Prosecuting Cases Involving Victims with Developmental Disabilities: A Focus on Sexual Assault
Presented by Viktoria Kristiansson, Attorney Advisor, AEquitas and Kathryn Walker, Criminal Justice Fellow, National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability, The Arc
People with developmental disabilities face myriad issues and unique challenges when encountering the justice system. The traumatic impact of sexual assault may further exacerbate already-existing issues. Developmental disabilities may impact a victim’s participation in a criminal investigation and testimony at trial. Prosecutors must be prepared to address the impact of the developmental disability on the victim and on the dynamics of the crime, particularly when assessing the offender's behaviors, victim selection, and steps taken to perpetrate the crime.
This recording will prepare prosecutors to anticipate issues and evidence prior to trial; file and argue pretrial motions; develop trial strategies that take into account the victim’s intellectual or developmental disabilities, as well as any mental health issues; introduce relevant evidence at trial while excluding the irrelevant; and consider appropriate sentencing options.
Allied justice system professionals, including prosecutors, law enforcement officers, community-based service providers, medical and mental health practitioners, probation and parole officers, judges, and others, are encouraged to view this recording.
This recording should qualify prosecutors for one (1) hour of continuing legal education credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.
Click here to view the recording of this May 29, 2015 webinar.
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