Defense Considerations in the Child as Witness in Allegations of Sexual Abuse.
Part II. The Child Witness:
ABSTRACT: Although the false allegation of child
sexual abuse does not always start with a child, the child becomes the
key to unlocking the mystery of why the allegations are made, and what
validity, if any, should be given. The following article is published in
three parts: Part I deals with how we measure credibility.
Part II deals
with the child as a witness. Part III deals with the anatomical dolls
and some general practice tips.
At common law, there was a presumption of competency
only of children over the age of 14. In 13 states, a child over the age
of 10 is presumed competent.(19) In some states there is a
different age presumption for criminal matters and for civil matters.(20)
The general common law rule on competency is similar
to the Federal rule.
The competency of a child offered as a witness
involves his mentality and moral maturity, having special regard to the
understanding of the nature of the oath and of the consequences of false
swearing. The belief in a Supreme Being and in further punishment for
false swearing is neither necessary to, nor conclusive of his
competency. He should be sufficiently mature to receive correct
impressions by his senses and to recollect and narrate intelligently.
must also appreciate the moral and legal duty of a witness to tell the
truth. State V. Segerberg, 131 Conn. 546, 547, 41 A.2d 101 (1945).
also State V. Piskorski, 177 Conn. 677, 712 (1979).
The Criminal Rule as to Children is, in some states,
defined by statute. For example, Connecticut has one that provides:
Sec. 54-86h. Competency of child as witness. No
witness shall be automatically adjudged incompetent to testify because
of age and any child who is a victim of assault, sexual assault or abuse
shall be competent to testify without prior qualification. The weight to
be given the evidence and the credibility of the witness shall be for
the determination of the trier of fact." (P.A. 85-587, S2). Note:
competency is different from the obligation to take an oath. See p.101
et seq, Myers, Child Witness, Law and Practice, John Wiley & Sons
Now, of course, how can the child victim fall within
the exception without proof by competent evidence that the child has
been the victim of an assault? Nevertheless, you can assume that the
court will permit all children to testify. I do not know of any cases in
which an appeal has been taken on the constitutionality of this
provision. Even if it is constitutional, it should be a cause of
concern. Please note another provision in the criminal law as to the
right of confrontation.(21)
The Federal Rule is more succinctly set forth: "The question of a child's competency depends on
the capacity and intelligence of the child, his appreciation of the
difference between truth and falsehood, as well as of his duty to tell
the former." Wheeler v. United States, 159 U.S. 523 (1895).
Because of the aforesaid presumptions, in a civil
action, the burden of proof to establish competency is on the proponent
of the witness under the age of 14. That means that you are entitled to
a hearing on the issue of the competency. The hearing may be granted as
a preliminary matter, or it may be granted after the child witness is
sworn, but you are entitled to a hearing. State v. May, 79 Conn.
315, 316 64 At 833, (1906) — 6 year old is competent; Ruocco v.
104 Conn. 585, 590, 134 At 74 (1926) — 15 year old is incompetent.
Lying in General: Types of Lies
A lie is defined as: "(1) To make a statement
that one knows is false, especially with intent to deceive."(22)
Note the three elements:
(a) A statement.
(b) Known to be false.
(c) With intent to deceive.
Children learn to lie the first time they are
punished for telling the truth. The first lies are simple denials:
"Did you do that?" "No." As children grow older,
they blame others in response to questioning. As their minds become more
sophisticated, so does the lie. There is some truth in the proposition
that young children don't lie if, by that, it is meant they have
capacity to invent a false statement with intent to deceive. There is no
empirical data that shows that children lie about everything except
sexual abuse. Experience shows that children do lie. As a matter of
fact, in your cross examination of a person who claims that children
never lie, you might ask the following questions: "Did you ever lie as a child?
Did any of your
friends ever lie as a child? At what age did you first observe your
friends lie? What was the lie?"
Even without the creation of a baleful lie, children
do engage in make believe, play, fantasy and games of pretend. The fact
that a child does not lie does not mean that the child is telling the
truth. A child may believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the
sandman, witches, etc., without (a) knowing that they don't exist, and
(b) intending to deceive. Therefore, the issue is not do children
sometimes lie, the issue is do children narrate only experienced
Analysis of the Connecticut Rule of Witness
There are three essential elements:
" ... mental and moral maturity having special regard
to the nature of the oath, the consequences of false swearing ... and the
moral and legal duty to tell the truth ..."
"Mature enough to receive correct impressions by
"The ability to recollect and narrate
intelligently." Segerberg, Id.
