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- Alaska Statutes.
- Title 12. Code of Criminal Procedure
- Chapter 45. Trial, Evidence, Compromise
- Section 46. Testimony of Children in Criminal Proceedings.
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. , 12.45.048l Testimony By Young Victim of Sexual Offense. [Repealed, Sec. 4 Ch 92 SLA 1988].
AS 12.45.046. Testimony of Children in Criminal Proceedings.
- (a) In a criminal proceeding under AS 11.41 involving the
prosecution of an offense committed against a child under the age of 16, or witnessed by a child under the age of 16,
- (1) may appoint a guardian ad litem for the child;
- (2) on its own motion or on the motion of the party presenting the witness or the guardian ad litem of the child, may
order that the testimony of the child be taken by closed circuit television or through one-way mirrors if the court
determines that the testimony by the child victim or witness under normal court procedures would result in the child's
inability to effectively communicate.
- (b) In making a determination under (a)(2) of this section, the court shall consider factors it considers relevant,
- (1) the child's chronological age;
- (2) the child's level of development;
- (3) the child's general physical health;
- (4) any physical, emotional, or psychological injury experienced by the child; and
- (5) the mental or emotional strain that will be caused by requiring the child to testify under normal courtroom
- (c) If the court determines under (a)(2) of this section that the testimony by the child victim or witness under normal
court procedures would result in the child's inability to effectively communicate, the court may order that the
testimony of the child be taken in a room other than the courtroom and be televised by closed circuit equipment in the
courtroom to be viewed by the defendant, the court, and the finder of fact in the proceeding. If the court authorizes
use of closed circuit televised testimony under this subsection,
- (1) each of the following may be in the room with the child when the child testifies:
- (A) the prosecuting attorney;
- (B) the attorney for the defendant; and
- (C) operators of the closed circuit television equipment;
- (2) the court may, in addition to persons specified in (1) of this subsection, admit a person whose presence, in the
opinion of the court, contributes to the well-being of the child.
- (d) When a child is to testify under (c) of this section, only the court and counsel may question the child. The persons
operating the equipment shall do so in as unobtrusive a manner as possible. If the defendant requests, the court shall
excuse the defendant from the courtroom, shall permit the defendant to attend in another location, and shall afford the
defendant a means of viewing the child's testimony and of communicating with the defendant's attorney throughout the
proceedings. Upon request of the defendant or the defendant's attorney, the court shall permit a recess to allow them
to confer. The court shall provide a means of communicating with the attorneys during the questioning of the child.
Objections made by the attorneys to questions of a child witness may be resolved in the courtroom if the court finds it
- (e) If the court determines under (a)(2) of this section that the testimony by the child victim or witness under normal
court procedures would result in the child's inability to effectively communicate, the court may authorize the use of
one-way mirrors in conjunction with the taking of the child's testimony. The attorneys may pose questions to the child
and have visual contact with the child during questioning, but the mirrors shall be placed to provide a physical shield
so that the child does not have visual contact with the defendant and jurors.
- (f) If the court does not find under (a)(2) of this section that the testimony by the child victim or witness under normal
court procedures will result in the child's inability to effectively communicate, the court may, after taking into
consideration the factors specified in (b) of this section, supervise the spatial arrangements of the courtroom and the
location, movement, and deportment of all persons in attendance so as to safeguard the child from emotional harm or
stress. In addition to other procedures it finds appropriate, the court may
- (1) allow the child to testify while sitting on the floor or on an appropriately sized chair;
- (2) schedule the procedure in a room that provides adequate privacy, freedom from distractions, informality, and comfort
appropriate to the child's developmental age; and
- (3) order a recess when the energy, comfort, or attention span of the child warrants.
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