‘Finally someone listened’: Independent report outlines mistakes made by West Linn police during Farley investigation

Warning: this story contains accounts of sexual abuse that may be distressing to some readers, particularly victims of sexual assault. 

A damning report by an independent workplace investigator released by the city of West Linn late Tuesday, Jan. 6 reveals new details about the inadequacies of the West Linn Poilce Department’s investigation of alleged sexual abuse by former doctor David Farley.

The report supports claims Farley’s former patients have made for over a year about the faults in the criminal case, which did not result in charges against Farley from a Clackamas County grand jury.

More than 130 women and girls are suing Farley and the institutions where he worked — West Linn Family Health Center, Legacy Meridian Park Hospital in Tualatin and Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center in Oregon City — in a civil suit worth nearly $1 billion.

West Linn launched the inquiry by workplace investigator Jill Goldsmith in October 2022 after 71 of Farley’s former patients sent a letter to Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum asking her to take on their case. Their letter described how they felt WLPD and the Clackamas County District Attorney’s office botched the criminal case.

Since sending the letter in September 2022, several of the women who reported abuse by Farley and their attorneys have described the police department’s investigation as incompetent and callous, particularly the role played by lead detective Tony Christensen.

Goldsmith’s report outlines critical faults in the WLPD investigation, including omission of information in police reports, missing case files and recordings of interviews with alleged victims, failure to obtain Farley’s phone despite credible reason to believe it contained photos of children’s breasts and genitals and failure to provide a victim advocate to women reporting abuse, as required by state law and WLPD’s own policies. It also covers Christensen’s lack of training in sexual abuse and forensic investigating.

“After reading it (Goldsmith’s report), my response is this was the most incompetent police department in the country or this is a deliberate cover up to protect Farley,” Courtney Thom, one of the attorneys representing the patients in the lawsuit, said. “The way I read the report is that this investigation and prosecution was full of people who simply didn’t give a damn about protecting women and children.”

Former patients of Farley’s who spoke to Pamplin Media Group after the report’s release said it validated everything they’ve been saying for three years.

“It means everything,” Lisa Pratt said. “It’s the first time in over three years we’ve had any validation at all. I hope and pray that the attorney general’s office will seriously consider this document and do the right thing because it’s a huge win, but justice still needs to follow. There are still little girls and women out there who can be hurt by this man.”

Rosenblum’s office is still weighing whether to pursue criminal charges against Farley. A spokesperson for her office was not able to answer how Goldsmith’s report will play into that decision.

Nicole Snow said she and the others who reported abuse felt like they’d been gaslit by those who were supposed to help them, but Goldsmith’s report provided proof of what they said all along: Police officials and prosecutors prevented what should have been a “slam dunk case” from being prosecuted.

“Finally someone listened. Finally someone cared enough to do the work, to find the discrepancies and holes in an investigation we always knew was insufficient,” Charlotte Wilson said. “We never wavered from our story or our experience and our perseverance paid off in a monumental way. This is the beginning of what I hope is actionable justice led by the Oregon attorney general as well as wider systemic reform.”

Pratt, Snow and Wilson were three of six of the women who reported abuse to WLPD and were later interviewed by Goldsmith as part of this investigation of the department.

Goldsmith obtained permission to talk to these women and review case files for 73 women represented by Thom and the California law firm she works at, Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, and local law firm D’Amore Law Group.

Of those 73 women, WLPD had case files for 43 of them, which the department shared with Goldsmith along with recordings of their interviews with detectives. The missing files are just one aspect of the investigation that Goldsmith found concerning.

iPhone photos never sought

Goldsmith discovered that Oregon Medical Board investigator Jason Carruth emailed Christensen in June 2020 after the board received concerning complaints about Farley, including that he had taken photos of children’s breasts and genitalia with his iPhone. “Ultimately, we are a licensing board and while we have subpoena authority we do not have warrant authority. Once he knows we are looking at him for this behavior I fear any evidence he may have that would be useful in a criminal investigation will certainly disappear,” Carruth wrote to Christensen.

