In this Note, Swanson examines two major flaws in the Ninth Circuit's decision in Devereaux v. Perez. a case centering on child sexual abuse interviewing techniques. The plaintiff in Devereaux was wrongly arrested and charged with child sexual abuse based on information obtained by public officials through highly improper interviewing of the alleged child victims. The plaintiff brought suit against the officials involved in the investigation under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. and the court dismissed his suit, holding that there is no constitutional due process right to have child witnesses in a child sexual abuse investigation interviewed in a particular manner or pursuant to specified standards. Swanson argues that the Ninth Circuit erred by requiring too high an intent standard to show a violation of the right at issue and by defining the due process right at issue too specifically, which allowed the court to avoid finding the violation of a constitutional right. The court instead should have found an infringement of the plaintiff's right not to have fabricated evidence used against him to deprive him of his liberty. By failing to do so, the court gives too much protection to state officials investigating child sexual abuse cases and too little protection to those accused of child sexual abuse.
Erika A. Swanson,
Who Framed Robert Devereaux? Devereaux v. Perez, a Deliberate Indifference Standard, and a Right Not to Be Framed in the Context of Child Sexual Abuse Investigations,
Chi.-Kent L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cklawreview/vol77/iss2/11