Using a child witness in a sex crimes case can be a very difficult and complicated task. There are many factors that can influence the way a child testifies, including the interview process, which can result in what is known as taint.
Those who interview child witnesses in sex crime cases must adhere to a very strict code of conduct regarding what questions can be asked. Because children are so impressionable, the questions cannot lead a child to a certain conclusion or be suggestive in any way.
Taint is the term that is used to describe what happens to a child’s testimony when it is given during a poorly conducted interview. If a child’s testimony is tainted, it is unreliable and may be deemed inadmissible as evidence in a case.
It is an unfortunate fact that children are sometimes used as pawns in some divorce and custody cases. In some instances, children are even coached by one of the parties to give testimony about being sexually abused, even if no abuse ever occurred.
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