For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 20

The sexual vocabulary included words for the sexual
organs such as penis, which the victim had not used
such nomenclature prior to it being introduced by
the Detective.198
When the interview was concluded the Detective
informed the victim that his father had done
something wrong:
Q: Just so you know, [J.D.], you're growing
up and you're growing up fast. With Mom,
what Maria [CYS Caseworker] and I are
doing, we're not doing it for your dad. We're
doing this because we think that your
dad is done. Okay. So if you put your hand
in a fire, you get burnt. Was it the fire's
fault? Or is it your fault for putting it in the
fire?
A: My fault.
Q: Okay. Because the fire didn't do
anything bad. The fire's doing its job. Mom
is trying to protect you guys because Dad
has not been the same. Okay. And we're
trying to protect you and Mom and [your
sister]. So don't worry about your dad being
mad. Dad should be mad because he did
something wrong, and we'll try to get
to the bottom of it. You didn't do anything
wrong. Your mom didn't do anything wrong.
[Your sister] didn't do anything wrong. And
obviously, Maria [CYS caseworker] and I ...
didn't do anything wrong.199

20

For The Defense

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Vol. 4, Issue 4

At the time of the taint hearing, the victim was
asked about his recollection of the circumcision
incident and "the child's unprompted recollection
of the event was extremely limited."200
The court found that the memory and
recollections of the victim had been tainted by
the suggestive technique and content of the
interviews.201 First, the detective, before the
interview started, told the victim that his father
had done something not appropriate, and further
remarked that the defendant was "done" and
"should be mad because he did something
wrong."202 When the victim could not respond to
questions, the detective re-asked the questions
introducing sexual vocabulary which had not
been part of the victim's initial recollection.203 The
detective implanted words into the victim and
gave suggestions for answers the victim should be
giving. As such, the victim was found incompetent
to testify.
If you compare the questioning in the Davis
case to the medical exam questions that a SANE
will ask a victim, the argument can be made that
the witness has been tainted.
In the Howard case, the issue of taint was
not raised, but if you look at the medical exam
questions posed by the nurse the argument could
be made that taint existed. The SANE, in Howard,
asked why the victim thought she was being seen,
to which the victim stated, "[b]ecause my dad is
touching me."204 When
the nurse asked where
her father was touching
her, the victim "gestured
toward her chest and
genital area."205 When
asked if her father
touched her with his
hands or penis, the
victim nodded yes.206
If you look at the
exchange between the
SANE and the victim,
she is interjecting sexual
vocabulary which had
not been introduced by
the victim. The victim
starts out with saying
that she is being treated



For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4

Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 1
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 2
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 4
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 5
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 6
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 7
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 8
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 9
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For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 4 - 11
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