2010 Georgia Code
§ 17-8-55 - Testimony of child ten years old or younger by closed circuit television; persons entitled to be present

O.C.G.A. 17-8-55 (2010)
17-8-55. Testimony of child ten years old or younger by closed circuit television; persons entitled to be present

(a) In all proceedings involving the criminal charges specified in this Code section, the court may order that the testimony of a child ten years of age or younger who has been the victim of any violation of Code Section 16-5-70, Code Section 16-6-1, Code Section 16-6-2, Code Section 16-6-4, or Code Section 16-6-5.1 be taken outside the courtroom and shown in the courtroom by means of a two-way closed circuit television. An order may be granted in such cases only if:

(1) The testimony is taken during the criminal trial proceeding for such violation; and

(2) The judge determines that testimony by the child victim in the courtroom will result in the child's suffering serious emotional distress such that the child cannot reasonably communicate.

(b) Only the prosecuting attorney, the attorney for the defendant, and the judge may question the child who testifies by two-way closed circuit television.

(c) The operators of the two-way closed circuit television shall make every effort to be unobtrusive.

(d) Only the following persons may be in the room with the child when the child testifies by two-way closed circuit television:

(1) The prosecuting attorney;

(2) The attorney for the defendant;

(3) The operators of the two-way closed circuit television equipment;

(4) The judge; and

(5) In the court's discretion, any person whose presence, in the opinion of the court, contributes to the well-being of the child, including a person who has dealt with the child in a therapeutic setting concerning the crime. The defendant and defendant's counsel shall be notified at least 24 hours before the closed circuit testimony as to the prosecution's representatives and any other persons who shall be present in the room with the child victim during the child's testimony.

(e) During the child's testimony by two-way closed circuit television, the defendant shall be in the courtroom.

(f) The defendant shall be allowed to communicate with the persons in the room where the child is testifying by any appropriate electronic method.

(g) The provisions of this Code section do not apply if the defendant is an attorney pro se.

(h) This Code section may not be interpreted to preclude, for purposes of identification of a defendant, the presence of both the child victim and the defendant in the courtroom at the same time.

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