In September 2020, after the medical board suspended Farley’s medical license, Carruth emailed Christensen again.

“Unfortunately once word got out that he was under investigation we have been slammed with patients coming forward reporting years of sexual abuse by the doc,” Carruth wrote. “Some of the stories are pretty amazing from taking photographs, doing ungloved pelvic exams, conducting pelvic exams at his home off the record and teaching teenagers how to sexually stimulate themselves, among others. You may get contacted by these gals wanting to make reports. Also, the doc has since packed his family and left the state and is now in Idaho staying with his daughter.”

Goldsmith noted that Christensen never obtained Farley’s phone, though she stated that Police Chief Peter Mahuna told her that “the information WLPD had in June 2020 and even later, without more (and even possibly with a complainant), would not have been enough information to secure a warrant to seize the property.”

Goldsmith noted several times when Christensen and other detectives neglected to ask the women reporting abuse about photos Farley may have taken.

Thom, who is a former prosecutor of sex crimes, did not buy Mahuna’s statement about not having enough evidence to get a warrant for Farley’s phone.

“They had an investigator from the medical board reaching out to them repeatedly saying Farley is taking pictures of children’s genitals on electronic devices,” Thom said. “Additionally Jason Carruth is telling West Linn PD that this is outside the bounds of any medically approved examination or study. What was lacking for West Linn PD to get that search warrant?”

The women interviewed by Goldsmith told her Carruth shared with them he felt Christensen seemed uninterested in the case.

“According to Jane Does 1-4, Carruth told them several things about Christensen, including that Christensen told Carruth, ‘I don’t think there is a case here’ before even interviewing any of the victims,” Goldsmith’s report stated.

Goldsmith also noted that the Oregon Medical Board did not allow her to interview Carruth. The OMB investigator also did not provide testimony to the grand jury when Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office was attempting to prosecute the case, due to secrecy laws pertaining to medical board investigations.

Missing recordings and case files

Goldsmith also found entire police reports, supplemental information for reports and recordings of interviews with alleged victims were missing from WLPD records.

Goldsmith’s report noted that there were four patients (Jane Does 12-15) for whom WLPD had no case reports, despite WLPD acknowledging officers interviewed them.

Another five patients were apparently never interviewed by police at all, despite their attempts to make reports.

“According to Thom, Jane Does 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 left at least one and sometimes multiple voice mails for Christensen on his phone and never heard back,” Goldsmith wrote. “According to Thom, Jane Does 7-11 have never been able to report sexual abuse of either themselves or their daughters by Farley. I have a release from Jane Does 7-11 to review their criminal files and requested those files from WLPD. WLPD told me they had no files for Jane Does 7-11.”

Goldsmith’s report stated that Jane Doe 3 had a follow-up interview with Christensen. She said she remembered more about her encounters with Farley after being questioned by a separate, more skilled interviewer. Goldsmith obtained emails between WLPD and Jane Doe 3 confirming Christensen had set up the follow-up interview with her via telephone.

“I asked WLPD to provide the recording of the second interview and they were unable to locate either the recording or the follow up police report. In addition, there is no reference to the follow up interview in the police report relating to Jane Doe 3,” Goldsmith wrote.

The same was true for Jane Doe 1, who called Christensen about four weeks after her first interview and hoped to schedule a follow-up. Again, WLPD had no recording of the second interview or a follow-up police report, according to Goldsmith’s report.

One woman, Jane Doe 23, told detective Adam Simms that her eldest daughter, who was also a patient of Farley’s, wanted to give a statement to police.

“On December 8, 2020, Simms emailed Jane Doe 23 and told her they did not wish to interview her daughter but that they might revisit that decision in the future,” Goldsmith wrote. “There are no notes in Jane Doe 23’s police report that she was contacted again asking her to bring her daughter in or noting that a separate criminal case had been opened and was connected to Jane Doe 23’s case (as sometimes was done when family members were interviewed and had separate case numbers).”

Police reports missing key information?

Goldsmith also took a look at the police reports for the 43 women for whom she had permission and for whom WLPD had records of. She analyzed these reports against her interviews of the six women she was allowed to interview and WLPD’s recordings of its interviews with the victims.

