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Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
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I am wondering if the minor victim/witnesses in a sexual assault

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I am wondering if the minor victim/witnesses in a sexual assault case are required to attend a preliminary hearing or if someone can just read their statements.
There is not an absolutely yes or no answer to that question. It depends heavily on local practice. There is support in North Dakota law for allowing a detective to relay what they were told by a child sexual abuse victim (see link to case below), but one magistrate may determine that sufficient "probable cause" while another may not.

Additionally, some prosecutors may want to see how the child testifies while another may try to avoid putting them on stand at the preliminary hearing in an effort not to further traumatize the child. In any event, whether or not the child testifies at the preliminary haring, he/she will have to testify at trial.

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