Capacity for Truthfulness
I am aware of no study of children that would indicate that any child under the age of 10 would
have the mental and moral maturity to appreciate the moral and legal
duty to tell the truth. Indeed, all the research indicates just the
opposite. Children do not acquire a character, and appreciation of the
duty until ages 10 and 11. Of course, the rule as stated by the Supreme
Court and as applied by the trial court are strangers to each other.
reviewing the literature, a child as young as five has been qualified to
testify. Wheeler, Id.
It would seem that as a preliminary matter, an
examination of the child by professionals may be obtained to establish
competency. If the professional is familiar with the literature and is
honest, I seriously question whether competency of a young child could
properly be found.
A three-year-old normally believes anything that
displeases a parent to be a lie. Thus, swear words are considered to be
lies. Until age five or six they believe that (a) a lie is anything the
adult says is a lie,(23) and (b) anything which is incorrect is a lie; for
example, two plus two equals five.(24)
Furthermore, to apply this rule,
if the child says that he has not been abused and the investigator tells
him that that is a lie, the child will adopt that statement to be a lie
and the child will learn not to say that "nothing happened"
because that would be a lie.
Piaget also found that children, age six, thought
a lie was "naughty words," simply bad
things to say because parents got angry about them. Even at age 11, a lie is an untruth with intent to deceive but is
still subject to the situational specifics in determining actual behavior.(25)
Jean Piaget indicates that young children do not
discriminate between thoughts and things thought of. They do not remember the origins of their
knowledge and mistake memories of dreams for memories of events while
awake. It is not until about the age of 11 or 12 that a child is capable
of fully differentiating between internal thoughts and external
As Wakefield and Underwager point out:
Talking about punishment and using moral concepts as,
"Do good girls tell the truth or lie?" does not increase the
likelihood of telling the truth. The known limitation of children's
cognitive capacities to be literalistic and concrete
interpretations of punishment and reward means such talk increases the
probability of children giving answers that they think the adult wants
to hear. It does not assure truth telling.(27)
Furthermore, children view as naughtier that person
who accidentally strays far from the truth than the one who deliberately
strays slightly. Because children cannot fathom the reasons or motivations behind someone's statements, they define as a
lie any statement that is contrary to observable fact.(27)
Children also tend to believe that a lie which is
gotten away with is all right, but a lie that is not believed is not all
right. Take the following lies: Telling your family you got a good mark in school
when you weren't called on to recite; or telling, after being frightened
by a dog, that he was as big as a horse or a cow. For young children the
first lie is not "naughty" because (1) it often happens that
one gets good marks; and (2) "Mama believed it." The second
"lie," however, is very naughty, because nobody ever saw a dog
Children also tend to decide what is a lie, not by
the intent to deceive, but by the consequences. Presenting a young
child, aged three to five, with a truthful situation would probably
result in the child saying something was a lie. For example, "If
you told your brother it was time to go to school and he left the house
and got hit by a car, would that be a lie?" The young child without
a clear understanding of cause and effect, but perceiving that there
were spoken words and a bad result, would very likely call that a lie.
Anything that gets an adult angry is a lie. Another observation of the
researchers is that a child would find the slight negligence resulting
in bad results more morally serious than an intentional assault with
less serious consequences.
Because a young child cannot appreciate the
circumstances in which it would be appropriate to lie, i.e. justifiable
lying, the child will define something as not a lie rather than indicate
it is a lie, but it is all right to lie under certain circumstances.
"Let's assume you are walking down the street. You run into a monster and the monster says:
'Where is your friend, Becky Jo? I want to find her
and eat her.' Now, if you know where she is, will you tell the monster
or will you tell the monster that you don't know where she lives?"
Since a child has no philosophical concept of situational ethics,
(although the following study indicates that children do operate
situationally), the child will most likely define that as not being a
lie rather than adopting the sophisticated concept of justifiable lying.
Not only do the studies show that children under the
age of 10 have no appreciation for moral duty to tell the truth, they
also show that children up to age 14 are more likely to have rules about
honesty and lying which are used as they perceive the situation demands.
Hartshorne and May did a study in which eleven
thousand children in the fifth through eighth grades were involved (ages
11 to 14). Moral conduct was studied by giving children opportunities to lie, to
cheat, and to steal in different sets of circumstances. The most
surprising discovery, because it was not expected, is that the moral
behavior of children is specific to the situation. There is little
support for the concept of some internal entity such as character or
moral disposition or general traits of honesty, truthfulness or
trustworthiness. Instead, children respond to the concrete specific
situation and give whatever answers of behavior they perceive that the
situation demands. This finding has been replicated and confirmed by
Qualifying the Child Witness
Someone — the judge, the prosecutor, the other attorney — will attempt to show that the child is competent as a witness.
