St. Mary County is a small rural midwestern enclave with a
unique approach to handling accusations of child sexual abuse.
Hoping to spare children the trauma of lengthy court appearances
and probing interrogations, St. Mary's professionals strive to
obtain confessions from accused sex offenders rather than ask the
victim to bear the burden of proof.
Treating this county as a critical case study, scholars from a
variety of fields come together to analyze this community's unique
approach. They address relevant case law, innovative treatments for
both victim and offender, and the social history of child sexual
abuse as a national policy concern. They cover legal burdens and
scientific methods, prosecutors and protocol, the interrogation of
victims and suspects, the use of expert witnesses, defense
strategies, and practice wisdom in videotaping. In addition, they
examine the unfolding drama of a single legal case from incidence
The result is a fascinating dialogue that confronts the unique
complexities of child sexual abuse for readers on all sides of the
issue. Introducing a model that makes enormous headway in the
pursuit of justice, fairness, and trauma treatment, this
interdisciplinary text is an indispensible tool for all communities
Subjects: Sociology, Law
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