Today’s Investigative Special Report – January 6, 2013 “Dealing With Todays Law Enforcement Specialized Investigations” “Some Historical Information Why Law Enforcement Is Working Within An Antiquated Child Sexual Assault Legal System”

Lawrence W. Daly, MSc
Forensic Expert – Senior Author
It seems impossible that people would want to mislead law enforcement officers about a child possibly being sexually assaulted. It does happen for many reasons although it seems ludicrous that someone would use a child for their own personal reasons to gain some benefit.
With a proper investigation law enforcement should and needs to ferret out specifically what happened and is happening behind the scenes. However, society needs to understand why the complex and misdirection type sexual assaults are rarely solved. Providing some insight and understanding of what has been occurring over the past four decades in child sexual assault investigations will be of assistance.
Four decades ago when society began to recognize that women were rape victims and children were not sexual objects law enforcement began taking allegations of sexual assaults seriously. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to conduct the investigations, but it was the old time mentality that men were in charge and they could do what they wanted to women and children.
When society began supporting the rights of women and children in the early 1970s many organizations were formed to provide advocacy for them when being witnesses in the legal system. Once the advocacy was established law enforcement was forced (a necessary change) to change the manner in which they handled sexual assaults on women and children.
Unfortunately, the training of law enforcement officials didn’t exist and they had problems with relinquishing power to women who disliked men for the many centuries of severe abuse. Without education and training law enforcement had to rely on victim advocates for investigative advise. However, their knowledge was as incompetent and unintelligent as law enforcements.
Over the next decade young educated and intelligent law enforcement officials began realizing the problems which not only had occurred over the past but what the victim’s advocates were trying to accomplish. The advocate’s motives were not something which was easily identifiable. Little by little they began establishing child interviews and child sexual assault investigations protocols when law enforcement should have taken the lead and established who would do what.
Today, the fall out of the decisions made by the social child sexual assault networks have continued to control how law enforcement interviews child sexual assault victims and conduct investigations.
Crimes against children are not a social worker problem it is a crime to sexually assault children. Over the past 40 years child sexual assaults have been dealt with in a social worker atmosphere, attitude, and arrogant environment. Today, the tide is beginning to turn as the misled law enforcement officials are beginning to realize for the most part that children who are sexually assaulted should and need to be interviewed by educated and trained law enforcement officials.
Currently, civil employees, generally females, have the responsibility to interview alleged child victims. When examining and evaluating the current antiquated child sexual assault protocols and procedures law enforcement needs to demonstrate leadership when it comes to how complaints are processed, assigned, and investigated. Further, the role of the forensic child sexual assault interviewer must change from civilian employees with the responsibility returning to law enforcement.
The reasons for changes in the current child sexual assault protocols and procedures are vast. As law enforcement transitioned into 2012 there has been a significant change in the interviewing of child victims. The problem is the changes are occurring not in the United States but in the United Kingdom and the surrounding countries. However, law enforcement in these countries never relinquished their roles and responsibilities in interviewing child victims.
The education and training of their law enforcement officers has always been a priority due to the strong leadership by law enforcement officials in these countries. As a result the dedication and perseverance of these officials the investigations are complete, thorough, competent, intelligent, creative, and innovative. The success rate of their investigative fact finding process especially when it comes to complex cases is high.
The opportunity for law enforcement in the United States to demonstrate the leadership which should be paramount amongst the ranks needs to come from the top down. The problems are complex as many of law enforcement hierarchy came up through the ranks and were indoctrinated into the social worker child sexual assault investigative mentality.
In order for the current antiquated legal system to change, law enforcement has to come together as a community and begin dealing with the inherent problems which come from the current legal system.
In examining, evaluating, and determining the reasons for the necessary and needed changes, law enforcement officials need to comprehend that child sexual assault cases are the only criminal investigations were someone outside of law enforcement is performing the most important interview of the investigation i.e. the child interview.
Education and training are available throughout the world which law enforcement officials can attend to receive the proper education and training. Over the years law enforcement is being required to attend training on a yearly basis in reference to child sexual assault issues. If law enforcement is required to receive education and training then it needs to be in the child victim interviewing protocols and procedures. Law enforcement detectives need to know how to interview children of all ages. It isn’t complicated and with the appropriate education and training can be an effective child interviewer.
The education and training is one which requires a desire by law enforcement officials to begin receiving not on a yearly basis, but on a weekly basis. Interviewing children requires a specialized person who can deal with scenarios which at times are emotionally and mentally draining. The transfer rate in and out of child sexual assault units generally known as Special Assault Units (SAU) is astronomical. There are many stories where a detective receives an assignment into SAU and the next week he is back to the assignment he came from.
The job of being responsible and accountable to the community in investigating child sexual assault cases is difficult for most detectives to be involved in. Some detectives find the assignment to be rewarding as they believe they are making a difference for a child who may have been sexually assaulted.
Many individuals, organizations, and colleges are realizing the need for education in the child sexual and physical assault areas is something which has been needed for years. If these people make the decision to begin educating the public the leadership in all of these organizations must stress that the faculty have criminal justice experience in child sexual and physical assault cases.
If the ideology is one of the current social worker mentality then the antiquated legal system which is in place today will continue the incompetence of a system which desperately needs changing.
The impression that the need to change the current legal system structure in reference to the child sexual assault industry should be one of cooperation between all of the individuals and organizations involved. The many improvements which have occurred over the past four decades should be respected as a learning and educational tool. Moving forward to improve a very antiquated legal system is something the law enforcement community must first come together on to meet the great resistance which will take place when the social worker mentality is challenged. Time will tell if law enforcement will or will not reestablish themselves in becoming responsible and accountable for any and all aspects of a child sexual assault investigations.

Lawrence W. Daly
Kent, WA

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