12.01.2011

The Many Roles Of The Private Investigator In Investigating Child Sexual Abuse Allegations Part IV

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By Lawrence W. Daly, MSc

If you want to work long hours and make a good salary being a private investigator is a good job to have for those who enjoy performing all types of investigations. If the private investigator specializes in conducting investigations such as child sexual abuse allegations, there generally is an increase in pay. Since the specialized investigator has some type of specialized education and experience their value is immediately recognized by the client and the need to pay a higher rate for the investigators services is warranted.
Statistics have demonstrated that 21-25% of private investigators are self-employed. This may indicate that the competition can be challenging as the work in the investigative market may be limited depending upon the local economy.
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With the Internet now being one of the biggest resources for finding a private investigator the yellow pages has become obsolete and the new marketing strategies must consider the use of the Internet. Google and Bing have a business marketing program that can assist the investigator in establishing marketing scheme(s) especially for those who specialize in specific aspects of the law.
The roles a private investigator accepts when assigned to an investigation will depend upon the type of investigation the client needs the investigator to perform. Investigators can accept a role to uncover background facts about a current boyfriend who may end up marrying his girlfriend. Maybe the family does not feel comfortable with the boyfriend and wants an extensive background conducted on him. Being retained to conduct a background on anyone can cause the investigator to expend time traveling to the locations where the boyfriend lived, worked and played.
In child sexual abuse investigations backgrounds of the State’s witnesses may prove to be one of the most important aspects of the investigation. Too often law enforcement doesn’t check out the credibility of their witnesses. They believe there is no relevance to an individual who is one of their witnesses who may have a shaded background. This attitude needs to change as the credibility of any witness is vital to proving or disproving aspects of the case.
Too often law enforcement will come across information which may diminish the credibility of one of their witnesses and they will not put this information into their reports. An investigator working on the case should uncover the information on their own as one of their responsibilities is interviewing individuals who know the alleged victim and witnesses. The reason law enforcement chooses not to incorporate information about their witness is they advocate that the information wasn’t relevant or material information and was not part of their investigation.
Judges and jurors do not appreciate law enforcement officials who fail to be honest about their fact-finding mission and those who don’t document accurate findings. It is important that the law enforcement official place any and all information into their reports and let the judge and jury decide what is relevant and material.
Private investigators vary in their methods of how they approach a case. Depending on who the investigator is working for will depend upon the information the client will share with them. The investigator should have a policy that they want to review any and all of the documents in order to conduct a competent and intelligent investigation should be their policy with any investigation they accept. If the client only provides tidbits of information to the investigator this should be an indication that something isn’t right.
An investigator who has the responsibility to investigate an allegation which has been made by a third party needs any and all information which has demanded the investigation. An investigator cannot properly investigate all the facts without knowing the information which currently exists. Each investigator is different, but experience should dictate what methods and techniques works for them
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The new aspect of child sexual abuse investigations is the use of the Internet to manipulate child victims into performing online sexual acts. Moreover, the sexual offender generally camouflages who they are, so the investigation may be complex. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) generally has the responsibility of investigating, identifying, apprehending, and prosecuting the offender.
The investigator has the responsibility to review what crime their client is accused of committing. The majority of the investigation will be targeted not on what their client allegedly did, but what the FBI Agent did. Specifically the review by the investigator is to identify specifically what the FBI Agent did to identify and apprehend the client. 
Tomorrow, the diversification of the investigator who accepts the role of investigating child sexual abuse cases will be reviewed with the idea of identifying the investigators responsibilities which are necessary to investigate a complex and unique claim that a child was sexually abused.

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