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Ten Strategies for Prosecuting Child Sexual Abuse at the Hands of a Family Member  

Author:  Jennifer Long.; John Wilkinson.; Julie Kays.

Source: Volume 23, Number 04, June/July 2022 , pp.51-57(7)

Sex Offender Law Report

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Despite the volume of research and literature addressing sexual abuse perpetrated against a child by a family member (which includes romantic partners whether or not they live in the home), individuals inside and outside of the criminal justice system continue to misperceive common dynamics, misunderstand victim behavior, and minimize offender dangerousness. Judges and juries unfamiliar with the dynamics of sexual assault may overlook offenders’ grooming tactics or misperceive common victim reactions to abuse as evidence of the victim’s lack of credibility. Prosecutors handling these cases face unique challenges. The following 10 strategies will help prosecutors prepare and litigate cases of sexual abuse perpetrated against a child by a family member.

Keywords: Offender Grooming Techniques; Forensic Interviews; Recantation; Crawford v. Washington

Affiliations:  1: AEquitas; 2: AEquitas; 3: Friedman Rubin.

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