A child under 13-years-old who alleges physical or sexual abuse may not have to testify at a Protection From Abuse (PFA) hearing under Pennsylvania Law.
The Tender Years Hearsay Act allows a psychologist or caseworker from Children Youth and Families (CYF) to testify on the child’s behalf.
The purpose of the Act is to protect children from the added trauma of appearing in court to describe the details of the alleged assault.
New legislation may expand the Act to include children under 17-years-old.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania opposes the bill on grounds that it violates the defendant’s right to due process.
Courts heavily rely on other professionals to determine whether abuse on a child actually occurred.
There may be a forensic interview conducted by a child abuse specialist in the presence of a police detective and a CYF caseworker.
Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law and criminal defense with a special focus on PFA, domestic abuse and high-conflict child custody.
Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.