Investigative Procedures in Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse
Part II: Victim and Subject Interviews
John C. Wideman*
ABSTRACT: This is the second of a series of articles on
investigative procedures in child sexual abuse. The object of this
series is to suggest how an investigation should be done correctly.
article discusses how to interview alleged victims and perpetrators.
At this point in the investigation, the investigator
will have secured available physical evidence, if any, and interviewed
the first reporter. Other, immediately available witnesses also may have
been interviewed. The information gathered will tell the investigator
several important things:
||The nature of the alleged offense:
||Sexual assault or sexual abuse or other
terms depending upon the statutory definition used in the state.
||The possible identity of the offender:
||Non-nuclear family relative (e.g. uncle,
||Family friend, neighbor
||Peer group playmate
||The circumstances surrounding the first
report by the victim to the first reporter.
||Wording used by victim
||Amount of contact with others since first
||Other witnesses to first report
This information will now be used to adjust the
investigative plan and orient investigative resources. For example,
some states have statutory provisions concerning incest cases which seek to maintain the
nuclear family and opt for counseling as opposed to prosecution of the
offending family member. If a peer age playmate is involved, the
matter may have to be turned over to a special juvenile unit or
officer. If the perpetrator is an elderly grandfather, senile,
mentally impaired, or a family member, the prosecutor and the family
may have no interest in prosecuting the case.
The investigator should always maintain close
contact with the prosecutor to insure that the prosecutor intends to
prosecute the case should it develop into a viable criminal matter.
There is simply no purpose in a criminal investigator continuing to
investigate a case that the prosecutor has determined will not be
prosecuted. This is not to say that leads which could lead to an
indictment should not be pursued. However, investigative resources
are not endless and often, the matter is better handled through a
social service agency (e.g. welfare, human services, child protective
services) where prosecution is not the ultimate objective. In order
for this to be done in a professional, orderly and efficient manner,
the investigator must never lose sight of his job and become so focused
on a case that he loses his perception of reality.
A second matter that will come into play in cases
involving child sexual abuse is publicity.(15)
This may be publicity
concerning the incident if it is unusual, violent, or particularly
gruesome, if the victim is from a prominent or politically powerful
family, or if the offender is prominent, politically powerful or
unusual in some respect. It takes a particularly disciplined
investigator to ignore news media inquiries until the time is proper
for such information release. For most investigators, this problem
will be solved by the law enforcement department head or the
prosecutor, one of whom will make statements to the news media. Pray
they don't screw up the investigation.
If the investigator is faced with handling news
media inquiries as might occur on an ad hoc basis
or in a small department, there are a number of considerations:
||Until an arrest warrant is executed or an
indictment is obtained, a suspect is only that, a suspect. It is
better to wait until the arrest or the indictment before revealing
the identity of the suspect. A premature revelation on the
investigator's part may be harmful to the prosecution or, if the
suspect is later cleared, result in extreme embarrassment to or to
a lawsuit(16) against the officer and the department.
When in doubt,
let the official court records tell the story.
||Very few jurisdictions will allow the
identity of a juvenile victim or offender to be known. Cooperation
with the media by providing confidential information could result
in that information being made public, much to the detriment of
||Prosecutors, for the most part, are elected
officials and as such like to make their own press. If the
investigator steals the thunder in a case that may ultimately
result in a lot of publicity for the prosecutor, he or she may
seek to have that investigator assigned to other "career
||Competition in the news media is very high. If the investigator becomes known as the "leak" for a
particular newsperson or agency, it may damage his credibility as
an investigator. Also, if such a situation becomes known to the
defense team, the investigator might have to answer some very
difficult questions from the witness stand.
||If a news media release becomes necessary
and the investigator is stuck with it, follow these rules:
||Write out the release and have it approved
by departmental legal counsel.
||Give it to the media all at the same time
by announcing a news conference.
||Read the prepared news release to the
media representatives. Do not answer questions.
Interviewing the Victims
I will not go into extreme length on interviews
involving child sexual abuse victims. There is an abundance of information available concerning child
victim questioning methodology in Wakefield and Underwager,
Accusations of Child Sexual Abuse(17) and their latest book,
World of Child Interrogations.(18)
In addition, there are other authors(19), who offer limited information on how to interview child
victims. I would like to address other problems that are more
investigative in nature.
