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Madison couple wins "suggested memory" lawsuit


UNDATED (WSAU) A jury has awarded a million dollars to a former couple from Madison, who accused therapists of creating false memories in their daughter that they sexually abused her. The jury heard two weeks of testimony in a case against therapists Jeff Hollowell, Kay Phillips, and Tim Reisenauer. A Dane County jury deliberated 10 hours before finding Hollowell 70-percent negligent early yesterday. Phillips was ruled 30-percent, and Reisenauer was found not to be negligent.

Doctors Charles and Karen Johnson were accused by their daughter Charlotte of raping her, trying to drown her, and experimenting with infanticide. The Johnsons now live in Saint Louis. Their attorney, Bill Smoler, called the allegations “outrageous,” and the parents feel vindicated after the jury’s verdict.

Smoler said Charlotte Johnson had a controversial procedure which tries to help patients reclaim memories that have been suppressed. Smoler said juries have previously found it was not a valid treatment. The therapists have not commented.