Regional Investigation and Prosecution of Sexual Offenses
Overview: A two-day training program for prosecutors and law enforcement officers designed to identify best practices in successful prosecutions of child sexual abuse cases. The training will explore a multi-disciplinary approach to the investigation and prosecution phases of these cases. The training will be conducted by an NCSC team of four United States experts from North Carolina with extensive experience in investigation and prosecution in child sexual assault cases. The team, consisting of a victim-witness legal assistant, a social worker, a detective and an assistant district attorney, will provide an overview of the N.C. legal framework for investigations and prosecutions of such cases. Attendees will learn about effective methods of investigations, child interviewing, plea bargaining, and trial strategies.
Child sexual abuse cases are often difficult to prosecute for many reasons. The interfamilial nature of the cases place pressure on children and family members that may impede the investigation of suspects. Additionally, incestuous abuses occur in private and often come down to a “he said,” “she said” version of events, with little physical evidence to corroborate the allegations. Other problems include a lack of resources assigned to forensic evidence examination that result in long delays before trial, reluctant victims or other familial witnesses, lack of physical findings in medical examinations, and victims who may be too traumatized to testify.
This workshop is an interactive program designed to share best practices, including case studies with both successful and not so successful prosecutions. Included are reading materials, plenary lectures, small working groups and case studies to encourage the multi-disciplinary approach to child sexual assault investigations, with a goal towards successful resolution of the cases. At the conclusion of the program, attendees should be able to return to their respective offices and chambers with additional skills and investigation techniques to be able to build better cases that are suitable for prosecution of child sexual assault cases.
Many sensitive documents printed in the workshop binders have been omitted. For a digital copy, please contact Megan Lively at Megan.J.Lively@nccourts.org.