Perceptions About the Investigator
All of us are concerned about our professional
reputation and standing. Investigators are no different. Investigators
would like to be seen as consummate, unbiased professionals and
guardians of the public morals and welfare, but the reputation is not
often realized. One of the reasons for this is a public perception of
investigators as overzealous, biased, and statistics happy. In child
sexual abuse cases, the reputation becomes magnified, particularly if
the victim or suspect are well known, or if there is some lurid aspect
to the case. Often times, to counter the feared perception,
investigators will adopt macho positions regarding the alleged crime
and offer public and private opinions as to what extremes of
punishment should be visited upon the "perp" when he is
caught or convicted.
Of all crimes, nowhere is the true professional
demeanor of the investigator more important than in child sexual abuse
crimes. The investigator must resist the impulse to join with society
in making outlandish remarks about offenders, punishment, and future
expectations of the offender's life in the "joint." We all
have heard the often apocryphal stories of what happens to child
molesters ("short eyes") in prison. Yet, no one has done a
scientific study, to this author's knowledge, about what happens to
child molesters in prison environments. The several offenders with
which this author has been involved did their time and are presently
wandering the streets. None was killed, severely brutalized, or
The situation facing the investigator in a child
sexual abuse case is best summed up by Lanning and Hazelwood(20) in
their seminal work, The Maligned Investigator of Criminal
Simply stated, it is the power of the word,
"sex." It overwhelms the word, "crime."
hears the word "sex," a range of emotions is evoked from
pleasure, ecstasy, and lust to love, warmth and sharing. The word
"crime," however, is associated with violence, anger,
harm, devastation and fear. "sex" and "crime" do
not complement each other. They don't seem to belong together at
all. So, when an individual hears "sex crime," what
actually registers is "sex." Is it any wonder that a person meeting or dealing
with one involved in such work smiles and says, "You're one of
So, the investigator does not want to be known as
highly interested in child sexual abuse matters for fear that someone
will suspect the investigator of being "strange." A
collateral issue is to protest against such outrageous crimes first so
that people will not think that the investigator "likes" his
work. The best way to avoid all these problems is to conduct the
investigation in an unbiased, aggressive professional manner seeking
to obtain facts and from those facts, determine if an offense actually
occurred and who may have committed the offense.
General Investigative Concerns for the Family
In every case, there will be general concerns that
have to be addressed eventually. Usually, the non-offending parent or
guardian will ask these of the investigator. Some of the questions
have readily available answers, some do not. Examples of such
- What will happen to the child?
- Will the child be taken from the home
- What will happen to the offender?
- Will the offender be put in jail?
- How will the offense (investigation)
(interviews) (trial) (publicity) affect the child in the near-term
future and long-term future?
- What is the danger of sexually transmitted
diseases (STDs)? "Can my baby have AIDS?"
- Will the child have to testify in court? If
so, will the offender be present? If so, will there be people in
the courtroom? What questions will be asked?
- Will the offender lose his job?
- Can we sue the
- Will the child have to miss school?
- Will people in the community know about this?
- Will the child's schoolmates know about this?
- What will happen if
the offender gets off?
- If no damage has been done to the child, why
should we put the child through all of this?
If you know the answer and can insure that it is
right, go ahead and answer the question. Do not pretend to be psychic,
give legal advice or be doom and gloom. Be practical and forthright.
Do not lie to the parents just to get them to agree to a prosecution of
Remember that they probably will have constant
control of the victim and can grossly influence the outcome of any
trial. If they perceive that they have been tricked or lied to, they
may sabotage your whole effort.
For the purposes of this article, we will consider
only natural parents and natural siblings, including half-brothers or
half-sisters, as definitionally able to commit incest. For that
reason, step-parents, step-siblings, and all other blood-related but
non-nuclear family members are considered in the all other offender
category. Each investigator will have to be guided by the specific
state statutes in his jurisdiction for charging purposes. However,
here we are considering operational matters more than technical, legal
For the investigator, the interview of the child
sexual abuse victim poses a number of special problems with which the
investigator usually does not deal. The offender may be a parent,
step-parent, sibling, step-sibling or a family relative. This in
itself is not unusual because numerous acts of violence, particularly
homicides, are perpetrated by nuclear and non-nuclear family members.
