Child Sexual Abuse Victims Can Be Required to Undergo a Mental Health Evaluation to Determine Credibility of the Report of Abuse; Ruling Not Disturbed

In re Michael H., 602 S.E.2d 729 (S.C. 2004)

Because criminal charges of sexual assault often center on the reports of the purported victim, the credibility of these reports is often critical.  Defendants in such cases may seek a mental health evaluation of the victim to determine whether there is reason to question the credibility of the report. Victims' advocates, concerned that such evaluations may place the victims and their mental state "on trial," often object to these court-ordered mental health evaluations. The courts have wrestled with how to resolve this conflict, particularly when the purported victim is a minor...

Found in DMHL Volume 24 Issue 2