The standard questions have no relationship to "the moral and legal
duty to tell the truth," but have woven themselves into the
repertory of qualifying questions frequently asked.
The questions asked by judges are essentially
recognition tasks. "Is my sock red or blue?" "If I say it
is raining outside, is that a truth or a lie?" "If I say that
I am a girl, is that the truth or a lie?" "If you said that I
had a beard, would that be a truth or a lie?" "You are four
years old, right?" "If you said that you were 12, would that
be true?" The difficulty is that correct answers to such questions
do not reveal anything about a child's conception of truth or lie or the
competency to assess what is truthful or false about a complex event
which is supposed to have occurred in the past. They simply test the
accuracy of observations of the child and the child's perception of the
immediate environmental situation of being expected to provide the
You, of course, will have an opportunity to voir dire
the child on the issue of competency. You may anticipate that the child
will have already testified that "It is wrong to tell a lie, and
that if you tell a lie you will be punished."
This provides an opportunity to ask the child about
how much witness preparation has been undertaken. Where did the child
learn that? Has the child ever lied? When? Where?
Why? What happened? Did they ever lie and not get caught?
So, they don't always get punished
if they lie? But didn't you just say you do ...? Does a child really know
how a judge would "punish" them, do they understand the
concept of jail? Have they ever seen one, been to one, do they know
anyone who has been to jail? Have you been told that your father is
going to go to jail for what he did to you? What does that mean to you?
Have you been told that you will go to jall if you don't say what the prosecutor wants to
hear? What else have you been told about testifying today? Do you know
why you are here? Why do you think? Has anybody promised you a present
if you tell what you told?
This line of questioning has the real possibility of
getting the child, who has been rehearsed, to describe how much witness
preparation has been going on. It may also open the door as to how much
witness preparation has been done by that sweet social worker who is
only there to provide therapy and would never dare to cross the line
between therapist and amateur police detective.
In summary, there is no evidence that indicates that
children under the age of 11 have any cognitive capacity for the
abstract thinking ability required to grasp the legal requirement for
telling the difference between the truth and a lie. As Wakefield and
Underwager point out:
The inability of children to engage in the abstract
reasoning required to discriminate between truth and falsehood as adults
do and the confabulation of fact and fiction, both naturally occurring
and as a result of learning, mean that judicial assessment of competency
must be carefully assessed. It cannot be assessed in a five to ten
minute examination of a child's accuracy of observation coupled with a
moral homily on truth telling.(31)
Nevertheless, you can predict that the judge will
find all children competent, and the other issues will go to the weight
of their testimony.
Mental Capacity of the Child in Question to Perceive
and Retain Accurate Impression
Is it possible for a three-year-old child to remember
an event, even sexual abuse, which may have occurred three months
earlier? The best witnesses in the area of child development are not
psychologists who have devoted a lifetime to dealing with rats and
emotionally disturbed people. The best witnesses are those people who
run day care facilities, nursery school and kindergarten facilities and
deal with normal children. If you want to learn about a child in
particular, or children in general, talk to the people who have had
actual contact with the young child. They can provide insight into the
ability of the child to perceive and remember events.
Perception of Size
Children under the age of six have not yet learned about relative size.
All cars are big and the
ability to differentiate between a big big car and a little big car has
not yet been learned. One experiment involves making two small balls out
of modeling clay. The child under six will agree that the two balls are
the same size. If one ball is made into a sausage shape and laid beside
the other ball, the child will indicate that the sausage shaped ball is
larger — because it is longer.(32)
Generally, when we hear a small child
describe something as big, we know what the means. Therefore, we do not
ask "how big" because we think we have an idea of how big the
object should be. For all you know, a child who has had no experience
will indicate that it was as big as a horse.
