Spousal Abuse Expert Witness Testifies In Police Chief Case

Former Blue Lake, CA, police chief David Gundersen faces two dozen counts of raping his wife Darcie Seal with the use of an intoxicant, as well as charges of violating a court order, attempting to dissuade the victim of a crime, and illegally possessing a submachine gun and a pistol with a silencer attached. Gundersen’s wife feared the would kill her if she testified against him, a District Attorney’s Office investigator and a friend of Gundersen’s wife testified Thursday. Spousal abuse expert witness Diane Wetendorf testified that while domestic violence can take all shapes and forms, it is always about power and control. The TimesStandard reports:

Abusers, Wetendorf testified, often use isolation, emotional abuse, economic abuse and sexual abuse to exert constant control over their partners.

Because of these factors, as well as pressures from family and religion, Wetendorf said it is very common for it to take years for a victim to come forward. And when they eventually do, Wetendorf said, it is very common for them to later recant their statements.

Wetendorf said she’s seen women get emergency protective orders against their violent husbands only to recant their allegations to get their husbands off the hook when the matter comes before a court.