The family of a six-year-old alleged sexual assault victim feels that having her testify would be too traumatizing for the girl, and some social workers are agreeing.
The young sexual assault victim, whose identity has been withheld, was allegedly assaulted by her grandfather’s friend. The man accused with assaulting the six-year-old is Luis Medina and according to WBND, the assault too place last fall.
While testifying in court can be terrifying for someone of any age, the family of the six-year-old girl belive that an already terifying situation will become worse if she is forced to testify in court. According to Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Libby Christianson:
“There’s many, many strange people, there’s a judge up on a stand, it’s an extremely intense and strange environment and you’re talking about something that is so important. To do that to a child, I think could really compound the trauma they’ve already experienced.”
According to ABC News, the young girl from Indiana had been visiting her grandparents last fall when the alleged assault took place. The girl and her grandparents had been staying on their boat which reportedly had been moored in a marina on Lake Michigan.
Even though the family doesn’t want the girl to testify in court, prosecuting attorney Michael Sepic stated that, unless there are problems, the girl will testify.
“This case is like a thousand others,” Sepic told ABCNews.com. “None of us wants our children to have to testify, but I think the grandfather had hopes it would not actually go to trial. It’s a necessary evil of the system when you are dealing with kid cases.”
Christianson stated that any child that has to testify in court will need a lot of support both before and after their trial. “Sometimes for people to be able to face the person that hurt them it can be empowering if they feel like they are getting justice, but a child doesn’t yet have the full comprehension of what it is has happened to her,” she told WBND.
According to ABC News, Sepic said that Michigan law provides special courtroom arrangements so a child victim does not have to face her alleged assailant. He continued on to explain that the six-year-old did testify at a preliminary evaluation a few weeks ago and she didn’t seem to have any problems.
The family of the young girl who was allegedly sexually assaulted by her grandfather’s friend still believes that having her testify in court will only traumatize her further. Do you think the six-year-old should have to testify in a court of law?
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