Perception of Time
We assume that children conceptualize time the same
way we do. But, remember when you were a child? Remember asking:
"When will we be there?" "Soon." "When is
Christmas?" "Soon." No wonder children have a poor sense
As Dr. Solnit points out:
"Unlike adults, who have learned to anticipate
the future and thus to manage delay, children have a built-in time sense
based on the urgency of their instinctual and emotional needs ... A
child will experience a given time period not according to its actual
duration, measured objectively by calendar and clock, but according to
his purely subjective feelings of impatience and frustration."(33)
When it comes to defending the sexual abuse case, no
one seems to be concerned with indicating when the event happened.
you are told the date within a month, consider yourself fortunate.
would presume that in order to perceive, recollect and narrate, a child
to be competent would have to be able to tell you when the event is
supposed to have happened. My experience has been that the child is
given many chances to choose a date for which your client does not have
The issue of when the abuse is supposed to have
occurred is most important on the issue of an alibi defense. To the
extent a child is accommodating the therapist by agreeing that abuse
occurred, the one piece of information which your client has, but the
therapist does not, is when your client had an opportunity to visit the
child. My experience is that court orders of visitation are always
strictly adhered to. As you know, very often these claims are made as
part of a continuing custody/visitation problem and it is more likely than not, the date, if you can get
one, will indicate no contact with the child.
However, because a child seems to be given an
opportunity to keep guessing until she gets one right, don't overlook
attempting to have your client recollect all the things he did during
the month he was accused of molesting the child. Remember, if it is a
traditional visitation arrangement, your client will only have to
account for his activities for four days in a one month period.
On the issue of alibi, our Supreme Court has recently
decided that, in a criminal prosecution, the State does not have to
indicate the specific date of the occurrence of the crimes charged.
"The state does not have a duty ... to disclose information which
the state does not have. ... We also recognize that because the state has
been unable to be more precise, the defendant's presentation of his
alibi defense may be more burdensome and difficult." State v.
Evans, 205 Conn. 528, 535 (Dec.1987). The wisdom of that decision comes
in the dissent by Justice Covello who points out that the practice book
requires that the state, upon motion by the defendant, shall disclose
the date, time and place of the offense charged. Practice Book Sec. 832.
He also points out that the failure to inform the accused of the nature
and cause of the accusations may have constitutional implications. Id.
Perception of Major Events
In August, 1987, there was a plane crash in Detroit
in which the only survivor was a four-year-old child. Experts, social
workers and psychologists were brought in to break the news that her
parents had been killed. They were surprised when the child did not show
any emotion or any interest. Since death is such an abstract concept to
children of that age and since they cannot understand the concept, the
reality is of little significance. Again, in this area, do not assume
that children have the same meanings and thought processes as we adults
The child's recall of events is surprisingly
deficient. Young children cannot place months in any meaningful order,
and the ability to even recall a sequence of events is faulty. The alibi
defense is often hard, if not impossible, because the investigators
generally start their investigation with what and who, and never care
about the other dimensions of reality — where, when, and why.
Also, since the issue is the accuracy of memory, any
cross examination of children will have to explore other events which
the judge would find meaningful and the child's life, to wit: holidays,
birthdays, special school events, and perhaps major medical problems.
the child does not remember those events, the trier of fact may assume
that any detailed recollection of abuse which occurred a year before
will have been fabricated if the child can't remember what happened last
Christmas. That, of course, requires your client to have specific
information about those events. Otherwise, if the child tells you
nothing happened at Christmas of '87, and you don't have any evidence as
to what did happen on Christmas, you will be stuck with that response.
Perception of Minor Events
Fivush asked kindergarten children what happens in
school in general and what happened the previous day in particular.
asked specific questions about the previous days, about half of the
children could not answer even when the event in question was a
presumably attention-catching puppet show. With prompting by the
experimenters, the children could retrieve specific events which shows
they had not been forgotten but were hard to recall in the context of
considering the general script for a day at school.(34)
There are various
assumptions which we make about children and their interpretation of
Incidentally, studies of children's memory for events
in the "real" world show even kindergartners can recall some
aspects about a novel event a year later.(35)
Those of us who have had
small children are often surprised at the amazing accurate, episodic
recollection of even young children. Because of those occasional events,
psychologists claim that children are accurate in their recollection.
is also agreed that even the few statements produced by young children
in free recall are likely to be accurate. Further, the amount remembered
will decrease as the interval between the encoding and the time of
retrieval in the laboratory increases.
There is general agreement among investigators that
the number of accurate statements produced in free recall increases with
age.(36) There is one study that is occasionally quoted for the
proposition that children make as good witnesses as adults. "The
children were no more easily swayed into incorrect answers than were the
adults. In fact, according to one psychologist, 'We can get people to
tell us that red lights are green, that curly hair is straight, that
barns exist where there are none.'" The study then goes on to
suggest that "... style of questioning could be more to blame for
inaccurate testimony than the age of the witness. This becomes a problem
... because children are asked more leading
But the reasoning is that since young children have
little facility for recall you have to ask leading questions. Hence, if
you ask the right questions you will obtain the right answers and,
therefore, the child will not be wrong!
