Q: Will my child be required to testify in court in a sexual abuse case he is 4. He did an interview with dhr.
A: Children under 12 do not have to testify in sexual offense criminal cases see Section 15-25-31 of the Code or Alabama. It says "An out-of-court statement made by a child under 12 years of age at the time the statement is made concerning an act that is a material element of any crime involving child physical offense, sexual offense, and exploitation, as defined in Section 15-25-39, which statement is not otherwise admissible in evidence, is admissible in evidence in criminal proceedings, if the requirements of Section 15-25-32 are met."
The requirements of 15-25-32 are
(1) The child testifies at the proceeding, or testifies by means of video tape deposition as provided by Section 15-25-2, or testifies by means of closed circuit television as is provided in Section 15-25-3, and at the time of such testimony is subject to cross-examination about the out-of-court statements; or
a. The child is found by the court to be unavailable to testify on any of these grounds:
1. The child's death;
2. The court finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the defendant or someone acting on behalf of the defendant has intentionally removed the child from the jurisdiction of the court;
3. The child's total failure of memory;
4. The child's physical or mental disability;
5. The child's incompetency, including the child's inability to communicate about the offense because of fear or a similar reason; or
6. Substantial likelihood that the child would suffer severe emotional trauma from testifying at the proceeding or by means of closed circuit television; and
b. The child's out-of-court statement is shown to the reasonable satisfaction of the court to possess particularized guarantees of trustworthiness.
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