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Thread: Dog Helps Teenage Rape Victim Testify‎

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default Dog Helps Teenage Rape Victim Testify‎

    A golden retriever called Rosie has become the first dog to be allowed in a New York courtroom – so she can comfort abused children who are testifying.
    Rosie is specially-trained to soothe people when they are under stress by nuzzling and cuddling up to them.
    She showed off her tender skills most recently when she sat at the feet of a 15-year-old girl as she testified against her father, who was accused of raping and impregnating her.

    'Adorable - though she has been known to slobber': Golden retriever Rosie is adept at comforting traumatised children

    The distraught teenager repeatedly hugged the dog – described as ‘adorable, though she has been known to slobber’ - during her time in the witness box, The New York Times reported.
    The trial ended in June with the man’s conviction and life sentence, leaving the teenager ‘most grateful to Rosie above all’, claimed a psychologist who works with her.

    Dr David Crenshaw added: ‘She just kept hugging Rosie.’
    Allowing dogs to be present during legal proceedings appears to be something of a growing trend, with comforting canines appearing in court rooms in Arizona, Idaho, Indiana and Hawaii since 2003.
    However the future of the trend could be under threat – as defence lawyers are arguing the animals can unfairly sway a jury because of the empathy and emotion they inspire.

    Indeed an appeal has been launched following Rosie’s latest court appearance, with attorneys for the teen rape victim’s father claiming the presence of the animal amounted to ‘misconduct’ that ‘infected the trial with such unfairness’ that it constituted a violation of the father’s constitutional rights.
    While lawyers with the public defender's office do not dispute that Rosie responds to stress by comforting people, they do point out this could occur regardless as to whether the stress was rooted in confronting a guilty defendant or lying under oath.
    Although there was no precedent in the state, Judge Stephen L Greller, who oversaw the trial, had ruled Rosie was allowed to attend because she had a similar function to a teddy bear that a New York appeals court said could accompany a child witness in 1994.

    While legal questions about whether Rosie and others like her should be allowed in courtrooms continue, the shaggy dog has been keeping busy by playing with two girls, aged 5 and 11, as they prepare to testify against the man accused of stabbing their mother to death.
    The 11-year-old dog, who is named after the civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, is able to follow 80 commands – including taking off a person’s socks without biting their toes – but her talents undoubtedly lie with comforting traumatised children.
    Dr Crenshaw, who has worked with all three of Rosie’s witnesses said: ‘When they start talking about difficult things, Rosie picks up on that and goes over and nudges them.
    ‘I’ve seen it with my own eyes.’
    Rosie is owned by Dale and Lu Picard, who run the Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities organisation.

    How a golden retriever called Rosie is helping comfort young victims of rape and violence in court | Mail Online

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Goldens are ridiculously adept at picking up when you're upset. They can feel it across the house.. and the adorable thing is they do their damndest to make you feel better.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member Karistiona's Avatar
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    Aww what a sweetheart,she looks like a fantastic dog. What a great thing to train a dog to do, any comfort that can help poor kids in that situation is worth such a lot.
    I smile because I have no idea what's going on

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    Elite Member chartreuse's Avatar
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    when i read the thread title i was thinking "dog, the bounty hunter" for some reason.
    white, black, puerto rican/everybody just a freakin'/good times were rollin'.


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    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    God, I really must be PMSing hardcore because this made me tear up.

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    Elite Member yanna's Avatar
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    However the future of the trend could be under threat – as defence lawyers are arguing the animals can unfairly sway a jury because of the empathy and emotion they inspire.

    Indeed an appeal has been launched following Rosie’s latest court appearance, with attorneys for the teen rape victim’s father claiming the presence of the animal amounted to ‘misconduct’ that ‘infected the trial with such unfairness’ that it constituted a violation of the father’s constitutional rights.
    I love dogs but are they seriously suggesting that dogs inspire more empathy than a raped child?

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    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    What a fucking asshole. Your 15 year old daughter is pregnant with your child and you plead Not Guilty and now want to appeal your conviction and put her through this again. They should some special attack dogs for him.
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    I love goldens.

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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yanna View Post
    I love dogs but are they seriously suggesting that dogs inspire more empathy than a raped child?
    I think the point they are making is that the dog is basically an unsworn witness. He is providing visual proof of the victim's distress to a jury since anyone with any animal sense will know what the dog is reacting to. I'm torn on this issue myself.
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    Elite Member yanna's Avatar
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    I understand now. I think it's bull. You can't swear a dog in anyway and it will only possibly influence the jurors if they are dog lovers. I'm sure that when the girl is describing what happened she'll be giving other indications of how upsetting it all is for her and the jurors don't really need a dog to see it. Maybe victims should testify behind a curtain to hide any emotions they may be showing?

    I can't imagine how hard it is for these kids to go out and testify about things like that. Whatever helps, dogs, cats, baby pandas should be allowed in court.

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