking 4 beers on a weekend evening in the off-season?? PLEASE. Spare us, plenty of great people, great leaders and those with high moral fiber have had an underage drink here and there, I'm not even going to dignify this comment any further.

One final note, I'm glad to see you're so concerned about proof.. "Oh, and the defense attorneys *still* haven't provided a single solitary motivation for the victim to lie. Not one." You know something else that hasn't been provided, not once, is the prosecution has *still* yet to provide a single ounce of actual PROOF that makes Jordan Johnson guilty of this serious, serious, charge. Not one bit, at any tieme. This case went to trial only because of this "preferential treatment" that these athletes get. Anybody else, this thing is thrown out 11 months ago.... Fact.

Pistol

They' didn't have to, her mother did that for them. The victim stated she changed schools because of bullying, and had to have therapy. Her mother testified "that's the first she heard that". Her mother said she changed school because of her mother's work schedule, and her dad was a teacher at Power. In a he said, she said trial no one as proven Johnson as a liar, the victim's mom's testimony proved the victim lied on the stand. Case closed!

mtmike

i'm hopeful help is available. Those with learning disabilities are entitled for assistance. Look into it troll.

mtmike

You are certainly a poster child for ignorance here as you (like me ) were not there and and are grasping at straws in this case. I don't know what happened on that day and you don't either. He said/she said, we will never know for sure.

Get off your high horse and SThU about stuff you have no clue about.

J555-5

Dr. Bell's undocumented "PTSD" must mean Post Traumatic Stealth Diagnosis.

Bittersweet
Bittersweet

Whew. All is done (testimony, evidence) I take back m earlier comment about the defense calling Stratford. Bell did come back up, and then Stratford again after. Paoli ate Dr Bell for lunch. (again based on tweets only) he was sure stumbling, trying to correct himself and make excuses regarding the inconcistencies between his testimony and reports. I agree with GMA Legal Anylist Dan Abrams..."I would be very surprised if the prosecution can get 12 jurors to agree beyond a reasonable doubt Johnson is guilty and I bet that the prosecution knows that too."

Sukey

The woman has an "anxiety disorder". Could this occur if she's lying because Jordan was pursuing a relationship with someone else and she wanted to get "even"? Hell hath no fury

I'mafraidofAmericans
I'mafraidofAmericans

My thoughts exactly.

montanamuralist
montanamuralist

Sometimes people feel stress and anxiety if they are trying to come to grips with a broken relationship, an intimate encounter that is not up to their expectations or does not result in their "goal" being met. By any account, Jordan was basically a stand up guy who admits he should not have had sex with the alleged victim. Also seems pretty clear he was not aware she was saying no. At least enough to create reasonable doubt as to whether that is true or not true. Takes more than what is here to convict of sexual assault and give a decent kid 100 years in prison, whether these victim advocates want to admit it or not. Meanwhile she gets to walk around and play the victim. If I were Jordan, after acquittal, ( if this jury is not brain dead) I would wipe the dirt from this town off my feet and head somewhere else to finish my education. The womens rights advocates will never let him rest here, even with an acquittal. Disgusting and unfair people....

CodyFromCowboyCountry
CodyFromCowboyCountry

duck, regardless of how indignant you are about this, your comment contains errors in fact. First, the expert agreed that even without a diagnosis of PTSD a rape could have occurred. Secondly, no one is ever found innocent of charges in this country. Our legal system is set up for defendants to be found guilty or not guilty, meaning the burden of proof was either met or not met. If acquitted in this case, the defendant is found not guilty, which is a far cry from saying no crime was committed. Ask any lawyer on either side of the courtroom. Your anger at the prosecution is frightening.

Bittersweet
Bittersweet

The prosecution is simply doing their job the best they can. Unfortunately they do not have a lot to work with.

montanaduck

Nit pick much? I'm pretty sure you got the idea of what I was saying. You bantering about how it should have been correctly worded ma be gratifying to you, but this is the comments section of a bad newspaper, not a courtroom. get a life

Bittersweet
Bittersweet

From an interview on national television this morning....."I will be stunned if there is a conviction in this case" ~ GMA Legal Analyst Dan Abrams

montanaduck

Yet more testimony that says there was not a crime committed. I feel bad for Jordan, his life has been negatively changed forever no matter what. Yet the so called "Victim" remains nameless, and faceless for that matter. If he is found innocent there has to be some sort of consequence for her, she cant start this huge charade and get away scott free.

CommunistCall
CommunistCall

I feel bad for the victim.

Bittersweet
Bittersweet

Doe or Johnson?

dave ajou
dave ajou

You should, he had all the cards stacked against him from the get go. A police department with a new "shoot to kill" mentality when it came to investigating sexual assault. A Dean and a nurse who grossly violated ethical boundaries and became avenging activists. Last but not least, a newspaper with a monopoly on a regional market that displayed overt and ongoing unethical reporting, with a bias that will probably be referenced in first year journalism courses in institutions across the country for years to come. As well it should be. The genie of rejection, anger and revenge couldn't be put back in the bottle and now we have two shattered families, and two more families deeply affected by unjust termination. Poor judgements made by two very young adults should not have resulted in this chaos and heartbreak.

msladon

There are no winners here, well put Dave.

Bittersweet
Bittersweet

Well if it weren't for the "creative reporting" what would have Gwen spoke about a few weeks back as the "Featured Speaker" at Missoulas YWCA (empowering women) annual meeting. They were very proud to advertise this "Award Winning Journalist" to draw a crowd on their website among other places.

CodyFromCowboyCountry
CodyFromCowboyCountry

It may feel like a trivial difference to you, but thinking acquittal means there was no crime committed is as incorrect as thinking no diagnosis of PTSD means no crime. I hope the jury does indeed nit pick. In a case like this, details matter. Maybe not to you, but to all the lives affected by this case.

mtmike

Are you really this stupid Cody gal, smh.

Bittersweet
Bittersweet

I don't think he was that great of a witness to call, especially since the prosecution will bring Bell up now to likely counter whatever Stanford just said. (based on only tweets mind you) it almmost seemed like Stanford was more help to the prosecution. I thought the defense was doing fine and maybe should have ended on the testimony that seemed to really draw an emotional reaction from the Jurors as well as Johnson.

7BS7

You are dead on target Bittersweet. This had to have been one of the worst days in the history of Defense Attorneys! If Paoli would have come in this morning and said Defense Rests, Johnson would have had this behind him by 930 Friday Morning. 12-0 for not guilty. For some reason he thought people were still focusing on PTSD or maybe he just wanted to listen to himself some more. At any rate the Defense itself added credence to PTSD. Trust me, as a veteran juror, that will not play out well. If Defense is not holding hands with Johnson praying right now that they did not blow it, they should! They just snatched defeat from the jaws of victory!!!!

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