Ruling stymies child sex-abuse case

  • Article by: LORA PABST and JAMES ELI SHIFFER , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: March 30, 2010 - 10:33 AM

Citing a 2004 decision that limits the use of videotaped interviews, Hennepin County won't prosecute a case involving 4-year-old victim.

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ericak123Mar. 30, 1010:54 AM

Being the Aunt of Jack & seeing this story unfold firsthand, I am still appalled that Our Country is defending the Offenders & Not the Victims.This story was well written on Jacks behalf, but did fail to mention that the only reprocussion this man recieves is the inability to obtain a childcare/ social work license! Erica Kling

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nanlazaryanMar. 30, 1011:05 AM

The "Crawford vs. Washington" concerned ADULTS. The state could step in as "parens patria", or the PARENT could accuse. As the child is not "of age", the PARENT is the accuser. And the parent could be cross-examined. The Court has basically threatened the Prosecutor (executive branch). The Prosecutor is a LICENSED attorney. A licensed attorney is an OFFICER of the Court. The MN Supreme Court controls the licenses of attorneys. The Executive branch (prosecutor) cannot do his/her job in prosecuting the case, because if he/she goes against the Court, his/her license to practice law is taken away by the Court. Basically, the Judicial Branch controls the Executive Branch. This is a violation of our state constitution. The PARENT should be the ACCUSER. The defendant can face the parent in court. Nancy Lazaryan

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bmcwMar. 30, 1011:07 AM

This is sickening that a videotape statement of a youth cannot be used in a court of law, but instead have the 4 year old child subjected to sitting on a witness stand and interrogated by a ruthless defense attorney. "the Crawford decision makes it difficult to charge suspects when the victim is too young to testify in court, but it doesn't affect most child abuse cases." I would say any child under the age of 10 is too young to testify in a courtroom. This needs to be fixed or there will be a lot more child molesters set free. This is basically giving them a "Get out of Jail Free" card.

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kdebergeMar. 30, 1011:07 AM

If a dog barks too much, the police will not tell the owner who complained. And if you go to court, they do not have to divulge names there either. Why don't children have at least the same protection? Rights of the criminal should not trump rights of the victim.

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DennisH3Mar. 30, 1011:07 AM

Now why would anyone want to follow our country's lead? Morally we are almost decadent and yet we can't understand why we aren't accepted in the eastern world ??

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mcwallMar. 30, 1011:19 AM

The County Attorney just has to figure out a way to present the kid's testimony, perhaps in closed court, to give the accused the opportunity to confront the accuser. I'm certain any judge would be amenable to providing reasonable accommodations for the kid's testimony in light of his age. You don't just throw your hands in the air and give up because of a procedural change. Before the advent of videotaped testimony, Child sex abusers were successfully prosecuted -and the Crawford ruling seems to signal a return to that era.

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innerchildMar. 30, 1011:21 AM

Freeman says the court is misguided but where is the follow up? The man who abused this child should be tried and convicted. If the court refuses to take action, is it then our responsibility to ensure everyone knows who this monster is and what he has done? I certainly hope he no longer lives with the father.

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mjwalker64Mar. 30, 1011:24 AM

they prosecute the case anyway? Unless I missed something,they have a confession from the accused. I'm sure the accused was not shown the videotaped interview before confessing. Maybe the confession was obtained on illegal grounds. I suspect there is something more to this story than what is being reported.

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dahutysMar. 30, 1011:35 AM

I have immense sympathy for the family, but the Supreme Court is not siding with the criminals. The Supreme Court did exactly what it was supposed to do: it made a decision based on the Constitution of the United States. One thing to note, though, is that the case being used as precedent has nothing to do with child molestation, it just involves the question of whether or not videotaped testimony can be admitted as evidence, if an accuser could testify in court. If there were a case arguing that a three-year-old who says he’s been molested should be considered different than a 25-year-old who claims to know who committed attempted murder, the Court might agree and issue a ruling granting exceptions for videotape in certain situations. The family might be able to turn this horrible situation into good if they filed a case like that. Is there a lawyer out there who would be willing to work such a case up through the courts, to try to get it before the Supreme Court?

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wis630Mar. 30, 1011:38 AM

This mom needs to contact all the organizations in effort to prevent child abuse and get this story every where and other parents need to do the same. Enough is enough! We need to do more for our children. It's a difficult subject but I talk to my little children about this topic all the time, educating them. Parents need to get out of their comfort zones and start education their children and themselves. We need to be constantly reminding our children what is inappropriate behavior by anyone (any age) towards them. I challenge you to do research on the effects of sexually abused children. It's not a nightmare you ever want to be in!

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