2010 Pennsylvania Code
Title 42 - JUDICIARY AND JUDICIAL PROCEDURE
Chapter 59 - Depositions and Witnesses
5984.1 - Recorded testimony.

     § 5984.1.  Recorded testimony.
        (a)  Recording.--Subject to subsection (b), in any
     prosecution or adjudication involving a child victim or child
     material witness, the court may order that the child victim's or
     child material witness's testimony be recorded for presentation
     in court by any method that accurately captures and preserves
     the visual images, oral communications and other information
     presented during such testimony. The testimony shall be taken
     under oath or affirmation before the court in chambers or in a
     special facility designed for taking the recorded testimony of
     children. Only the attorneys for the defendant and for the
     Commonwealth, persons necessary to operate the equipment, a
     qualified shorthand reporter and any person whose presence would
     contribute to the welfare and well-being of the child victim or
     child material witness, including persons designated under
     section 5983 (relating to rights and services), may be present
     in the room with the child during testimony. The court shall
     permit the defendant to observe and hear the testimony of the
     child victim or child material witness but shall ensure that the
     child victim or material witness cannot hear or see the
     defendant. Examination and cross-examination of the child victim
     or child material witness shall proceed in the same manner as
     normally permitted. The court shall make certain that the
     defendant and defense counsel have adequate opportunity to
     communicate for the purpose of providing an effective defense.
        (b)  Determination.--Before the court orders the child victim
     or the child material witness to testify by recorded testimony,
     the court must determine, based on evidence presented to it,
     that testifying either in an open forum in the presence and full
     view of the finder of fact or in the defendant's presence will
     result in the child victim or child material witness suffering
     serious emotional distress that would substantially impair the
     child victim's or child material witness's ability to reasonably
     communicate. In making this determination, the court may do any
     of the following:
            (1)  Observe and question the child victim or child
        material witness, either inside or outside the courtroom.
            (2)  Hear testimony of a parent or custodian or any other
        person, such as a person who has dealt with the child victim
        or child material witness in a medical or therapeutic
        setting.
        (c)  Counsel and confrontation.--
            (1)  If the court observes or questions the child victim
        or child material witness under subsection (b)(1), the
        attorney for the defendant and the attorney for the
        Commonwealth have the right to be present, but the court
        shall not permit the defendant to be present.
            (2)  If the court hears testimony under subsection
        (b)(2), the defendant, the attorney for the defendant and the
        attorney for the Commonwealth have the right to be present.
        (d)  Effect of order.--(Deleted by amendment).
     (Dec. 18, 1996, P.L.1077, No.161, eff. 60 days; July 15, 2004,
     P.L.736, No.87, eff. imd.)

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