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jamest, Private Investigator
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 372
Experience:  Investigator of criminal law cases, especially Florida law. Work with retailers, others, consultant
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My son, 15, was accused by parents of a day care child

Customer Question

My son, 15, was accused by parents of a day care child in my ex-wife''s home day care of inappropriate touching. Child welfare removed him from his mom''s house and said he can''t be around children less than 7 years of age, or maybe 9 years of age. There is a police investigation. They wanted him to take a polygraph and/or, maybe both, if the polygraph were to come up as inconclusive. It seems they are on a witch hunt and according to parents of other children interviewed by police, the police officer was providing information to the other parents that has not been proven to be true and my understanding should never have been told to these other parents. My understanding is they should have been told no more than there was an accusation but no details as to what it was. Questions: 1) can he be forced to take polygraph and/or psychological sexual eval w/o court order? 2) was the police officer in the wrong? 3) At a loss, suggestions how to proceed? thx
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  jamest replied 9 years ago.
Questions: 1) can he be forced to take polygraph and/or psychological sexual eval w/o court order?
No, polygraphs are not admissible evidence in a criminal court, it is totally voluntary. If eh is innocent and does pass however, the police are more likely to believe him, but this should be spoken with his attorney(either your retained or court appointed), most attorneys tend to recommend against polygraphs.

2) was the police officer in the wrong?
It depends on what the police told the parents. In a case where they are investigating potential abuse of children, they would need to inform the other parents of the nature of the investigation. Since these cases are largely based on conflicting statements, the police attempt to see if a pattern can be seen, now obviously if this was not yet done it could not be proved yet in court. For example If they can find multiple victims making similar claims, this strengthens their case, on the other side, if no one else is making similar claims, It tends to discredit their case. Now if the police "led" the victim or others into making statements, that is something your attorney can present upon cross examination, and try to cast doubt on the reliability of the statement. It is similar to a police "line up", the victim looks at a ground of persons and this is done to see if the person can pick out the perpetrator, if the person can, out of 15 people, odds are good that the person has had contact with that person before, if they are unable to accurately pick the suspect, it tells the police they may need to reevaluate the suspect list. It is very had to say is what they did was wrong, as their are given latitude is conducting an investigation, but they are not restricted to telling persons only those things PROVEN inc court.

3) At a loss, suggestions how to proceed?

At this stage, hiring an attorney would be the best way to precede,
psychological sexual tests are extremely intrusive and are not directly material to the conduct in question. They are designed to determine a persons predisposition to being sexually attracted to something, it can be very damaging testimony because it provides motive where there was no way to prove prior motive, absent other victims. If he takes this test and is found to be predisposed to being attracted to a person who would meet the "victim's" profile, it will cause the jury to have extreme prejudice against him, even if it does nothing to prove the conduct they are claiming. If he passes, it does not prove his innocence because people do things for no reason or that make no sense all the time. ALso they can not use his failure to take any test against him, as it is his 5th amendment right to not answer any questions for whatever reason and the state can not use his using of his rights against him. They can not say that he refused to take this particular test, because this does not prove him guilty/

If you can afford an attorney, get one, if not, i would recommend not working with the police, they are attempting to build a case against someone, not help them.