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PROSECUTION OF SEXUAL ABUSE CASES. WHAT HAPPENED?  Child makes a disclosure  Accidental disclosure  Purposeful disclosure Who is “initial out cry”

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Presentation on theme: "PROSECUTION OF SEXUAL ABUSE CASES. WHAT HAPPENED?  Child makes a disclosure  Accidental disclosure  Purposeful disclosure Who is “initial out cry”"— Presentation transcript:

1 PROSECUTION OF SEXUAL ABUSE CASES

2 WHAT HAPPENED?  Child makes a disclosure  Accidental disclosure  Purposeful disclosure Who is “initial out cry” made to?  Family  School  Stranger  Pol ice

3 LAW ENFORCEMENT INVOLVEMENT  Authorities notified  Police  DHS  Campus Police MANDATORY REPORTERS Report is taken, and assigned as necessary or referred to appropriate jurisdiction Law enforcement conducts full investigation, and presents charges for filing.

4 INTERVIEWING A CHILD  What is a forensic Interview?  An interview in a child-friendly environment which is conducted in a legally sound, age-appropriate, neutral fact finding nature, using non-leading and non-suggestive questions.  Goals of a Forensic Interview  Safe supportive environment  Video recorded documentation  Minimize the number of interviews with a child  Allow a child to tell what has happened to them

5 GETTING TO COURT  Court Process  Preliminary Hearing  Jury trial Filing pre-trial motions, conducting hearings, preparing witnesses  Preparing a child for testifying  Court school  Interviews  Counseling

6 APPLICABLE LAW-CHILD HEARSAY  Title 12 §  A. A statement made by a child who has not attained thirteen (13) years of age or a person who is an incapacitated person as such term is defined by the provisions of Section of Title 43A of the Oklahoma Statutes, which describes any act of physical abuse against the child or incapacitated person or any act of sexual contact performed with or on the child or incapacitated person by another, is admissible in criminal and juvenile proceedings in the courts in this state if:

7 Title 12 § (cont.)  1. The court finds, in a hearing conducted outside the presence of the jury, that the time, content and totality of circumstances surrounding the taking of the statement provide sufficient indicia of reliability so as to render it inherently trustworthy. In determining such trustworthiness, the court may consider, among other things, the following factors: the spontaneity and consistent repetition of the statement, the mental state of the declarant, whether the terminology used is unexpected of a child of similar age or of an incapacitated person, and whether a lack of motive to fabricate exists; and

8 Title 12 § (cont.)  2. The child or incapacitated person either:  a. testifies or is available to testify at the proceedings in open court or through an alternative method pursuant to the provisions of the Uniform Child Witness Testimony by Alternative Methods Act or Section of Title 12 of the Oklahoma Statutes, or  b. is unavailable as defined in Section 2804 of this title as a witness. When the child or incapacitated person is unavailable, such statement may be admitted only if there is corroborative evidence of the act.  B. A statement may not be admitted under this section unless the proponent of the statement makes known to the adverse party an intention to offer the statement and the particulars of the statement at least ten (10) days in advance of the proceedings to provide the adverse party with an opportunity to prepare to answer the statement

9 TESTIMONY BY ALTERNATE METHOD  TITLE 12 §  A. In a criminal proceeding, the judge or presiding officer may allow a child witness to testify by an alternative method only in the following situations:  1. The child may testify otherwise than in an open forum in the presence and full view of the finder of fact if the judge or presiding officer finds by clear and convincing evidence that the child would suffer serious emotional trauma that would substantially impair the child’s ability to communicate with the finder of fact if required to testify in the open forum; and  2. The child may testify other than face-to-face with the defendant if the judge or presiding officer finds by clear and convincing evidence that the child would suffer serious emotional trauma that would substantially impair the child’s ability to communicate with the finder of fact if required to be confronted face-to-face by the defendant.

