Alaska Statutes.
Title 12. Code of Criminal Procedure
Chapter 45. Trial, Evidence, Compromise
Section 46. Testimony of Children in Criminal Proceedings.
previous: Section 45. Evidence of Past Sexual Conduct in Trials of Certain Sexual Offenses.
next: Section 47. , 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 [Repealed, Sec. 4 Ch 92 SLA 1988].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, the court

(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, including

(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 procedures.

(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 necessary.

(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.

All content © 2008 by Touch N' Go/Bright Solutions, Inc.

Note to HTML Version:

This version of the Alaska Statutes is current through December, 2007. The Alaska Statutes were automatically converted to HTML from a plain text format. Every effort has been made to ensure their accuracy, but this can not be guaranteed. If it is critical that the precise terms of the Alaska Statutes be known, it is recommended that more formal sources be consulted. For statutes adopted after the effective date of these statutes, see, Alaska State Legislature If any errors are found, please e-mail Touch N' Go systems at E-mail. We hope you find this information useful.