New York Consolidated Laws, Executive Law - EXC § 642-a. Fair treatment of child victims as witnesses

To the extent permitted by law, criminal justice agencies, crime victim-related agencies, social services agencies and the courts shall comply with the following guidelines in their treatment of child victims:

1. To minimize the number of times a child victim is called upon to recite the events of the case and to foster a feeling of trust and confidence in the child victim, whenever practicable and where one exists, a multi-disciplinary team as established pursuant to subdivision six of section four hundred twenty-three of the social services law and/or a child advocacy center shall be used for the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases involving abuse of a child, as described in paragraph (i) , (ii) or (iii) of subdivision (e) of section one thousand twelve of the family court act , sexual abuse of a child or the death of a child.

2. Whenever practicable, the same prosecutor should handle all aspects of a case involving an alleged child victim.

3. To minimize the time during which a child victim must endure the stress of his involvement in the proceedings, the court should take appropriate action to ensure a speedy trial in all proceedings involving an alleged child victim.  In ruling on any motion or request for a delay or continuance of a proceeding involving an alleged child victim, the court should consider and give weight to any potential adverse impact the delay or continuance may have on the well-being of the child.

4. The judge presiding should be sensitive to the psychological and emotional stress a child witness may undergo when testifying.

5. In accordance with the provisions of article sixty-five of the criminal procedure law, when appropriate, a child witness as defined in subdivision one of section 65.00 of such law should be permitted to testify via live, two-way closed-circuit television.

6. In accordance with the provisions of section 190.32 of the criminal procedure law , a person supportive of the “child witness” or “special witness” as defined in such section should be permitted to be present and accessible to a child witness at all times during his testimony, although the person supportive of the child witness should not be permitted to influence the child's testimony.

7. A child witness should be permitted in the discretion of the court to use anatomically correct dolls and drawings during his testimony.

Cite this article: - New York Consolidated Laws, Executive Law - EXC § 642-a. Fair treatment of child victims as witnesses - last updated January 01, 2021 |

FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.

Copied to clipboard