However, because of the puritan ethic of our society concerning
matters of a sexual nature and the particular taboo concerning incest,
investigators may become concerned when dealing in these areas. This,
coupled with the fact that often there is little or no physical
evidence, make the investigation very difficult and put the
investigator in the position of being the visible representative of
society to the family, offender and non-offender alike.
if the preliminary information indicates that a
nuclear family member (natural parent or natural sibling) may be the
offender, the investigator is faced with a problem. The various states
and the federal government agencies all handle the interview of a
child victim, particularly incest victims, differently. The
investigator has to be guided by his own policies and procedures as
well as the applicable statutes under which he operates. With those in
consideration, the investigator needs to select the path to the victim
that offers the best chance to obtain as untainted an interview as
possible. Obviously, an interview at the residence with the possible
offender present does not offer such an opportunity.
Another factor is that if a parent or a sibling is
the suggested offender, the other parent, or parents, may not be
cooperative for many reasons. The investigator should be aware at all
times that a whole host of intrafamily dynamics exist which are very
complex and often are neither rational nor reasonable. DO
NOT assume that any family member, including the victim, will leap to
your side of the matter or welcome your intervention with open arms.
Some of the reasons for this are:
||Disbelief. They simply refuse to believe
that parents would do such a thing to their own child.
||Shame. They are considering the community
reaction first and foremost. They could not live in that town
again after this came out.
||Fear. They may fear the physical reaction of
the offender, the offender's family, or the offender's friends.
||Economics. If the offender is the bread
winner, the family could be plunged immediately into poverty if
the offender loses a job.
||"Love." The non-offending parent
may emotionally need the presence of the offender more than that
parent cares about any abuse to the child. The non-offending
parent may feel that all would be lost without the offending
parent present in the household. Also, the non-offending parent
may be aware of, but not a participant in, the abuse and have some
concern about being embroiled in the criminal matter as a
||Rewards from abuser. The victim may not
perceive the incestuous relationship as bad since the victim may
be getting extra advantages or preferred treatment from the
||Collateral issues. There may be reasons
other than the immediate incest problem that may concern them
more, for instance, criminal enterprise activity.
The investigator has the potential to destroy their
family. He may be fought every step of the way.
The tactical problem is how to gain access to the
child victim before other influence is brought to bear on the victim.
If the investigator waits too long, the offender may be able to
influence the victim against the investigation. Also, if a
non-offending parent is aware of the problem, but has other concerns
about safety, welfare and community status, the non-offending parent
also may seek to influence the child against the investigation.
One possibility might be to interview the victim at
school. While this is not the optimum condition, it may be the only
way to get to the victim before intervention by others. If the
interview is conducted at school, it should be conducted in a location
where the interview will not be interrupted by persons coming and
going. The principal's office might be a choice, but you should consider that many children look to the
principal's office as a place they are sent for punishment, not
If there is a school counselor, that office might
be used. The counselor is usually looked upon as a source of help or
assistance by many children. The infirmary, if there is one, should
probably be avoided since it connotes a place where you go if you are
injured and it is usually fairly busy. Any other unused office is also
a possible place for the interview.
If the victim is interviewed at school, the fact of
that interview will be common knowledge throughout the student
population within a very short period of time. All schools have
students working in the offices and at other locations. When the
victim is called from class and told to report to the office,
curiosity will be aroused and the victim, upon return, will be
questioned intently by other students, and possibly teachers. There is
also a tendency on the part of teachers and administrators to try to
"help" the investigator. This means that they will
communicate among themselves the purpose of the interview and try to
cover themselves if there is any possibility that adverse actions may
fall back on them. How much they know of the circumstances will depend
upon the investigator and other factors such as if the first reporter
was a teacher.
