Judge to decide if video allowed during trialA judge will wait to decide whether he will allow child testimony to be heard in a case involving an alleged sex crime.
A judge will wait to decide whether he will allow child testimony to be heard in a case involving an alleged sex crime.
A hearing on the matter was held at the Stark County Courthouse, Thursday.
Jamie Barnes, a Slope County man, is charged with felony gross sexual imposition. He allegedly had sexual contact in September with a girl who was 10 years old at the time, according to officials.
Thursday’s hearing was over whether a video of an interview between the alleged victim and Shannon Hilfer, a forensic interviewer, could be used as evidence in the case.
“A forensic interview is really a structured conversation with a child that’s designed to illicit information that will either corroborate or refute allegations of abuse,” Hilfer said.
The interview in question took place three days after the alleged abuse, Hilfer said.
It’s possible the people the alleged victim talked to about the abuse in the days before talking to her may have had an impact on the interview, Hilfer said.
However, the alleged victim did not appear to be coached and her story stayed consistent throughout the interview, Hilfer said.
“I’m watching the child’s body language, I’m looking for details that a child might not have if something hadn’t happened to them,” Hilfer said.
The alleged victim told Hilfer Barnes had abused her. Hilfer said the victim protested the sexual contact and left the room.
Judge William Herauf said regardless of his decision, the video may not need to be viewed at Barnes’s trial. It is unclear when he will make a ruling on the issue.
Barnes disputes all allegations.
If convicted of gross sexual imposition, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and $10,000.
His trial is scheduled to begin June 3.