In the recent edition of The Champion , Dr . Demosthenes Lorandos wrote a fascinating article summarizing the integration of science and law in the defense of Tonya Craft . Ms. Craft was charged in 22 counts of sexually abusing three different little girls . The cost of her defense was over $ 500,000.00. A jury found her not guilty of all 22 counts. Money well spent .
Dr. Lorandos identified six scientific areas of Ms.Craft’s defense that had to be addressed. One of the questions that must be answered in all child sex abuse cases is "How did the child know about certain areas of sexuality" ? It can be explained by normal child sexuality . This was the first field of science that had to be tackled head on. The defense concentrated on educating the jury of various studies that dealt with child sexuality.
Some of the findings are as followed ;
- Research studies showed that 65 % of of preschool educators found that direct sexual behavior of body exploration and genital manipulation occurred often or very often .
- Another study related that at least a third indicated genital fondling.
- 37 % of the girls reported sexual activity with other children involving exposure to or manual or oral stimulation of the genitals .
All of the studies mentioned were peer reviewed. From these studies , it appears sexual touching is present in some children which explains their basis of knowledge for sexual activity .
The defense used sound science to explain one of the threshold issues in defending child sex cases .