2018 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
TITLE 15 - Criminal Procedure
RS 15:283 - Protected person; testimony taken outside courtroom

Universal Citation: LA Rev Stat § 15:283 (2018)

§283. Protected person; testimony taken outside courtroom

A. On its own motion or on the motion of the attorney for any party, a court may order that the testimony of a protected person who may have been a witness to or victim of a crime be taken in a room other than the courtroom and be simultaneously televised by closed circuit television to the court and jury, when the court makes a specific finding of necessity based upon both of the following:

(1) Expert testimony that the protected person would be likely to suffer serious emotional distress if forced to give testimony in open court.

(2) Expert testimony that, without such simultaneous televised testimony, the protected person cannot reasonably communicate his testimony to the court or jury.

B. The court shall ensure that the protected person cannot see or hear the accused unless such viewing or hearing is requested for purposes of identification. However, the court shall ensure that the accused is afforded the ability to consult with his attorney during the testimony of the protected person.

C. The only persons who may be present in the room with the protected person are the person or persons operating the audio-video equipment, the presiding judge, the attorneys for the state, the attorneys for the defendant, and any person, other than a relative of the protected person, whose presence is determined by the court to be necessary to the welfare and well-being of the protected person during his testimony. The persons operating the equipment shall be confined to an adjacent room or behind a screen or mirror that permits them to see and hear the protected person during his testimony but does not permit the protected person to see or hear them.

D. Only the attorneys, or the presiding judge as authorized by law, may question the protected person.

E. For the purposes of this Section, "protected person" means a person who is the victim of a crime or a witness in a criminal prosecution who is either of the following:

(1) Under the age of seventeen years.

(2) Has a developmental disability as defined in R.S. 28:451.2(12).

Acts 1984, No. 563, §1; Acts 1991, No. 500, §1; Acts 2004, No. 241, §1; Acts 2006, No. 764, §2; Acts 2007, No. 70, §1.

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