10 Title 12 § (cont.)  B. In a criminal proceeding, the child may have an advocate appointed by the court to monitor the potential for emotional trauma. The advocate shall be a registered professional social worker, psychologist, or psychiatrist.  C. In a noncriminal proceeding, the judge or presiding officer may allow a child witness to testify by an alternative method if the judge or presiding officer finds by a preponderance of the evidence that allowing the child to testify by an alternative method is necessary to serve the best interests of the child or enable the child to communicate with the finder of fact. In making the finding, the judge or presiding officer shall consider:  1. The nature of the proceeding;  2. The age and maturity of the child;  3. The relationship of the child to the parties in the proceeding;  4. The nature and degree of emotional trauma that the child may suffer in testifying; and  5. Any other relevant factor.

11 SUPPORTING EVIDENCE  Testimony of first out cry witness  Parents, school, counselor, etc.  Testimony of Law Enforcement  First responding, Detective  Testimony of Medical Expert  SANE nurse or Doctor  Testimony of Forensic Interviewer

12 PROPENSITY- TITLE 12 § 2413  A. In a criminal case in which the defendant is accused of an offense of sexual assault, evidence of the defendant's commission of another offense or offenses of sexual assault is admissible, and may be considered for its bearing on any matter to which it is relevant.  B. In a case in which the state intends to offer evidence under this rule, the attorney for the state shall disclose the evidence to the defendant, including statements of witnesses or a summary of the substance of any testimony that is expected to be offered, at least fifteen (15) days before the scheduled date of trial or at such later time as the court may allow for good cause.  C. This rule shall not be construed to limit the admission or consideration of evidence under any other rule.  D. For purposes of this rule, "offense of sexual assault" means a crime under federal law or the laws of this state that involve:

13 2413 (cont.)  1. Any conduct proscribed by Sections 1111 through 1125 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes;  2. Contact, without consent, between any part of the defendant's body or an object and the genitals or anus of another person;  3. Contact, without consent, between the genitals or anus of the defendant and any part of another person's body;  4. Deriving sexual pleasure or gratification from the infliction of death, bodily injury, emotional distress, or physical pain on another person; or  5. An attempt or conspiracy to engage in conduct described in paragraphs 1 through 4 of this subsection

14 PROPENSITY TITLE 12 § 2414  A. In a criminal case in which the defendant is accused of an offense of child molestation, evidence of the defendant's commission of another offense or offenses of child molestation is admissible, and may be considered for its bearing on any matter to which it is relevant.  B. In a case in which the state intends to offer evidence under this rule, the attorney for the state shall disclose the evidence to the defendant, including statements of witnesses or a summary of the substance of any testimony that is expected to be offered, at least fifteen (15) days before the scheduled date of trial or at such later time as the court may allow for good cause.  C. This rule shall not be construed to limit the admission or consideration of evidence under any other rule.  D. For purposes of this rule, "child" means a person below the age of sixteen (16), and "offense of child molestation" means a crime under federal law or the laws of this state that involve:

15 2414 (cont. )  1. Any conduct proscribed by Sections 1111 through 1125 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes, that was committed in relation to a child;  2. Contact between any part of the defendant's body or an object and the genitals or anus of a child;  3. Contact between the genitals or anus of the defendant and any part of the body of a child;  4. Deriving sexual pleasure or gratification from the infliction of death, bodily injury, emotional distress, or physical pain on a child; or  5. An attempt or conspiracy to engage in conduct described in paragraphs 1 through 4 of this subsection.

16 DEFENDANT’S CASE IN CHIEF  Mainly character witnesses and family members  Experts for Medical exams  Experts for Forensic Interviews  Most witnesses are ones who attack child’s credibility  Family members  Facebook or other social media  teachers

17 DEFENDANT’S CASE (cont.)  If Defendant testifies, try to lock them in on exposure to child, child’s motive to fabricate, and any inappropriate behavior that they may think is “normal ”.  Character witnesses will never admit that a child molester should go free, so ask them!  No one will admit these take place in the open, in front of witnesses. So, they will have no relevant evidence to offer.

18 JUSTICE FOR THE CHILDREN  If everyone does there job effectively and thoroughly, the best case possible will be presented to the jury for their consideration.  All crimes involving children require Defendants to serve 85% of their sentence before eligible for parole.


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