A prosecutor is seeking the Superior Court's permission to allow a minor who was allegedly sexually molested by a 62-year-old man to use a stuffed toy and dolls during her testimony in court.
Assistant attorney general Margo Brown wants the court to allow special procedures for the child-victim and child witnesses in the jury trial of Jose Ilo Santos, also known as Grandpa Ping.
Brown said special procedures are frequently used in courtrooms across the country to facilitate child testimony.
She said the child should be allowed to use anatomically detailed dolls as demonstrative evidence.
“The use of anatomically detailed dolls as demonstrative evidence can assist young children to describe details of sexual abuse,” Brown said.
She said victim advocate Dixie Inos and the victim's mother should also be allowed in the courtroom when the girl testifies.
“Having a trusted adult available for general comfort and support and to provide each child with a basic sense of safety may be necessary if the child is expected to be able to answer any questions at all,” she said.
Brown said if the child wishes, that child be allowed to sit on the victim advocate's lap while providing testimony.
Brown requested that frequent breaks be taken as needed to allow the child to focus on the questioning.
To the extent necessary to develop the child's testimony, Brown said that leading questions should be allowed during direct examination.
Brown said the courtroom should be cleared of any spectators during child-witness testimony to safeguard the child from additional emotional harm or stress.
The Office of the Attorney General had charged Santos with two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree for allegedly molesting a then 8-year-old girl on April 23, 2011 and May 7, 2011 in Tanapag.
Presiding Judge Robert C. Naraja assigned the case to Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho.