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PA House Passes Bill to Increase Child Abuse Vigilance in Wake of Sandusky

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Alleged perpetrator must be interviewed or attempts made under Bill.

By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Sex Crimes Attorney, Harrisburg, PA

Under the PA House Bill, efforts are to be made to interview the alleged suspect of a child abuse.  These efforts, while laudable, will run afoul of an individual's Constitutional protections to remain silent, have counsel present during state questioning, and not to incriminate oneself.

As reported on the PA House Republicans Web page:

House Bill 433 deems that a child abuse investigation must include interviews with all the subjects of the report, including the alleged perpetrator. If a subject cannot be interviewed, reasonable efforts to interview the subject and the reasons for the inability to do so must be documented. An indicated report of child abuse must be approved by the county children and youth administrator, or a designee, and the agency's solicitor.

What's the Bottom Line:

Don't permit yourself to be interviewed by district attorneys, police, detectives, children and youth workers, doctors, child interview specialists, nurses, or any other group of mandated reporters that have an obligation to provide your statement in aid of an investigation and prosecution.  You have a right to an attorney, to remain silent, and not to incriminate yourself.  Most, if not all, successful child abuse/sex investigations and prosecutions require one or more of the following:

  1. physical corroboration of the crime;
  2. consistent statements from the victim; and
  3. an admission or partial admission from the suspect.

If you're being investigated for a child abuse/sex crime, contact experienced counsel immediately.  We can intervene for you with the police and discuss alternatives to arrest.  We can arrange for you to have your own private lie detector test performed.  You have options that the police are not going to tell you about.  Call Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or email us today.

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