If school is not a possibility, then a little
finesse is required on the part of the investigator. The investigator
should attempt to get the non-involved parent to bring the child to
the police station for an interview. This may be accomplished by the
investigator approaching the non-offending parent in person when the
victim is home, but the offending parent is not at home. At least, at
the police station, there is some control over the interview and you
do not have to be concerned by the sudden appearance of the offending
parent in the room.
If the offender is a sibling an interview at the
home of the victim may be possible. Once again, the investigator's
instinct will have to lead on this situation. The ultimate object is
to obtain the information in as sterile a form as possible to reduce
the influence of other factors.
Victims Other than Incest Victims
If the offender is not related directly to the
victim as a parent or sibling then more firmly grounded procedures may
be available to the investigator. As an axiom, the more distant the
relationship between the offender and the victim, the greater the
cooperation of the victim's parents probably will be with the
investigator keeping in mind general family concerns.
In those instances where the investigator has
access to the child with the cooperation of the parents, the interview
situation should be maximized toward obtaining as pure a statement as
possible. Part of this maximization includes:
||A comfortable, neutral setting devoid of
||Provisions for videotaping, or at a minimum audiotaping(21), the interview.
||Obvious, detailed preparation by the
investigator to include written questions.
If the investigator has not had significant experience interviewing children of the age of the victim, then
consultation with a psychologist specializing in children is
recommended. Usually a nearby state university or state hospital has
such persons on its staff. At a minimum, some professional reading is
During the interview, the investigator must cover
the following areas with the victim:
||Personal: name, address, names of siblings,
names of parents.
||Veracity: can the child differentiate
between truth and falsehood?
||Maturity: does the child have the motor
movements and vocabulary expected of a child of that chronological
||Time: can the child tell the time of day, day
of week, months of the year, seasons?
Other considerations during the interview include:
||The victim must be able to convince you that
an offense actually occurred.
||The victim must be able to positively
identify the offender.
||The victim must be able to convince other
people (judge, jury) that an offense occurred.
||Avoid leading questions. Let the child tell
you what occurred without suggesting answers or possible outcomes.
Use the terms for actions, body parts, etc.,
used by the child. Do not suggest new terms (e.g.
"vagina" for "pee-pee"). Also, the
investigator should beware of ambiguities when interviewing
children. BE SURE that you understand what a child means when the
child uses a term. Children may mean something entirely different
from what you understand based on the way they use a word. They
may not fully understand the implications of the word usage.
example, the word, "bottom," may mean vagina to one
child and rectum or buttocks to another. These distinctions may
become crucial depending upon the construction of statutes
regarding different degrees and types of sexual assault.
During the interview, even though the interview may
be recorded on videotape or on audiotape, notes should be taken by the
investigator or, preferably, by another investigator. The reason for
this is that electronic instruments fail. If you do not take notes
during the interview and the recording apparatus fails, you will have
no record of the interview. This presents several problems, not the
least of which is being cross-examined on the witness stand by defense
counsel about the "unrecorded" interview.
After the interview is concluded, the investigator
should take a moment to randomly review his electronic tape to
determine if, in fact, all systems operated properly and the interview
was recorded. If all is in order, the victim should be allowed to
leave. If for some reason there was a system failure, the interview
should be conducted again immediately to avoid losing the information
available at that point. If a second interview is required, the
questions and notes from the first interview should be used to insure
that all areas are covered and that the second interview is in
conformity with the first. The equipment failure should be rectified
and the second interview recorded as well. DO NOT record over or use
the original tape media used in the first interview. Defense counsel
will want to review it, test it and possibly use it in court. If you
do not have it, you may be accused of destroying exculpatory evidence.
Once the interview is successfully completed, the
tapes and notes should be secured in the usual manner and in
accordance with your physical evidence policies. Always break off the
erase tabs to avoid inadvertently erasing the tape while making a copy.
Make at least one copy of any video- or audiotape for use by the
investigator or the prosecutor during the investigation. Ultimately,
the defense attorney will want to review the original tapes. For ease
in the investigation and for the prosecutor, a transcript should be
made of any tape produced, even videotapes.
