What to do if a man hid a camera in my 12 year old daughter’s bedroom and recorded her changing clothes but the judge has ruled the video inadmissable?

UPDATED: Feb 17, 2013

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What to do if a man hid a camera in my 12 year old daughter’s bedroom and recorded her changing clothes but the judge has ruled the video inadmissable?

He molested her the next day. During the trial, the judge ruled that we can not show the video he recorded because it is considered a separate charge. The man also practically confessed on a recorded phone conversation with his mother, but we could not play that either because his public defender decided not to call his mother as a witness. The DA said we couldn’t play that tape unless his public defender put her on the stand. He also chose to not put himself on the stand and testify on his own behalf. So all we have to prosecute him is the 911 call, her testimony, and mine, her mother’s. This doesn’t seem right at all. Is there anything we can do?

Asked on February 17, 2013 under Criminal Law, Tennessee


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Both parties have the right to subpoena a witness.  So the prosecutor can call the mother as a witness if necessary to authenticate a recording.  The final decision, however, on whether to call a certain witness is with the prosecutor.  The final decision on whether to admit a piece of evidence is with the judge.  Even though you are the parent of the victim, these decisions are in someone else's hands and there isn't much you can do about trial decisions.  If you are going to have a second trial because of the video, you may want to visit with the prosecutor's supervisor to see if there is another prosecutor that you would be more comfortable with handling your daughter's case. 

If this doesn't work, then you may be left with filing a civil suit against the offender.  If won't be the same as seeing him in handcuffs, but it may help get some justice for your family.

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