Police have 'big task' ahead in Snook case; psychologist
Dr. Mary Ann Campbell says victims memories can become 'distorted' over time
A criminal psychologist says police will face challenges weighing evidence in the investigation of former Saint John councillor Donnie Snook.
Dr. Mary Ann Campbell, director of the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies at University of New Brunswick Saint John, said memory can become distorted by conversations alleged victims have had with others and by things they have read or seen since the original incident.
"Is this distorted memory? Is this real memory?" she asks. "Are the dates that are being recalled, are they the accurate dates? And also, is there anyone else who can corroborate the complainants statement which would give extra credibility to that account."
Police said on Saturday that since Snook's Jan. 9 arrest on sex charges, several more people have come forward with new allegations.
Saint John police announced they are joining forces with the RCMP's Internet Child Exploitation Unit to form a Joint Forces Operation to identify potential victims in seized computer images.
The Joint Forces Operation will also investigate several new complaints against Snook that have arisen since his arrest. In the statement released on Saturday, police said the officers involved have special training in these types of investigations.
Campbell said that expertise will be important because of what are likely to be the historic nature of the complaints.
Police have asked for anyone with information about the Snook investigation to contact them.