Where flight by the suspect in the case is not
highly likely, refrain from obtaining an arrest warrant until all investigative activity has been completed.
start various "speedy trial" statutes running and create a
time delimitation for the investigator. Even if the suspect flees,
apprehension, except in the case of experienced career criminals, is
usually just a matter of time.
The investigator may want to not even get a warrant, but take the matter directly to the Grand Jury.
results in a preliminary hearing, at which a good defense attorney will
be able to do some early discovery. Also, a politically sensitive, or
inept, magistrate may not bind the matter over to the Grand Jury
forcing the prosecutor and the investigator to go direct to the Grand
Jury anyway. So, if an arrest is not absolutely necessary, simply
obtain an indictment by presentment before a Grand Jury. In some
states, a capias is issued on indictment and at that time, the suspect
may be arrested.
Some interesting statistics offered by the FBI
||71% of offenders are under 35 years of age.
||The average age is 27 to 28 years of age.
||More than 50% committed their first act by 16
years of age.
||80% of offenders knew their victims; 50% of
offenders were a father figure.
||Less than 30% of offenders were alcohol or drug dependent.
||83% of offenders were heterosexual; 17% were
Before the investigator can structure his approach
to the suspect, he needs to evaluate the suspect from the standpoint
of trying to determine the best psychological technique to use. Offenders are most commonly placed into two distinct categories,
fixated and regressed.(23)
These offenders have been sexually attracted to
younger people since adolescence and will be so attracted throughout
their entire lives. During adolescence, they were not highly
socialized and did not lead a "normal" social existence.
adult life, they usually do not initiate mature, interpersonal sexual
relationships. They are capable of normal sexual acts, but these are
usually situational. Sexual attraction to children is not bothersome
to these offenders because they do not see anything wrong with such
activity. These persons are basically inadequate personalities who
fear rejection by a female, have inferiority complexes and engage in
fantasy. They have no regret and are usually only sorry that they got caught.
In interviewing this type of offender, empathy on
the part of the investigator will be looked upon as a show of weakness
by the offender. The offender should be approached from the standpoint
of trying to let the offender talk as much as possible. He considers
himself smart and believes he has done nothing wrong. Ultimately, if
the investigator has sufficient patience, the offender may outsmart
himself. Do not expect a confession from this offender. If a
confession is offered, it will usually be couched in terms of
projecting guilt on others.
These persons originally preferred peer
heterosexual relationships and developed in a normal sociosexual
fashion during adolescence. During their life, they reach a point
where something highly stressful occurs. It may be a single traumatic
event, or a series of events (e.g. financial trouble, unemployment,
divorce, death of close relative or friend, alcohol or drug addiction,
failure). They turn to children for non-demanding affection and love.
It usually starts as a social contact and progresses from there to a
sexual relationship. The progression is usually fondling, kissing,
hugging, oral, then genital contact. These offenders are genuinely
remorseful, ashamed, humiliated and have great guilt feelings. This
offender is a good candidate for suicide.
In interviewing this offender, remember that you
are dealing with an inadequate personality. Do not attack him.
empathy, explain that there is help available for him and that the
condition is not irreversible. A confession is likely.
Investigators should be guided by their own
departmental policies when it comes to subject interviews and/or
arrest procedures. The recommendations are offered here for the
purpose of encouraging change in unnecessarily restrictive
In the original Miranda decision (Miranda v. Arizona,
384 US 346 ), amplified in Beckwith v. US, 425 US 341, the
Supreme Court told police officers that only when a person is in
police custody (i.e. under arrest) is that person to be advised of
||The person may remain silent and not answer
||Any answer may be taken down and used
against the person later on in a legal action.
||The person has aright to an attorney and to
have that attorney present during any questioning.
||If the person cannot afford an attorney, the
Court will appoint an attorney to represent him for free.
There is no requirement for Miranda warnings when
the person is only the focus of an investigation and not in
custody. In order to legally interview a person in custody, the investigator
need only insure that the person fully understands the four rights
that have been explained to him and that he wishes voluntarily, of his
own free will, to answer questions posed by the investigator. A
written waiver is not required. An oral waiver is sufficient, as long
as the interviewee acknowledges that he fully understands each of the
rights as they were explained to him.
