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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Joining Forces in the Fight for Rights

January 15, 2015

Each of us can have an impact on victim law but when we work together it can be truly amazing.  Recently, the Justice League of Ohio took the lead on such a group effort as it worked on a joint amici curiae brief in the case of State v. Shifflet before the Ohio Court of Appeals. 

Defendant in the case was convicted of numerous sexual crimes involving minors.  The parents of the child victim of sexual assault sought restitution for lost income and travel costs incurred while accompanying their minor child to court proceedings.  The trial court approved the request and the defendant appealed, stating the parents did not need to attend the proceedings as they are not victims and, therefore, are not eligible for restitution.

Victims and their designated representatives have the right to be present and not bear the financial burden of their participation in legal proceedings directly resulting from their victimization.  In the instance of minor victims, parental presence is necessary for a child to exercise his/her rights.