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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Protecting Child Victims Past Age 18

April 07, 2014

In an Arizona child sexual assault case, Defendant argued that the mother of the victim could no longer assert the right to refuse a pretrial interview upon the child-victim turning 18-years-old.  This came after numerous continuances - many sought by the Defendant! The trial court and the Court of Appeals both agreed with Defendant. But the fight for victims’ rights was not over. The Arizona Voice for Crime Victims represented the mother and victim seeking further review in the Arizona Supreme Court and NCVLI filed an amicus curiae brief. Highlighting research on the impact of victimization on children, we argued that stripping a parent of rights put in place to protect child-victims while a case is pending runs counter to the legislative intent of Arizona’s victims’ rights. We also argued that allowing the ruling to stand creates a system fraught with opportunities for delay and manipulation to end run around victims’ rights.  The case is pending - we will keep you posted!