Governor of California, Jerry Brown, just signed into law a bill that would place limits on how alleged child sexual assault victims could be interviewed during civil legal proceedings. Jim Beall, the state senator from San Jose, said he authored the bill after meeting with parents of alleged sexual assault victims who decided not to file a civil lawsuit because they were afraid defense lawyers would traumatize their children.
This new law would only allow doctors and clinical psychologists with expertise in child abuse evaluate any alleged victim under 15 years of age for up to 3 hours. In one case, a 6-year-old boy who had allegedly been sexually abused was denied a bathroom break by a defense attorney's medical expert. The boy's mother and prosecution lawyer heard the expert yelling at the child that "good boys don't cry."
Our skilled criminal defense attorney, Decio Rangel Jr., gave a statement to the Los Angeles Times regarding the law. According to Attorney Rangel, he thought the 3-hour limit was a good idea because it protects a young victim from unscrupulous questioning. Before he started working as a criminal defense lawyer, Rangel worked as a deputy district attorney in L.A. County with a specialty in sexual assault. He understands the importance of protecting victims from potential further abuse.
On the other hand, he thinks that required expertise in child abuse might be over the top. In his experience, anyone with experience in asking those kinds of questions of a minor can convince a child to tell the truth without traumatizing him or her. However, he also understands why that provision was included in the law.
Read more about the passage of the new law on the Los Angeles Times website
here. Or, if you've been accused of
sexually assaulting a minor, make sure you call an experienced
Los Angeles criminal defense attorney to represent you. Sex offender status comes with many negative consequences in the state of California. Give yourself the best fighting chance to defend your rights and freedom.
Contact us at (310) 904-6331 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.