Although Brendan Dassey alleged during a 6-hour interrogation with the Manitowoc County police that Steven Avery molested him, he later denied the allegations during a psychological evaluation.
Business Insider reports that according to court records that contain the 6-hour interview, which stemmed from authorities questioning Dassey on the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach, the then-16-year-old claimed that Avery, “would grab me somewhere where I was uncomfortable.” Dan O’Donnell, a reporter who covered the trial of the Netflix docu-series Making a Murderer, said last week that the film’s directors deliberately left that part of the interrogation out of the documentary.
Yet, when Dassey underwent a psychological evaluation in November 2006, he said that he wasn’t sexually molested. The psychiatrist who conducted the evaluation, Robert H. Gordon, stated,
“Brendan reported having no history of being physically or sexually abused.”
Making a Murderer filmmakers have yet to comment on why they left out the issue, but Avery denies the allegations of molesting Dassey. According to Avery’s attorney Kathleen Zellner, “Mr. Avery categorically denies this unsubstantiated allegation.”
Zellner also said that entire police interview with Dassey was should be discredited due to his low IQ, age at the time of the interrogation (he didn’t have his parents nor an attorney present) and because he was scared, and led to believe if he said what the police wanted he could go home.
It was Dassey’s confessions that led to his arrest for the murder of Teresa Halbach, along with his uncle, who Dassey claimed beat, raped, and tortured the girl before putting her in the trunk of her own vehicle.
O’Donnell, who now hosts the podcast Rebutting a Murderer, stated that determining if Avery truly did molest Dassey is extremely important because it indicates that Avery may have had more control over his nephew than what the docu-series portrayed.
“He clearly is saying that Steven molested him. Really, I don’t have any reason to believe that Dassey would have been lying.”
The journalist and radio host has been adamant that Making a Murderer has too much of a slant towards protecting Avery, and that the public isn’t getting all of the information and evidence that went into building a case against him. He’s still troubled that the film completely left out the portion of the interview when Dassey made the molestation claims against Avery.
“I don’t know if it’s the very sensitive nature of talking about crimes against a child. It’s very taboo. [Dassey] does say it and he says it in such a matter-of-fact way, it’s weird. That really stuck with me because of a lot of research and work I’ve done in child sexual assault, especially by a trusted loved one or family member. It’s really sad, it becomes almost like a master/servant relationship in which the molester has this almost God-like power over some victims.”
Zellner, however, completely disagrees with O’Donnell and surmised that comparing the master to the slave comment suits better for police officers and their victims.
“Mr. Dassey’s confession is clearly false, as the lack of corroborating evidence shows. The master/slave analogy is more applicable to the police abusing their power by coercing a confession from a 16-year-old who was highly suggestible because of his low IQ and isolation from his family during the interrogation.”
Despite Dassey’s allegations, authorities never investigated into whether they were true or not. Former attorney Ken Kratz, the prosecutor in the Avery trial, said that the state was also never given any evidence that Dassey lacked the capability of making his own decisions and answering questions on his own.
Both Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey remain in prison, serving life sentences for felony murder.
[Photo by Morry Gash/AP Images, Pool]