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The Champion

April 2015 , Page 36 

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Conquer Your Fear: Taking on a Child Sex Case

By Kathleen Stilling

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimated that over 60,000 children were the victims of sexual abuse.1 This volume of cases may explain why so many clients come to criminal defense lawyers’ offices charged with or about to be charged with a crime second only to a capital offense in terms of the impact it will have on the lives of clients and their families. When defense lawyers initially meet with clients, they often have concerns about the viability of a successful defense. The lawyer may have the same questions a jury will have: Why would a child lie about something as serious as sexual assault? How did the child acquire specific sexual information if the child did not experience the assault of which the client is accused?

It may be tempting to pass the dreaded child sex offense client to a lawyer more experienced in managing these complex and emotional cases. While experience is important, a lawyer prepared to spend the time and resource

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