Georgia legislation would allow remote testimony for young victims

ATLANTA — A proposal in the Georgia legislature would allow young victims to testify remotely in certain cases of abuse.

House Bill 804 allows the remote option if testifying before the accused would cause serious physical or emotional distress for the victim. The measure applies only to youth under the age of 18. Remote testimonies would be performed via live broadcast and must be approved by the court at least 10 days prior to the trial.

“Testifying can often be a traumatic experience for young victims,” state Rep. Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta, said in a statement. “This measure will ease some of the fear and pain that these youth must face in stepping forward about their abuse. HB 804 helps protect the most vulnerable in our society.”

Co-signers of the bill include State Representatives Buzz Brockway, R-Lawrenceville; LaDawn Jones, D-Atlanta; Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City; and B.J. Pak, R-Lilburn. The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, Prosecuting Attorney’s Council, and the Georgia Commission on Family Violence have worked closely with these House members on the construction of the bill.

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