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NCJ Number: 136658 Find in a Library
Title: Sexually Abused Child Syndrome: Res Ipsa Loquitur and Shifting the Burden of Proof
Journal: Law and Psychology Review  Volume:15  Dated:(Spring 1991)  Pages:277-297
Author(s): A M Koszuth
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 21
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The advantages and disadvantages of courtroom use of sexually abused child syndrome to shift the burden of proof to the parent or parents of the child victim are explored.
Abstract: The adoption of the doctrine of "res ipsa loquitur," meaning "(t)he thing speaks for itself," most likely would go far to ease the burdens placed on child victim-witnesses, but also would serve to deny the accused the basic and fundamental sixth amendment right of confrontation with his accuser. To shift the burden of proof to a defendant upon a showing of symptoms, which could be symptoms of many things, denies the protection the Constitution affords. The behavioral indicators adopted by child protection workers and treatment providers may prove helpful for validation and treatment purposes, but they are too broad to be used in an evidentiary capacity by the judicial system and could mean too many other things to be fairly allowed into evidence absent direct testimony by the victim. 122 footnotes
Main Term(s): Burden of proof; Child Sexual Abuse
Index Term(s): Behavior patterns; Child abuse; Negligence; Witness credibility
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