In what is believed to be a landmark case, a 49-year-old woman in Australia was due to give evidence against her father over sexual assault allegations using multiple personalities.
Jennie Haynes, who has dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder) and has developed 2500 personalities, was intending to give evidence using six of them. Prosecutor Sean Hughes told the court last month that Haynes’s disorder is a sophisticated coping mechanism. It was possible that during her testimony she would present as another personality or “alter,” he explained.
On Friday, her father, 74-year-old Richard Haynes, pled guilty to 25 offenses dating back to when Jenny was aged between four and 11, bringing his trial to an end. It is Jenny’s belief that he pled guilty to the charges of rape, buggery and indecent assault against his daughter in Sydney in the 1970s and 1980s because he fears one of her alters.
She had spent last week preparing to give evidence using various personalities, including a four-year-old girl named Symphony; an 11-year-old boy called Judas, and as a teenager called Muscles. Each has his or her own voice and mannerisms. It was not possible to get multiple personality disorder without the kind of extreme abuse she had endured, she told the Herald. She said she had spoken to all the alter personalities internally to agree to the facts. “Every single alter had to agree to the facts. Six alters were going to give the vast majority of the evidence.”
“It was Symphony who my father suppressed,” she said. “Jenny was born and my father started to abuse her. An alter was created who came to take dad’s abuse so Jenny didn’t have to.
“From that moment forward, as the abuse happened there would be distractions — sounds, smells and tastes would make it difficult for Symphony to deal with dad’s abuse and so other alters came along and they took away the smell, taste or sound.
“Symphony intended to testify in court for the whole thing. When my father raped Jennifer Haynes he raped Symphony.
“There was an 11-year-old boy, name of Judas, with the obvious task of telling, and he fully intended to arrive and testify. And then there would be Muscles who was born on January 13, 1977 when my father did the first of his ritual …[assaults].
“Muscles is a 17-year-old, well he’s now 18, he was a teenage motorcycle-loving lout. Today if I move my hand Muscles is doing that. He refused to turn 18 because if he turned 18 before dad was arrested he could get a gun license and shoot him.”
“[My father] pleaded guilty today because he is scared to death of hearing Symphony testify about everything he did to her.
“I am not real to my father. I am a blow-up doll. He never called me Jenny and he certainly never called me Symphony because he never met her.”
The case was being heard by a judge only, because it was deemed so awful it was likely to traumatize a jury, Channel 7 reported.
Jenny said she hoped her father would endure a “very long and very uncomfortable life in prison”. “I hope there will be a level of powerlessness for him that at least reflects some of the powerlessness that he inflicted on me,” she said.
Watch Jenny Haynes interviewed after her abusive father Richard pled guilty. She waived her right to anonymity, saying she wants to help other victims:
Read the full story at The Sydney Morning Herald.