Goldsmith reported finding discrepancies between the police reports and recorded interviews, as the Jane Does told her there would be.

“Jane Doe 1 told Christensen about seeing a friend of hers leaving WLFHC (West Linn Family Health Clinic) as ‘high as a kite’ after being medicated by Farley,” Goldsmith wrote. “The (police) report does not mention this. I note that some women reported that they believed Farley was drugging them while they were alone with him in the exam room due to the very strong reactions they had to pain medications and even local anesthetics.”

One patient noted they became incapacitated after Farley gave them a local anesthetic and could not remember what happened to them in the exam room.

Though she mentioned it in the interview with Christensen, his report for Jane Doe 2 does not mention, “That Farley would approach Jane Doe 2 at church and ‘pet’ her arms and back when he asked her to come by his office for an exam. Instead, the report says Farley ‘touch[ed]’ her arm. These touchings and invitations to Farley’s office occurred when Jane Doe 2 was underage. The report does not mention that Jane Doe 2 and her friends ‘ran’ when they saw Farley coming or that he ‘cornered’ them, which would have made it clear that he pursued them.”

Goldsmith’s report also stated that Christensen’s case report did not include suggestive questions Farley asked of Jane Doe 2 when she was a teenager. According to Goldsmith, the recording of Jane Doe 2’s interview with Christensen reveals her telling him how Farley would ask about where on her body her boyfriend would touch her and where she would touch him. She also told Christensen that Farley asked her multiple times in different ways whether she was sexually active. None of this was included in Christensen’s report, Goldsmith noted.

Goldsmith noted of another Christensen report that it failed to include the patient’s assertion that Farley was texting young girls from the church on his personal cell phone, which Jane Doe 3 noted in her interview with Christensen.

While performing a membrane sweep on a separate patient, Jane Doe 4, at his own home, Farley “did something which caused her pain and she flinched. Once she flinched, she said he began ‘feeling around’ with his hand in her vagina, keeping it there for some time and telling her she had an unstable pelvis. In other words, Jane Doe 4 might have been suggesting that Farley caused her pain on purpose for an excuse to keep his hand inside her. However, Christensen did not explore this,” Goldsmith wrote.

For one of the women interviewed by Goldsmith, some of the information in her case report was simply inaccurate.

“Jane Doe 6 told Christensen that the only time she ever had a chaperone in the room was a year prior to their interview,” Goldsmith wrote. “The police report states that she ‘always’ had a chaperone in the room.”

The police report for Jane Doe 6 also leaves out details she told Christensen about Farley examining her infant daughter’s vagina.

Though the police report for Jane Doe 5 includes mention of Farley photographing her breasts, it does not refer to how Farley described how “round” they were, which Jane Doe 5 shared in the interview with Christensen. The report on Jane Doe 5 also fails to mention that Farley texted her asking to meet him somewhere in Idaho so he could check on her IUD. The report mentions Jane Doe 5, who was attending college in Idaho at the time, texted Farley first, concerned about pain caused by her IUD. Farley first tried to get her to meet him at another doctor’s office in Idaho, which was mentioned in the report.

Lack of follow-up questions

The women also alleged that Christensen failed to ask pertinent questions, which Goldsmith found to be true in several cases. This was likely because Christensen did not have adequate training in sexual abuse and forensic questioning, as Goldsmith pointed out later in the report.

According to Goldsmith’s review of the interview recordings and reports, several patients reported graphic but critical details about Farley’s actions during exams that Christensen did not ask followup questions about.

Goldsmith’s report detailed how Christensen even acknowledged his own ignorance during his interviews of some of the victims.

“Christensen told Jane Doe 2 that, being male, he had not experienced female exams and so did not know how to ask questions,” Goldsmith wrote. “He mentioned his ignorance at another point in the interview. As an example of his lack of knowledge, Christensen asked Jane Doe 2 if Farley penetrated her during the pelvic exams, asking Jane Doe 2 if she knew what digital penetration was.”

