Monday, January 28, 2013

Therapy Dog at Her Side, Child Testifies Against Sexual Predator

James Edward Spence was convicted by a jury of sexual offenses against a ten-year-old girl, including sexual penetration, sodomy, committing a lewd act, and oral copulation.  On appeal, he assigned error because the victim had been accompanied on the witness stand by a “victim advocate” from the district attorney’s office as well as a therapy dog. A picture of the dog involved in the case, Dory, is posted on the website of Courthouse Dogs. The convictions were affirmed by a California appellate court. 

The decision of the California appellate court is analyzed in an article posted on the website of the Animal Legal and Historical Center of Michigan State University's College of Law. (See Part II of the article concerning California v. Spence.)  I will be adding to the article as further developments regarding these specialized therapy dogs, now most often referred to as facility dogs, occur.    

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