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NCJ Number: 209257 Find in a Library
Title: Child Pornography Cases: Obtaining Confessions with an Effective Interview Strategy
Author(s): Randy Bowling M.S.; Dave Resch M.A.
Date Published: March 2005
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes an interview strategy that has proven useful when interviewing preferential sex offenders in child pornography cases.
Abstract: Effective interviewing strategies are important when trying to coax a confession during a child pornography investigation. The first step toward gaining that confession involves obtaining information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI's) Innocent Images National Initiative program, obtaining background information on the suspect, and being prepared with informant or witness information. After this preparation stage, the article describes the way in which the initial police contact with the suspect should be handled. Initial accusations of the crime must be direct and convincing in their delivery; suggestions are offered for how to proceed after the suspect proclaims his innocence. The next stage of the suspect interview should focus on theme development, which means that officers should focus the interrogation on common themes that consist of rationalization of the crime, projecting blame onto others, and minimizing the offense. Through theme development, suspects may be convinced that police are not the adversaries and that child pornography is less serious than actually harming children, which sets the foundation for a full confession. Confessions may come piecemeal, so investigators need to build a confession from its initial stages to complete confession by guiding suspects to progressively admit more serious violations. It is important that investigators avoid displays of anger, showing understanding and sympathy to the suspect instead in order to allow the suspect to offer admissions. A textbox contained within the article reviews the basic elements of interrogation.
Main Term(s): Police interrogation training; Suspect interrogation
Index Term(s): Child Pornography; Confessions; Investigative techniques
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