Rep. Dermody co-authors bill to allow testimony by closed circuit television
STATEHOUSE - State Representative Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte) co-authored House Bill 1215 that would allow a protected person in a court hearing to submit a statement via closed circuit television (CCTV). The bill passed the House by a vote of 99-0 and now moves to the Senate for discussion.
Under current statute, if a psychiatrist deems that a protected person will have continued mental problems or suffer serious mental distress if they testify in front of the defendant, the protected person may submit a statement by video tape or a written statement, but must physically appear in court to be cross-examined by the defense counsel. HB1215 would amend current statutes so that the protected person could appear in court via CCTV to be cross-examined.
"This bill is very important to these victims," said Rep. Dermody. "Testifying in front of an alleged attacker can be very stressful and can serve as a trigger. This bill protects victims from the traumatic experience of physically testifying in front of their alleged attacker. House Bill 1215 also acknowledges a local group in LaPorte that has really focused on protecting our youth and this was one item they felt would make a difference."