The Senate Social Services Standing Committee voted out favorably a bill that would require the recording of interviews relating to sexual abuse criminal cases.
SB6, sponsored by David H. Steele, R-West Point, would mandate that licensed psychologists, therapists, social workers and other specified practitioners report suspected child sexual abuse, then discontinue any active investigation. The purpose of the bill, according to Steele, is to separate the therapeutic roles from investigative roles that should be carried out by a law enforcement officials or Division of Family Services staff.Under the bill, interviews conducted with the child by an investigator would be tape recorded. That, Steele said, would protect both the investigator (from charges that he "led" the child) and the child himself.
The bill received criticism. Dr. Robert L. Gleave, clinical director of the United Behavioral Clinics, said that such legislation was unnecessary because of policies already in place. Others said the bill would disrupt the child's therapy and possibly damage the outcome of therapeutic efforts.