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Corroborated Case: Inability to Remember Sustained Abuse

False-memory partisans sometimes grant the existence of recovered-memory cases involving a single instance of abuse, which they might then explain away as “normal forgetting” (although, of course, there is nothing “normal” about forgetting abuse). But there is a seemingly unshakable belief among those promoting “false memory syndrome” that repeated abuse would never be banished from memory. A documented case from Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia challenges this belief. Philippe Vincent Trutmann, who was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison in 2005, “admitted to sexually abusing [Luke Benson] 30 to 40 times over a two-year period.” But Mr. Benson, who remembers Trutmann as a “father figure,” has no recollection of the abuse, as indicated in this story.

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