Parent-Child Incest: Proof at Trial Without Testimony in Court by the Victim

This Note argues that the incest victim should not testify personally at trial. Rather, the child’s testimony should be replaced with tape-recorded pretrial examinations of the victim by an expert, supplemented by the in-court testimony of the examining expert. Part I discusses how the present system of requiring in-court testimony by the victim harms the child, fails to correct the incest problem, and produces unreliable evidence. Part II outlines and discusses the merits of the proposed reform. Part ill examines the proposed reform in light of the defendant’s constitutional rights to due process and to confront witnesses against him. The Note concludes that the proposed reform would result in substantial benefits without infringing upon the defendant’s constitutional rights.