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2014 Statute


22-3434.Videotape of testimony of child victim admissible in certain cases; limitations; standard of proof; objections, restrictions. (a) On motion of the attorney for any party to a criminal proceeding in which a child less than 13 years of age is alleged to be a victim of the crime, subject to the conditions of subsection (b), the court may order that the testimony of the child be taken:

(1) In a room other than the courtroom and be televised by closed-circuit equipment in the courtroom to be viewed by the court and the finder of fact in the proceeding; or

(2) outside the courtroom and be recorded for showing in the courtroom before the court and the finder of fact in the proceeding if: (A) The recording is both visual and aural and is recorded on film or videotape or by other electronic means; (B) the recording equipment is capable of making an accurate recording, the operator of the equipment is competent and the recording is accurate and has not been altered; (C) every voice on the recording is identified; and (D) each party to the proceeding is afforded an opportunity to view the recording before it is shown in the courtroom, and a copy of a written transcript is provided to the parties.

(b) The state must establish by clear and convincing evidence that to require the child who is the alleged victim to testify in open court will so traumatize the child as to prevent the child from reasonably communicating to the jury or render the child unavailable to testify. The court shall make such an individualized finding before the state is permitted to proceed under this section.

(c) At the taking of testimony under this section:

(1) Only the attorneys for the defendant, the state and the child, any person whose presence would contribute to the welfare and well-being of the child and persons necessary to operate the recording or closed-circuit equipment may be present in the room with the child during the child's testimony;

(2) only the attorneys may question the child;

(3) the persons operating the recording or closed-circuit equipment shall be confined to an adjacent room or behind a screen or mirror that permits them to see and hear the child during the child's testimony but does not permit the child to see or hear them; and

(4) the court shall permit the defendant to observe and hear the testimony of the child in person, but shall ensure that the child cannot hear or see the defendant.

(d) If the testimony of a child is taken as provided by this section, the child shall not be compelled to testify in court during the proceeding.

(e) (1) Any objection by any party to the proceeding to a recording under subsection (a)(2) is inadmissible must be made by written motion filed with the court at least seven days before the commencement of the trial. An objection under this subsection shall specify the portion of the recording which is objectionable and the reasons for the objection. Failure to file an objection within the time provided by this subsection shall constitute waiver of the right to object to the admissibility of the recording unless the court, in its discretion, determines otherwise.

(2) The provisions of this subsection (d) shall not apply to any objection to admissibility for the reason that the recording has been materially altered.

History: L. 1985, ch. 112, § 4; L. 1986, ch. 135, § 2; L. 1986, ch. 119, § 4; L. 1990, ch. 110, § 1; July 1.