Child Hearsay

In child sexual or physical abuse cases, the child is often interviewed by a forensic interviewer at the Children's Justice Center (the CJC interview). The interview is usually videotaped. At trial, the prosecution will attempt to admit the video into evidence and play it for the jury. The video can be powerful evidence, although sometimes this hearsay evidence is unfairly prejudicial.

In Utah, Rule 15.5 explains the conditions for the admissibility of an out-of-court statement by a child in an abuse case. In many of these cases, the criminal defense attorney will argue that the child hearsay testimony is not sufficiently reliable and trustworthy under Rule 15.5 of the Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure to be admitted at trial.

Attorneys for the Child Hearsay Rule in Utah

For cases involving a statement made by a child that has been audio or video recorded, it is important to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney about how this evidence might impact your case. The attorneys at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP, are experienced in fighting allegations of crimes committed against children.

We fight criminal cases throughout Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas in Utah. Contact us to find out more about how Rule 15.5 might impact your case. Call us at (801) 532-5297 today.

Utah's Criminal Procedure Rule 15.5

Rule 15.5 provides that “the oral statement of a victim ... younger than 14 years of age which was recorded prior to the filing of an information or indictment is ... admissible as evidence in any court proceeding regarding the offense if,” among other things, “the court views the recording before it is shown to the jury and determines that it is sufficiently reliable and trustworthy and that the interest of justice will best be served by admission of the statement into evidence.”  Reliability is determined by the court, which conducts an inquiry into the facts. The court, on appeal, reviews issues related to whether the facts are sufficient to demonstrate reliability, since this is a question of law. 

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