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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Fighting for a Child-Victim’s Rights to Fairness, Privacy, and Protection

July 01, 2013

In federal court in North Carolina, defendant, the mother of a minor victim, pled guilty to possessing and distributing images of her child’s sexual abuse and is awaiting sentencing. At the same time, defendant and the child-victim’s father are in state court custody proceedings regarding the child, where defendant moved to have the state custody court order a psychiatric evaluation of the child. NCVLI provided legal technical assistance to both the federal prosecutor and the child-victim’s attorney to oppose the psychiatric evaluation. Specifically, NCVLI provided research and arguments regarding the scope of the child-victim’s rights, including the rights to fairness, privacy, and protection, under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3771 (CVRA), juxtaposed against defendant’s lack of an absolute right to have a court order a psychological examination. In brief, NCVLI worked to ensure that defendant could not circumvent the limitations of criminal discovery through an order issued in a related civil proceeding.


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