☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 491

< > Effective - 28 Aug 1992    bottom

  491.680.  Court may order video recording of alleged child victim, when — procedure — transcript — exclusion of defendant from proceedings, opportunity to review — cross-examination. — 1.  In any criminal prosecution under the provisions of chapter 565, 566 or 568 involving an alleged child victim, upon the motion of the prosecuting attorney, the court may order that an in-camera videotaped deposition of the testimony of the alleged child victim be made for use as substantive evidence at preliminary hearings and at trial.

  2.  If the court finds, at a hearing, that significant emotional or psychological trauma to the child which would result from testifying in the personal presence of the defendant exists, which makes the child unavailable as a witness at the time of the preliminary hearing or trial, the court shall order that an in-camera videotaped deposition of the testimony of the alleged child victim be made for use as substantive evidence at the preliminary hearings and at trial.  Such recording shall be retained by the prosecuting attorney and shall be admissible in lieu of the child's personal appearance and testimony at preliminary hearings and at trial, conflicting provisions of section 544.270 notwithstanding.  A transcript of such testimony shall be made as soon as possible after the completion of such deposition and shall be provided to the defendant together with all other discoverable materials.

  3.  Upon a finding of trauma as provided for in subsection 2 of this statute, the court may also exclude the defendant from the videotape deposition proceedings in which the child is to testify.  Where any such order of exclusion is entered, the child shall not be excused as a witness until the defendant has had a reasonable opportunity to review the videotape deposition in private with his counsel and to consult with his counsel; and until his counsel has been afforded the opportunity to cross-examine the child following such review and consultation.

  4.  The court shall preside over the depositions, which shall be conducted in accordance with the rules of evidence applicable to criminal cases.

  5.  The attorney for the defendant shall have at least two opportunities to cross-examine the deposed alleged child victim: once prior to the preliminary hearing and at least one additional time prior to the trial.

  6.  Prior to the taking of the deposition which is to be used as substantive evidence at the trial pursuant to sections 491.675 to 491.693, the defendant's attorney shall be provided with such discoverable materials and information as the court may, on motion, direct; shall be afforded a reasonable time to examine such materials; and shall be permitted to cross-examine the child during the deposition.

  7.  If the defendant is not represented by counsel and if, upon inquiry, it appears to the court that the defendant will be unable to obtain counsel within a reasonable period of time, the court shall appoint the public defender or other counsel to represent the defendant at the deposition.


(L. 1985 H.B. 366, et al. § 9, A.L. 1992 S.B. 638)

(1989) Taking of video recording of child's deposition where defendant was excluded from room where deposition was taken was violation of defendant's right of confrontation where no evidence of possible trauma was offered.  State v. Davidson, 764 S.W.2d 731 (Mo. App.W.D.).

---- end of effective  28 Aug 1992 ----

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