Doctor Testifies David Meehan Left with Mental Scars from YDC Abuse

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Dr. Dylan Gee


BRENTWOOD – In the more than 20 years since David Meehan was released from the Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester, he’s struggled with addiction, depression and severe anxiety while having trouble holding a job and forming healthy relationships.

“He’s been robbed of the opportunity to feel safe in his environment… The traumas are right there with him every day,” Dr. Dylan Gee testified.

All of that is a result of the horrific physical, sexual, and mental abuse he endured for years while an inmate inside the center, also known then as YDC, according to the mental health experts called by Meehan’s legal team. Gee, a physiology professor at Yale University, testified Meehan’s crippling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder forces him to live everyday with the abuse that happened when he was a teen. The memories flood Meehan and become overwhelming, she testified, as he’s constantly confronted with the abuse.

“Hundreds of oral and anal rapes, the repeated brutal beatings, the consequences of solitary confinement,” Gee said.

Gee took the stand in Rockingham Superior Court on Wednesday as the second expert called by Meehan’s team after Dr. Terry Allen Kupers finished his testimony on Tuesday. Gee herself was followed by forensic psychiatrist Dr. Daphne Glindmeyer, who began her testimony late in the afternoon. All three have said Meehan’s PTSD is the overriding mental health problem in Meehan’s life.

Meehan’s lawsuit against the state Department of Health and Human Services, is the first to go to trial, but not the last. There are nearly 1,300 survivors of YDC and other state facilities who say they were also abused under the state’s care. According to Meehan’s lawsuit, and testimony already presented to the jury, YDC staff covered up the abuse while administrators looked the other way.

Meehan is seeking millions of dollars in damages, partly on the claim he’s left unable to work because of his PTSD. A man in his early 40s, Meehan’s already been approved for Social Security Disability insurance. Gee said he will need intensive treatment for the rest of his life.

Martha Gaythwaite, the defense attorney representing the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, tried to poke holes in the PTSD diagnosis. According to Gaythwaite, Meehan’s real mental health problem is undiagnosed bipolar disorder and a propensity to make up stories and believe delusions. Gaythwaite delved into Meehan’s medical records with Gee, trying to get the psychologist to change her opinion of Meehan’s problem.

Gaythwaite focused on two incidents in Meehan’s life in which he was hospitalized around 2019 and 2020. Meehan acted strange and delusional during these incidents, shouting from a balcony and saying during the 2020 incident he was a Biblical figure. According to Gaythwaite, those were manic episodes proving Meehan suffers from a bipolar disorder.

But Gee pushed back, saying the hospitalizations do not qualify under psychiatric guidelines as true manic episodes. In both cases, Meehan was under the influence of drugs, making it impossible to classify them as manic episodes, Gee said. There is no other evidence in Meehan’s medical records of any other manic episodes, Gee said.

“There’s been no evidence to me there was a preexisting bipolar disorder prior to YDC,” Gee said.

Glindmeyer testified all the symptoms of Meehan’s mental health disorders strongly indicate his PTSD is the driving factor at play. Glindmeyer is expected to testify further on Thursday.

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