If the offender is not in custody, his freedom of
movement is not precluded in any meaningful sense, and there is no
"coercive" environment, then MIRANDA WARNINGS ARE NOT
REQUIRED BY LAW.
A suggested manner of beginning the interview is to
advise the suspect that he is not under arrest and that the
investigator merely wants to interview him regarding a matter under
investigation. If you are in a police building or any other official
building, you might also want to advise the subject that he is free to
leave at any time. This will help to preclude the accusation of
"coercive atmosphere" (See Oregon v. Mathiason, 429 US 492
The interview should be tape recorded from
beginning to end. This will provide a complete record of the interview
for later use and will provide ample proof that the subject was
advised that he was not in custody, was free to go, and that any of
his answers were voluntary. If the interview is not recorded, it is a
good practice to have one other investigator present as a witness.
Check on your individual state laws regarding the recording of
interviews without the knowledge of the suspect. Most states allow
recording of conversations as long as the investigator is a party to
the conversation. Some prosecutors may have some concern about
recording of an interview without the knowledge of the suspect. These
concerns are usually cosmetic in nature and have nothing to do with
the legality of the recording.
If the subject is in custody, then the tape
recording will show that all the proper warnings were given and that
the subject fully understood and knowledgeably waived those rights.
One final consideration. If at any time the
suspect, in custody or not, tells you that he wants an attorney, or
that he no longer wishes to answer questions, stop asking questions at
that moment and terminate the interview. If the investigator proceeds carefully,
and in accordance with the law, there is less likelihood of a court
throwing out statements and other evidence.
After evaluating the offender typology and making
an initial determination as to the type of offender being faced, the
investigator should proceed in a quiet, professional manner. Initially, obtain the basic biographic data and attempt to establish
some rapport with the suspect. By starting off softly, the
investigator will not scare a regressed offender and will allow the
fixated offender an opportunity to demonstrate how "smart"
he is. As the interview progresses, the investigator should adopt the
necessary interview strategy that best fits his personality and the
background, education and typology of the suspect being interviewed.
With the fixated offender, the investigator's
primary goal will be to obtain information that is inconsistent with
known facts. This will demonstrate, hopefully, that the suspect is
lying. Since a confession is not likely, obtaining such inconsistent
statements is probably the most valuable thing that can occur.
With the regressed offender, the investigator's
primary object will be to gain his confidence and obtain a confession.
The suspect wants to change because he knows his conduct is wrong.
investigator is offering him the opportunity to unload his guilt on a
sympathetic ear. He hopes that by confessing, he will get help and
will no longer have to bear the burden of what he is doing. Often, the
confession will come in stages, with the initial stages being those
where the suspect excuses his conduct, or attempts to minimize or
rationalize his conduct. Once started, the suspect will usually wind
up confessing completely.
Regardless of the typology of the offender, it is
preferable to obtain a written statement from the interviewee. This is
necessary to lock the fixated offender into his story and help the
regressed offender unload some of his guilt. The statement should be
brought up only after the interview is completely through. Some people
will talk to you as long as they are not thinking that what they are
saying is going to be reduced to some concrete form, like a statement.
The minute the realization comes on them that the final product will
be something that others can read, or see, they will terminate the
Where possible, let the suspect write out the
statement in his own handwriting. The handwritten statement can be
typewritten at a later date for ease of reading. An alternative is for
the investigator to write the statement out for the suspect and have
the suspect adopt the statement by signing it. If this latter
method is used, read the statement out loud as it is being written.
This will offer the suspect the opportunity to make any corrections at
that point rather than trying to shoehorn a correction into an already
written statement. Have the suspect read the statement, initial any
corrections that have been made and sign the statement in the presence
of a witness other than the interviewing investigator.
Some consideration should be given to investigative
activities immediately after the interview with the suspect. This is
particularly true if there has been a confession. A regressed offender
may be suicidal after having confessed. Too, this would be a good time
to evaluate the escape risk for a fixated offender. Pre-interview
liaison with the prosecutor should cover these contingencies. The
prosecutor may want to have a warrant issued and the suspect arrested,
if that has not been done already. Or, the prosecutor may want to
await further investigation if a confession has not been obtained.
