2010 Pennsylvania Code
Chapter 59 - Depositions and Witnesses
5986 - Hearsay.

     § 5986.  Hearsay.
        (a)  General rule.--A statement made by a child describing
     acts and attempted acts of indecent contact, sexual intercourse
     or deviate sexual intercourse performed with or on the child by
     another, not otherwise admissible by statute or court ruling, is
     admissible in evidence in a dependency proceeding initiated
     under Chapter 63 (relating to juvenile matters), involving that
     child or other members of that child's family, if:
            (1)  the court finds, in an in camera hearing, that the
        evidence is relevant and that the time, content and
        circumstances of the statement provide sufficient indicia of
        reliability; and
            (2)  the child either:
                (i)  testifies at the proceeding; or
                (ii)  is found by the court to be unavailable as a
        (b)  Emotional distress.--In order to make a finding under
     subsection (a)(2)(ii) that the child is unavailable as a
     witness, the court must determine, based on evidence presented
     to it, that testimony by the child as a witness will result in
     the child suffering serious emotional distress that would
     substantially impair the child's ability to reasonably
     communicate. In making this determination, the court may do all
     of the following:
            (1)  Observe and question the child, 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 in a
        medical or therapeutic setting.
        (c)  Counsel and confrontation.--If the court hears testimony
     in connection with making a finding under subsection (a)(2)(ii),
     all of the following apply:
            (1)  Except as provided in paragraph (2), the defendant,
        the attorney for the defendant and the attorney for the
        Commonwealth have the right to be present.
            (2)  If the court observes or questions the child, the
        court shall not permit the defendant to be present.
     (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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