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NCJ Number: 185615 Find in a Library
Title: Impact of DNA Evidence in a Child Sexual Assault Trial
Journal: Child Maltreatment  Volume:5  Issue:4  Dated:November 2000  Pages:373-383
Author(s): Jonathan M. Golding; Terri L. Stewart; John A. Yozwiak; Yas Djadali; Rebecca P. Sanchez
Date Published: November 2000
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the impact of DNA evidence in a child sexual assault trial.
Abstract: Two experiments investigated the impact of DNA evidence in a child sexual assault (CSA) case involving a 6-year-old alleged victim. In the first experiment, participants read criminal trial summaries of CSA cases in which only DNA evidence was presented, only the alleged child victim's testimony was presented, or both forms of evidence were presented. When DNA evidence was presented, there were more guilty verdicts and greater belief of the alleged victim than when only the alleged victim testified. In the second experiment, DNA evidence was countered by an alibi witness testifying as to the defendant's whereabouts at the time of the alleged assault. The alibi witness reduced the influence of DNA evidence compared with presentation of DNA evidence without the witness. These experiments demonstrated that the impact of DNA evidence on a child sexual assault trial is powerful but not absolute. The impact of DNA evidence will continue to be important, given technological advances in how it is obtained, analyzed, and interpreted. Tables, appendix, references
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Courts; Criminal proceedings; DNA fingerprinting; Evidence; Forensic sciences; Rules of evidence; Science and Technology; Victims of Crime
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