In any event, the suspect should be left so that
the investigator could possibly reapproach him in the future. Politeness and common courtesy go a long way toward assuring that.
Case Preparation and Conclusion
The investigator should have interviewed the
victim, the first reporter, all known witnesses and the suspect before
considering a case ready for presentation to the prosecutor. Although
the investigator will probably have had regular contact with the
prosecutor throughout the investigation, the investigator usually is
the one who determines when the investigation is complete.
The investigator should make sure all the following
points have been covered.
||All interviews conducted; written statements
in file; memoranda of interviews typed and in file; tapes
transcribed and tapes in file; confessions in file.
||All forensic evidence testing complete and
lab reports in file; any physical evidence secured, properly
tagged and chain of evidence accounted for.
||Criminal history checks on ALL witnesses and
the suspect.(24) Copies of rap sheets in file.
||Any photographic line ups used are in the
List of all witnesses, including law
enforcement witnesses, to include addresses and phone numbers.
||Any photographs, including negatives, in
||Investigative report, in the format
prescribed by department, complete, signed and in file.
The investigation is now complete and the matter is
ready for presentation to the prosecutor and, ultimately, to the Grand
Footnotes Part II
||Some of those persons listed may be part of
the nuclear family. For instance a grandfather maybe living with the
family in the same house. Where that is the case, many of the same
problems exist similar to those where a parent is the offender.
||As a rule of thumb, let the news media obtain
information from documents in the court file which are public record.
The indictment, the affidavit for the arrest warrant, and various
discovery replies will contain a wealth of information for the
interested reporter. [Back]
||Two very recent Federal appeals courts cases
point up the ability of otherwise protected individuals to lose that
protection as a result of giving news media releases. Gobel v.
Maricopa County et al., 87-2351, USCA9, decided Feb. 9, 1989.
Hendricks v. Gunnell et al., 86-2905, 87-1720, and 87-1069,
decided July 21, 1989. [Back]
||Wakefield, Hollida, and Ralph Underwager.
Accusations of Child Sexual Abuse
()(). Springfield, IL:
Charles C. Thomas,
||Underwager, Ralph and Hollida Wakefield. The
Real World of Child Interrogations (). Springfield, IL:
Charles C. Thomas, 1989. [Back]
See Hertica, footnote 5 supra; Burgess, Ann W. et
al. Sexual Assault of Children and Adolescents. Lexington,
MA: D. C. Heath Co., 1978; Shepherd, Jack R. "Children
as Burn Victims," FBI Law Enforcement
1987, pp.9-14. [Back]
||Lanning, Kenneth V. and Roy R. Hazelwood. "The
Maligned Investigator of Criminal Sexuality," FBI Law Enforcement
Bulletin, September 1988, pp.1-10. [Back]
||When making tapes always try to use good
microphones and try to get the child to speak up. In many instances,
children have very soft voices and are hard to hear on tape. If
necessary, place the microphone as near the child as possible. Investigators usually have voices that are easily heard on tape.
||Lecture by Special Agent William McArdle, FBI,
at Charleston, WV, October 1, 1985. [Back]
||A newer typology suggested in some FBI
training divides pedophiles into two categories: Situational and
Preferential. The Situational offender is further divided into four
subcategories: Regressed, Morally Indiscriminate, Sexually
Indiscriminate and Inadequate. The Preferential offender is subdivided
into three categories: Seduction, Introverted and Sadistic.
||Many states have a discovery rule which
requires the prosecutor to provide the defense with the criminal
history sheets of all witnesses the state intends to call. Obviously,
it is better to know everything about your witnesses before you
indicate who you are going to use just in case one of them may have a
problem that would jeopardize an otherwise good case. For instance, a
witness may have a previous conviction for child molesting, or perjury,
both of which might make the witness unsuitable. [Back]
[Part I] [Part II] [Part
III] Part IV] [Part
* John Wideman is an Attorney at Law and can be
contacted at Wideman & Associates, Inc., PO Box 507, St. Albans, WV
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