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Substantive Use of Prior Statements in Child Abuse Trials

NCJ Number
Air Force Law Review Volume: 26 Dated: (1987) Pages: 83-109
J J Traficanti; R K Bowers
Date Published
28 pages
This article discusses the substantive use of prior statements in child abuse trials in which the victim-witness refuses to testify, recants, or fails to 'remember' what happened.
Prior inconsistent statements, excited utterances, statements made for medical treatment, and residual hearsay provide avenues by which the trial counsel can salvage the case. If the prior statement was made at a qualified, formal proceeding, Federal and Military Rule of Evidence 801(d)(1)(A) or 804(b)(1) provide the necessary exceptions. Otherwise, counsel should use Rule 803(2) or 803(4) followed by attempts to bring the evidence in under Rule 803(24) or 803(b)(5) as residual evidence. 284 footnotes.