Depositions of children

For amend and vote, the House Judiciary Committee heard SB 206 on depositions of children, sponsored by Reps. Torr and Schaibley. The bill defines “deposition” to include interviews, recorded statements, and depositions; creates certain procedures and protections in a deposition for a child less than 16 years of age who is the victim of a sex crime; and provides that the term “defense counsel” includes the defense counsel, the defendant, or an agent of the defendant or defense counsel.

The committee made the following amendments to the bill:

  • Defines “child victim” as a child less than 16 years of age who is the victim of a sex offense and specifies that a child victim has the right to confer with a representative of the prosecuting attorney’s office before being deposed.
  • Repeals and replaces the current statute concerning the deposition of a child with a new statute that provides that a defendant may only depose a child victim if the prosecuting attorney agrees to the deposition or if a court authorizes the deposition.
  • Establishes a procedure for a court to use to determine whether to authorize the deposition of a child victim, and to specify the manner in which the deposition may be conducted.
  • Provides that an order authorizing the deposition of a child must expressly prohibit the presence of the person accused of committing the offense against the child unless certain conditions apply and the presence of the accused is necessary to preserve the person’s rights under the United States or Indiana constitution.

The amended bill passed 10-1.

Read the bill at:  http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/bills/senate/206