Distortion of Memory
Children, as young as four and five, demonstrate an
awareness of subtle differences in language.(38)
Thus, there is a
difference in, "Did you see the ..." rather than, "Did you
see a ..." There is a difference when you ask, "Did you see the
broken headlight" because it presumes that there was a broken
Dale, et al. investigated the effect of the form of
questions on the memory of preschoolers after they had viewed short
films. They found that the syntax of the question had no effect if the
query concerned something which was actually present in the film. However, if the entity was not present in the film, children were more
likely to answer "yes" incorrectly when questions were worded
"Did you see the ...?"
"Did you see any ...?"
"Didn't you see some ..."(39)
Children are susceptible to leading questions.
experiment involved children who were in the school yard with the
researcher. They then went to their classroom. He asked, "When you
were ... in the yard, a man came up to me, didn't he? You surely saw who
it was. Write his name on your paper." Only 7 of the 22
eight-year-olds complied until the experimenter asked, "Was it not
Mr. M?" Seventeen children said "yes" despite the fact
that no one had approached the experimenter outside. That is 77% who
Cohen and Harnick found that third graders accepted
false suggestions more readily and were less observant of detail than
sixth grade or college students who were roughly equivalent in
suggestibility and recall of detail.(41)
Influences on a Child's Memory:
Interrogation as a Learning Process
Wakefield and Underwager also point out that
interrogation is a learning experience. In your own analysis of a case,
you should attempt to learn how much interrogation has taken place, by
whom, and attempt to stop it. If you can't, insure that it is
videotaped in order to produce a record of the influences of the
therapist on the child.
It has been noted that few of the persons involved in
interrogations of children show any awareness of their own stimulus
value or of the impact of their procedures as a learning experience upon
the children and the reliability of statements made by them. Whether it
is a frown or a smile, a nodding in agreement, or the scowl of
disagreement, the interviewer can and does influence the child. That is
the basis of most classroom learning experiences — a question followed by
a response followed by either positive or negative reinforcement."(42)
"The reality that is completely overlooked is that each of
these experiences of interrogation is a learning experience for the
child. The dynamic nature and effects of this process must be
acknowledged and understood.(43)
The following are examples of the effect of the
interrogator "teaching" the child to act like a victim:
The interrogator who wants to believe that the child has been abused
will filter out facts inconsistent with that conclusion and underline
facts which are consistent. When young children want to please the
interrogator, by the time the sessions are over, both the child and the
interviewer may believe that the child has been abused.
Furthermore, there exists a belief that if the child doesn't tell the
therapist that he or she has been abused, it is because the child does
not trust the therapist. (49) The ultimate revelation is thought to
occur only when the therapist has obtained the trust of the child.
Through this, the child may eventually learn to trust the therapist's
version of the facts rather than the child's own recollection. After
all, we train our children to accept as true those things which adults
The interrogation bias also shows up in the interpretation which the
interviewer gives to the responses of the child. With the background
belief that "A child couldn't possibly know about abuse unless it
happened," the therapist is often quick to take simple, nonsexual
terms and interpret them in a sexual manner. Therefore, if a child says
that her daddy pricked his finger, you can imagine how that will be
perceived. Such things as bouncing, bumping, grabbing, holding,
touching, hitting, are presumed to be sexual, although if you want to
see nonsexual use of those actions, try watching football or wrestling.
If it is sticky, slimy, gooey, yucky, it will be considered a sexual
byproduct, when, to young children, anything that they are asked to eat
that they dislike will be described in those terms. If it is a secret,
it can only be a secret about sexual activities, because children have
no secrets about anything else. If it is a game, whether doctor, nurse,
mortician, it can only be a sexual game, because, according to these
people, those are the only games children play with adults. If Daddy
touches a dog, or a cat, or a hamster, it is only with sexual intentions
because, why else would an animal be touched?
Misleading Reports and Interpretation
Occasionally, you will find a report that indicates that a child said
this or that. If you listen to the audiotape of videotape you will find
that the interrogator introduces a statement, topic or question, to
which the child either gives no response, a denial, or minimal response.
After repeated questioning, the child may nod or answer yes. However,
the report will contain only the affirmation and none of the denial; it
may even be an interpretation of a nod.