He asked her this after she had described being digitally penetrated by Farley on multiple occasions between the ages of 15 and 18.

Further, Goldsmith also noted that Christensen asked Jane Doe 4 what a speculum was.

Jane Doe 2 told Goldsmith that Christensen never asked her critical questions about the details of her abuse, but added that she was not comfortable enough with Christensen to go into detail about what Farley did to her.

Christensen did not follow up with detailed questions about Jane Doe 3’s abuse either, nor did he ask her if anything inappropriate occurred between Farley and her children, who also saw Farley. Christensen also did not ask her about Farley taking photographs of her kids, though he’d known for several months that the doctor had taken nude photos of children, according to Goldsmith. This was also true for Jane Doe 4, who also shared with Christensen that her children visited Farley.

“All of the witnesses I was able to interview told me they experienced Christensen as not understanding what they were saying, making dismissive remarks such as, “well this isn’t ‘Law and Order,’” Goldsmith wrote. “Based on my review of the interview recordings, he asked almost no follow up questions of the first four witnesses, Jane Does 1-4. These witnesses told me they were extremely uneasy in the environment disclosing such intimate details they had never disclosed to anyone else.”

Goldsmith added that after they were interviewed by an investigator trained in sexual abuse, the alleged victims noted a stark difference from their interviews with Christensen.

Goldsmith also noted that five of the six women she interviewed were current or former members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“These witnesses explained that Mormon girls are not raised to be knowledgeable about their bodies or their sexual/reproductive systems and health,” Goldsmith wrote. “They are not typically sexually active until marriage. Furthermore, many of the women were referred to Farley through their religious community or Farley was personally acquainted with and/or close to their own family members. Many of the witnesses were delivered by Farley when they were born, saw Farley as their doctor from a young age or he was recommended by people they trusted.”

Several of the women also said they had never had a doctor besides Farley and did not realize his actions were inappropriate.

“These factors combined to create a situation where young, innocent girls who are raised to trust a doctor within their religious community reasonably could have barriers to being able to discern in a sophisticated and informed manner what was appropriate and what was not during their examinations. Some of these witnesses even had a mother present during the examinations; however, more often than not, their mothers were in a similar situation, raised in the Mormon Church, having had Farley as their doctor for years and also not having the information and experience to discern what was appropriate and what was not.”

As an inexperienced forensic investigator of sexual abuse, Christensen did not know the right questions to ask. This, combined with some of the patients’ own lack of understanding around appropriate medical care, meant crucial information might have been missed, Goldsmith explained.

“Jane Doe 3 told me that she was unsure as to whether Farley’s treatment of her was abuse simply because she had no experience or knowledge of how gynecological exams should be conducted,” Goldsmith wrote. “She said she downplayed her experience when Christensen interviewed her and minimized the things Farley did. Jane Doe 3 said Christensen asked her if anything unusual happened in her exams with Farley. However, she did not know what was unusual and what was not.”

Jane Doe 52 told Christensen that Farley convinced her to allow him to perform a hymenectomy on her before she got married. What Farley actually did was “cut her perineum and perform an episiotomy on her which caused complications and hemorrhaging when she gave birth some years later,” Goldsmith wrote. Jane Doe 52 said her current doctor (who apparently also filed a medical board complaint against Farley over this) told her that Farley’s actions were in “the realm of a criminal assault because he performed an unconsented and undisclosed procedure on her.” Jane Doe 52 said she was medicated for the procedure and described being “out of it.”

“Other women described being medicated to the point of incapacitation while alone with Farley,” Goldsmith noted. “However, Christensen did not follow up on this to see if Jane Doe 52 recalled anything or was at all conscious.”

In all, Goldsmith noted three instances during the interview with Jane Doe 52 where Christensen should have asked follow-up questions.

Though unlike with the report for Jane Doe 2, Christensen included the inappropriate questions Farley asked about Jane Doe 5 and her boyfriend in his report, Goldsmith noted Christensen still neglected to ask follow-up questions about what specifically Farley asked her.

