Federal Appeals Court Rules Certain Mandatory Sex Offender Polygraph Questions Unconstitutional 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Building in Denver, Colorado The United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit has ruled in a 25-page opinionthat a convicted sex offender in a post-conviction polygraph program cannot becompelled to answer questions about his sexual history that could tend to incriminatehim. So-called "sexual history polygraphs" are commonly administered early in suchprograms, and typically include questions about any past, undetected sex crimes. Thecourt's ruling finds that compelling an individual to answer such questions, under threatof sanctions such as being removed from a treatment program and returned to prison,violates the individual's 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination in the absenceof a grant of immunity. The specific mandatory sexual history polygraph questions that the appellant, Brian vonBehren, refused to answer, and that the court found violated his 5th Amendment rights,were: After the age of 18, did you engage in sexual activity with anyone under the age of15?Have you had sexual contact with a family member or relative?Have you every physically forced or threatened anyone to engage in sexual contactwith you?Have you ever had sexual contact with someone who was physically asleep orunconscious? The 10th Circuit ruling in U.S. v. Brian Von Behren (No. 15-1033), if not overturned onappeal, will bind federal courts in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, andWyoming.