Furthermore, if you listen to a tape, you will be shocked at the
amount of leading which occurs by the therapist. You may be surprised at
the tone of voice of the child and the affect. One tape shows the child
giggling and laughing as she describes the so-called abuse.
Wakefield and Underwager note that there are three concepts
interrogators of children use when the child denies or refuses to admit
that abuse happened. They are: (1) the child is scared by some threat,
(2) the child is frightened or ashamed and it is hard to talk about it,
and (3) the child has a secret too scary to tell.(50)
When a child does
not produce the desired response affirming abuse but denies it,
interrogators come up with one or all of these suggestions. The child
eventually catches on to what is wanted and gives the desired response,
and gets social reinforcement for producing the "right"
answer. In this manner, the child is taught to produce the explanations
for the initial denial or refusal to acknowledge abuse. Now the child
(who has not admitted to any abuse) has come up with an acceptable
reason why he did not admit it. This, of course, is all the therapist
wants to hear because now there is clear evidence of abuse.
(19) Whitcomb, D., Shapiro, E, & Stellwagen, L.
When the Victim
is a Child (),
pp. 31, 32 US Department of Justice,
National Institute of Justice
(August 1985). [Back]
(20) N.Y. for example had a presumption of 12 for civil (Olshansky V.
Prensky, 185 App. Div. 469,172 NYS 856 and 14 for criminal. Code of
Criminal Procedure, Section 392. [Back]
(21) Coy v. Iowa, U.P.,108S.C. CT. 2798,
101L. Ed. 2d. 857 (1988) [Back]
(22) Webster's New World Dictionary , 2nd Edition. [Back]
(23) Piaget, The Moral Development of Children. op.
cit. Wakefield, H.
& Underwager, R. Accusations of Child Abuse ()(). Springfield, IL:
Charles C. Thomas, Publisher, (1988).
(24) Frost, 1986 op. cit. Emans, Psychology's
Responsibilities in the
False Accusations of Child Abuse. Unpublished manuscript, University of
South Dakota (1987). [Back]
(25) Piaget The Construction of Reality in the
Child ()(). New
Books, Inc. (1954) op. cit. Emans, supra. [Back]
(26) See also Wakefield & Underwager, supra,
p. 85. [Back]
(27) Wakefield & Underwager, supra, p. 91.
(28) The Essential Piaget (), Gruber & Voheche, (Eds.)
NY (1977) p.158. [Back]
(29) Hartshorne, H. & May, M., Studies in the Nature of
Character (). New York:
Macmillan, (1930) op.
cit. Wakefield and Underwager,
supra p. 25. [Back]
(30) Wakefield & Underwager, supra, p. 25.
(31) Wakefield & Underwager, supra, p. 146.
(32) Totter & McConnell, Psychology Book: The Human
Science, Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
p. 227 (1978). [Back]
(33) Goldstein, Freud, & Solnit, Beyond the Best Interests of the
p. 40, 41 Free Press: McMillan, (1979). [Back]
(34) Fivush, R. Learning about school: The development of
kindergartners' school scripts. Child Development, (1984)
55,1697-1709 op. cit. Wakefield and Underwager, supra, p. 7.
(35) Fivush, R., Hudson, J., & Nelson, K. (1984), op.
cit. Underwager, supra p. 72. [Back]
(36) Perlmutter, M., & Ricks, M. (1979), op.
cit. Wakefield and
Underwager, supra p. 73. [Back]
(37) Cohen, R. & Harnick, M. The susceptibility of child
witnesses to suggestion, Law and Human Behavior,
4, 201-215 (1980) op. cit.
When the Victim is a Child (), supra,
p. 36. [Back]
(38) Dale, P., Loftus, E., & Rathbun, L. The influence of the
form of the question on the eyewitness testimony of preschool children.
Journal of Psycholinguistics Research, 7, 269-277 (1979) op. cit. Wakefield & Underwager, supra p.
(39) Dale, Ibid., op. cit. Nurcombe, B. The child as witness:
Competency and credibility. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry,
25(4), 473-480, (1986). [Back]
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(41) Cohen, R. & Harnick, M. The susceptibility of child
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(42) Wakefield & Underwager, supra p. 30, 118.
(43) Wakefield & Underwager, supra p. 30.
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(46) A five year old takes the stand, Newsweek,
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(48) Wakefield & Underwager, supra p. 46.
(49) Wakefield & Underwager, supra p. 369.
(50) Wakefield & Underwager, Id. p. 44.