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ERIC Number: ED400678
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Using the Child's Testimony in Defending the Alleged Child Molester.
Castro, Carolyn D.
Analysis of the transcript of a social worker's interview with a five-and-a-half-year-old girl allegedly sexually abused by a man focuses on how the interview was conducted and elements that suggest it should not be used as testimony. First, inconsistencies in the transcript that cast doubt on the child's reliability are noted, and the truth of the accusation is called into question. Second, flaws in the manner in which the interview was conducted, which resulted in an inaccurate account of the events of the case, are analyzed. Types of questions asked by the social worker and the presuppositions they entailed are then examined, and instances that do lend support to the child's charge of being sexually abused are discussed. It is concluded that information crucial to making a strong case against the alleged molester was not elicited, because clear answers were not received for several questions. The testimony remained unclear, confused, or conflicting. Reconstruction of the events according to the interview suggests that while something happened to the child, the language of her testimony did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was guilty of molestation. Salient excerpts of the interview transcript are appended. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A