Detective was ignorant and ill-prepared

Goldsmith’s report also found that Christensen lacked proper training in sexual abuse investigations and forensic questioning in apparent violation of WLPD policy, a fact that Pamplin Media Group has previously reported on.

“Christensen had no formal training in sexual assault investigations until September 2, 2021, when he took a two-hour class in ‘Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Collection,’” Goldsmith noted.

This training was exactly one year and a day after the first Farley patients reported abuse to him.

Though Christensen lacked proper investigative training, Goldsmith noted that much of what he did not know could have been addressed with a simple Google search. Goldsmith wrote that given Carruth first contacted him in June 2020, Christensen had several months to learn what a pelvic exam was and what a pap smear was before conducting the first interviews in September. Goldsmith also noted that Christensen could have looked up basic information about other doctors accused of sexual abuse, like Larry Nassar or George Tyndall.

“Based on the initial interviews conducted on September 1 and 2, 2020, Christensen was utterly unaware of what the medical or legal issues were regarding how sexual abuse could occur during a gynecological examination,” Goldsmith wrote.

Goldsmith also stated that Christensen, and the other detectives who interviewed patients, seemed unable to create an environment where the patients felt comfortable sharing such personal information. “Jane Does 1-4 experienced Christensen as treating them as though they were an inconvenience, without sympathy,” Goldsmith wrote.

According to Goldsmith’s report, Jane Doe 1 kept a journal around the time she reported abuse, Goldsmith viewed the journal, noting that Jane Doe 1 wrote that Christensen “did not seem to care very much” after her initial interview. After a follow-up call, she wrote he treated her like he was bothering him.

Her journal also notes, “that the images of women’s and children’s genitalia had not been preserved and the law enforcement personnel had allowed Farley time to destroy it.”

Additionally, Jane Doe 4 said Christensen became “combative” when she asked him about the case, telling her to “back off,” Goldsmith wrote.

Goldsmith found that the detectives brought in to help with the case — including Messina, who was then with the Tualatin Police Department and interviewed Jane Doe 21 — were also brusque, lacking in empathy and “unlikely to have put Jane Doe 21 at ease to discuss a highly personal and intimate event.”

Goldsmith said that Jane Doe 5 was particularly distraught during her interview with Christensen, “but In the interview I listened to, nothing was said to comfort her as she told this story, crying.”

Ultimately, Goldsmith concluded “Christensen’s demeanor did not meet the standards of (WLPD) policy 615 which provides that trauma informed interviewing techniques should be used.”

‘We could have and should have done better’

Additionally, Goldsmith discovered that of the 43 cases she analyzed, a victim’s advocate was not present for 17. This is also a violation of WLPD policy 615, which states, “Whenever possible, a member of the SART (sexual assault response team) or a VA (victim advocate) should be included in the initial victim interviews.”

Goldsmith noted that many of the interviews were scheduled ahead of time, meaning Christenesen should have had time to arrange for a victim’s advocate to be present.

“Jane Does 1-4 credibly stated that they asked for a Victim’s Advocate and Christensen told them there was none available,” Goldsmith wrote. “They also credibly stated that they asked for a female police officer and were told no one was available. Jane Does 1-4 asked for either a therapist or another woman in the meeting, telling Christensen they had been sexually abused by a man and they were not comfortable being on their own with him.”

In a statement released along with Goldsmith’s report, the city of West Linn acknowledged that it had not followed its own policies during the investigation of Farley.

“We could and should have done better,” the city’s statement read. “Although the report makes no conclusions regarding the sufficiency of the criminal case against Farley, the City is grateful for the opportunity to use this report to improve our internal processes.”

The city stated it would provide trauma-informed training for its officers and that the department would work closely with the recently formed Police Review and Recommend Committee as it reviews this investigation and other complaints.

Katie Medley, another of the women who reported abuse to WLPD and participated in Goldsmith’s investigation, said the report felt incredibly validating.

“It’s been the longest three years of my life,” Medley said. “We’ve been putting ourselves out there in such a vulnerable position, trying to get people to do the right thing, and I’m so grateful that the truth is finally coming out.”


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