Immigration Judge Charles Conroy made baseless assumption on what the demeanor of a victim of sexual abuse should be.
Below are 24 BIA remands and underlying decisions of Immigration Judge Charles Conroy:
According to the Board of Immigration Appeals, Immigration Judge Charles Conroy determined an asylum applicant to be not credible because “the respondent was a bit hesitant when describing the sexual advances toward him by the Prime Minister.”
From the decision:
“…the respondent asserts that the Immigration Judge should not have based his adverse credibility finding on respondent’s demeanor while discussing the alleged sexual harassment. We Agree. The Immigration Judge’s only finding pertaining to demeanor was that “the respondent was a bit hesitant when describing” the “alleged sexual advances towards him by the Prime Minister. The Immigration Judge provided no basis for his assumption about how a victim of sexual harassment or sexual assault should testify. See Hu v. Holder, 579 F.3d 155, 159 (2d Cir. 2009) (holding that an Immigration Judge’s demeanor finding constituted “impermissible speculation” where he “provided no basis for his assumptions about how someone who had…a forced abortion would testify.” Therefore, the Immigration Judge’s demeanor finding does not support his adverse credibility determination.”
Our question is this: what was Judge Conroy’s assumption on how victims of sexual harassment or assault should testify? The inverse of “a bit hesitant.” From the context given, it is reasonable to infer that Judge Conroy would doubt the credibility of many, if not most or all, victims of sexual abuse based on them merely appearing “a bit hesitant” when they revisit, recollect, and reconstruct the traumatic event(s) of being a victim of sexual abuse.
Here is the full BIA decision and Immigration Judge Charles Conroy’s underlying oral decision:
Here is the excerpt from Conroy’s decision: